In an effort to get somewhat caught up and for me to keep things straight in my own head here are the books I've read the last few months. Lots of very memorable reads and some that weren't quite as good as I hoped.
35. Redshirts by John Scalzi - Scalzi nails this send-up of early Star Trek. See review here.
36. Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards - Salyards and Arki are the heir apparents to Glen Cook and Croaker. Black Company fans may have just found their new favorite series though I did have a few problems with it, which my review describes.
37. Noctuary by Thomas Ligotti - It has been many years since I got into Ligotti, but he hasn't lost any of the weird edge that defines his fiction. This was the Sub Press definitive edition, which is quite a nice version. Highly recommended.
38. The Mongoliad by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, etc. - More of a Historical novel rather then a Historical Fantasy. Very little in the way of magic, but the emphasis is on realism, especially in terms of sword fighting, which is quite well done. The culture of the Mongols is explored extensively with their daily life, ruthlessness, and empire building. Those parts were the most interesting while the Templar-like group is kept at the fringes of things too much. I'm on the fence about the series as it doesn't have enough action for me but will be checking out the next volume to see if it grabs me a bit more.
39. Amped by Daniel H. Wilson - Wilson's follow-up to Robopocalypse (review here) isn't as strong, but definitely had a good Tech-Action vibe that kept me engrossed. The characters are a bit too shallow, especially the secondary players, but it gives off the big-budget action movie vibe that will draw casual readers. Recommend with reservations.
40. The Broken Universe by Paul Melko - Melko's sequel to The Walls of the Universe (review here) ups the ante involving more alternative universes, which calls in some of the secret players. We finally get some pay off for Easter eggs laid in the first book, but Melko is still holding out on us. Recommended, especially for alternative universe story lovers.
41. The King's Blood by Daniel Abraham - Abraham makes financials and commerce some of most interesting themes going in Fantasy today. While I'm not as deeply in to the series as his Long Price Quartet this is still a can't miss series. I think the best is still to come and considering how good this series already is Abraham may leave us breathless. Highly recommend.
42. Worldsoul by Liz Williams - Williams gets an A+ for imagination and world-building, but a B- for characterization and flow. For a book so slim she pack 12 pounds in a 10 pound sack and it shows. Librarian warriors, forgotten gods, and politics mix nicely, but due to too many POVs and seemingly disparate story lines it does become difficult to follow. I'm willing to say it might have been me and my reading patterns though as it might have worked better with fewer reading sessions.
43. Legion by Brandon Sanderson - This is not the Sanderson most of us are use to, which isn't a bad thing. It feels more like the experimental Sanderson. The story is contemporary in nature and plays as a more psychological thriller with one character who manifests other personalities. To go much further into it would ruin things. Recommend and I hope he does more with these characters, but don't come in expecting Fantasy/Magic.
44. Prepare to Die! by Paul Tobin - Very much influenced by Watchmen. It has the dark grittiness of Alan Moore and the adolescent introspection of Nick Hornby. Definitely a boy book as the female characters have no depth or agency of their own. But I love the origin stories and action. A can't miss for comic book fans. Highly recommended.
45. The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis - Tregillis more than lived up to my hopes brought about by Bitter Seeds [review here], which were high. No sense of middle book syndrome at all. Every nuanced character is still here and Gretel's plans all come to fruition. Definitely in the running for one of my favorite books of the year.
46. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper - One of the funniest and most touching books I've read this year. A has been rock star is confronted with is mortality. Hilarity ensues. Highly recommended.
47. Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe - Everyone's favorite sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse is back and he's sea sick. While this isn't the best novel in the series it is still quite entertaining and introduces a female sword jockey you'll almost instantly fall in love with. Recommended.
48. After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh - Definitely in the running for collection of the year, especially for those who like their fiction a bit more dour. McHugh is a master wordsmith. Highly recommended.
