I was hoping to like There are Doors more than I actually did. I am already a fan of Gene Wolfe and I am familiar with his work. He is an autho...more3 Stars
I was hoping to like There are Doors more than I actually did. I am already a fan of Gene Wolfe and I am familiar with his work. He is an author that requires the reader to be open minded and at times to do work. This book is no exception, both the narrator and the story itself make it difficult for the reader to separate realities and to have any trust in what we are being told.
I loved the concept. What a star crossed love story of a Goddess, a man, and many worlds. This story just seemed to move at too slow of a pace. Couple this with a long stay in a mental asylum and it can be difficult to get through. This book probably would make a better novella if it was shortened up a bit.
Oh well, Wolfe is a remarkable and unique author that should not be missed.(less)
After a reread through this one, I came to appreciate how ambitious this novel really is. Sure I mentioned in my first take how this is a sto...more4.5 Stars
After a reread through this one, I came to appreciate how ambitious this novel really is. Sure I mentioned in my first take how this is a story filled with stories about stories, but I failed to see just how complex this really was. Jean is an amazing protagonist that simply cannot be trusted. The science and imagination that fills these pages is remarkable. I love how this book unfolds and is really different in feel from book one.
======================================== My original review....
The Fractal Prince is a bit of a letdown to me after having reread book one tQT by Hannu Rajaniemi. It is like the first piece an incredibly ambitious and complex piece of hard science fiction that will challenge you as a reader to keep things straight or even to simply understand what he is talking about. As I mentioned in my review of book one, there is a Wiki page that goes into great detail on the vocabulary, the world, the creatures, and of course the science behind the story of The Quantum Thief.
The series is a sci-fi nerds dream…It has awesome spaceships, quantum science, cool new species, and a high tech dreamscape that will leave your imagination in awe. Hannu Rajaniemi does not hold back, he does not hold your hand, and he surely does not try to explain every detail behind is incredible world.
“Quantum mechanics claims that there is no definite cat in the box, only a ghost, a superposition of a live cat and a dead cat. That is, until we open it and look. A measurement will collapse the system into one state or the other. So goes Schrödinger’s thought experiment. It is completely wrong, of course. A cat is a macroscopic system, and there is no mysterious intervention by a magical observer needed to make it live or die: just its interaction with the rest of the Universe, a phenomenon called decoherence, provides the collapse into one macrostate. But in the microscopic world – for qubits, quantum-mechanical equivalents of ones and zeroes – the Schrödinger’s cat is real.”
The Fractal Prince is a story about stories. The whole heist is centered on stories being told to our heroes. The novel unfolds, new characters arise, backstories are filled in, and the plot moves forward, pretty much all through the telling of stories. This was a major change from book one that I was not totally enamored with. Sure, they are interesting and well done, but I felt that I lost touch with our main hero Jean as well as the other side characters.
The disconnect with our protagonist really is not Rajaniemi’s fault as it happens that our hero is a skin changer. Jean de Flambeur is tough to recognize in this book. Is actions are different, his attitude is different, and of course so is his face. The only character that I really felt connected with, and my understanding of her deepend was with that of Perhonen, a spaceship.
Rajaniemi is a brilliant writer with a serious future ahead of him as a science fiction writer.
“The words swirl. The paper and the letters bulge out, form the shape of a hand, fingers of black and white, reaching out from the book. The dust thing coughs and whispers, and something brushes Matjek’s shoulder, tickling sharply. He grabs the hand as hard as he can, and the razor edges of the word-fingers cut his palm. But he holds on, and the hand pulls him in, into the suddenly vast sea of language in front of him. The words roll over him like— —waves, a gentle, teasing pull and push of cold foam around his bare feet. A warm evening sun above, a beach of white sand like a smile. ‘For a while there, I thought you weren’t going to make it,’ the thief says. He holds Matjek’s hand in a warm, tight grip, a slight man in shorts and a white shirt, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, blue like the book of nights.”
