Reviews by eknapp
The "good" Koontz book.
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Should be billed as good 'young adult' fiction. A great story, not such good writing. Like most Koontz books, it's a bit overwrought, a tad melodramatic, and rife with two-bit pop psychology. It's saved by a fun, interesting plot with (I think) a novel take on time travel. Contains all the stock Koontz characters: the strong-but-beleaguered beautiful woman in her 30s, the sad, noble man with the military background, and the dog.
Deep and thought-provoking.
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Wow, this book is dense with themes, plots, and elaborately-crafted alien worlds, races and histories. Among other things, Tepper explores conservation, religious extremism, overpopulation, the evolution of language, and mankind's long love affair with dogs.

There's also a strong feminist slant--almost anti-male, though not overtly so. Virtually everything positive or productive that occurs is attributable to one of the many strong, resourceful, intelligent female characters; with one or two exceptions, the males are selfish, spineless, or destructive.

The climax felt somewhat over-produced but the author tied up the many plot threads nicely. A very satisfying read with some very relevant themes.
"Hominids" serves as the author's critique of the human race. He imagines an alternate Earth where Neanderthals are the planet's dominant species (and yes, they are technologically advanced) and homo sapiens are extinct. By comparing their world to ours, he highlights our successes and failures--mostly failures--as a civilization. Organized religion takes a particularly harsh beating.

Even the long-term benefits and short-term costs of eugenics (the foundation of Sawyer's Neanderthal criminal justice system) are explored. I was hoping for more discussion of the long-term genetic costs of their version of eugenics--while eliminating genes that lead to criminal behavior, what positive traits might they be inadvertently removing from the gene pool as well?--but I didn't get it.

As for the story itself, I really liked the ending. The author avoided the temptation to add some contrived suspense to the climax, instead letting the story end naturally (for lack of a better word).

I know little enough about anthropology; those with more knowledge might spend a lot of time rolling their eyes. But I really enjoyed "Hominids". Thumbs up.
A Repairman Jack book in name only.
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Be warned...Ground Zero isn't really a Repairman Jack novel, it's an Adversary Cycle book in Jack's clothes.

Wilson uses Ground Zero to start gathering up all the scattered disparate plot threads of his many stories and draw them together in preparation for the big end-of-the-world finish (Nightworld, already published 1992ish.)

Ground Zero is serviceable if you're following Wilson's great big overarching Secret History of the World chronicle, but it's sorely lacking in clever Repairman Jack revengey goodness.
Fables-sans-art. REALLY good.
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Peter & Max is a spinoff of Willingham's excellent graphic novel series Fables. The novel far exceeded my expectations.

The author does a wonderful job collecting piper tales and assembling them into a coherent and riveting story about two pipe-playing brothers whose lives take dramatically different turns. The climactic moment is telegraphed pretty early on though.

It's not necessary to read the Fables series before Peter & Max, but you won't be sorry if you do. Terrific series, terrific novel.