I've read a lot of reviews comparing this to Gone Girl, and it seems to suffer by the comparison. Although I've meant to get to it for a while, I haveI've read a lot of reviews comparing this to Gone Girl, and it seems to suffer by the comparison. Although I've meant to get to it for a while, I haven't read Gone Girl yet, and without that point of comparison, I thought this book was very good....more
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immo
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.
The first novel of a six-book fantasy series by Michael Sullivan, Age of Myth begins with a man killing a god – or rather, a “god”, one of a race called the Fhrey. The book then shifts between the story of the “God Killer”, the political machinations set in motion by the death, and the villagers of the town where they’ll all eventually collide.
One issue I had with this book what that it took quite a while to figure out who was who, and to keep the humans and Fhrey straight. Rather than taking time to thoroughly introduce each character and setting before adding another, the book jumps from location to location rapidly right from the beginning, and because of that it took me a while to really get into it. That said, this book is set in the same world as other series Sullivan has written, and it’s possible that it would have made sense sooner if I had read any of those. Certainly once I started to get a sense of the characters, somewhere around chapter 7, I really enjoyed this book.
My other complaint about Age of Myth is that many of the characters lack depth; for the most part, the characters are one-dimensional. This is fine for minor characters, but the pro- and antagonists ought to have a little more complexity than this to really make it interesting.
Overall I found this a moderately enjoyable book. I might read the next book in this series, but it would have to show improvement for me to keep going beyond that; I didn’t get enough out of this novel to make me think I’d want to read the entire six-volume series.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encoun
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.
From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent.
Lyrical and at times dream-like, The Devourers is a hard novel to categorize. Mixing elements from multiple genres, Indra Das has fashioned a remarkable work of literary fiction, by turns maudlin, enchanting, and horrifying. Told in flashback from modern India and Bangladesh, the story concerns a rakshasa – a man-eating shape-shifter – who becomes obsessed with his prey (humans), and how a single fateful decision plays out.
Gaimanesque, not just in subject matter but in style as well, what begins as a series of flashbacks gradually accelerates until the narration shifts not just from paragraph to paragraph but even within a single sentence. Some readers may find this off-putting but for me it emphasized the storyteller’s sense of dislocation, of not belonging temporally or socially. This would make a good book club selection, and I mean that as a compliment: there’s a lot to think about, discuss, and digest here.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review....more
A raven befriends a young blind girl. He brings her eyeballs he steals from other people, and when she puts them in her eye sockets, she sees memoriesA raven befriends a young blind girl. He brings her eyeballs he steals from other people, and when she puts them in her eye sockets, she sees memories from their original owners. A man discovers that animals and people will survive almost any wound he inflicts. His experiments become more and more grotesque. A young girl has lost her memories and cannot seem to live up to the expectations of those around her. When a transplanted eye begins showing scenes from the donor’s life, she becomes obsessed with solving a kidnapping. Three story lines are seamlessly interwoven, but the true nature of the connection is only revealed in the final pages.
The title of the novel, Black Fairy Tale, is remarkably apt. Readers who are only familiar with the sanitized Disney versions of fairy tales might not recognize the similarities, but this book certainly feels inspired by some of the darkest tales collected by Alexander Afanasyev, Charles Perrault, and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. If you’re into that kind of thing, you will definitely enjoy this book; I am, and I certainly did!
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions thro
Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders.
But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct.
Although Titanborn has apparently drawn some comparisons to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the comparison to Philip K. Dick is a bit strained. A better description is to imagine Philip Marlowe in a Heinleinesque planet-hopping adventure through corporate-owned solar system à la Alfred Bester. I apologize for making this book sound derivative – it's certainly not – but that's about the best comparison I can come up with. Although the characters are a little shallow, and the ending was extremely abrupt, the universe of Titanborn is well-thought-out, and would be fertile grounds for any number of short stories or novellas.
On the whole, Titanborn is not destined to be considered a classic, but fans of science fiction, especially golden age science fiction, will find it enjoyable read.
