Posts that have been categorized as: "Books We Love"

Iron Gold

Posted: March 22, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Pierce Brown, Science Fiction

I remember picking up Golden Son for the first time and being surprised at where the author started the story. Red Rising had finished in such a way that, given the thousands of other books I’d read, I fully expected Golden Son to be about Battle School. If any other author had written it, that book just might have been about Battle School instead of starting at the end of those two vicious years of Darrow’s training. And that single fact made not only that book, but the entire series, rise up above so many of those others and give a mighty shout that it would be heard. Thus, it was no surprise to me to learn that after writing three solid books about Darrow’s rise to power, that Mr. Brown should choose to begin the next book in his series after ten years of hard-fought war later. Ten. Years. From what I can tell, Pierce Brown is not only asking himself “What is the next story in this world that I could tell?” when he sits down to write the next book, but “What is the most brilliant next story in this world that I could tell?”. And people, when an author does that for their readers — when he goes all out to deliver a knockout punch every single time — THAT is the kind of author that you want to pay attention to. THAT is the kind of author that you want to give you money to. Because THAT author deserves his coveted title. The title of “Favorite Author”.
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Elysium Fire

Posted: February 15, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction

Negative boring parts. If you’re not familiar with that term, you should likely go and read my review of THE PREFECT, which was one of those Alastair Reynolds books that I just hadn’t gotten to when the release date for this sequel showed up in my email. I mean, yeah, I could just stop reading anything else altogether and go read all of his stuff that I haven’t been able to yet, and it would be awesome. But then EBR would suffer, and I just can’t justify that. Although, I don’t have to plan on catching up on anything before his next novel comes out. Of course, this means that I’ll remember that fact perfectly well the next time I have a hankering for some science fiction goodness instead of forgetting about it until it’s too late. The reason I won’t have to catch up on anything, is because his next two books are going to be direct follow-ups to REVENGER. But until those are available, there’s lots of currently-available goodness to be had from this author. This novel being a prime example.
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Silence Fallen

Posted: February 9, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Tags: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy

A master vampire of Europe, Iacopo Bonarata, is told that Mercy is the most powerful person in the territory protected by the Columbia Basin Pack.

So, of course, he kidnaps her.

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The Prefect

Posted: February 1, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction

After reading Revenger last year, I remember finding out that the next book from Mr. Reynolds was going to be a sequel to this book. As I hadn’t read it yet, I decided to put it on my list of books to read “relatively” soon. I figured I had about a year after all. Color me purple, the sequel caught me completely unawares, and I suddenly realized that I either needed to get on the bandwagon extremely fast, or I was going to have to read that new one without having read the first in the series. Okay, so honestly that second option really wasn’t ever on the table, as the surprise I first felt at finding the sequel in my hands was quickly swept aside by the realization that I now had a valid excuse to read TWO Alastair Reynolds books in a row. Oh goodie goodie for me. So although this review is coming to you all a little late with respect to its actual publication date, I will be following it up with a review for the sequel in short measure. So check this one out, and then watch for my next review in the coming weeks.
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God’s Last Breath

Posted: January 18, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Epic Fantasy, Sam Sykes

I’ve never really gotten into comic books — Ahem. Excuse me — “Graphic novels”. Hey, gimme a break. I’m a child of the 80s and old habits die hard. Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes. I’ve never really been that into graphic novels. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve read a few. And ElfQuest was one series that I voraciously devoured when I first stumbled upon it. Still, despite my very meagre affair with this medium, I can’t help but feel like I need to make a comparison between this book and a graphic novel. I’m fairly certain it’s the fact that the author’s writing style is so visual and visceral that does it for me. It’s what makes this book read like a really detailed graphic novel. The simplicity of his words to imagery. The strong dependence on character to relay the story. I’m not sure exactly. Whatever it is though, no one else does it quite like Sam Sykes.
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Persepolis Rising

