There is just something about assassin novels that I love. A while back when I read Jon Sprunk‘s SHADOW’S SON, I was immediately struck by how smooth the novel was, and how fun the main character was. Sprunk’s first novel wasn’t perfect, but it was loaded with promise.
As you all know by now, when it comes to judging new authors I use a slightly different measuring stick. With the first book I want to be pleasantly surprised. The second book is all about improvement. I’m happy to report (and very relieved, because Sprunk is a ridiculously nice guy with an even nicer wife) that Sprunk’s second novel SHADOW’S LURE is better in nearly every way when compared to his first novel.Read the rest of this review »
Know No Fear
KNOW NO FEAR marks the 19th book of the Horus Heresy series. For those of you who are unaware, Warhammer 40,000 is a table top game set in the 41st millennia: in the grim darkness of the future there is only war. Anyway Warhammer 40,000 is epic in the truest sense of the word, a science fiction universe with a slathering of dark fantasy thrown in for good measure. For a table top game it has a surprisingly rich and detailed history due to contributions from some great fiction authors. The greatest of those authors is without a doubt, Dan Abnett and the greatest event in the history of the game’s whole shared-world fiction is the Horus Heresy.Read the rest of this review »
The Highest Frontier
I grew up in a small farming community in Oregon, so when I left for university–with a student body three times that of my hometown–it’s reasonable to say that it was an intimating experience. THE HIGHEST FRONTIER by Joan Slonczewski reminded me about those first overwhelming months. Except with way cooler stuff.Read the rest of this review »
Wow! Is it just me or has Orbit quietly become one of the better SF&F publishers out there? It seems that just a few years ago I was joking about them, yet here we are now, and they have Daniel Abraham publishing some excellent books (THE DRAGON’S PATH and LEVIATHAN WAKES). Jeff Somers has been writing some addictive and fun SF with his Avery Cates novels. Mira Grant and N.K. Jemisin both were nominated for Hugo’s last year for best novel. And now I’ve discovered Philip Palmer.Read the rest of this review »
The Language of Dying
Horror writers often get a bad stigma attached to them. It seems like no matter who you are (with a few notable exceptions), once you are a “Horror author” you are looked at as not being a good writer. I’ll admit that I was one of those super judgmental folks before I began this blog. I’ve since learned that genre has nothing to do with writing quality. Read the rest of this review »
Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon
In my experience, history is a dry and rather boring subject that has made me more prone to “study by osmosis” than other, obviously more effective, methods of gray-matter absorption. There has been but one exception to that rule in my short lifetime, and that exception was my high school AP history teacher. History was not just another subject for her. History was LIFE. It had substance, it had breath; it had body and it had soul. Her passion for the stories of history and the people that populated those tales made me open my eyes and want to learn–not just to get a good grade in the class, or to see what I might glean from mistakes of the past, but to feel and know what it was like to be a part of that past. She made me love History, and no one else has ever had that same effect.
Until now.Read the rest of this review »
SHADOW’S MASTER is Jon Sprunk‘s concluding volume (maybe) to his assassin-themed series published by Pyr. It’s a series of books that I quite enjoy due to its fast-paced nature, fun characters and extreme quantities of action. The first novel, SHADOW’S SON, was a great debut novel that lacked some polish while tempting readers with its potential. SHADOW’S LURE was about as good of a sequel as I could ask for. It improved on nearly all my problems from the first novel.Read the rest of this review »
Prince of Thorns
I’d heard so much about Mark Lawrence‘s PRINCE OF THORNS. In fact, I’d heard so much that I was starting to fall into the “There is so much hype that it is bound to be terrible” camp. I finally caved and went out and bought the novel. And holy crap…wow. Didn’t catch that the first time? Let me restate that. Holy Fraking Crap! This novel was AWESOME!Read the rest of this review »
Eyes to See
Anyone looking for some more Dresden-ish stuff? PI with a dark past stalking the urban fantastical with ghosties and ghoulies galore to entertain? Sound interesting? I’m sure to some of you it will. In all honesty, I’ve only ever read the first two Dresen novels–yes, you will probably throw things at me for this. Just please avoid tomatoes as I might be violently allergic–but I did enjoy them both, and although the Dresden books are a bit better, I think I can easily throw this book in with those without a second thought.
EYES TO SEE is by no means Joseph Nassise’s first novel–he has something like twelve others under his belt. This is, however, his first novel with Tor, and is a pretty good showing overall.Read the rest of this review »