Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 30 & 31 - 2011

Book 30: The Power of Two by Patti O’Shea – 358 pages

Description from amazon.com:
The UCE: In the 21st and 22nd Centuries, the United States changed and grew. Now the United Colonies of Earth dominate the globe. But a mysterious voice is broadcasting treason, inciting revolution and referring to the "ideals of 1776"—and to an enigmatic figure named Banzai Maguire.
To find Banzai, the UCE assigns Cai Randolph. She’s the "anchor," the techie half of a Quandem: a pair of elite operatives used by Army Special Forces for just such covert action. Neural implants allow her to sit back in a control chair and feed information to her partner, the dark-souled Jacob Tucker. He’s as rigid as he is deadly…or handsome. But this time, it can’t be business as usual. This time, Cai needs Jake to trust her completely. Whether he likes it or not, she can’t sit back while he fights the bad guys. Wherever this mission takes her, Cai is gonna be the one kicking a little tail.

This book redeemed the 2176 series a fair bit for me. It was set somewhere in Asia with the Quandem pairing of Cai and Jake. I liked the fact that they could essentially read each other’s minds – it’s a concept I’ve been fascinated by since I started writing myself. The idea pops up a lot in Dragonball Z fanfiction for some reason and I have to say its one I’d like to write about one day. Once the main barrier between Jake and Cai came down, the uniqueness of their relationship became even more interesting to follow and this made it feel a little bit more like a Grant book than the other non-Grant books in this series. Obviously, their new relationship and their unique bond helped save the day, but it worked and it was an enjoyable read, even if at times it felt like it took ages for them to just have sex (little delays kept getting thrown up, even once the mutual desire had been established) and quite a few ridiculous blah-blahing moments about age differences which annoyed me (my parents are ten years apart in age, I’m not that worried about an age gap any smaller than that, but I guess that’s personal preference) but otherwise it was good. Definitely one of the stronger of the non-Grant novels in this series.

30 / 50 books. 60% done!

10944 / 15000 pages. 73% done!

Book 31: The Scarlet Empress by Susan Grant – 356 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Shot down over Korea, modern-day U.S.A.F. fighter pilot Cameron "Scarlet" Tucker is put in bio-stasis. She wakes 170 years later to find her best friend survived, too--the "legendary" Banzai Maguire is being held for treason in the country that was once her beloved United States. Cam has her own problems. She's in the masterful hands of Kyber, the emperor prince whom Banzai just escaped. And he won't get fooled again. With a mysterious Shadow Voice urging world revolution, and her friend in chains, Cam wants the sexy dictator on her side--and maybe even closer. But her role in the thrilling mission to save her country must come first. It's time to give a royal butt-kicking, and Cam knows just where to start.

This was the final of the 2176 books and again was written by Grant. Like Grant’s other piece in this series, the first book, this one suffered with the problems that being a final book in a series has: being the wrap up and all that entails. The story itself, about the Emperor Prince of Asia (again) and Banzai Maguire’s best friend, who was also put in stasis for 170 years. Of course, this time, our Asian Emperor is in luck and the best friend, Cam returns his feelings, so our little circle is closed. That’s pretty much it on Cam’s story and we’re back with Banzai’s trying to find the spirit America has lost. It’s a little too patriotic from that point in, especially for a foreigner, but the plot works and it was an enjoyable read. Probably the most awkward bit is right at the very end, when Banzai and Cam meet all the women from the three middle books, their stories explained in an elevator speech. A little clichéd if you ask me, but I understood the point. I enjoyed the book upon reading it, but in hindsight…well, its all a little pedestrian. Still, a good one for anyone who enjoys Susie’s work, as well as dystopian/sci-fi/future-world kind of stories.

31 / 50 books. 62% done!

11300 / 15000 pages. 75% done!

I'm done all the 2011 reviews, so I just need to do up a 2011 review and then get started on the 2012 reviews. I've done maybe 10 of the 41 I need to do, so I really need to get a wriggle on!

Currently reading:
- The Iliad
by Homer – 408 pages
- The Other Queen
by Philippa Gregory – 437 pages
- The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook
by Ben Mezrich – 255 pages

And coming up:
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
- The Odyssey
by Homer – 324 pages
- One for the Money
by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages
Tags: dystopia, futuristic, pirates, romance, sci-fi, war

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