The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Another Kindle sale book here – but I might have paid more for it had I known about it earlier.    The Lizzie Bennett Diaries are a fantastic web series that adapted Pride and Prejudice into the modern day.    Lizzie’s a communications grad student doing a web series as a project, and Darcy is the hipster owner of a software company that she meets when his friend Bing Lee moves to town.

I loved that series while it was happening.       This book ties in as Lizzie’s offline diary, where she’s recording detail she’s purposefully not putting online because they’re too private.     It’s some nice detail to fill in – there’s more interaction with her parents, and little details here and there that just help a few things make more sense.     There are also links to the appropriate shows, where they match up in the timeline – really well done there.    It’s a nice companion to the web series.

Saving Mars – Cidney Swanson

I picked up this book (and the other five in the series) on a .99 cent Kindle sale.     Jessamyn is a pilot on Mars, training all her young life to be able to make the run to Earth to get supplies for the Colony.    This is complicated by a war that resulted in a no contact rule with Earth, enforced by a laser system Earth installed around Mars.    So they need a really good pilot to run through the guns.    And they must make this run – the last war also set them back on the terraforming progress, so supplies from Earth are all that keep them alive.

It’s also complicated by Earth’s rebodying program.    Basically, you live your first eighteen years, than get rebodied into an old body for the next eighteen, move to a slightly younger body for the next eighteen, and finish up your life in an eighteen year old’s body.     And then you die.   It’s a life that those on Earth agreed to, but Mars did not.   So those that go to Earth also have to pass for older people in a younger person’s body.

The premise was interesting enough that I bought the whole series, and it’s not bad.    There’s additional detail of course – like Jess’s brother, who’s brought along to try and destroy the lasers around Mars because he’s a computer genius, but he’s also clearly somewhere on the autism spectrum, and the trip presents problems for him.    I wasn’t completely sold on things – Jess does make an important alley on Earth before escaping, but there are many complications, so she’ll clearly be back (easy to tell even without the other five books).    There was just something very pat about the whole thing.   So I will read more, but I’m glad I only paid .99 cents for each book.

Valor’s Trial – Tanya Huff

This is a great ending to the Confederation novels.    Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has finally been sent back to her unit on the front, when they’re attacked.    Torin pretty much knows she’s going to die when she hears a bomb coming in on their position, but she instead wakes up in a prison camp.    Except their enemies – the Others – don’t take prisoners.    So Torin’s got a mystery and a massive task on her hands – figure out what the hell is going on, and how to get all her fellow Marines out alive.

This is a satisfying end to the story – we finally get to meet the Others, and see how the Big Yellow Space Ship that was discovered in one of the previous books figures into things.   Of which I’ll say no more, because in that direction, spoilers lie.     I’ll just say that Torin succeeds at her tasks, and I was very satisfied by the conclusion.

Pendragon – Stephen R. Lawhead

I was very curious to see how this book was going to work – it’s a tacked on end to a former trilogy that actually ended with the death of Arthur.    So bringing back another Arthur story was definitely a bold move.     What this story does is go back to a few moments in Arthur’s youth that serve to illustrate the king he will become, and then go into detail about one of the first great battles he has after he is made king.

I liked this book better than I did Arthur – I think by concentrating on one time period, it served the story better.    Arthur looked at three distinct periods in his life, and became a little disjointed because of it.    It’s a shame the author hadn’t decided to go this route in the first place.

It was also a little less overly Christian.    I don’t know – the idea of a fully Christian Merlin just really rubs me the wrong way – but it just doesn’t seem as in your face in this book as the others.