I really liked this story. A heartfelt tale about a boy who witnesses the death of his two best friends. No fault of the author, I didn't like where tI really liked this story. A heartfelt tale about a boy who witnesses the death of his two best friends. No fault of the author, I didn't like where the story ended (thus, the four stars), but Three Spirits' story says something about human frailty and how quickly lives can be shattered.
The story is set in the American west and follows an unnamed Native American tribe as they try to find a new home after a devastating event. I thought the author did a great job of capturing the spirit of a culture while also saying something about how one terrible event can impact the lives it touches. The end introduces an element of weird as well as plays at how culture and miss-communication can sour the best of intentions.
Spire City is a steam-punk fantasy complete with a mad scientist targeting the poor and destitute of a port city. The story focuses on a few outcastsSpire City is a steam-punk fantasy complete with a mad scientist targeting the poor and destitute of a port city. The story focuses on a few outcasts who have banded together for safety. They live in what they call the Weave, basement rooms of an abandoned building in the wrong side of town. While the rich and working class go about in beetle drawn carriages and steam-powered trains move goods in and out of the city, these outcasts struggle to survive. But that’s really hard because they have been infected.
The ending to this one didn't quite satisfy as the last one did, but this carries on the Emperor's Edge wacky tradition (even though there is no emperThe ending to this one didn't quite satisfy as the last one did, but this carries on the Emperor's Edge wacky tradition (even though there is no emperor). Recommended....more
An action-packed close to an excellent series. A fun mix of the A-Team, MacGyver, The Three Musketeers, and everything in between, I highly recommendAn action-packed close to an excellent series. A fun mix of the A-Team, MacGyver, The Three Musketeers, and everything in between, I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fast-paced, slap-stick, crazy ride that will have you rooting for the good guys (which ever those are).
I see that there is yet another volume with these characters. While I'm happy with how this series ended, I think there's plenty of material for the author to expand the story. So, I'll probably tackle that one soon. But I need a break. *I'm* tired of running up drainpipes and dodging knives. ;)...more
This series is pure candy. I chomped through this one overnight as well. Only two books in and I already have a sugar high, but will that stop me goinThis series is pure candy. I chomped through this one overnight as well. Only two books in and I already have a sugar high, but will that stop me going for the third (and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh) in this series? Nope!...more
Ches Smith’s religious satire novel opens with an apt quote from the Christian Bible:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done agaChes Smith’s religious satire novel opens with an apt quote from the Christian Bible:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:9
Under The Suns takes this quote to heart, and is about an alien scribe, Nodi, losing his faith. Along the way he manages to hook up with a foul-mouth atheist, ruin a religious icon, find friends in unexpected places, lose the woman he loved, get the last of a species killed, and leaves it all behind when he finds a spaceship.
It’s been over two years since I last visited with Peter Grant, our endearing, magic-wielding, London constable. After reading Broken Homes, I wondereIt’s been over two years since I last visited with Peter Grant, our endearing, magic-wielding, London constable. After reading Broken Homes, I wondered what kept me away from him for so long. While I’m getting to this a year late, at least I’ve shown up with my own collapsible baton and flashlight so I can follow Peter Grant around the dark side of London as he tries to solve yet another mystery.
The fourth book of this series, Broken Homes immediately drops us into a deadly traffic accident that eventually links to a murder. A decidedly weird murder. So, weird, in fact, that London’s magically enhanced coppers are brought in.
Regardless of my misgivings on the weather in Sand, Mr. Howey has penned another great story with characters you’ll love to fall in love with. I highlRegardless of my misgivings on the weather in Sand, Mr. Howey has penned another great story with characters you’ll love to fall in love with. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an adventurous tale set in an imaginative post-apocalyptic setting that touches on familial relationships.
I've been meaning to do a proper review for this, but time keeps escaping me, so I'll just offer some brief thoughts:
Disclaimer: Andrew is a friend anI've been meaning to do a proper review for this, but time keeps escaping me, so I'll just offer some brief thoughts:
Disclaimer: Andrew is a friend and I read this novel prior to publication. Some things may have changed.
The story in The Glass Sealing follows two characters; one a determined daughter of a successful business man and the other an up-and-coming engineer. For a brief moment in time, together they think they have the answers that will fix their city, but events conspire against them and each must face decisions that will wreck havoc on everyone around them.
I really liked the setting in this novel. Part of a shared world series I haven't read, I enjoyed the way Mr. Hudson described the city's inhabitants, the mysterious black cloud, and the airships that ruled the skies. And I especially like the complex way all of them interacted not only with each other, but with our two protagonists. Arthur (our engineer) and Jocelyn (our ruthless businesswoman) are surprising characters. Each offering reasons to follow them on their plight and each will have you questioning early assumptions about them.
