Book: Born in Death

J. D. Robb continues the saga of Eve Dallas and Roark with this delightful action story with some mystery. I found myself guessing ahead correctly a bit too often, but the story moves well in any case.

Eve finds herself handling two complex cases simultaneously. With the department insinuating that she might not be trustworthy because she’s dealing with substantial amounts of financial data that might get to Roark, who might use it for his own benefit, she and Roark decide to tackle the issue head on and challenge the department, the criminals, and some very powerful people.

All of this is entwined with the preparations for Mavis to give birth with Roark and Eve serving as coaches. At some times, one wonders which will be more challenging, the criminal element or the baby element. Eve survives the attacks of criminals, but a baby shower seems more challenging.

I confess that J. D. Robb grows on me as time goes on. She’s one of the rare contemporary authors that I truly enjoy.

Book: Childe Morgan

It has been sometime since I have read a Deryni book. I find this kind of fantasy that’s informed by history quite enjoyable to read, though you’ll not find it on my “read everything that is published” lists.

Childe Morgan rates quite high in terms of characterization (excellent), cultural background (excellent), and political intrigue (excellent). I must admit, however, that the pace of events, especially of any form of action is a bit slow for my tastes. I have to admit to a certain love for reading matter that has exciting events at regular intervals. This book builds the threads of a final confrontation throughout the book, moving slowly and painstakingly through details of the lives of the characters setting up their reactions to that final scene.

Make no mistake, this is a good book, but I have to give it a rating of “3” because I will still read folks like David Weber and David Drake first.

Audacity Audio Software

In my continuing quest to find excellent open source or freeware applications that I can recommend I ran across the audio editing program Audacity. Well, actually I needed a program to create some MP3 files for a podast (Running Toward the Goal) and after some searching I chose this one.

In any case, I have thus far found it to be an excellent tool, and well worth considering before you either pay money for something you haven’t tests or use one of the random quality sound file editors that come with sound cards. I’m not very sophisticated with audio, but this has made it simple for me to do the type of basic editing I do, such as removing portions of a file to clean it up, converting the file from WAV to MP3 or the reverse, and so forth.

I’ll be adding it to my recommendations for free software.

Book: Runner

William C. Dietz is primarily an author of military science fiction and he’s outstanding in his portrayal of military action. I’ve previously written a couple of notes on his book For Those Who Fell, and since reading that book I’ve been quite quick to check his books out of the library or find them on bookstore shelves.

In many ways I like the story in Runner better than the military science fiction. The characters are very engaging, the action is good, and the theme very enjoyable. Yet I think Dietz is not quite as good at this type of story as he was at the military material. He seems less able to create the transitions, and more of the book seems to be there just taking up space. But that is really a small complaint, and I might not have noticed except for the much tighter structure of his military stories.

Overall, I strongly recommend this book (4+ out of 5), and intend to continue to read books by this author as they are available.