There aren't enough short story collections by Indie authors these days, and Scott reminds us how to get things done. This collectiFlat out brilliant.
There aren't enough short story collections by Indie authors these days, and Scott reminds us how to get things done. This collection of military sci-fi tales, all of which circle around the lives affected by the devastating Vyptellian War, is just one terrific read after another. We get to know two primary characters who take center stage -- young pilot Tyko and battle-hardened Sgt. Siengha -- very, very well, and perhaps Scott's biggest accomplishment in "Green Zulu Five One" is keeping the very well-rendered battle sequences and vividly imagined futuristic setting grounded in a concrete human reality.
I can't wait to read more of Scott's work. ...more
Jim Butcher's Dresden files are always a fun, breezy read. Part Urban Fantasy thriller, part mystery noir, the adventures of Chicago-based wizard HarrJim Butcher's Dresden files are always a fun, breezy read. Part Urban Fantasy thriller, part mystery noir, the adventures of Chicago-based wizard Harry Dresden crackle with wit and fast-aced storytelling.
This time, Dresden is brought in by the Chicago P.D. to investigate a string of brutal killings that are almost certainly werewolf-related. As can be expected, nothing is as it seems, and soon Harry finds himself dealing with the mob, federal investigators, and supernatural street thugs who want to put his head on a pole.
Definitely a member of the "guilty pleasure" category, "Fool Moon" kept me drawn in even though I couldn't help but laugh at how over-the-top some of the dialogue and situations were. Not terribly original but thoroughly entertaining, I can't help but recommend "Fool Moon" to anyone in the mood for a fast-paced, popcorn-at-the-movie-theaters style read....more
The second installment of John Scalzi's epic military sci-fi action series is original, compelling, and endlessly inventive. I didn't enjoy it quite aThe second installment of John Scalzi's epic military sci-fi action series is original, compelling, and endlessly inventive. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as "Old Man's War" only because the central character, Jared, isn't introduced until we're a good ways into the book (and after we've met a couple of other compelling characters who wind up being background figures); even when we do meet Jared, he's literally a clean slate, and while his blank nature is central to the novel's plot is does make it a bit difficult to connect with him.
That being said, Scalzi's story is well-developed and extremely original, with twists and turns aplenty and some of the most inventive sequences I've read in many a moon. I'l definitely return to this setting for more....more
Inventive, engrossing, thought-provoking, and funny as hell. Scalzi continues to prove he is just one hell of a writer.
When John Perry turns 75, he oInventive, engrossing, thought-provoking, and funny as hell. Scalzi continues to prove he is just one hell of a writer.
When John Perry turns 75, he opts to join the military, which in the far future is a place for the old, not the young. The reasoning behind this -- as well as the mysteries of how a bunch of senior citizens are going to race around and protect Earth's far spread colonies -- are just some of the wildly inventive things John Scalzi has cooking up in "Old Man's War", a novel very retro in its style and yet very modern in its sensibilities.
A must have for fans of sci-fi and all around good fiction!...more
Mark Lawrence follows up his brilliant "Broken Empire" trilogy with a new series, and while I can't say it was engaging as "Prince of Thorns", "PrinceMark Lawrence follows up his brilliant "Broken Empire" trilogy with a new series, and while I can't say it was engaging as "Prince of Thorns", "Prince of Fools" is still a hell of a good yarn.
Prince Jalen is a model of decadence and laziness, a young Prince who uses his status to acquire women and drink but who knows he'll never have to actually amount to anything because he's so far down the line of succession. All of that changes the day he and a captive Nordic warrior named Snorri are magically bonded by a curse, and Jalen learns that the quest to rid themselves of their plight will take them on a dangerous mission into the heart of dark territory, and into the arms of a most unwelcome foe...
While the story feels somewhat recycled and the novel does tend to drag, what made it so enjoyable for me was Jalen's narration. This guy is funny. I mean REALLY funny. It's easy to get over how annoying and utterly unscrupulous he is because of the humorous prose and dialogue, and even if you don't get swept along by the plot, Jalen's voice and the character of Snorri (he's one badass hero) make this a highly enjoyable ride. I might not have liked Prince of Fools as much as Lawrence's earlier work, but there's no doubt I'll be checking in for the next installment....more
For some reason, new ensigns to the starship Intrepid die at an alarming rate -- going on an away mission witJohn Scalzi has written a hell of a book.
