A true “what-if” tale Steal Across the Sky introduces a mysterious alien race that commited a great crime against humanity some...moreFull review at my blog.
A true “what-if” tale Steal Across the Sky introduces a mysterious alien race that commited a great crime against humanity somewhere in the distant past. Now the alien Atoners have set up shop on the moon and are calling for human “witnesses” to travel to distant planets. The exact nature of what they’re supposed to see is unknown only that it will supposedly reveal the exact nature of the crimes the Atoners commited.
The witnesses are divided into groups of three to two planets per group. One person witness on the surface of each world and one to stay in orbit and monitor things from above. The book focuses, initially at least, on a select group of witnesses: Cam, Lucca and Soledad sent to witness on the planets Kular A and Kular B. What they see and do there impacts their lives, and lives of humanity as a whole in profound ways.
Tom Lloyd’s Stormcaller, the first book in the Twilight Reign series first saw publication in the U.K. in March….of 2006. If my...moreFull review at my blog.
Tom Lloyd’s Stormcaller, the first book in the Twilight Reign series first saw publication in the U.K. in March….of 2006. If my previous rants haven’t hammered home the disparity between the U.K. and American fantasy market maybe that will. I don’t know. Regardless The Stormcaller is a fascinating entry into the fantasy genre that sparkles with originality while at the same time paying homage to the works that have come before. The story centers around Isak, a white-eye, a creature touched by the gods and gifted with superhuman strenght, speed, and other magical abilities but cursed with a quick temper. Isak, as it turns out is the Chosen of Nartis, the hunter god and chosen deity of the Farlan people, and thus is heir to the enigmatic and powerful Lord Bahl. But there are greater things afoot and Isak finds himself drawn into a web of prophecy and power.
If I’m not mistaken Bujold ties Heinlein for the number of Hugo’s she has won. She is a diverse writer dabbling in both fantasy...moreFull Review at my blog.
If I’m not mistaken Bujold ties Heinlein for the number of Hugo’s she has won. She is a diverse writer dabbling in both fantasy and science-fiction and managing to invest each genre with its own unique style. She is probably most well known Vorkosigan series featuring the energetic, and frequently trouble making Miles Vorkosigan.
While the series properly begins in Cordelia’s Honor, Young Miles is the first book (or couple of books since it is rightly a collection) to feature the series’ most well known and titular hero. Born a mutant overly prone to fragility and sickness as a result of an attempt on his parent’s life Miles must make his way through the harsh militaristic society of Barrayar. A society that typically dealt with mutated children by killing them at birth.
Cursed with a fast metabolism Miles is an energetic character whose mind suffers none of deformations that his body does. In fact it is his mind, and frequently his mouth, that gets him into trouble and it’s usually both that manage to extricate him from the same.
If you think that sounds like a lot to be contained in the pages of one book then I absolutely agree. Weighing in at 367 pages C...moreFull Review at my blog
If you think that sounds like a lot to be contained in the pages of one book then I absolutely agree. Weighing in at 367 pages Conrad Williams manages to craft a dense, taught narrative that reads like some kind of feverish nightmare. It is the type of book that renews my interest in the horror genre.
Cherie Priest is an author better known for Southern Gothic fiction and, despite its Florida locale, Fathom is a slight deviation from that area. Fath...moreCherie Priest is an author better known for Southern Gothic fiction and, despite its Florida locale, Fathom is a slight deviation from that area. Fathom certainly makes use of Priest’s familiarity with that genre but places more emphasis on the fantastic elements and overarching plot than on the setting and atmosphere of the story. In essence Priest trades elements of horror for elements of the fantastic to craft a story more in vein with Charles de Lint than say Edgar Allan Poe.
The building and all its books are still intact, she knows; the employees of the library madea spontaneous pact to defend it as soon as th...moreFrom pg. 51:
The building and all its books are still intact, she knows; the employees of the library madea spontaneous pact to defend it as soon as the police force stopped working, and now they just live in the building. They hauled beds into the offices and corners of the huge reading rooms, put plaid couches against the marble walls. An army of cats patrols the halls, has litters on the stairs. She imagines that some of the librarians are fulfilling a long cherished fantasy. It’s just them and the books now, the stamped serifs, the margins smudged with fingerprints. You can still go to the library, to the yards of windows casting long stripes of light acrosss the stone floor, the long tables, the wood paneling, the paintings on the walls. You can still go and read the books. Except for the large friearms taht the librarians carry, it’s like nothing happened, as if every noon, businessmen are still eating their lunches with the lions.
