Just finished Geomancer, by Ian Irvine. The plot was terrific, the character development interesting.  I was intrigued by the mingling of science with geology, and the imagination of the author in describing this bizarre war-torn world. The description of the first antagonists, the lyrinxes, entranced me.  The search for love from the heroine, and the deeds she (and the other characters) accomplished kept the pages turning. The rivalries between the different factions were also realistic and interesting. I really enjoyed the depth to which Irvine describes the motivations of the character, although I wish the names were a bit more mellifluous and the characters more likeable. Indeed there are quite a few knaves in the storyline… it makes it interesting when they are foiled or become more honorable.


I would be interested in reading the prequel series about the tetrachs and story of the mirror. We’ll see whether Amazon carries the sequel!

Just reading up on my finances. This has some handy sections for doing
research before large purchases. I also like the primer on Stocks. Go
Motley fool for breaking it down simply…

Spent some time reading Great Expectations and it was nice to be
reminded of that era when appearances were important, and courtship
went a certain way.  I really enjoyed Pip’s transformation from
boy to man, and from bumpkin to gentleman to honorable man. Fantastic.   Pip, you’re a fool, but an honorable fool.

The end was satisfying. That’s all I have to say. I read the whole book
in 2 days, and couldn’t put it down.  Although the characters
finally transitioned to their fullest potentials, I decided that the
motivations of the characters were still a little underdeveloped. The
reasons each character did what they did were too simple, but does it
make sense? Also, (except for Misha and Alenor) the character’s
machinations seem at odds with their royal upbringing, I find it a
little unbelievable that Dirk Provin did all those things before the
age of 20, and that most of his plotting happened at 18. At 18 most
guys are still wondering what girls are like. Anyway, this was still
pretty good.

I decided to proceed to the second book. The plots become more twisted,
and the addition of a few more interesting characters (Lady Jacinta)
make it a stronger cast of characters.  The old cast of royals
(Rainan, Alenor, and Kirsh) are still very bland and simple, but the
other characters (Marqel, and our hero Dirk Provin) develop into truly
interesting adversaries.  The plot thickens and the details unfold
nicely.

This was a good start, although I didn’t believe the main character
could be so stupid (for someone who is so smart). I really enjoyed the
intrigue, though, so it is okay that there were some character
flaws.  I also think that the age of the characters are a little
too young for the heroic manipulations they inflict, but the plot
twists were really good.

On the Gouldstone’s bookshelf, I glimpsed a book I had heard first from
Rick Poyner about. The Gouldstones had gotten it from MIT’s alumni
services. It was called “The Idea Factory” and Rico had mentioned it as
pointing to some of the problems with MIT breeding bright and isolated
people. I thought it would be crap, but its repartee of professors,
their mannerisms, and the life of a graduate student bring back
terrific memories and parallels to my own masters degree. I’m enjoying
the book, particularly the descriptions of professors that I have taken
classes from, such as Heywood and Wilson. It is nice to remember them,
and the terrific things about MIT. Every time I walk by Killian Court,
or work in the machine shop, I think it is the best place on earth.

So after reading Kim, which I liked a
lot, I picked up a new book at Jim’s house. Fahrenheit 451 was very
very good, and there were a lot of good parallels to what is happening
today in the media. The general public is caught up in the
gist of conflicts that are silly (such as Kerry’s vietnam record) and
neglecting the real issues (North Korea and Medicare), or doing its
part to understand
both sides of an argument. They are also being blindsided by the
sensationalized but lighthearted media (who cares about Michael Jackson
or Britney), and important issues (world famine, the war in Iraq) are
not
being debated. People are not thinking before they are voting (the
media is reciting inane talking points), and the
real problems in our world are being left to fester. I highly recommend
reading this book because it gives you a glimpse into what happens if
people are not given the opportunity to openly discuss, debate, and
consider touchy topics such as war, agression, oppression, famine, and
many financial and social problems. You can’t run from your problems,
you must face them head on. If you don’t make the world a better place,
how can you expect that any peace will last?
Ray Bradbury’s writing is always full of delightful imagery, and
thoughtful dialogue. I enjoyed the foreword, afterword and addendums,
in addition to the the story itself.  Bravo for a good book.