Over the last year I've been able to keep to a fairly consistent schedule of at least 4 posts a week if not more. Well, that has suffered a little the last month or so as I've had a lot going on at work. But that still hasn't kept me from keeping up to my review a week pledge, which is still going strong. Plus I've had a lot of things in the cooker that are finally coming to fruition. Tomorrow look for a lively interview with one Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates. I'm quite proud of the interview in which both Sam and I let loose. It is definitely one of my sillier interviews. I've just sent the last batch of questions to Ian Tregillis whose debut Bitter Seeds just recently released and his answers so far have been great as I had some very pointed questions. Look for that interview next week. My long awaited interview with George Mann should be up sometime in May as well. Plus I've cornered Lou Anders to an
interrogation interview of sorts as he has got loads going on. I've also been reading a few books as well including a couple great debuts. Lately, I've been going for shorter reads so I've managed to get through quite a few, but as you can see from the list below my tastes have been all over the place.
The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee - This one was a bit of a stretch for me to begin, but around the 80 page mark things started to click as it was something of a culture shock at first. Definitely not your typical Fantasy novel. The story is set in the icy north with Inuit type cultures that are clashing with the long established settlers from the east. These settlers now live to the south and have some long standing issues of their own with other groups after them.
Some characters have a spiritwalking/animal abilities that re-imagines the werewolf mythos into new and interesting areas. There is only a slight Steampunk bent to the novel, but I didn't learn until finishing that Karin has plans to do more with these characters so it looks like it'll be explored further. There is still much to be revealed about this world, especially the war that is brewing and how the spiritwalkers will play into it. Recommended, especially for those tired of a European/Anglo setting/feel.
Changes by Jim Butcher - The latest in the Dresden Files answers more questions than any of the previous volumes with lost of culminating events. In many ways this acts a a giant season finale. Some of my cast favorites are inexplicably missing, but this series still hasn't disappointed me yet. Highly recommended, but only if you are caught up on the series.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis - A very drool classic time twister that was slow and a little too detailed at times. It definitely took awhile to get going for me. The first part of the story is very disjointed, but Willis had that planned from the start. Rarely will an author try to intentional confuse the reader as much as she did, but expertly so. Recommended.
Kid vs. Squid by Greg van Eekhout - A debut middle grade reader from van Eekhout whose adult debut Norse Code I enjoyed. The story more than equals the fun of the title. Atlantis mythology crossed with a seaside boardwalk equal loads of laughs and some great crustacean fighting action. I already know a couple kids who I'll be buying copies for. Recommended for those look for a light read between Epics.
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis - This is Ian's stellar debut effort which shows incredible skill at setting and character development. Full review to come. Highly recommended.
Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk - Another debut, which is one of the best Swords & Sorcery books I've read in this year. Great bloody action with hints of good things to come from what is a planned trilogy. Full review to come. Highly recommended. Look for an interview with Spunk in the near future. I actually finished it a couple months back, but Pyr wanted to wait until closer to publication before its release. This is also the first interview I've ever conducted where I hadn't read a book by the author first.
Warriors edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois - It took me a little while to get through this mammoth collection, but it was worth it. I couldn't help, but read the GRRM dunk story The Mystery Knight first, which if your a fan of the series will make it worth the cover price alone. I actually went back to re-read the first two Dunk & Egg stories before starting the third since it has been years. All together they make a great tapestry into the earlier years of Westeros. The Mystery Knight wasn't as entertaining as the first story, but we can finally get an inkling of what he as planned for these characters. We know how they end up. We just don't know precisely how they got there. The next standout to me was Joe Haldeman's Forever Bound, which is a prequel to his Forever Peace world. Great use of VR tech. Dirae by Peter S. Beagle is quite a strange story, but it gets better the deeper you go as the style takes a few pages of getting use to as a warrior women keeps getting switched on and off to complete missions. There were a few stories I didn't care for, but those turned out to be from authors I haven't enjoyed in the past so it was a bit expected. A great collection all around.
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