I admit that being a librarian that passage resonated quite a bit for me. The imagery is even further enhanced by the fact that I’ve visited and used the New York Public Library and I have even had lunch with the lions so to speak (though I think Bryant Park is a more ideal lunching spot). That is the thing about Liberation that despite its near-future setting and ripped-from-the-headlines economic disaster it manages to combine the familiar with the strange to create an eerie resonance (or perhaps disonance). It blends past and present together in a strange amalgamation to the point where one is frequently indistinguishable from the other.
I admit that I bought this book because of its cover: its sepia tones and dark inks ooze noir. A fact that, when combined with glossy purple Star Wars...moreI admit that I bought this book because of its cover: its sepia tones and dark inks ooze noir. A fact that, when combined with glossy purple Star Wars logo, had me nerding out pretty hardcore. The first thing to note is that book takes place in the period immediately following Revenge of the Sith with most of the Jedi Order hunted and killed while those left alive are on the run. Our main character, according to the back of the book, is a Jedi turned Private Investigator named Jax Pavan who receives a message from his dying master leaving Jax to compleete an important mission. Unfortunately, Jax is where this novel starts to have its problems since he is technically a bounty hunter not a private investigator.
The Suicide Collectors, David Oppegaard’s debut novel, is set in a near future world decimated by mass suicide via a plague dub...moreFull review at my blog!
The Suicide Collectors, David Oppegaard’s debut novel, is set in a near future world decimated by mass suicide via a plague dubbed The Despair. In the ashes of this future world enigmatic men and women have begun collecting the suicide victims for unknown purpose. Feared and rivaled by the remaining populous only one man, Florida native Norman, makes a stand to protect the body of his dead wife, killing one of the Collectors in the process. What follows is a whirlwind trip accross the broken and barren United States to find a possible cure for the Despair and keep one step ahead of the vengence seeking Collectors. (less)
Storm from the Shadows is David Weber’s latest book set in the “Honorverse.” A fact that is amusing given that the titular char...moreFull review at my blog!
Storm from the Shadows is David Weber’s latest book set in the “Honorverse.” A fact that is amusing given that the titular character, only has a marginal pressence in this novel. Indeed the hero’s point of view belongs to Michelle Henke (amongst others) and focuses on the events in the Talbot Cluster, the newly annexed star cluster that expands the Stark Kingdom of Manitcore into the Star Empire of Manticore. The book clocks in at a massive 800 pages and, in truth, suffers a bit as a result. (less)
Shadowrealm is the third and final volume of Paul S. Kemp’s excellent Twilight War series. The deadly shadow storm rages accros...moreFull review at my blog!
Shadowrealm is the third and final volume of Paul S. Kemp’s excellent Twilight War series. The deadly shadow storm rages accross the Sembian country side and Chosen of Mask Erevis Cale finds unlikely allies in his fight against Kesson Rel. Kemp contines his trend of great action and strong character development here but the finale is unfortunatley marred by the nature of “shared universe” fiction. (less)
Princep’s Fury marks the 5th entry into Jim Butcher’s less well known fantasy series The Codex Alera. Fantasy fans who have bee...moreFull review at my blog!
Princep’s Fury marks the 5th entry into Jim Butcher’s less well known fantasy series The Codex Alera. Fantasy fans who have been skipping this series really ought to give it a try, while it isn’t quite as clever as the Dresden Files, Butcher’s talent for tight, kinectic action and furious pacing make for an entertaining read. While the characters aren’t always as vivid as everyone’s favorite Chicago based wizard they do manage to stand out from the pack of other fantasy heroes. While not a good entry point to the series (start with The Furies of Calderon) it marks another impressive, and exciting entry into this typically underrated fantasy series. (less)
The Hero of Ages concludes Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. While moving at a more sedate pace than either The Final Empire...moreFull review at my blog!
The Hero of Ages concludes Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. While moving at a more sedate pace than either The Final Empire or The Well of Ascension, the concluding volume showcases Sanderson’s worldbuilding and reveals a flair for tight, thrilling action scenes. Unfortunatley characterization takes a back-seat to both those elements. Regardless fans of the first two books will likely enjoy the ride. (less)
SPOILER NOTE: If you aren’t up-to-date on Butcher’s Dresden Files (at least up to Death Masks) now would be a could time to stop reading this review.
The titular wizard from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is mostly absent from Backup, a short novella available from Subterranean Press, which instead focuses Thomas Raith; Harry’s vampiric half-brother. It is a standalone story that does little to advance any of the plots from the main series but manages to flesh out Thomas as a character and add an interesting new detail about the world of Harry Dresden. (less)