As with many tales, a story is only as good as its ending. While I liked the big showdown between Arthur and the city, the resolution for both characters didn't resonate with me. Regardless, this is a good read and I look forward to more novels from Mr. Hudson.
Tracks is action-packed, touches on a side of America few of us have seen, and promises a rich story steeped in magic and traditions. I highly recommeTracks is action-packed, touches on a side of America few of us have seen, and promises a rich story steeped in magic and traditions. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new kind of fantasy with a bit of romance.
The Adjacent is a love story about two people torn apart by place and time. It has elements of H.G. Wells, World War I, an island nation, an Islamic version of England, and magic, but at its core, it is a love story.
In lyrical, but matter-of-fact prose, a complicated story of death unfolds as we are introduced to Tibor Tarent, a photographer reeling from the recent death of his wife, a nurse. He is returning from an aid mission to a southern country. Where exactly, we are not told. But he’s returning to England, London specifically, but it’s an English countryside and culture we would find hard to recognize.
Massive storms have scarred the countryside and a new weapon is burning out what remains. The residents live in a somewhat militarized society that has long ago embraced Islam. As he is moved from place to place, escorted by mysterious government officials, he grieves for his wife, who had been obliterated out in the desert by the same weapon plaguing London.
The book soon leaves Tarent’s story to plunge us into the life of two individuals shipped off to the World War 1 front lines for suspect reasons. In this section, we are given another, older, version of Tarent who happens to be a magician, one who uses a technique often termed an ‘adjacent distraction’. This is our first, most obvious connection between this story and the previous one with the photographer.
Don’t quote me on the sequence, but the story then weaves between Tarent’s story coming to terms with his wife’s death and the inexplicable events happening around him, and the stories of two women, one a pilot and the other mysteriously connected to him, but in a brief, adulterous way. Like the many Tarent’s in the story, inconsequential details blur the stories of his wife: the woman named Krystyna (or Kirstenya or any other variant), and ‘the other woman’. Each show up in Tarent’s (or Tommaz’s or Tomak’s) life at crucial stages. In one version of their story, we meet his wife in the guise of a Polish pilot helping out in the war effort as best as she can. She tells him her story and it seems that the version of Tarent she is telling her story to is a copy of the Tarent she left behind at home. While potentially confusing, what is clear in each section is the undeniable bond between the two; an everlasting love that transcends the cold vagaries of life.
Each section of the novel blurs the facts, doling out tantalizing details that you think will help you solve the mystery of the individual stories. But in the end, we simply discover what happens. Really, there is no mystery to solve (it is unsolvable). There is only a story to be enjoyed for its rich texture and a wonderful sense of warped place and time.
With that said, this is a book for Christopher Priest fans.
This is my first foray into Mr. Priest’s fiction. I’ve watched the movie adaptation of The Prestige, but I’ve never read anything by him. While I believe a new reader to Priest’s works do not need to read all his previous books to enjoy The Adjacent, I did get the sense that I was missing out on something. There were many references and/or details that I thought would have some significance to the story (or stories) I was reading (the wires, the cultural norms or ab-norms of the island population, that whole weapon thing, the city that was and then was not there, etc), but they never panned out. Or rather, the details didn’t seem to matter to the end result. All of which I think was the point.
Even so, I did enjoy this book. Mr. Priest has a wonderful way of creating a surreal experience out of the ordinary. And he does it in such a way that you’re not aware of it until after the fact. He gives so much detail and information in flawless, emotional prose that both enriches the reading experience and immerses you in the character’s world. Even so, this reader was left with a sense of mystery that pulled me along at every (potentially frustrating) turn in the story. I wanted to know what the dang weapon was and who was using it, but then we are left with what is really important – the bonds that hold us together through place and time.
It was wonderful to read Mr. Priest’s take on this novel (">see this SFFWorld.com interview). I especially liked that he didn’t think he was painting England in a grim light because it becomes, in The Adjacent, an Islamic state and environmentally damaged or changed. While reading his book, I didn’t get the sense that it was overwhelmingly grim, but only that it was simply different. I think that is The Adjacent’s triumph. It offers several alternative realities that feel as real as the world we live in today, and as easily visited as flying a plane over a wide, blue ocean (or reading The Adjacent).
I highly recommend this book to all fans of Christopher Priest as well as someone looking for a book that offers the sense of shifting realities as real as our own while offering you a different view of what we could have been and may become....more