I’ve built a boat in my back garden over the last week weeks waiting for it to rain enough so that I can sail away. This weekend the water level rose to critical levels and so with boat all packed with tinned food and books. I’m off.

I’m hoping that I won’t get too blown off course so that I’ll be back in two weeks or so. I’m not leaving any posts scheduled as I think that you probably need two weeks of catchup time to read the books you already have without me suggesting any more.

That’s not to say I’m going bookless. Far from it. I have a dedicated bag and the tally comes up to 10. I’m always too optimistic about my reading but I’d rather not be forced to read a book I’m hating if I don’t have any others to choose.

I’ve packed a mix of comfort reading and Summer Reads 2009 and Guest reads. Well see how I get on.

Have fun!

Back about the 17th.


A total of 132 books, 11 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist of 13 books, which is:

A S Byatt The Children’s Book (Chatto)

J M Coetzee Summertime (Harvill Secker)

Adam Foulds The Quickening Maze (Jonathan Cape)

Sarah Hall How to Paint a Dead Man (Faber)

Samantha Harvey The Wilderness (Jonathan Cape)

James Lever Me Cheeta (Fourth Estate)

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)

Simon Mawer The Glass Room (Little, Brown)

Ed O’Loughlin Not Untrue & Not Unkind (Penguin – Ireland)

James Scudamore Heliopolis (Harvill Secker)

Colm Toibin Brooklyn (Viking)

William Trevor Love and Summer (Viking)

Sarah Waters The Little Stranger (Virago)

Here is a list of books that I wouldn’t see every day. This needs some thinking about. According to Wikipedia  the Man Booker is:

is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland.

The important word here is literary. It’s not a dirty word or anything like that but it does put a certain emphasis on depth and quality of prose. These might not be to every ones taste and I’ll happily admit that it’s not a genre I spend a lot of time in. Mostly because I enjoy escapism in my fiction and literature rightly or wrongly always makes me think of spotlights and onions. Spotlights as they can be very unforgiving lighting up every crease and pore. And onions because they peel away the layers exposing things.

That’s not always true it’s a good enough shorthand for my first thoughts when I hear the world. It’s also that lingering and layers that I find too rich on occasion and too long and boring on others.

I do always pause when the Booker list comes out.  It’s an interesting snapshot of a the other side  of fiction. I like my reading to contain ideas but also sense of escapism and otherness. Something away from reality. So the question comes up. What would I choose to read from the Booker?

The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters immediately stands out.  Not only is it part of my Summer Reads 2009 but is falls into the otherness category being a ghost story et al.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Part of the blurb on Amazon says:

With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

See I wasn’t wrong when I was talking about onions. I can’t help but think of Carry on Henry but I was recommended this one by someone on Twitter and it’s one that has been on the radar for a bit.

Those are the obvious ones for me. I’m struggling to choose any of the other 11 that interests me. I’m sure they are all interesting in their own way but nothing that makes me think I need to read that.

Nope I genuinely can’t that if I had a voucher for Waterstones burning a hole in my pocket I’d pick any of the rest. I wonder what that says about me and literately fiction or at least me and the Booker choices?

I think this is brilliant:

Orbit is pleased to note that this September, you’ll be able to hear as well as read Iain M. Banks’ forthcoming novel TRANSITION. Little, Brown UK announced today that the audio version will be simultaneously released as a free serialized podcast, starting on UK publication day, September 3.

After the first installment, there will be 23 further 15-minute episodes released on iTunes in the US and UK, every Thursday and Saturday for 12 weeks, until the entire novel is available.

Maja Thomas, vice president of digital publishing for Hachette Livre said “Hachette Digital is very pleased to participate in this collaborative marketing on an author we’re publishing internationally, and to bring Iain Banks to new listeners through iTunes.”

You can find more info here.


I must admit to liking my blog, though I would say that wouldn’t I? But I get to hear about some great things like this.

Red House Children’s Book Club is having a bit of a re-launch and turning into My School Book Club. I’m repeating the press release below but the best selling point came in the email:

The way it works is that teachers, department heads or school librarians sign up to the scheme and a personalised My School Book Club website is developed for their school free of charge. Pupils and parents are encouraged to start using the site and an impressive 20% of the value of all purchases made through the site is returned to the school to be spent on books for their school library.