I loved the first book The Quantum Thief, I enjoyed book two The Fractal Prince, and I can easily give this series my highest recommendations to the science fiction reader…(less)
This was a tough read for me. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It is the follow up to the amazing Blood Song, book one of...more 3.5 Stars
This was a tough read for me. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It is the follow up to the amazing Blood Song, book one of the Raven’s Shadow series by Anthony Ryan. I had the highest expectations as I even took the time for a complete reread of the first novel to set this one up. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver.a
This is book is a shadow of the first book in all ways. Our characters are thinner, the story more broad and spread out, and the world building is further done with a light touch. Vaelin our hero is by his own doing…less. Ryan chose to take this book in basically five different directions, all with their own points of view. Sure, I like Reva and Lyrna, I simply do not care enough about them for them to share the story with our hero. Frentis, Vaelin’s young protege has an interesting story but one that could have been cut way shorter. Finally, our hero is left in the cold for most of this book leaving me wanting….I felt like I was reading the Wheel of Time all over again and swearing out loud…Where the f#@% is Rand????
The writing is still fantastic, but it does not make this a better read.
“It hit him like a hammerblow, the screaming note of the song surging once more to an instant crescendo. He staggered, feeling blood flow from his nose, collapsing to the sand as the scream brought a vision . . . Flame, all is flame, all is pain and fury . . . A man dies, a woman dies, children die . . . And the scream never ends . . . The flames swirl, coalesce, two dark patches appear, forming into eye sockets as the flames shape themselves into a skull, then a face, perfect and beautiful . . . And familiar . . . Lyrna, formed of fire . . . Screaming.”
I guess this book is still similar to The Kingkiller Chronicles, in that, book two was not half the book that the first of the series was.
I wanted this to be my favorite book of the year and found myself blasting through so much of this book that I am giving it higher marks than I really feel that it deserves …
The Causal Angel, book three and final volume of the Jean Le Flambeur series is the best book by a quantum amount. I loved the ambition of this...more5 Stars
The Causal Angel, book three and final volume of the Jean Le Flambeur series is the best book by a quantum amount. I loved the ambition of this series so much so, that I took the time to reread books one and two before venturing on the final journey. I am so glad that it was worth my time and the payoff that much more.
Hannu Rajaniemi has created a complex, no holds barred amazing universe. He explores so many high level concepts that cover mathematics, physics, psychology, and even religion. This is a story of realizations, openings, and growth. There are so many things that make this series so unique and incredible. We get a serious education in causality.
Rajaniemi is a gifted writer and storyteller. Not only does he write science fiction at a high level that can be quite a challenge to read, he also write stories that border on fairy tale style. In The Fractal Prince, book two, we are shown his fantasy style. In this final installment, the entire novel comes across as a hard science fairy tale. Magical, mystical, futuristic, and thought provoking. What a crazy genre cross that I wished did not have to end. I cannot wait to reread this book.
Rajaniemi writes great details and action...
"She stands up, in full combat mode. Time slows down. Dust particles swirling in the air become static brushstrokes. Her wings bloom from her back, radiating waste heat. The fusion reactor and her right thigh pumps energy into coherent payloads of the Q – gun in her right hand. She's already firing the ghostgun in her left: war gogols and nanomissiles, hurling themselves at what used to be a Great Game warsuit.
I do not want give anything away, but I do want to make it crystal clear that I loved this series. The ending of this book and the trilogy had me cheering out loud. I freaking loved it. If you like incredible thought provoking hard science fiction and are not afraid of a little work, than this series is for you. Top marks ....amazing!
I was not happy with this ending book, I was happy middle!!
“And he said, “There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more...more3 Stars
I was not happy with this ending book, I was happy middle!!
“And he said, “There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. We live poised on that second as it’s hurtling forward—toward what? All our lives, it’s been the Empire propelling us—toward the annihilation of the beasts…”
Damn, I had such very high expectations for this concluding volume that I waited until I could give it the time that it deserves. Unfortunately, once I got into it, all I wanted to do was end it. I have so many issues of with this book, the end not being one of them. The first 30% of this novel is s l o w…..I mean nothing happens more than the group talking about what they are going to do. Then, predictability, inevitability, and of course the melodramatics. I was let down.