I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
A reasonably satisfactory end to the series, but this book took far too long to get there. The first 2/3 of this book could have had at least half cutA reasonably satisfactory end to the series, but this book took far too long to get there. The first 2/3 of this book could have had at least half cut out and it would have been a far sweeter thing....more
This book is almost as hard to review as it is to categorize. It has elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, among others, but doesThis book is almost as hard to review as it is to categorize. It has elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, among others, but doesn't really fit cleanly into any of those categories. Contemporary fantasy might be the best genre descriptor.
After a bender of epic proportions, bartender Charlie Wilkes awakens to find himself in a room with no doors or windows, undulating black walls, and a screen that turns out to be a window into the life of a young woman, Minnie. Charlie and Minnie are obviously soon each questioning their sanity. Then Minnie meets Charlie, and Charlie returns to his body to find that Minnie died a week before...
In The Darkness, That's Where I'll Know You begins with that cleverly original starting point, and Luke Smitherd spins an engrossing tale that only gets better as it develops...up until the end. The final epilogue was such a staggering disappointment that it took me from debating between 4 or 5 stars all the way down to a weak 3 stars; if I were rating on a 10-point scale, it dropped from 9/10 to 5/10. I don't like downgrading a book that I enjoyed more than 95% of based just a few pages, but they left me with such a bad taste in my mouth that it was just impossible to ignore. Smitherd's writing was excellent throughout, but the book would have just been far better without those last several pages.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
“What would have happened if the story of creation went a little differently? Welcome to Mendacia; The city of lies. Saved from a divine apocalypse, i“What would have happened if the story of creation went a little differently? Welcome to Mendacia; The city of lies. Saved from a divine apocalypse, its citizens now starve. They are trapped beneath a fire-lit sky and surrounded by a molten river, all to pay for the sins of their ancestors.”
From this description and the title, I expected an alternate version of the Christian creation story. Let's start by putting that expectation to rest. The creation myth that this book draws on most heavily is Greco-Roman (Mitchell uses Roman names). In retrospect, the book's title set up some false expectations, and it took me a while to realize what this was actually about.
Unfortunately, the misleading title is the smallest of this book's sins.
Mitchell's writing is extremely choppy. The story jumps around in time, space, and point-of-view with no warning or transition. It's possible that this was done deliberately to disorient and confuse the reader, as the characters are often disoriented and confused – (view spoiler)[key plot elements involve memories that have been magically suppressed or altered (hide spoiler)] – but I got the sense that this was more from a lack of thorough editing.
On the whole, this book contains two interesting ideas (the one that the title suggests, and the one that's actually in the book). With a rewrite and comprehensive editing, this could be a pretty good book, but as it stands, it is an almost unreadable mess.
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A solid finish to the series. Characters are more fully developed here than in Shift, though I remain somewhat disappointed by the flatness of the conA solid finish to the series. Characters are more fully developed here than in Shift, though I remain somewhat disappointed by the flatness of the conspirators....more
Shift is a good book with some interesting ideas, but it's a huge step down from Wool. We never get quite enough insight into the conspirators to sympShift is a good book with some interesting ideas, but it's a huge step down from Wool. We never get quite enough insight into the conspirators to sympathize with them, and we also don't get close enough to anyone else. The "surprises" were also not particularly surprising....more
An exciting and fast-paced sci-fi adventure, I found The Legend of Zero to be quite the page-turner. It was well-told, but I did have trouble taking iAn exciting and fast-paced sci-fi adventure, I found The Legend of Zero to be quite the page-turner. It was well-told, but I did have trouble taking it entirely seriously...I just kept flashing back to Bill, the Galactic Hero.
Also, be cautioned: I see this classified by some readers as young adult fiction. I would be very wary of sharing it with a reader younger than about 13 or 14. A major part of the plot deals with young children (mostly ages 5-12) being stolen from their parents and forced to become soldiers for aliens. There are episodes of brutal violence, rapes, and deaths throughout, including major characters....more