Social Justice Atheist Geekery

Mike Reads Wheel of Time: Eye of the World

I read a few (6 or 7?) of the Wheel of Time books in high school and college, but dropped off when the books got longer and the pace slowed down (seems like many readers did around that point). Ever since Brandon Sanderson finished the series, though, I’ve been meaning to get back to it so I can read the Sanderson books (which I’ve heard are quite good). To that end, I recently checked out the audiobook for Eye of the World for a long drive last weekend (11 hours each way). I don’t want to do a full in-depth review, but I thought it’d be fun to post the comments I made on Goodreads as I went through the book.

There aren’t too many for this one, because again: driving. But as I keep moving through the series I’ll try to do more. This won’t be a regular series, bc I have a lot of other books I want to read first.

  • 34%: “I’m beginning to have lots of questions about the theology/religion worldbuilding (though I guess it’s less religion and more ancient history). Two Rivers had superstition but no church. Ba’alzamon is a cartoon Satan, doing Evil just to do Evil, but he’s not opposing any Good force. Ditto the Darkfriends so far. The Children of Light aren’t *for* anything, they’re just a lynch mob.
    Where are the holy books & gods?”
  • 50%: Like they said on GeekNights: “Fantasy Novel: The Novel”
  • 94%: “I’m confused about the Children of Light. With no organized church and no backing from the state, how do they fund and maintain a standing army?”

Book Review: The Grace Of Kings by Ken Liu

“Sometimes it was hard to tell where the performance ended and the real self began – but what was this ‘real’ self other than a set of performances?”

This book was very different narratively from most that I read, but it was all the better for that. I loved the interlocking characters and clash of personality & philosophy.


Book Review: Nexus by Ramez Naam

I’ve been trying to think how to describe this book.

“Ghost in the Shell.”

“Charles Stross meets Quentin Tarantino.”

“Neal Stephenson but under 500 pages.”
It’s really fucking good, you guys.

Review: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

HOLY SHIT you guys

This was amazing. Pratchett wrote an action thriller that critiques the tropes of action thrillers RIGHT THERE IN THE TEXT. Discworld’s own John McClane says RIGHT THERE that the kind of people who follow killing with quippy one-liners are just murderers.


I think this book finally locked in my dream cast for some of the Watch – Bruce Willis for Sam Vimes, young!Eric Idle for Nobby, and young!John Cleese for Colon. Not sure about Carrot yet… leaning towards Chris Evans, but the Snowpiercer Chris Evan just as much as Captain America.

Review: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

For some reason I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one as much – probably because it was one of the few Discworld books I *hadn’t* heard people rave about, and because the market is rather glutted with vampires nowadays…

I should have known better.

On top of the standard Pratchett greatness (satire + puns + thrilling conflict and epic climax), this book takes an honest and respectful look at the interplay of faith, religion, and reality. It finds a balancing point with these themes that most stories don’t, and that was unexpectedly refreshing.


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