Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Book I'll read in 2009

Here is a Link to the authors really cool website if you have not looked at it yet (hell I had not seen it till now)

And the Book is:

Heart Shaped Box By Joe Hill...

and the image should be a link to the Powell's website...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Read in 2009

(In no particular order)

Bonehunters by Steven Erikson
Reapers Gale by Steven Erikson
Night of Knives by Ian Esselmont (review coming in 2010)
Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo review
Sixty one Nails by Mike Shevdon (ARC from Angry Robot) review
Winters Song by Colin Harvey (ARC from Angry Robot) review
Kell's Legend by Andy Remic (review copy from AR) review
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Looking for Jake by China Mieville
Contagious by Scott Sigler
The Rookie by Scott Sigler (review coming in 2010)
Mainspring by Jay Lake
Rocket Science by Jay Lake
The Burning Girl by Mark Billingham (Police procedural)
Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson (crime)
As Above so Below by Rudy Rucker
The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd
Veniss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer
Black Brillion by matthew Hughes
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (review coming in 2010)
Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill

Books I wish I had gotten to:
Personal Effects:Dark Arts by JC Hutchins
7th Son also by JC Hutchins
Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson (reading it now but wont finish before new years)
Dust of Dreams also by Steven Erikson (have to get a copy)
Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Esslemont (seeing a pattern)
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Soulless by Gail Carriager
Lamentation by Ken Scholes
You Might Sleep by Nick Mamatas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Realm of Legends


This week I will be posting reviews of Andy Remic's Kell's Legend and my reflections on my speculative fiction readings this year - what I loved and what I could have passed over (but I think the latter may amount to few or zero...)... Anyhow hope that you all had a great christmas....
Take Care...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Keeping myself on task

Books planed to review by the years end:

1. Sandman Slim

2. Kell's Legend

I will get to at least Kell's Legend - Angry Robot provided the copy to me for review...
I have been trying to catch up to Steven Erikson's Malazan series... 1200+page novels of fun and fighting so time lags are my fault ... I will review his and Ian C Esselmont's Malazan novels at length in the new year

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lightbreaker review long time in coming

I missed my own deadline and I apologize if I have disappointed anyone but with the sequel Heartland coming soon here is a review of Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo

I’ll begin by saying that I liked Lightbreaker a lot. Mr Teppo succeeded in creating a pretty new setting to in which to tell Urban Fantasy stories; one lacking the tropes that populate many others at the moment.. His setting lacks vampires, werewolves, changelings and the other usual suspects (and I would love to see Gabriel Burne in an adaptation of this ). Mark’s characters are human, at most times all to human, which is the aspect makes them hero’s or villains not their nature as a inhuman creature.

Landis M. Markham, our hero, is a protagonist who was at times hard to like; he starts as a character filled with a desire for vengeance and often takes few qualms to use the people around him. A decade in his past a woman caused him to be awakened to the occult world, shaking his souls connection to his flesh and left him feeling a hole in himself. That hole was filled by… something called the Chorus and has left him with a pernicious darkness inside him. Markham hints at a history of searching to heal the hole in himself and that desire to feel whole with which I found it easy to identify with and overcomes the spikier sides of his character. As the story progressed both Markham and the reader learns that the past can be colored by our memory and is often marred by our interpretation of events.

Teppo has filled his world with a rich cast of innocents and rouges; surrounding Markham are a great cast, many of whom I really would love to see again. He runs afoul of the Seattle PD early in the novel introducing you to potential allies and definite enemies. Markham’s checkered past comes a calling too in the form of Antoine; a rival from the past from the secret society that thinks our hero dead). And what urban fantasy would be complete without the occasional psychic and the ones that Teppo supplies in Piotr I appreciated more then most.

This urban fantasy world is dotted with secret societies from the large, like La Societe Lumeneuse “a worldwide network of subversive agents and dedicated spies” to the small secret occult groups that are more akin to Tyler Durden’s Fight Club all exploiting occult knowledge gleaned from numerous ancient texts (expect to read some latin references) often sited in the novel. The conflicts that Markham faces in his encounters with them are personal and expand the setting and give him a chance to work out old issues and explore some interesting existential territory.

Mark Teppo tells a complete tale but definitely left me wanting more and I hope that I have left you with an interest in checking out Lightbreaker.
Check out powells here for copies

Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming in the next two days a review for the novel Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo of the pacific north-west... I miss the Seattle area and reading this book makes me homesick for the gloomiest city in the usa....
Yes that is right another Urban Fantasy - I blame Sixty-one Nailsfor this renewed interest... Thanks Mike

If you have an interest in Urban fantasy and like sneek peeks there is an intro posted on Teppo's website here for you to read for free... yes the first hit is sometimes free

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sixty-One Nails "You'll Never be safe again."

