I finished my first two books of the year this past Friday. I completed Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell which is the second book in the universe that he has created, the first book was Crystal Rain. You might recall I gave Crystal Rain a 5.0, however I wasn’t as impressed with Ragamuffin, I ended up rating it a 4.0. It was still good but not nearly as incredible as the first. The novel relates the beginning of humanities fight to free themselves completely from a race of mind controlling aliens. This one was a bit confusing at first and I didn’t really get into it until John and Pepper from Crystal Rain were pulled into the story. But there was definitely enough in this book to have me looking forward to the third which will be called Sly Mongoose.
The second book I finished was Baudolino by Umberto Eco. This is the first novel I’ve read by Eco. The novel takes place in the 12th century and tells the tale of a boy adopted by Frederick, the Holy Roman Emperor. The boy, named Baudolino of course, tells fantastic lies to bring glory to Frederick. He also travels to the Far East in search of Prester John in order to deliver to him the Holy Grail. I wasn’t sure what to think of this book at first, it was quite strange and a bit hard to take in at times, but by the end I was really enjoying Baudolino’s epic journey. It ended up taking me by suprise, I might just have to check out some more of Eco’s work. I rate it a 4.0 as well. You used to be able to find this in hardcover at many Barnes & Noble stores for $6 or $7, but I’m not sure if you can anymore.