Bookstooge's Reviews On the Road

Without a Good SFF Book, Life's Road is Hell.

In Which Bookstooge Almost Takes Over the World

In Which I Almost take over the World


Gorgon (Alex Hunter #5)

Gorgon - Greig Beck


The Judge of Ages (Count to the Eschaton Sequence #3)

The Judge of Ages  - John C. Wright

Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)

Gridlinked (Agent Cormac) - Neal Asher

When the Going gets Cold, Bookstooge gets Going…

Living in New England does have its occasional downsides...

Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt #1)

Empire in Black and Gold - Adrian Tchaikovsky


Sorry folks for just the link but since I watched my review of Eyeshield 21 disappear before my eyes here at booklikes in some kind of database refresh/whatever, that was the last straw. I won't be putting this little blurb up again, so as not to bother you.


I'll keep putting up links, but that'll be it. Best of luck to you all.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (The Dark Knight Saga #1)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Lynn Varley, Frank Miller, Klaus Janson


Since booklikes ate one review, it sure as shooting can eat more.

Devils vs. Gods (Eyeshield 21 #20) (Manga Monday)

Eyeshield 21, Vol. 20: Devils vs. Gods - Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Devils vs. Gods
Series: Eyeshield 21 #20
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 150
Format: Digital Scan

Edited to Add:

Booklikes has eaten my review. All of you who liked it before it disappeared, thank you. It shows up in my notification that you liked my original review, but when you click the link, it takes you to my next oldest post. 


With that, from now on I'll just be posting a link to my wordpress account as my review. I really, really hate to do that, but I'm not going to spend the time to write a review only to have it disappear for no reason.




The Devil Bats begin their impossible battle against the reigning champions, the Naga. Hiruma taunts Agon, the star player but realizes that his tricks will only go so far against the Naga's huge pool of natural talent.
Every trick, every play that the Devil Bats can come up, the Naga simply surpass them.

Agon is a brute, a believer in Power and Ability above all else. He plays to hurt and he plays by himself. His own team is simply there so he doesn't have to do everything himself. And as much as Hiruma and the Devil Bats may hate him and his arrogance, he has the ability to back up everything he claims.

The books end at the half time mark with a score of 32-0 in the Naga's favor.

My Thoughts:

 After Superbowl 51 last night where the New England Patriots [whoooo!] came back from a huge deficit to win against the Atlanta Falcons, it was very fitting to read an Eyeshield 21 manga today. And to have the book end just like where I gave up watching the game last night, with an impossible gap, well, that is just great drama.

And just like how the Pats came back, with 17 more volumes in this series I KNOW that the Devil Bats will come back. And it will be glorious to see Agon eat the dust of defeat.

Now, for this volume. It was solid. Watching the Naga steamroll the Bats was disheartening but it also drove home the point that football is a brutal sport.

The overall dourness was lightened by little things here and there. For example, in one scene a reporter is interviewing one of the players and in the background you see two little chibi versions of some other players being chased by the team mascot, a mad dog who is carrying a knife and fork. Just silly little things like that keep the tone from getting too dark or serious.


Bookstooge Wins the Superbowl!

Patriots fans, You Are Welcome!

The Sea Devil's Eye DNF@18% (Threat from the Sea #3) (Forgotten Realms)

The Sea Devil's Eye - Mel Odom

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: The Sea Devil's Eye
Series: Threat from the Sea #3
Author: Mel Odom
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 356
Format: Kindle Digital edition






Abandoned, Did Not Finish.



My Thoughts: Maudlin Memories Abound

Part of why I abandoned this was because I had just finished Gardens of the Moon and I was still reveling in my first 5star read of 2017. ANY book was going to have a hard time following that. However, all the glaring faults of this Forgotten Realms trilogy were really brought into the light after staring into the previous book.


I was at a part where the main boy character [he's 20'ish, but 'boy' is the best description] is being talked to by the main love interest and she's pouring her heart out and simply asking him if he loves her. This boy has a very big "I'm not worthy" complex and he's an introspective melancholic. In fact, he acts EXACTLY like me when I was 18-22. So my problem isn't that he's unbelievable, it is that he's just plain selfish and WON'T look at anything other than how he wants to. My real life problem was solved when a professor at bibleschool answered one of my self-absorbed questions by laying into me and simply telling me the truth, in front of the whole class. I didn't change overnight but I did begin to think about other people. In this trilogy, the boy has his professor moments but he stays self-absorbed. Maybe later in the book that changes, but after 2+ books, I was done.