I wanted to love this book as I really was impressed with the first two. There is some great writing here but it is not always easy to see. There are some great characters here, ones that I love, but they were so much more in the previous novels. The world is not expanded in this book, it is actually lessened. Oh well. There are a few memorable scenes but not enough to make me like it more.
I loved this quote from later on…. ““There is the past, and there is the future,” he had said to his brothers and sisters not long ago. “The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other.” He’d been wrong. There was only the present, and it was infinite. The past and the future were just blinders we wore so that infinity wouldn’t drive us mad.”
The first two are books are fabulous, but this one not so much… (less)
14 episodes down in my first real adventure in the graphic novel land. I savor these reads and reread each page twice just to take in all the b...more5 Stats
14 episodes down in my first real adventure in the graphic novel land. I savor these reads and reread each page twice just to take in all the beautiful artwork. I love how varied each edition is. This one being more character development and conversations than action. I love so much about this series and, thanks to Brian K. Vaughan I may now be a fan of he genre.
Fun, dark, witty, and dirty fantasy all colorfully illustrated...
Well another fantastic book by Adam Baker who I am quite a fan. This is the third book in the Outpost series but fourth separate story line whe...more4 Stars
Well another fantastic book by Adam Baker who I am quite a fan. This is the third book in the Outpost series but fourth separate story line when you include the prequel novella.
What sets this apart from the rest is the storytelling and the way that Baker is putting this series together. Each of these novels have taken place in a unique and amazing environment. These stories are connected only through the world that is succumbing to the zombies. Of course, even the undead have a cool twist to them. Baker writes with action and humor. His take on the genre is a pleasure to read.
Theses are very fast paced, easy, and fun reads. My enjoyment and my anticipation of these books far outweigh the literary score that they will receive from reviewers.
Epic in every sense. Erickson pushes being bold to new limits with this series. They are rich, detailed, and complex dark fantasy filled with a...more5 Stars
Epic in every sense. Erickson pushes being bold to new limits with this series. They are rich, detailed, and complex dark fantasy filled with amazing places, creatures, and magic. He gives us a complex book one where we are thrown into the history of this magical world. He follows this up by giving us an all new cast, many more points if view, and spreads them out over this vast world. I found the first 100 pages to be very difficult to follow. I had a tough time remembering who ties back to our original cast, and who is all new. But, it is so worth pushing through.
This is an incredibly heavily reviewed book so I just will say that I cannot reread these two books again. I absolutely love these novels and cannot recommend them enough. I will tell all my friends to read them and how much that I loved them.
This was a tough read for me in that it is by far the weakest of this fun young adult series. This book starts off slow and never really come...more2.5 Stars
This was a tough read for me in that it is by far the weakest of this fun young adult series. This book starts off slow and never really comes together. Samuel takes sort of a back seat in this one and there is little from his amazing little dog. It was a fast read but it was lacking for me.(less)
I am a Scalzi fan so I looked forward to reading this novella. It is an interesting near future story and post apocalyptic type of event. I was...more4 Stars
I am a Scalzi fan so I looked forward to reading this novella. It is an interesting near future story and post apocalyptic type of event. I was slightly put off when I found out that this "Oral History" was done very much the same way as World War Z, a book that I do not care for. But, this is Scalzi and he is a brilliant writer.
Rapture, the final book of the Bel Dame Apocrypha is a good concluding story to a remarkable series. I had problems with this book, and it is t...more4 Stars
Rapture, the final book of the Bel Dame Apocrypha is a good concluding story to a remarkable series. I had problems with this book, and it is the weakest of the three books. There are far too many POV’s in this read and there is little pay off in it. Couple this with the fact that the first two books did not share this problem, it really stood out. This third book had the least amount of character development excluding Eshe. It had far less bugs, less, magic, and less action over all. That is not saying that this isn't a dark read. It goes places that the first two books did not even go and that will put many people off.
Kameron Hurley has created a brave, raw, dirty, and totally amazing world. Nyx is an incredible protagonist that is unforgettable, I am just not sure that anyone would actually want to meet her. But I love that this series is lead by a scary older woman that was easy to believe in.
