I listened to the audiobook of Horns while at the gym. Fantastic book, but brutally hard to listen to. I count on audiobooks to take my mind off the fI listened to the audiobook of Horns while at the gym. Fantastic book, but brutally hard to listen to. I count on audiobooks to take my mind off the fact that I hate exercising, but some of the darker parts of Horns made things even worse. Narrator was decent, but after Kate Mulgrew's amazing reading of N0S4A2, not much can compete....more
I stayed up WAY too late one night last week finishing my advance read copy of Uprooted. It is just wonderful. I had been traveling, and the cramped hI stayed up WAY too late one night last week finishing my advance read copy of Uprooted. It is just wonderful. I had been traveling, and the cramped hours breezed by with the miles as I turned the pages.
First person narratives are hard to pull off under the best of circumstances, but Naomi has created something enchanting and beautiful, similar in many ways to a Pat Rothfuss or Robin Hobb book, but with a unique voice.
And it's a standalone! A rare treasure these days.
I am given a lot of advance read copies of books, but few ever give me the immense pleasure this one did. It deserves every success it will no doubt have....more
So it's pretty well known in the SF community that Myke Cole and I have been friends for a long time. We met in high school back in 1990, which is...So it's pretty well known in the SF community that Myke Cole and I have been friends for a long time. We met in high school back in 1990, which is... shit. 25 years ago now.
We also have a long history of creative support. I say with all honesty that I would likely not be a professional author without the countless hours of soundboarding, encouragement and advice he has given me. Even Skull Throne, my upcoming Demon Cycle novel, has a few distinct Cole fingerprints on it.
I say this for full disclosure of bias, but this does not change the fact I speak honest word when I tell you that GEMINI CELL IS ON SALE TODAY AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BUY IT BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME.
While technically set in Cole's Shadow Ops universe, Gemini Cell tales place many years before the other books, when the return of magic to our world is in its infancy and the rules are different. It's a great place for readers who have never tried Cole before to jump on without any need for knowledge of the other books.
For those who have read Myke's books before, don't think for a moment you've seen all his tricks. Myke is one of the rare authors out there who gets better with each successive novel, even while maintaining the book-a-year schedule I have always felt was out of my reach. There is no harder working author out there, and Myke deserves every success.
Like his other books, Gemini Cell has muscle-clenching action scenes influenced in no small part by Cole's real-life military combat experience, but also a deep exploration of character, giving us a warrior whose love for his family and country transcend even death.
Urban fantasy. Military SF. Zombie Romance. Black Hawk Down Meets the X-Men. Call it what you will, Gemini Cell is a waterslide of awesome that pulls you down fast and ends with a splash....more
Disclosure: Brian is a fellow SF author who I have met personally a few of times, but this review can be taken as honest word. I do not endorse booksDisclosure: Brian is a fellow SF author who I have met personally a few of times, but this review can be taken as honest word. I do not endorse books unless I really believe in them.
Recently finished Promise of Blood. McClellan introduces an innovative and exciting blend of magic and gunpowder in his Powder Mages, and gives us a fantasy unlike any other I've read. Already strong, I really feel like McClellan's writing is still growing, and I'm excited to see where the story goes from here.
I was asked to come up with quotes for the paperback. Here's what I sent his editor:
"Gunpowder and Magic. An explosive combination." Hmmm. I bet it's been used already.
Maybe something more tongue in cheek: "I am going to sponsor Brian McClellan for a set of keys to the fantasy clubhouse."
Or blander: "Promise of Blood is the best debut I've read in ages. Brian McClellan has a bold new take on fantasy."...more
A powerful untold tale of Gerald Tarrant from Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. Serves well as an amuse bouche for new readers before diving into Friedman'A powerful untold tale of Gerald Tarrant from Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. Serves well as an amuse bouche for new readers before diving into Friedman's work, or a dessert to those who loved Coldfire and want another taste....more
FYI: Myke Cole is a personal friend of mine, as well as a fellow professional author, but nevertheless, this review is honest word. Myke is one of theFYI: Myke Cole is a personal friend of mine, as well as a fellow professional author, but nevertheless, this review is honest word. Myke is one of the few people I trust to give early criticism to my own work, and I am fortunate to have the same privilege with him. It's been wonderful watching Shadow Ops develop.