A young hero needs to mature. However, if you're only writing a trilogy, don't drag that "grow up" point to the last chapter. It's unpleasant for me as a reader because I have to put up with the character until then.


Nothing of the quality of this book was any less than the previous two. I'd simply had enough of the characters and the authors wanking around.



Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1)

Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Gardens of the Moon
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #1
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 688
Format: Kindle Digital edition



Synopsis: Spoilers!


The Malazan Empire, now ruled by Empress Laseen, is on the path of expansion through total war. The last Free City on the continent of Genabackis, Darujhistan, is the next city in the sights of the Empire. Wracked from within by politics and threatened without by armies and mages, Darujhistan doesn't stand a chance.


Enter Rake, Lord of Moonspawn, a floating city, sorcerer supreme. Having allied with the Crimson Guard, might mercenaries and mages, Rake allies with the lords of Darujhistan to fight the Empire, but for his own reasons.


To counter this threat, Laseen has set into motion several plans, one of which is to find and unleash an ancient terror, a Jahgut Tyrant, a veritable god of power. Laseen means to pit the Tyrant against Rake and then to take down the weakened winner.


Enter the Bridgeburners. Loyal servants to the Empire and the old Emperor, who Laseen assassinated to become Empress. The Bridgeburners are meant for extinction, as Laseen can't have anyone around who isn't loyal to her. But the survivors are crafty, powerful and full of tricks of their own. They are meant to take Darujhistan and die, but they have other plans, plans of their own.


Unfortunately for everyone, there is a veritable cornucopia of gods, ancient powers and beings so old and so powerful that they might as well be gods. When humans can become gods, gods can become extinct and power is all, nobody can predict what will result.


My Thoughts:  Spoilers!

(For clarity's sake, I read this in June 2008 and again in December 2009. That link contains both my reviews in one review as Goodreads didn't have a re-read option and when importing to Booklikes I didn't feel like going through my 2000+ reviews and fixing "little" things like that.)


That synopsis barely scratches the surface of this book. In the forward Erikson tells us straight out that he will not be spoon feeding his readers anything and that he purposefully wrote things so as to make the readers work for connections. There are no obvious connections or explanations, there is Unexplained History of both nations and individuals and you are forced to hold on for your life or be thrown off the ride.


And what a ride this is! With this 3rd read I feel like I've finally got a little bit of a handle on this world. Since I have read the whole series, now I can begin to cobble it together. It helped that this time around I wasn't expecting all the threads started here to ever be finished or to connect. I have also finally accepted that this is The Book of the Fallen, which means that this is about people dying, not people winning or overcoming insurmountable odds. And even if they do win and overcome those odds, odds are they are still going to die.


At just under 700 pages, I believe this is the shortest of this decalogy. In one way it is the hardest of the books, as you have to sink or swim in terms of the world. Everything is new and unfamiliar and you simply don't know what is going on. In another way I found it the easiest of the books, as the action is relatively straight forward, the plot only slightly convoluted and the scope is kept pretty focused. When reading this for the first time you simply don't know how big the world is that Erikson has created nor do you know that the various narrators are only telling you what "they" know. Semi-unreliable not because they're trying to lie to you but because they have a very limited knowledge. Everything you learn in Gardens of the Moon is not necessarily true.


I added the "favorite" tag because this is the 3rd time I've read this and I still enjoyed the heck out of it while reading. It was a joy to read Erikson's prose, because while he is not sparse in his writings, nor is he turgid and bloviated. He walked that razor thin line of not writing to much or to little.


One thing to note. The kindle edition that I read had several noticeable OCR errors. There was a character named Coll, whose name came out as Coil more than a handful of times. Same for a guy named Toc the Younger. He became Toe the Younger half the time. I checked my hardcover and those errors were not there. I also don't know if those errors exist in the current kindle edition. I bought these when they first came out and promptly de-drm'd them and stuck them in calibre, so any updates would not have touched them. A potential issue if you're buying digital copies.


