This crop of books brings my read list to 60 books for the year so far, which isn't too shabby. A lot of these books were on the shorter side though, but they all count and there were some fat boys in there as well.
47. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence - Think Abercrombie minus any attempt at redemption and akin to Wolfe's Books of the New Sub for twisted teens. Big twists abound in a story that barely let you catch your breathe, but this might not be everyone's cup of tea. Review to come.
48. Embasseytown by China Mieville - This is a truly mind-blowing book for the first half that thinks too much of itself as it goes on. It is a very rough ride as things progress and seems overly dour. Some grand and original ideas are just tossed aside and not explored nearly enough for me. Still Mieville can't write a bad book. Review hopefully to come.
49. Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper - While not as strong as some of Tropper's other works such as This is Where I leave You or The Book of Joe it still ranks up there in terms of contemporary literature. Tropper never fails to pull at my heart strings on one page and turn me laughs opprobriously on the next. Recommend.
50. Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson - A great climax to a very strong series. Definitely better than Axis, but still not up to the greatness that was Spin. The series finishes out on a high note that should satisfy most readers.
51. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin - Have I told you lately how much I love Martin? Well, I still do and Clash reminded me again and again of the whys. The Tyrion chapters still make the book, but I found the Theon chapters much more engrossing than the last time I read it.
52. The Book of Transformations by Mark Charan Newton - The third in the Legends of the Red Sun series. City of Ruins absolutely blew me away last year with Charan taking every thing he setup in Nights of Villjamur at 8 and turned it up to 11. The latest entry certainly lives up to the title and the author continues to push the boundaries of sexuality and story telling. Highly recommended.
53. Low Town by Daniel Polansky - Can you say hard boiler noir? Because Polansky certainly can. Reviewed here.
54. The Library by Zoran Zivkovic - This is a bibliophile's wet dream of linked short stories about books and nothing else but books and the people they find. Highly recommended.
55. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey - Space Opera done right. Felt a lot like Paul McAuley's The Quiet War, but with better characterization. Highly recommended.
56. The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout - A much darker side of van Eekhout is shown, but his writing is also maturing. Even though it is a middle grade reader this is van Eekhout's best book yet with stellar characters in an intriguing world. One aspect usually ignored in far future apocalyptic novels is the Earth's ability to evolve in both its plant and animal life, which is done a great justice here. Highly recommended. I'm hoping to get my niece to do a review some point soon as van Eekhout's Kid vs. Squid is one of her favorite books.
57. Hexed by Kevin Hearne - The Iron Druid series is just something you all have to try out if you need a good laugh yet it never seems silly. Lots of good action and magic. Highly recommended. Look for a treat from Atticus, the hero of the series, shortly.
58. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - What a very strange novel. I can see why it won the Pulitzer this year, but it is a book that leaves you a bit befuddled because it just shouldn't work, but amazingly does. Each chapter jumps around in time sometimes by decades from character to a character with only brief mention of said character in an earlier chapter to give you any grounding. And the flow chart chapter was one of the weirdest ways to tell a story, yet again it worked.
59. Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines - Superheroes fight zombies in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles protecting the surviving humans. Very good stuff and better than the Marvel vs Zombies series. Some original powers as well so it doesn't feel like a rehash at all. Recommended.
60. 7th Sigma by Steven Gould - A very pulp inspired Sci-Fi Western where mysterious mechanical bugs eat all the metal in the area. The society copes by reverting to horses for travel yet develops tech that can survive in the area as well. Really intriguing beginning to what I hope is a series as there is plenty left to explore. It is the main character Kip that will draw you in as you see him grow into a man that can help tame the land. Outlaws, cowboys, and karate masters abound. Recommended.
Sci-Fi definitely is on an upswing this year. My top picks out of the batch starts with The Expanse series opening salvo Leviathan Wakes. For sheer fun Ex-Heroes will sate those superhero and zombie fans equally and the Iron Druid series with Hexed continues to be filled with loads of laughs and action. The Book of Transformations goes back to more of the style from Nights of Villjamur and keeps this a must read series and get the vote for book most likely to be re-read. I've now tasted a few Zoran Zivkovic stories with the The Library novella being my favorite, but I'm hungry for more of this post-modern master's work.
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