My house is now sold so I'm hoping I'm getting over my slow blogging rut. But we'll see. It was just a huge relief to hand over the keys and sign my name literally dozens of times in the space of minutes. March was just about the slowest reading month I've had in ages, but it did make for at least one very memorable read. April was a bit better.
23. Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway - Definitely one to savour and not push through. So layered and interspliced. Brilliant, funny, and all kinds of other positive adjectives. My top read of the year so far. See review here.
24. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini - Very cliched yet appropriate. There were a couple decent surprises once the final confrontation with
25. Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk - Builds well upon Shadow's Son [reviewed here] more than nicely. The action scenes are still the best part, but Sprunk is starting to build this into more of an epic. Kit's side story though seemed more like an excuse to explore the past, but it could certainly lead to some interesting things in the finale Shadow's Master.
26. Immobility by Brian Evenson - In a post apocalyptic future a man paralyzed from the waste down is awakened with little memory of who he is. He's then sent out to retrieve something being slug across the back of two men. I wanted this to be just a mite stranger and weird. Don't get me wrong it does detour into Kafkaeque bits, but the ending felt too fitting.
27. Blindsight by Peter Watts - A first contact story as you've never seen it before. A penetrating read into the human mind and how alien aliens can truly be. Also, an awesome take on vampires in space. Truly one of the best Sci-Fi novels of the last decade. Highly recommended.
28. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thomson Walker - This debut looks to make waves as a big release this summer, but it left me a little flat. Maybe the immature narrator didn't push things far enough for me. It does explore a cataclysmic event from an everyday point of view well along with how people reaction to things outside of their control. How the society changes was the most interesting part when people who live off clocktime start ostracizing those living by sun time.
29. The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular by John Arcudi - A hugely funny riff on what it means to be a superhero. What if a slob woke up one morning with the powers of a superhero? What if he didn't care and just wanted to sit around and veg? Throw in a bunch of danger and just laugh your butt off. This is a omnibus of the whole series, which took a while to get put together so some of the references are a bit dated, but there is more than enough to like. These are the same guys who did a long run on The Mask comic series as well. Recommended.
30. Powers by James A. Burton - Overall I enjoyed this Urban Fantasy that leaves the Urban behind for the most part, but the ending felt too neat and tidy. The story itself was a real page turner filled with a lot of action and reveals that propelled things forward. Mythology and gods proliferate the pages, but not necessarily those you're use to seeing. Fans of American Gods would definitely find a lot to like. Recommended.
31. Timeless by Gail Carriger - A very fine capping to one of the most hilarious series of the last few years. Yes, somethings went as expected, but there were some good swerves and many fine laughs along the way. The series is recommended.
32. The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding - As with all the Ketty Jay books it was a blast. It didn't feel as sure footed as the previous two volume, but if you love adventure, strangely appealing characters, and a good heist and you've not reading these you're missing out on some serious fun. The world has filled out very nicely as have the characters. Now we're learning more about the ancient history of the world that is raising the bar. Recommended.
33. Elric: The Balance Lost by Chris Roberson - Moorcock's most beloved character is back in comics. The story goes further than most comics have before combining many of the Multiverse characters for an all out epic. The art is gorgeous and the story is just starting to gain steam as paths cross. Highly recommended.
34. The Croning by Laird Barron - Not only the Horror debut of the year, but perhaps the Horror novel of the year. Laird Barron proved his skills in the short story realm long ago and now he proves he's becoming a master of the longer form as well. The story shows that things left in the shadows can still be scarier than those stories filled with blood and gore dripping on the pages. Old Leech can wait. And he waits for you. Highly recommended.
So you'll probably note a lot of "highly recommended" mentions this month, but there are 3 big standouts. Blindsight amazed me at every turn with its intelligence. Angelmaker is a wild story told exceptionally well. The Croning is a novel filled with dread and isolation, which also has encouraged me to read more Horror. And that's the biggest thing for me. If a book gets me to read more it hasn't just entertained, but inspired me in my own reading habits. Horror has never been an area I've read in any steady way. More like drips and drabs, but I'm going to make it a point to fit them in more regularly. I've already started in on Ligotti's The Noctuary.
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