As promised I will post my review on Sixty One Nails today (PST) and if you are at all interested in getting a free look check out the Angry Robot site hereLink to free preview chapters and get a hint of what is the good start to a series....
As you can see the publisher avoided the clich├ęs with the cover - no trench coats, no wide brimmed hats and no tranp stamp floozies are up for view and that is a good thing. The tone set by the cover tells much about the story - its moody and different for a genre that some authors are glutting the market with and others are calling dead or dying.
" You'll never be safe again"
The protagonist, Niall, is told this towards the end of the free preview above and like in reality safety is an illusion we work under; Niall just had that illusion shattered. His near death experience followed by his first meeting with Blackbird is just the beginning to his introduction to the world that was once hidden from him. During the course of the story Mark Shevdon skillfully takes his main character from a moderately content middle-aged divorced indulgent father of one to a potent and potential hero in a new and invigorating urban fantasy.
I had OD'ed on the Dresden stories a little over a year ago and had all but stopped reading urban fantasy not for lack of fun but from overdose. I had picked up the Castor novels by Carey but had not touched them and now have to happily thank the fine people at angry robot for sending Sixty One Nails for me to review. Mr. Shevdon in this first novel gave me just what I need; main characters that I feel for, care about and could get invested in. Rabbit and Blackbird revealed enough about themselves in get my attention but have held back secrets to keep my interest. In addition the background characters, the glimpses that I got of them in their screen time, gives me just enough to wet my appetite and make me want more... lots more in fact.
I feel that I don't want to give away too much but I will give you this, the story involves Courts of "Feyre", one which is in exile. The feyre are a mostly infertile race and had to breed with the fertile humans to survive and there are fey that he very differing views on these half breeds. There is magic in the book but its not what you may expect, there are battles that Niall fights and quests that he has to complete but they are not what you might expect. The people that populate this book deserve your attention if you have an interest in modern fantasy and you may be like me and have much to thank Mr. Shevdon for - thanks for something new sir that has renewed my faith in Modern Fantasy. Oh and he adds in some real London history here and there and that is a great thing too.
I have to say I cant wait for the next book "The Road to Bedlem" and with the end of Sixty-one nails, the changes that occured - I know it will be a different kind of book and that too is something nice to hope for even if it may be a bit unsafe. Here here to being Unsafe.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Faith in Urban Fantasy

Ok - I will be honest I did read too many Jim Butcher novels in a row that ended my siege on urban fantasy last year; its like smarties ( those are m&m's only better for thoes who are unfamiliar with the canadian candies) you'll eat the whole box but you'll be guilty after - it is candy after all. I have to thank Angry Robot for the ARC of Sixty One Nails which I will post a full fledged review by Tuesday night - Mark Shevdons feyre novel has renewed my faith that there is something new to be had in the sub-genre...can't wait for Road to Bedlam the second Rabbit and Blackbird novel...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I went to the post today and found a surprise awaiting me .... a package from somewhere that has to claim for tariff... Angry Robot has sent me another fine looking book to read and comment on... I really appreciate the gesture and hope to get to reading it soon. Sixty Six Nails comes out in the UK at the end of this month... Got to get through Kell's Legend first but if the prologue is any indication that will not take to long to get through...

Sixty Six Nails calls itself Urban Fantasy - hope that it has a sharper edge then most --- don't get me wrong I like me Dresden but I hunger for another unique voice.....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stark Beauty

As promised today I am posting my thoughts on Winters Song by Colin Harvey published by Angry Robot . The blog Walker of Worlds has already posted a very good review of the novel so do go and check out what he had to say too at his blog
The new publisher Angry Robot ranges a multitude of sub-genres and with Winters Song adds something very hard in the Science Fiction category; according to one of the back cover blurbs "Rock -hard science Fiction adventure...No one gets out alive." Well I agree, the body count is fairly high, but I would add or unchanged to the statement."

Winters Song relies on very few science fiction tropes, they are present in the novel, but the story is about much more then hyperspace, implanted personalities, terraforming and transhumanism. The conflicts that are present in the tale could have taken place in a secluded community now or in the last century, or millennia struggling with limited resources and questions of personal responsibility to community and society. Karl Allman, the protagonist and catalyst for change, crashes pretty spectacularly on a barely habitable planet (its a description worthy of Ian Banks here). He is helped by Bera a woman shunned by her social group/fostered family for an illegitimate and failed child.
Together these two break from the trial group causing a hunt across the icy and mostly barren and strangely, starkly beautiful landscape encountering the sometimes hostile and more often poisonous local fauna Karl looking for a possibly mythical ship/beacon through which he can send a signal for aid and Bera looking for freedom from the oppressive system that has kept the failing colony going for generations.
The above description does no real justice to the well crafted society that recalls the "Formers" that abandoned the unprofitable colony to fend for itself. In looking back on the story there is a great deal of heroism in the struggle of Ragnar's(the family "chieftain") and his small town you might call it. They may be harsh and repressive to us and the hero's of the story but in fact there is a nobility in their struggle. There are other elements that invade the story - but I think that those elements are best left to be discovered as the tae unfolds. Know that there is lots more at heart in this tale then the tropes that some authors use as central elements, this is a tale about personal struggle and will leave you thinking about it weeks later.
The tale that Colin Harvey is a worthy additions to the science fiction invasion that has come from England in the last decade. He deserves a place on your shelf along with Asher, Reynolds, Hamilton and Stross. He is not them, don't expect him to he but check him out.

Monday, September 28, 2009

First review coming..

Hello All

Finished the ARC of Winters Song that I found awaiting me and am collecting my thoughts and deciding what form my reviews will take....

Look in this space later this week for the review...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

These were the books that awaited me when I returned from Europe this year... I got the Rookie from the preorder I placed to Scott himself and cant wait to get to reading it.... got a couple from give awaysfrom a couple from websites (Fantasy Book Critic and one I need to look up and post later sorry) namely the second Iron Elves book and the Harry and the Pirates book that will be a little down the reading list.... and firstly on the list will be the two from Angry Robot Press.. Winter Song and Kell's Song ... wellwhile you wait I eill be posting a review of Perdido Street Station in the next few days....

Well all though I'm not happy to be back home I am happy in life now ....

take care