Next ten books, and we’ve got some doozies here.
Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake
For a first book, this is a pretty good story and a nice easy read. Loved the easy style and the take on the supernatural world, particularly everyone’s willingness not to notice it.
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was immediately sucked in by the writing style of the first few pages, but quickly realised I wasn’t connecting with the female saccharine sweet main character while the male lead apparently had no redeeming features. My first instinct was Mary Sue and… what is the antithesis of a Mary Sue? After the mid-point, things changed, and I’m glad I stuck with the book. Some of the communications issues struck a little too close to home, and the unveiling of the true nature of the main characters was a slow-motion car crash, one I couldn’t look away from. This wasn’t a cheap twist ending, but a true slow reveal, and love it or loathe it, definitely a book worth reading.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor
To be fair, I picked this up at the local supermarket. I bought it partly because of the blurb, but partly because of the cover. I was 2/3rds of the way in before I realised I’d read the first book in this series some time ago, and that I hadn’t particularly enjoyed it. Strangely enough, I did really enjoy this one
The Last Guardian – David Gemmell
Pulp fiction in its truest form. Gemmell books are filled with familiar characters, familiar situations, and little in the way of deeper meaning. I love them for that. This book is no different, if you’ve read Gemmell, you’ve already ready this book, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit it. Heroes and adventure, light and easy.
The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
This book is both awesome and painful. The writing style makes the character real, their mental collapse intimate, and their situation familiar. It also hurts my brain. This is a must-read, but it’s a must-read ONCE. To be fair I wouldn’t have picked this book up normally, not a style I particularly seek out, and I guess I have to thank Tertiary Education for pointing me in this direction. Definitely a book that makes you think.
The Golden City – John Twelve Hawks
Again the last book in an ongoing series, and one I hadn’t seen the beginning of. Unlike Gods and Monsters, this book did not stand on its own and given the style I won’t be going back to look at the rest.
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
A revisit to an old favourite. I think every nerd, geek and fantasy freak I know has a copy of this stashed away on their bookcase. Arguably one of Gaiman’s best works and certainly one of my inspirations. The idea that gods are sustained by belief is hardly new, nor that gods very natures are shaped by their followers, but it is rarely address so well.
Hot Sleep – Orson Scott Card
Well… that was a snooze fest. Mediocre first half, then a whole new sub-par story for the second half. This one goes in the resell-to-the-bookstore pile
Big Brother – Lionel Shriver
I must admit, Shriver confuses me. Her work is the gives you the depth and unchallenging read of genre fiction, without any of the entertainment value and escapism. If I wanted to lose myself in a dreary world with superficial hat tips to the societies underlying problems I’d stay at work with Facebook open.
Proxima /&/ Ultima – Stephen Baxter
Okay, so two books rather than one. That’s okay, its also a dozen stories rather than two. Baxter takes us on a long and epic journey through several generations of a particular family. Think an alternate history that takes the long look at unfolding events. The first book was powerful, leaving me wanting to know more. The second, however, didn’t give me what I needed. Maybe it’s the revolving cast of characters, but I lost interest. It may also be that there are so many interesting secondary characters that I would rather be following. Still, some truly massive ideas here, and well worth checking out.