Breach Zone is a powerful conclusion to Cole's Shadow Ops trilogy. Lt. Colonel Harlequin relives a life of service and a failed romance that has brought him from being a series antagonist to the only thing standing between downtown Manhattan and an invasion of Selfer's: those who refuse to surrender their magic—and liberty—to the US Military.
The lives of all the series characters are intertwined in this tale, with all reaching powerful and satisfying turning points as the story comes to a close.
Cole's military experience comes out in vividly described (and accurate) action, while at the same time challenging many of the pre-conceived notions we have about the role of the military in the world and at home.
You may be wondering why/how I am reviewing a book that is not due to be published for several months. The answer is I couldn't wait, in more ways thaYou may be wondering why/how I am reviewing a book that is not due to be published for several months. The answer is I couldn't wait, in more ways than one.
You can see my King of Thorns review here, but the tl:dr version is I loved it. Loved it so much that despite the fact I often counsel eager readers that anticipation for a book can be a special pleasure in and of itself, I set about pulling strings to get a copy of Emperor. I knew the book was written, though advance reads and Netgalleys were still some time away.
This is one of the places where being a published author living in NY can pay off. I know pretty much the whole staff at Ace/Roc, the imprint of Penguin that publishes Mark. Many of us drink together, and they often ask me to blurb new authors. But this time, my sources were no avail. The book was still in raw manuscript, without even a copyedit, and they were reluctant to release it in that form. I then tried Voyager, the UK publisher Mark and I both share. Again a fail.
So I went right to the source. I have met Mark twice, been to his home, and shared many a correspondence with him. Through a combination of cajoling, false promises of friendship, and a little emotional blackmail, I wore him down enough to secure a word document, swearing to keep it secret and safe, deleting as I read so there would be no chance it might get out before its time. Indeed, the manuscript has already been returned to the digital ether, so don't ask.
I'm not one for spoilery reviews, especially so far before publication, but that need not stop me from telling you to drop whatever else you're reading and start the Broken Empire trilogy. If you've already read the first two, the third is worth pre-ordering, or marking your calendar to buy in-store on release day. First week sales can make or break an author's career, and Mark deserves to see his star rise.
In Emperor, we return to the character of Jorg, an amoral, violent, selfish protagonist, who nevertheless is posessed of an impressive charm and the soul of a poet. Told in the first person, Jorg's recounting of horrid events, conflicting emotions, and even the everyday pains and pleasures of life is told in a vivid prose filled with brutal honesty, profound reflection and brilliant metaphor. Every sentence is carefully crafted, a work of art and a pleasure to read.
As with King of Thorns, the story weaves through different times in Jorg's life. One might say "past" and "present", though those are in some ways meaningless terms when speaking of the life of a fictional character set in a fictional world. In the "present", Jorg continues his path toward the Empire Throne, the last hope of uniting the broken remnants of humanity to single purpose once more. Though of course, Jorg does not want the throne for such lofty reasons. In truth, he does not know what he would do with it should he win. He just hates being told he cannot have something. On his way, he struggles with the kernels of real family for the first time since his childhood, fearing that caring too deeply will make him weak, and vulnerable to his enemies.
The "past" of the story is no less compelling, providing background and context for the struggles in the "present" as Lawrence strips away the garments covering his world and letting us at last have a good long look at the underlying philosophy, magic and technology that makes it tick.
Lawrence fills the last book of his series with unexpected twists and turns, and an ending I don't think readers are at all likely to predict. I certainly didn't.
Broken Empire was an amazing series, and I eagerly anticipate Lawrence's next literary effort, whatever it may be....more