I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers looking for something fresh. Those that like the dark reads and the antiheroes will love Nyx and this series. Some of the YA crowd might like this, but there is no storybook fairytale to be gaga over here.
I am giving Infidel a full extra star and full marks because this is the second book in the trilogy and it does not suffer the normal mid cycle...more5 Stars
I am giving Infidel a full extra star and full marks because this is the second book in the trilogy and it does not suffer the normal mid cycle blues. Hurley does a rare thing with this sequel In that she does not hold back, there are many major plot twists, series changers, and characters killed. I love how this series is incredibly dark and dirty and filled to the brim with bugs. Hurley has created a world that would fit right into a China Mieville setting. Better yet, this world reminds me of a favorite novel of mine The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway with the major addition of all the bugs.
This is a special read to me.... First, the lead character Nyx, is a woman. No, she isn't a young hottie that is good with a bow. She is no young undead loving high school tramp. And although she is truly different from the rest, there really is no real group for to fit in with. Nyx is a large, scarred, man hands type of woman that can fold you up into a pretzel. She prefers blades over guns. She has no fear, no real morals, and no real friends. She is however loyal to a fault. Nyx is a one of kind that will scare you into routing for her and her cause.
Second, the world is worth the read alone. The magic behind this insect laden world is incredible, amazing, and freaking awesome. You will be blown away by what can be done with a bug.
Finally, praise to Hurley for not selling out to make this a more accessible read. It is fucking dark and dirty....tough shit if you don't like it. Abercrombie who?
Kameron Hurley can write. These books are fast page turners.
"As the tree's colors paled, the melted shape took on a more human form. The gaping hole in the face – to half formed mouth – vomited a black cloud of flies, and with the flies came another scream; not from the bugs this time, but a true human scream; the rage and pain and terror of birth."
I love this series, I loved this book. Some sick and twisted part of me loves Nyx. My highest recommendations and a must read for those looking for the opposite of today's Young Adult laced fantasy genre.(less)
"I shook my head. "Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard.””
"If I had ever known them, they were lost in the mist...more5 Stars
"I shook my head. "Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard.””
"If I had ever known them, they were lost in the mist, lost forever as though they had never been.”
Soldier of the Mist is an incredible gem. It took me a long time to read it as it had to be savored. I have read other books by Gene Wolfe and already considered myself a fan, but to me this book was so much more than the other novels of his that I have read. This is a novel that reads like a historical fiction book with a spattering of poetry. The story combined with the eloquent writing made this seem like old school poetry to me.
What an amazing story and what a journey for our damaged protagonist Latro. This is a story that is a cross between Chris Nolan’s Memento and the Iliad. Wolfe has created a work of art that really took me by surprise. The main plot is worth the read in itself. The amazing places that it takes us the icing on the cake. Our hero is a soldier and a slave and a man without a past. He suffers a grievous head wound that should have killed him but thanks to the God’s that intervene he survives. Problem is he cannot remember one day to the next if not for the scroll that he writes everything down in. On the plus side Latro can now commune with the Gods as a result of his wound and what a motley crew do they turn out to be. Simply magical.
A snippet :
""Then you shall have such gifts as are mine to give. Hear my attributes: I am a god of divination, of music, of death, and of healing; I am the slayer of wolves and the master of the sun. I prophesy that though you will wander far in search of your home, you will not find it until you are farthest from it. Once only, you will sing as men sang in the Age of Gold to the playing of the gods. Long after, you will find what you seek in the dead city. "Though healing is mine, I cannot heal you, nor would I if I could; by the shrine of the Great Mother you fell, to a shrine of hers you must return. Then she will point the way, and in the end the wolf's tooth will return to her who sent it.”
A poem that is relevant to the story:
""Look under the sun, if you would see! Sing! Make sacrifice to me! But you must cross the narrow sea. The wolf that howls has wrought you woe! To that dog's mistress you must go! Her hearth burns in the room below. I send you to the God Unseen! Whose temple lies in Death's terrene!