Posted: December 5, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction

…and so here I am, writing a review for a book that I haven’t even received in the mail yet, and I realize just how upside-down the world has turned. I mean, YES, I was uber-excited to get the story early, but there’s just something that I miss about being able to turn the actual pages of a real book. The feel of the paper in my fingers, the visual cue of the turning of the page, the smell of it. It all just seems a bit MORE when I get the physical book. When I can see it on my shelf, sitting there staring back at me. For some reason, ebooks just make a story seem somehow…easier than they should. Less substantive. So am I over-exaggerating at all when I tell you I’m even more excited to get my actual book in the mail later tonight, on the date of “publication”, than I was to get the eARC I actually read? Not in the slightest. In fact, I may just have to start reading this one again. When I get home from work tonight. Just…you know…don’t tell my boss or anything. Cause I really should be reading the next book in my queue. 🙂
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A Lot Like Christmas

Posted: November 16, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Love Tags: Connie Willis, Short Fiction

I’ve always loved Connie Willis. She’s the kind of writer who makes reading fun, whose stories engage her readers and really makes them think. Her stories are full of the whimsical, absurd, and humorous with endearing characters, clever prose, and witty dialogue. Connie’s collection of Christmas-themed short stories was first published in 2000, but lucky us, this year we get an updated and expanded edition in A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS. Connie writes Christmas with heart and delight, hope and joy, but still with her signature twisty elements that take you where you don’t expect–and to a better story. I love The Washington Post‘s quote from the flyer insert the publisher included: “A novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness…” What better way to read about Christmas than with “bounce and stylishness” because that implies a joy for the process of telling a story.

All of the short stories are great because she’s not afraid to mix faith and science fiction, allowing religion center stage without forcing it on readers. Here are some of my favorites from the collection.Read the rest of this review »


Posted: November 14, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Love Tags: Brandon Sanderson, Epic Fantasy

The eagerly awaited continuation of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series has arrived. OATHBRINGER is everything you want it to be. It’s big (1233 pages!) and continues the amazing stories from THE WAY OF KINGS and WORDS OF RADIANCE. Buckle in your seat belts, folks.

For those of you who need a refresher about what came before, check out’s “Before Oathbringer” article.Read the rest of this review »

Strange Dogs

Posted: November 9, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction

When originally planning out my review for this one, I thought about beginning with a strongly-worded letter to the publisher about ebooks in general, but decided against it. Instead, I’m going to opt for writing a strongly-worded letter to all publishers of ebooks with the purpose of letting them know about my little beef with the way they’re doing things. So, here we go. “To Whom It May Concern: I am a huge fan of reading awesome books, and I read many of them on the e-reader of my choice. At the bottom of every page of every story I receive for my e-reader is a little percentage scale, which I quite frequently reference while reading, that let’s me know just how far I am into the story and how much goodness I have left to go. This tool has become a staple for me when reading books for the purpose of reviewing them. While reading this book, however, I came to a point that my e-reader’s scale said was about 65% of the way through the book when I found these unexpected words on the next page: THE END. I was incredibly perturbed by finding that the story I was reading was inexplicably over, and that the remaining 35% of the file was filled with sample chapters I had no interest in reading whatsoever. Hrm. How to say this nicely? Please do not do this to me again. There. If you want to give me sample chapters, which I am usually quite amenable to receiving, please instead include a link to said sample chapters on your website or other online location so that I do not feel cheated when suddenly finishing the awesome stories I expected to get in the first place. Thank you. Sincerely Yours, Your Somewhat-Disgruntled Yet Still Mostly-Friendly Neighborhood Team of Elitists”
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The Creeping Shadow

Posted: October 24, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Love Tags: Horror, Johnathan Stroud, Middle Grade

I suppose I should be embarrassed for the squees involved in a series meant for middle grade readers. Certainly I am an Elitist, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give recognition where it is due. And Johnathan Stroud is due recognition for a smart, well-written, engaging horror series known as Lockwood & Co.

In THE HOLLOW BOY Lucy’s ability to talk to ghosts changes everything, and she learns that if she stays with the company her presence may be the result of Lockwood’s death. So, out of loyalty and love for her friend and co-worker, she leaves to become a freelancer. In the opening of THE CREEPING SHADOW we see how Lucy is handling her new life–and learning the hard way how much more competent Lockwood and Co. is than other ghost hunting groups. Sure she misses her old team, but is determined to never go back.

She sticks to her plan until the day Lockwood shows up at her little apartment to hire her for a job that the famed Penelope Fittes wants them to do–and it requires Lucy’s special listening skills. How can she say no?Read the rest of this review »