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Book Reviews: The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy + Changes + Mere Anarchy


The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy edited by Mike Ashley
This is a good collection of fantasy tales. The quality varies wildly from really good to total misfire.

Senator Bilbo
A sort of sequel to ‘Lord of the Rings’ follows a descendant of Bilbo who has become a hate filled politician. This is okay.

Sandmagic
A boy turns to dark magic for revenge. This is good.

Lost Wax
A boy wants magic. This is okay.

Banquet of the Lords of Night
A man strikes back at those who rule. This was excellent.

Master Lao and the Flying Horror
A kung fu master and his apprentices fight vampires in this ‘Big Trouble In Little China’ style adventure. This is excellent.

The Fence at the End of the World
Two little girls at a fence. Nothing creepy about that right? Wrong. This is very good.

Elric at the Edge of Time
A barbarian stumbles across time travellers. This is okay.

Cup and Table
A quest for the Holy Grail is very dark indeed. This is very good.

I, Haruspex
A man guards the gateway to hell, he thinks. This is disturbing but very good. It has a supremely creepy ending.

The Tower of Babylon
A tower to heaven is built. What will they find? This is good.

A Ring of Green Fire
A mysterious disease strikes in Medieval England. What is the cause of it? This is good.

Best Line:
A race of the Old Ones older than any Old Ones except the Elder Old Ones of Ancient Thriss.”

~
The Dresden Files: Changes by Jim Butcher
The 12th novel in the series sees Harry Dresden go through a crucible of fire. He learns he has a child with Susan Rodriguez. A child now stolen by the vampires of the Red Court.

Harry will do anything, anything at all to save her. And the price he will pay is a high one. This is an appropriately named book as after this, nothing can ever be the same again. This is a good compelling read. I book forward to the next instalment ‘Ghost Story’.

Best Line:
He had the kind of face that belonged on billboards. Mine belonged on wanted posters.”

~
Star Trek: Mere Anarchy by Mike W. Barr, Christopher L. Bennett, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Dave Galanter, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore & Howard Weinstein
A saga that centres on the planet Mestiko and how the crew of the Enterprise interacts with it over three decades. Originally published as 6 ebooks, they’re gathered together here for the unwary to stumble upon. I misliked this.

Things Fall Apart
Mestiko is a pre-first contact world that is in danger from a rogue pulsar. The Enterprise after pages of Prime Directive babbling tries to protect the planet. But Mestiko is still devastated by radiation. This was dull and introduces the Mestiko leader the supercilious Raya. As for the ‘threat’, a rogue pulsar? A rogue pulsar? Seriously?!?

The Centre Cannot Hold
Mestiko’s first contact came with the pulsar so here is anti-alien feeling. The Enterprise returns to assist with efforts to clean the planet’s atmosphere. Raya is snotty and thankless. The Klingons lurk. This was annoying and full of morons.

Shadows of the Indignant
Kirk and McCoy investigate odd goings on in the shipping routes hear Mestiko. Is there no-one else working in Starfleet? Kirk gets into fist fights, this was dull.

The Darkness Drops again
In this anti-religion rant the Mestiko government of the obnoxious Raya is overthrown in a coup. So she goes whining and moaning into exile This was irritating.

The Blood-Dimmed Tide
What has Mestiko been doing since the counter coup? Building a doomsday weapon which has now been stolen. This feels dated as it reads like a Trek novel from the 1990s.

It’s Hour Come Round At Last
McCoy unravels a medical mystery on Mestiko as Raya realises she loved the late Kirk all along. Uninteresting.
Tags: book review, star trek
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