Reviews by Writer Dan

Review

Children of Blood and Bone

Posted: August 20, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Tomi Adeyemi, Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy
Children of Blood and Bone

I think there are a lot of readers these days that are “coming to an awareness” of the fact that there are considerably more books written by people that belong to neither the male half nor the white portion of the world’s population. Whether they’ve come to that realization by dint of the more vocal portion of the reader/authorship populace, or just because of their own level of self-awareness, I think that it’s by-and-large a good thing. At least, if they decide to do anything about it. I’ve always been one to share my opinion that I’m a staunch supporter of this widening of our story-source base. At the same time, however, I do my best to never pull any punches expressly because of who the author of a book is or what they’ve decided to write about. If a story is good, I’ll crow about it. If I feel like it let me down, I’m going to say so. And why. I am trying to review these things, after all, right?

This book is the first of my concerted efforts to make sure that the books I choose to read are “diverse” enough. Prior to this point, I just plainly never paid attention. I read what I was given. Granted, there were definitely times when I steered away from cliched-sounding YA or those that looked like they were going to be primarily romantic in nature, but that was about the extent of my filtering. The decision to diversify my reading choices will by no means keep me from passing by a book that just doesn’t sound interesting, regardless of who wrote the thing. It will, however, encourage me to make sure that I’m looking for options that will widen my view of what is currently being written in today’s publication sphere. I know there are going to be some of our readers that will groan at this, and some that crow. I hope to be able to both disappoint and please all of you in turns and become better overall as a result. Wish me luck.
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Review

Reincarnation Blues

Posted: July 23, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Michael Poore, Fantasy
Reincarnation Blues

Had this one sitting on my shelf at home for quite a while. Picked it up to try and read a few times, and ended up putting it back down again. I finally decided that I was going to punch this one out though, as there were so many great reviews for it on Amazon. Wish I’d just listened to my first impressions of the opening sequence and forgotten the whole thing. Realistically, I should have been put off by the fact that the title includes the moniker: A novel. That’s pretty much always a dead giveaway that a book’s going to be exactly the kind of item to disappoint me.
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Review

Permafrost

Permafrost

I have to admit, I was really holding out for this story being a good one. After being supremely disappointed with what I found in the previous two (unrelated) hardback novellas that I read, I just wasn’t ready to find out that one of my favorite Science Fiction authors had written a dud as well. I should have taken a clue from the publication gods though when I saw that this one had not been put into a hardback. So obviously it was going to be different than the other two, right? After this whole hurrah of novellas from various authors, it really surprises me that those that were hardbacks really didn’t cut the mustard, and the one that probably deserved to be a hardback… didn’t get it. Man, the world’s funny sometimes, isn’t it?
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Review

Artificial Condition

Artificial Condition

If you read my previous review, you’ll know that I recently ran through a few novellas. This is the second of those shorties that I read. I was actually pretty excited to get to it. Although out of the bunch, it definitely sat near the bottom. I mean, the competition was Robert Jackson Bennett (EBR Archive) and Alastair Reynolds (EBR Archive), which both sit pretty high on my scale of READ-THESE-AUTHORS-NOW. I had recently read the first in the Murderbot series (Vanessa’s EBR Review) and liked it quite a bit. So this step was kind of the next natural one to take, yeah?
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Review

Vigilance

Vigilance

I recently found a rash of novellas at my local library from authors that I enjoy reading, and I picked up a few of them. This is the first of those, and was likely the one I was second most excited about to read. Robert Jackson Bennett has been a favorite of mine ever since I stumbled across his Divine Cities series (EBR Archive), and so picking this one up was a no-brainer.
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Review

Machine Learning

Machine Learning

So it’s been a little while since I’ve read any short fiction. In general, I tend to watch for anthologies with lots of new authors (so I can find new sources of awesomeness) or collections of authors that I already know are good. However, I’d heard so dang much good stuff about the Silo trilogy (but still never read it) that when this collection showed up in our pile, I was quick to snatch it up. As it turns out, I’m very glad that I did.
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Review

Every Dead Thing

Posted: June 18, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: John Connolly, Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Every Dead Thing

I forget when or how I first came across this book, and I’ve been wanting to read it again for quite some time now so that I could write up a coherent review of it. Just never got around to it. Well, the 17th book in the series that grew from the roots of this book was recently released in the UK (US release coming mid-October), and so I figured this was as good a time as any to dive back into this one, and find out if it would be just as good this time around as I remembered it being the first time.
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Review

Thin Air

Thin Air

So it’s been a while since we’ve had a new Richard Morgan book, yeah? Even longer since it was a science fiction book, as Morgan spent a bundle of time trying his hand at the grimdark fantasy genre with A LAND FIT FOR HEROES (EBR Archive). In general, we here at EBR haven’t been particularly enamored with any of his stuff. Fantasy, Science Fiction, or otherwise. It’s just all sat itself solidly in the middle of mediocrity for us. So, if I’m being completely honest… I put this off for a while. And when I finally decided to bite the bullet and pick it up, I wasn’t overly surprised by what I found.
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Review

Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot

So I recently read on social media (that salacious den of way-too-accurate ads and oodles of wasted time), that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost had optioned a book series called Rivers of London by some bloke named Ben Aaronovitch (Official Announcement) for a movie. I’ve absolutely loved all of the movies from Pegg and Frost that I’ve seen, and as the book was listed as being “urban fantasy”, I thought it worth a few ticks of my progressively aging ticker.
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Review

Revelation Space

Revelation Space

Alastair Reynolds has been in my top five favorite authors essentially since the first novel of his that I ever read. Want to say that was House of Suns (Amazon), back before I ever started writing for EBR. He handles the mix of science and character better than just about any other science fiction author that I’ve read to date. Thus, this series has been on my radar and in my TBR pile for what is now way too much time. Because this book is fantastic. Absolutely mind-smashingly fantastic, in point of fact. It’s sort of warping my brain a little that this was the guy’s debut novel. So yeah, this book has been around for a while, and I just couldn’t put off reading it any longer. If you haven’t read it yet… well you shouldn’t put off reading it any longer either. Want to be convinced? Here we go.
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