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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

Mad Hatter's Reading Log Vol. 6 (Late-May to June)

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.

You Might Also Like:
REVIEW | The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
REVIEW | Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton
REVIEW | Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout
REVIEW | Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson
REVIEW | Kraken by China Mieville


Anonymous said...

Hi Stefan

How is the "Ex-Heroes" book? I wanted to try it but haven't really gotten around to it as reviews have been pretty diverse about it.

Would like to hear more about it, thanks


xaraan said...

The book club at my site I work with read 'Ex-Heroes" several months ago. Good book. Ex-patriots should be out soon (think it's already out in e format). We did an interview with Peter Clines with the book club as well, he is a cool guy. Definitely would recommend people giving it a read, it's fun, moves well and everyone enjoyed it in the club.

Mad Hatter Review said...

Stefan? I'm Michael.

Ex Heroes is worth your time if you're a fan of Superheroes and Zombies. The story moves along very well and switches points of view to most of the heroes giving back-story and showcases their abilities and how they're used in the Zombie aftermath. And even though they are heroes the author still portrays them as fallible and human. And as Jeremy mentioned the sequel Ex-Patriots is coming out this Fall and the audio book is already available.