Did you notice how I mentioned that I was reading Hide Me Among The Graves several weeks past, but haven’t yet posted any review of it? Well, I can explain. And I have a few other points of interest for you today, with tidbits on Agents of Shield and Dominions 3.
I didn’t bring Hide Me Among The Graves on vacation with me, because the book was too big to easily fit with all the other things that I had packed. So while I read small books and ebooks on my computer, Tim Powers’ work languished here in Boston. And then I had to return it to the library yesterday, before I had finished it. It’s a shame, really, because I had finally gotten caught up in the action of the book. While I can’t give you a full description, let me tell you what I thought of it so far.
I usually find Powers’ work to be captivating far more quickly than this was. Something about the piece just didn’t click as quickly as some of his previous books have for me. It took until about halfway through for me to finally feel like I had settled in to enjoy the story and wasn’t pushing myself to come back to it. This almost certainly has to do with the way in which I had been reading it; I more usually binge on these sorts of things, but in this case I read mostly in dribs and drabs, which is hardly a good way to get excited about much of anything. The story’s starting point seems interesting enough, and follows on the events of The Stress Of Her Regard, but for some reason this link is never mentioned in any of the various front-matter. I don’t know why, since that was a good read as well. Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now, and write more when I finally pick it up again and finish it.
On a very different topic… Agents of Shield, anyone? I just started watching it and I’m very excited. It looks like Joss Whedon is having piles of fun, and doing it in a way that will let the rest of us have fun too. I’ve only seen the first episode thus far, which hardly counts as having much experience with the show, but I’m already certain that I want to see the next few episodes as well. I only held off last night by virtue of deciding that I had to go to sleep so that I could do things this morning. Again, more as the show merits it, but for now I suspect that we have a good crowd-pleaser on our hands with the tantalizing possibility of deeper intrigue to come.
Finally, because people love things in sets of threes, Dominions 3 looks like someone fell in love with Master of Magic and then decided that it wasn’t nearly complex enough. And that it needed more gods, wars, and magic. At a glance, it looks like something that will most appeal to a certain core of strategy lovers, but the concept is absolutely wonderful regardless of your interest in the genre. You play a god rushing to fill the gap left by the disappearance / death of The Old God, and you must expand to outdo all the other pretenders and secure your own position. It has territory based command and control, resource management, spell research, a military focus, and more numbers than you can shake a stick at. Several of my friends are very excited about it, and I’ll let you know more when I’ve played it for a bit. If it is more accessible than I anticipate, I will do my best to proselytize and spread the good word of the new god, Dominions 3.
I should also note that Dominions 4 came out recently, so there is that to consider as well.
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Most Powers books I’ve read start active but slow, with a point 30-50 pages in where the reader and (barring Declare) the main character start learning what the hell is going on to them. At that point, it becomes the kind of story you can’t put down.
Stress of her Regard didn’t have that, to me. Maybe that was because I have next to no knowledge of the Romantic poets and didn’t particularly care about them.