Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 7, 8 and 9 - 2011

Book 7: The Star Prince by Susan Grant – 395 pages

Description from Amazon:
A princess flees her royal responsibility to wed and ends up piloting the star craft of the one man she should never trust—the handsome stepson of the King of the Galaxy.

Another enjoyable Susie book! I liked this one - I liked Ian and I like Tee'ah, and I really liked the little side plot with Gann and Lara (please, please, please Ms Grant comment on this in the next one) and the good thing about Grant's books is that her 'second book in the trilogy' never feels like that. My only grievance was with Rom's weird behaviour - one minute he was telling Ian he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the next he was ordering him home like a naughty child and then in the next he was congratulating him for a job well-done that involved defying orders. It was weird and Grant didn't explain it well enough. Nonetheless, that's an aside to core story, and I really like how Grant's manages to 'borrow' from our sci-fi (predominately Star Trek, in my view) without making it feel as if she's ripping them off, but rather is telling her own stories. A good fun read!

7 / 50 books. 14% done!

2399 / 15000 pages. 16% done!

Book 8: The Star Princess by Susan Grant – 371 pages

Description from Amazon:
Los Angeles filmmaker Ilana Hamilton, a secondary character from Grant's futuristic aviation romance The Star Prince, takes center stage in this simple yet spirited love story, but it is her alien counterpart, Vash Prince Che Vedla, who truly shines here. Strong, honorable and adorably strait-laced, Che will do almost anything to ensure the welfare of his people, even submit to an arranged marriage. While his counselors select his bride-to-be, he hies off to Earth. The traditionalist Vash people have long believed Earthdwellers to be "barbarians," but that doesn't stop Che from seeking out Ilana, sister to the B'kah crown prince. Marriage to Ilana is out of the question, however, since he's in the market for a placid Vash bride and she isn't searching for a mate at all. Inevitably, their feelings for one another intensify, but someone in the Vedla household is determined to spoil their happily-ever-after. The scenes in which Ilana introduces Che to human delights like corn nuts, carnival rides and movies steal the story, though Grant also pens some titillating love scenes. Readers who like their romances sprinkled with sci-fi elements will embrace this book, as will those who prefer exotic protagonists and offbeat settings.

Really loved this one. Ilana is my kind of character, more bold and strong than her mother (who was in The Star King), ambitious enough to be realistic. I really liked Che too, though I didn't expect to initially (much like Ilana). I think I have a thing for kings and princes - there always my favourite characters. I really liked their relationship because it wasn't pure lovey dovey; they were sarcastic and funny and argumentative and passionate. Ilana refrained from becoming too clingy or ridiculous after they hooked up, and there was no instant 'Oh my god, i love you' but an acknowledgment that despite the circumstances of their marriage they weren't necessarily in love yet. I liked the little side story with Muffin and Cooper too though I do wish Grant had made mention of the relationship between Gann and Lara referred to in the previous book. There were things I didn't like about this story, issues I took with some of Grant's world and society creation, but overall I could overlook these in my enjoyment of the story.

8 / 50 books. 16% done!

2770 / 15000 pages. 18% done!

Book 9: Jennifer Government by Max Barry – 335 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious and terrifying vision of the near future, the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It's a globalised, ultra-capitalist free market paradise! Hack Nike is a lowly merchandising officer who's not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack's new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike's new line of USD$2,500 trainers. Hack goes to the police - but they assume that he's asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassination to the more experienced NRA. Enter Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a personal problem with John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). And a gun. Hack is about to find out what it really means to mess with market forces.

I've been meaning to read this book for years, after playing the game Nation States (which is based on the book) on the net when I was in high school. It's basically a look at a world where capitalism has been taken to its extreme. Corporations run the world, there's no such thing as tax, and everyone takes their company's name as their surname. When Nike launches a marketing campaign that involves the murder of 10 customers (in order to create street cred and involving the police as the shooters), they raise the interest of Jennifer Government, government agent, former marketing executive, bearer of a barcode tattoo just beneath her eye. Jennifer goes after the perpetrator of this event, chasing him from Melbourne (part of the Australian Territories of the USA) to London to Los Angeles. Of course, Jennifer and John Nike, mastermind of the marketing murders, have a history making their games all the more amusing. There's a strong cast of supporting characters and Barry uses them perfectly, jumping perspectives consistently to keep the story driving at its breakneck speed. It's not a deep character analysis, but rather an interesting look at greed, corruption, power and in its own way, the benefits of government, tax and regulation. Love, love, love it!

9 / 50 books. 18% done!

3105 / 15000 pages. 21% done!

Currently reading:
- Angelology
by Danielle Trussoni – 453 pages
- Under the Dome
by Stephen King – 877 pages
- Beyond the Elastic Limit: An Epic Fable
by Howard Loring – 375 pages

And coming up:
- The Davinci Code
by Dan Brown – 593 pages
- Bare Bones
by Kathy Reichs – 417 pages
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
Tags: business, dystopia, romance, sci-fi

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