For some reason, new ensigns to the starship Intrepid die at an alarming rate -- going on an away mission with any of the senior staff is a near guaranteed path to an early grave, and no one seems to even notice. No one, that is, but Ensign Dahl and his fellow new arrivals, and rather than walk meekly to meet their fate they decide to start asking questions. They don't like the answers.
A wonderfully well-thought out homage and parody of Star Trek, Stargate, and a host of other shows, Redshirts is engaging, exciting, moving, and side-splittingly funny. The dialogue is crisp and fresh, familiar concepts are executed in very unique fashion, and the story remains unpredictable right to the very end. One of the most entertaining books I've read in a long, long time....more
A terrific epic fantasy, with detailed characters, a nice and unique world, and a number of unexpected twists. I look forward to re-entering Mr. StaveA terrific epic fantasy, with detailed characters, a nice and unique world, and a number of unexpected twists. I look forward to re-entering Mr. Staveley's world.
I do wish we would have seen more of Adare (she was criminally under utilized), and the book felt a tad overlong even with her story being shortchanged, but the highly original setting, central mystery and deft character development all make this a highly enjoyable read....more
The City & The City is pure Mieville, a solid and original story with a fantastic setting and totally original ideas wrapped around a dense and thThe City & The City is pure Mieville, a solid and original story with a fantastic setting and totally original ideas wrapped around a dense and thickly layered plot.
Beszel and Ul Quoma are two cities, blended into the same metaphysical space. Conjoined in reality yet entirely separate, citizens from each modern metropolis are trained from birth to ignore those things on the other side, to not see people who exist on the same streets in the other place, to drive so they avoid cars from the other city, to stay within the restraints of their home, and not the other. Mirror images, co-existent yet intolerant, shadowy reflections.
When the murder of a young woman is revealed to be part of a larger conspiracy linking the two cities to a fabled third city -- Orciny, a place rumored to exist between -- Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Beszel Extreme Crime Unit finds himself embroiled in a cross-city investigation, searching down rumors of rebellious "Unificationists" and working with the dour Inspecor Dhatt of Ul Quoma.
As always, Mievelle gets maximum mileage out of his highly original setting, brilliantly conceiving a world whose rules remain ever just out of reach and elusive. The means he conceives by a which a crime could be committed across these co-existent cities is brilliant, and the separate locales are richly detailed and tangible.
The story is unfortunately saddled with undeveloped characters: Borlu, especially, is cold and distant, and while this disconnected nature plays into a central aspect of the story's resolution it still makes him difficult to empathize with. The central mystery, for as convoluted as it seems, is also fairly easy to predict in terms of "whodunnit" (though I will admit the motive itself was highly original). In any case, these minor distractions didn't impede my overall enjoyment of the novel.
Another brilliant effort from Mievelle -- part sci-fi, part weird fiction, part police procedural, all tied together in an original and well-crafted yarn....more
I'm embarrassed to admit that prior to now I hadn't read any of Joe's work. I'm proud to say that after reading "The River is Dark", I'll be reading iI'm embarrassed to admit that prior to now I hadn't read any of Joe's work. I'm proud to say that after reading "The River is Dark", I'll be reading it again.
Liam is a former cop haunted by recent trauma. Drawn home by the brutal murder of his brother's family, Liam is soon embroiled in a dire small town mystery as he tries to track down a crazed killer before he strikes again.
Joe does a terrific job of taking familiar elements of the mystery/thriller and infusing them with new life, and on those rare occasions when the pacing lags the characters are so well-drawn and likable that the reader is likely not to care. Liam, in particular, is extremely well drawn, and the mysterious circumstances regarding his past are nicely handled.
That being said, it's not a perfect book. The "killer reveals all" segment near the end felt a little overlong (but, to be fair, that's often the case with mystery/thrillers), and the level of gore a) make clear Joe normally writes horror and b) is largely unnecessary. Are those problems enough for me to mark it down from a 5-star ranking? Hell no.
Read this book. It's gripping, it's exciting, it's scary, and it'll make you want more....more