There you shall learn why He's not seen. Sing then, and make the hills resound! King, nymph, and priest shall gather round! Wolf, faun, and nymph, spellbound.””
This is a masterpiece of writing and story telling and it does not even matter that more books follow this one. My highest recommendations. (less)
First off, I love the writing of Jon Courtney Grimwood. He is an exceptional author. This book is no exception, it is well written, detailed, a...more3 Stars
First off, I love the writing of Jon Courtney Grimwood. He is an exceptional author. This book is no exception, it is well written, detailed, and atmospheric. This book is a fantastic time piece and it really brings to life the 14th century.
I am not sure why I lost interest at the halfway mark, but I did. I just could not keep focused on the story from that point on and frequently found myself lost to as what I just read. I should have stopped and come back to this rather than push on.
That being said, this is an Urban Fantasy done right. No cheesy high school love interests in this book. I loved parts of this book just not the whole.(less)
I devoured this book. I loved every word of it. Nyx is simply one bad ass woman that I want to read more about. I guess the biggest compliment...more5 stars.
I devoured this book. I loved every word of it. Nyx is simply one bad ass woman that I want to read more about. I guess the biggest compliment I can give this book is that it reminded me of a Catherine Kiernan novel, one of my very favorite authors...
This is an Urban Fantasy that is filled with tons of bugs, amazing magic, more bugs, and did I mention the bugs. What a fresh and cool world and concept.
This is an action packed and no holds thriller that will appeal to fans of the dark fantasy genre. This is a book not to be missed and I cannot wait to read more.(less)
City of Light, book 3 in the Travelers Gate series is a 5 star awesome conclusion to the series. As a whole, the Travelers Gate series is a 5 s...more5 Stars
City of Light, book 3 in the Travelers Gate series is a 5 star awesome conclusion to the series. As a whole, the Travelers Gate series is a 5 star blast of a read that fantasy lovers will adore. Each of the three books are better than the last. The action is top notch. The cast of characters is large enough to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The plot and story progression of the series runs a straight line but it does so while showcasing the increase in tension and peril.
Simon will be an unforgettable protagonist. As will the territory of Valinhall itself and the power that it bestows. This series would make an amazing set of movies.
Wight brings the three books to a great conclusion. And I am happy to report that he does not resort to any gimmick or Godlike power to bring things to an end. With the nature of the Traveler's and the Incarnation's Wight could have lazily used a magic RED button to blow this whole series up. The ending was the best part if this series.
I wish I had the time to give this book the review it deserves. I can only hope that my friends and fellow fantasy readers will take a chance and pick this up. It is too much fun to be missed. (less)
Crimson Vault, book two in the Travelers Gate series is a step up from the first novel. This series has: A coming of age story. Great world bui...more5 Stars
Crimson Vault, book two in the Travelers Gate series is a step up from the first novel. This series has: A coming of age story. Great world building. A likable lead that is easy to identify with. A cool main plot line. An awesome magic system.
To me the magic of this book sets it apart. I am always looking for the next cool thing that can stand up with The Force, Allomancy, and of course Saidin/Saidar. Travelers are the magicians of this novel. They are people that can access one of 10 different realms and as a result they have the abilities to channel that realm. Fire based, creature based, light based, and even healing, are just some of the realms main powers. None compare to the power of One, the realm of Valinhall, a place that bestows the individual skills for fighting and surviving. Oh yeah most importantly it gives the user the skill set to kill other Travelers.
I loved the fast pace and dark undertones to his book.
The magic is something special.
Oh yeah...what about indestructible 7 foot long swords....
The Nye are creepy and cool.
Book two takes place after the conclusion of the first. We are given only minor chapters that further develop Simon and others. We are however treated with much more action, violence, and sword wielding. The incarnation is beyond bad ass and ruthless. Leah's father is Kingly in every fashion and he stole some of the limelight of this book.
This is series is tailor made to my likes and as a result I devoured both of these books and immediately grabbed the conclusion.
I cannot wait to read more from this series. I highly recommend it to those looking for a magic laced, dark fantasy series.(less)