January '17 Roundup & Ramblings

Rounding up January! Gotta keep these months under control, like a herd of cows.

The Successor (Eyeshield 21 #19) (Manga Monday)

Eyeshield 21, Vol. 19: The Successor - Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: The Successor
Series: Eyeshield 21 #19
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan







The second half of the game between the Spiders and the Devil Bats concludes. Hiruma continues to play his games within games and Sena continues his growth as a player.


Then comes an interlude in the form of one page vignettes.


The book ends with the choosing of the teams to compete in the Christmas Bowl. The Devil Bats are facing the Naga, the team that has won the Championship for the last 9 years. This is the same team whose Captain is a football genius without trying and who enjoys hurting people and using his skill to get away with hoodlum acts.



My Thoughts:

 My enjoyment shot up again. The game was really good even while ending extremely quickly. Hiruma had a plan right from the get go and it didn't come to fruition until the last 5minutes of the game. That is some serious long term planning.


I continue to be impressed with how Hiruma keeps his crazy, gun shooting ways in the forefront even while scouting and planning ahead. He's as smart as the other guys who scream "genius" but he keeps it hidden.


What I enjoyed the most about this volume was the little vignettes. They ranged from deeply pathos to highly humorous. I was man-tear'ing up and laughing out loud within minutes, and no, it wasn't me being manic.


Don Quixote: Chapters 33-39

Don Quixote de la Mancha (Oxford World's Classics) - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Charles Jarvis, E.C. Riley

Up to page 371


Italics are what I penciled in the margins


The block quotes are quotes from the book.


Everything else are just my thoughts as I’m typing along here




Chapter 33


In which the story in the story begins. 2 friends, Lothario and Anselmo are introduced and show their true, base natures.


...that the thing which disquiets me is, a desire to know whether my wife Camilla be as good and as perfect as I imagine her to be;

Of course not! She's human too, you dolt



...doing a thing in itself so detestable as that you require of me?

A good friend warns as well as encourages should not lay stumbling-blocks in her way to make her trip and fall, but rather remove them, and clear the way before her, that she may without hindrance advance towards her proper perfection,

The duty of a husband is to help his wife, not test her



I fly the good and pursue the evil.


And therefore some art must be made use of to cure me; and it may be done with ease only by your beginning to court Camillia.

Anselmo is a scumbag!!!!



Lothario....finding he[Anselmo] threatened to impart his extravagant desire to some other person, resolved, in order to avoid a greater evil, to gratify him and undertake what he desire,...

Why?!? How is a scandal a greater evil than the evil of trying to seduce your best friend's wife, at his behest? Ugh



But what he had said was sufficient to leave Lothario abashed and confounded: who, thinking his honour touched by being caught in a lie,...

What about the "honor" of his friend and wife?



...quite overturned Lothario's integrity.

Sin destroys, period.



Chapter 34


In which the story of Lothario, Anselmo and Camilla continue.



...but you had first seen, in his eyes, in his sighs, in his expressions, in his promises, and his presents...

how worthy Lothario was of your love.

What kind of sick twisted thinking is THAT!?!?



He is...faithful...honourable...

I don't think so



...and I am afraid of some unlucky event from this quarter.

Your sins WILL find you out



Anselmo now remained...deceived.


and the iniquity, until then so artfully concealed...cost poor Anselmo his life.




Chapter 35


In which the end of the story within the story concludes. And we get an interlude from the inn where Don Quixote fights in his dreams and kills a giant, which turns out to be an 18gallon wine skin.


He [Quixote] was in his shirt, which was not quite long enough before to cover his thighs, and was six inches short behind;

Swinging in the breeze. Ohhh, I can't cover my mental eyes. Stab, stab, stab



Anselmo perceived somebody walking in Leonela's chamber...he saw a man leap down from the window into the street; and running hastily to stop him, or to see who he was, he could do neither: for Leonela clung about him crying:

"Dear sir, be calm...he is my husband"

Anselmo would not believe Leonela, but, blind with rage, drew his poniard, and offered to stab her, assuring, that, if she did not tell him the whole truth, he would kill her;


A bit of an over reaction to his maid's husband, don't you think?



This was the end of them all, an end sprung from an extravagant rashness at the beginning.

Anselmo wants to be cuckolded, but when he is, it kills him. What a fool and what a horrible friend Lothario was.



