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Review: The Viscount and the Witch

The Viscount and the Witch
The Viscount and the Witch by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick read. It’s okay. Too short to have an opinion, but I will say this: I can finish this, I couldn’t finish Stross’s The Atrocity Archives. At least not yet.

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Review: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Supremely interesting. I can’t say I totally understand CDOs and securities after this book, but then by all accounts neither did the fund managers and investment bankers who packaged and sold the things either. The sense I got was the layered complexity that allowed these financial instruments to be sold in the first place. Obscurity through complexity. General wisdom that the markets will know best and will correct itself isn’t an adage that can hold true all the time, as it proved to be hopelessly wrong in the case of the subprime mortgage bust in 2007.

I had a prevailing sense that I was unfortunately born in the wrong country to have a whiff of a chance to have participated in Wall Street. Oh well, have to get rich another way.

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Review: Feed

Feed by Mira Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just came out of Patient Zero not too long ago, and truth be told a little exhausted over the entire living dead as a genre. I even have several volumes of The Walking Dead by Kirkman sitting unread in my Comixology pile.

However this book came recommended by fellow Bookbabbler Marcel, and I have heard some good things about this book. It’s the apocalypse wrapped around with politics and Web 2.0. News transmitted via blogs are gaining traction in the post-zombie world, where traditional media is viewed with skepticism and distrust. The story follows a trio of bloggers as they are recruited into the press corp team for a senator in his run up to become the Republican nominee for the presidential ticket. They stumble upon a conspiracy that soon threatens them in their pursuit of the truth.

The politics of both the national nature as well as the blogging scene was very interestingly fleshed out. The characters were a little uneven, but the story rolled along at a nice, clip pace. Writing is average, and the sheer amount of times the characters get jabbed for blood samples in order to test if they were infected was bordering on disturbing.

Maybe if I weren’t already so jaded out by zombies it would have gotten a slightly more enthusiastic reaction, but as it is, as objectively as I can, I thought it was an interesting read. A departure from the usual tropes, and that for some is enough justification for a read. It certainly was interesting enough for me to like it despite my trepidation.

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