49. Railsea by China Mieville - Even Mieville light can be weird. Giant moles run amok in a world crisscrossed with railroad lines and plenty people looking for revenge. Recommended.
50. Irredeemable Vol 1. by Mark Waid - Ana amazing start to the simple idea of an all powerful superhero ala Superman going mad. Highly recommended.
51. Alexander Outland: Space Pirate by G.J. Koch - Justin gave this an awesome review that is spot on, which also cinched this as a read for me. Ice Pirates meets Firefly indeed. A bit lighter, and funnier though. Outland is a keeper. Recommend for when you need a laugh and some good action. Just don't think about the science too much.
52. Black Bottle by Anthony Huso- This has much of the beauty, grace, and strangeness of The Last Page (review here), but has lost something as well. The major problem was I felt lost and confused more than a few times even with re-reads of chapters. There is a good payoff in the end yet I have a feeling it will be hard for everyone to get there. Even with some deep reservations Huso has created one of the most original worlds found in fiction today. I'm eager to see what he'll do next.
53. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Compared to the other two Cemetery of Forgotten Books this is an extremely light, yet endearing story. Fermin takes center stage who is just as lovable, but the story itself felt too inconsequential at times even though some mysteries are solved some of which I hadn't even realized were mysteries. Recommended. I think this is one I'll like more upon a future re-read.
54. Year Zero by Rob Reid - Decent, but I kept feeling like if the characters had a bit more depth it would have been an amazing book. Instead it is just a nice, fun read. See short review here.
55. Shadow Show edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle - Can you say anthology of the year? Because I know I can. I still have a few left to read, but I had to put it down just because I don't want to be done with it. They have done Bradbury a great honor.
56. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig - A brash female anti-hero is just what Urban Fantasy needed. With wit and a genuine darkside this is a fabulous series starter. Highly recommended, especially if you like foul mouthed people.
57. Irredeemable Volume 2 & 3 by Mark Waid - Again an outstanding take on superheros gone wild. Man, there is some dark stuff in here.
58. The Goon: The Deformed of Body and Devious of Mind - Volume 11 by Eric Powell - Powell slams Twilight, Hobos, and carnies right in the face with this one. Still some of the best art found in graphic novels today.
59. "Rose of Fire" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The prequel story to the creation of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. A nice little fill-in, but it wasn't as magical as I had been hoping. It is free and worth much more than that to me.
60. The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett - The best Epic Fantasy I've read all year and yes I know I'm behind the curve on this one, but I had to wait until I knew the next book was in sight. The Daylight War will be read as soon as I get my greedy hands on it.
61. Elric: The Balance Lost: Vol 2 by Chris Roberson - Yes, I'm on a bit of a comic kick at the moment. If you're an Elric fan grab this series. It is a little messy, but it is coming together quite nicely.
62. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson - A brilliant cross of Hackers, Middle Eastern Society and Djinn. Highly recommended. See review here.
63. Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill - This is where the origins of many things are uncovered. Highly recommended.
64. Irredeemable Vol 4 & 5 by Mark Waid - The story is starting to feel too stretched at this point, but I'm intrigued enough to go a little further or skip ahead to the last couple volumes.
63. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines - Loved, loved this book. The story Hines has been working himself up to. Highly recommended and check out the interview I did with him this summer.
64. The Light is the Darkness by Laird Barron - Dark gods, evil science, and combat are thrown together in this novella, which packs more in than many novels. I didn't find it as strong as Barron's The Croning, but it was a nice treat related to some of his other short fiction. Recommended.
65. The Broken Isles by Mark Charan Newton - The fourth and final book in the Legends of the Red Sun ended things well, almost too well as I would have liked a little more exploration of the world and especially Frater Mercury. Overall, this is an above average series that mixes Epic Fantasy, future histories, and a bit of the Weird to good effect. It paints a far future that is rough, weird, and believable.
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FREE FICTION | Carlos Ruiz Zafon's origin story of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books