Chapter 36


In which Cardenio [the madman] is reunited with his love Lucinda, Dorothea gets her man Fernando and Sancho is devastated upon realizing that Dorothea is not an actual Princess.



...that the generous heart of Don Fernando, being nourished with noble blood, was softened...

yes, SO noble. Sleeps around, steals his friends love, abandons his wife, kidnaps an almost nun. Yep, REAL noble.



Chapter 37


A noble and his moorish lady join everyone at the inn. Quixote begins to discourse on Knight Warranty.


'I tell thee, Sancho,' said  Don Quixote, 'thou art an ass;'

From the horses mouth



Don Quixote went on with his discourse in such a manner, and in such proper expressions, that none of those who heard him at that time could take him for a madman.

Madness was equated to craziness at all times in their minds



Chapter 38


In which Quixote blabbers on. The mysterious noble prepares to tell his tale. Not much Quixote in the lst few chapters.



To this arms answer, that laws cannot be supported without them: for by arms republics are defended, kingdoms are preserved, cities are guarded, highways are secured, and the seas are cleared from corsairs and pirates;

♪War♪Huh, What is it good for?!?♪ 

Apparently more than that idiot who wrote that song realized.



'A blessing on those happy ages, strangers to the dreadful fury of those devilish instruments of artillery, whose inventor, I verily believe, is now in hell receiving the reward of his diabolical invention; by means of which it is in the power of a cowardly and base hand to take away the life of the bravest cavalier,and to whichis owing, that without knowing how, or from whence, in the midst of that resolution and bravery, which inflames and animates gallant spirits, comes a chance ball, shot off by one, who, perhaps, fled and was frighted at the very flash in the pan, and in an instant cuts short and puts an end to the thoughts and life of him who deserved to have lived for many ages.

Holy smokes, that was ONE sentence. He makes Paul seem withdrawn and downright taciturn.



Chapter 39


In which a long speech is given about various battles and names which leads to the revelation that the Mystery Noble knows Don Fernando's brother.







Quixote fighting the Giants, err, Giant Wineskins that is


Jubal Sackett (Sacketts #4)

Jubal Sackett  - Louis L'Amour

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Jubal Sackett
Series: Sacketts #4
Author: Louis L'amour
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 368
Format: Kindle Digital edition




Jubal Sackett, youngest son of Barnabas Sackett, is a loner and a wanderer. Tasked by his father to find land further west for his brothers, Jubal gladly obeys. Along the way he is somehow swept into finding an indian princess, starting a small community and saving said settlement from rogue indians AND spanish slavers.

Ends with him and the indian princess finding the perfect valley and settling down for the long haul.


My Thoughts: 

This felt like a very long book and after comparing it to previous Sackett novels, it is. Almost 30% longer in fact.  Most of that 30% could have been cut if Jubal's introspective monologues had been cut to the first chapter or 2 instead of being repeated every third chapter. Seriously, how many times do I need to read about him wondering why he wants to wander, how his brothers are doing and how his mother and sister are doing in England?


Other than that, this was a great "Man Against Nature" and "Man Against Man" story. Fighting a wilderness that wants to kill him, fighting indians, fighting spanish, there was a lot of action here.  This was the type of story that I think of when I think Sacketts.


The decision to limit these to one every 2 months was a good one. Any more and I'd be clawing these up. I'm actually wondering if there is a way that I could push it to one book every 3 months, but every scheme I've come up with is just too complicated. Right now I regulate it by having X number of series/books on my kindle and just reading through them by series. To push it out to 3 months I'd have to add a bunch more series and that would push all the other books out to 3 months and I don't want to do that. Keeping track manually isn't going to happen as I'll forget.






Review of Book 1

Review of Book 2

Review of Book 3

♪Some of My FAVORITE Things♪ (Part 1)

Starting a new series of posts where I list some of my favorite books that I've read over the years. Hope you enjoy.

Currently reading

The Raven in the Foregate
Ellis Peters
Eyeshield 21, Vol. 24: The Indomitable Fortress
Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata
Don Quixote de la Mancha (Oxford World's Classics)
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Charles Jarvis, E.C. Riley
Progress: 515/1000 pages
The Great Controversy
Ellen Gould White, Dennis Berlin