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Search tags: Series-to-try-in-2015
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text 2016-09-25 21:07
Audiobook listen!
Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden

I started listening to this after I finished my relisten of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have a friend who recommended it to me ages ago!

 

Wow! It is really riveting. I'm not quite to the halfway point, but I'm totally engaged. I'm trying to decide if I am going to listen to them all, or if I want them for my personal library in paperback. They are available used on amazon & I think my son would like them if I could get him to give them a try!

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text 2015-08-28 17:39
Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

I can't help thinking that this could have made, or possibly could still someday be, a very good video game.

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review 2015-04-20 15:43
Flintlock fantasy
Promise of Blood - Brian McClellan

I love epic fantasy. I also want to love epic fantasy.

 

See, a lot of epic fantasy is purely awful. Turgid prose, clunky infodumping, one-dimensional characters that are so filled with wish-fulfillment that their violet eyes glow. Writing good fantasy is not easy. It is just as hard as writing any sort of fiction well, with the added burden of building a coherent, interesting world. Done well, it is entrancing. Done poorly, it makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots.

 

Promise of Blood is pretty good fantasy. For me, it doesn't rise to the level of great fantasy, like Lord of the Rings, but then again, that it is a high bar to jump.

 

Like much fantasy, it starts with a bang, then slows dramatically as the reader becomes acquainted with the world. There are familiarities - I am strongly reminded of the French revolution. There are also things that I didn't understand about the magic system. Perhaps they will become more clear, perhaps they don't matter. I am also reminded of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, which makes sense, since the author credits Sanderson with being his mentor.

 

The book picks up again near the end, propelled toward the conclusion. 

 

I'll be continuing with the series. There are a number of short stories and novellas that were published after the first book, which I will probably read next. Some are prequels, some occur following the events of book 1.

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review 2015-03-22 23:38
A bit slow, but still a lot of fun
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

So, this book hit so many of my personal buttons, that I am able to forgive it the whole "vampire romance" aspect, which does basically nothing for me.

 

Oxford - check.

Witches - check.

Academia - check.

 

I absolutely love books written about academia, if that academia includes the dreaming spires of Oxford, so much the better. I love historical stories, and if those historical stories include witches, again, so much the better.

 

This book was too long, and the romance was more than a little irritating. I dislike the fact that Diana is unable to use her magic, and I am hopeful that that the author will get on with that part of the story and solve that problem, because it grows annoying.

 

But, overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. So much so that I'm reading right into book two of the series:

 

 

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review 2015-01-18 18:26
The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam) by Jasper Fforde
The Last Dragonslayer - Jasper Fforde

I am a Jasper Fforde novice. I think that maybe one time a long time ago I tried to read his nursery rhyme crime book and got distracted. 

 

Ooh shiny.

 

I've not read his most well-known series, which starts with The Eyre Affair, although I think I would like it. 

 

But one of my F&B friends is in love with the series, so we have purchased all of the books, and it is on my Long List of Series to Evaluate This Year, so I decided to read it. Finally.

 

Loved it. Some of the characters reminded me a lot of Roald Dahl - the witches, the villain (and what a hilariously appropriate and self-inflicted end he comes to), the world building which relies, more or less, on unbridled crony capitalism to bring about the end of the world as they know it. It's satirical, pointed, funny, quirky and downright subversive, and calls out humanity for some of our most unattractive failings. I spent so much of the time reading this book smiling.

 

Awesomeness. 

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