Doesn’t that sound good? I’ve had a quick look around and my favourite things is the wide selection of books and the way it’s been split into ages. It looks a really helpful way for parents and children to choose books.

I think it’s a wonderful idea especially when I’m sure I’d heard they were thinking of closing school libraries in some places. I could be wrong about that but it’s a good way of getting some more money for stock either way.

 

myschoolbookclub

The My School Book Club project represents the 21st century evolution of the familiar school book club concept. This new online service provides children with an engaging interactive literary community, offers parents direct access to a wide range of quality assured and competitively priced titles, whilst also delivering a significant new revenue stream for schools.

FOR SCHOOLS…
My School Book Club offers free registration and the development of a personalised school book club website. The site is free to run and is automatically updated each month with new titles. Significantly, the school earns 20% of the value of each purchase through its My School Book Club site in redeemable book vouchers. 

FOR PARENTS…
My School Book Club offers a hassle-free, online book club service. The books are competitively priced, with discounts of up to 50% off the most popular titles, and quality-assured, with each title individually selected by a panel of experienced literacy professionals and leading children’s authors. The books, which include perennially popular classics and the latest works from contemporary authors, are divided into categories covering Baby and Toddler to Age 9 and Upwards, with Pocket Money books for as little as 99p and Graphic Novels for less confident readers. The service allows parents to actively participate in the literary development of their child, whilst also providing the opportunity to enhance the literary environment of their school.

FOR CHILDREN…
My School Book Club presents a child-friendly, interactive literary community aimed at engaging children with books and reading. Each site includes downloadable audio and video clips, informative and entertaining articles on all aspects of reading and literature, competitions, access to signed copies from popular authors and illustrators and a range of carefully vetted literary links.

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The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Published by UK Tor and Out Now

I have a problem with The Last Colony. It has this character Jane Sagan in it who is a main character from The Ghost Brigades and I can’t remember here. I can’t remember much of it to be honest. And I’ve been wondering why it hasn’t stuck with me.

I know I enjoyed it at the time and that the story of it’s main character, Jared Dirac, was quite powerful but I’m lost if I can recall too much about it. Though I’ve been having a flick through and it’s coming back to me.

Why am I mentioning it? It could be to point out that I’ve now got a memory life a sieve of it could be that it comes down to something in the characters that Scalzi is creating. They are only alive in the story itself. Once the story ends so does the characters.

Picking up The Last Colony is a new story and the characters feel different as they have a different story to tell. The Obin don’t remind me of the same characters seen before and neither does Sagan. I can’t comment on John Perry but I’m looking forward to reading Old Man’s War and seeing him in earlier days.

This isn’t a problem but it is more than curious. Scalzi has made a constructed, accessible sci-fi that’s brilliantly entertaining but it’s not going to linger. Not that every story should but there is probably scope for him to spend longer and delve into his characters whilst not sacrificing his excellent plotting.

And the plotting of The Last Colony is clever. He sets it up brilliantly including the twist in the middle that give the novel its title. Scalzi has a few comments on modern society. The idea of historical colonialism by killing the original inhabitants is attacked quite successfully. There is a great sense of community. I felt a great sense of affinity with the ‘enemy’ here as does John Perry though he does what he’s supposed to in the end.

I enjoyed The Last Colony immensely but I’m not sure if it’s a story that will stay with me. Not that every story should and it’s entertaining and clever. And I’d be more than happy to read another John Scalzi tale, good job I’ve got Old Man’s War and Zoe’s Tale lined up.

LordofSilence.jpg

Lord of Silence by Mark Chadbourn
Published by Solaris and Out Now in UK (US release is 28th July)

I’m sure I’ve said it before but Mark Chadbourn via his heavily linked trilogies, Age of Misrule, The Dark Ages and Kingdom of the Serpent, is my favourite writer of modern fantasy. You’d this makes reviewing a work that isn’t linked to this series a little hard. And you’d be right.

Lord of Silence is and isn’t a departure for Chadbourn. Still here are the themes of anti-heroes, friendships, religion, symbology, and hidden knowledge but this time we’ve moved from modern day, multi-continent, multi-religion setting to a city-state surrounded by an almost impenetrable forest though the multi-religions remain.

Chadbourn has us follow two main threads starting with the murder of Idriss’s greatest hero. Vidar, the Lord of Silence has to take his place. The murder makes the start of events that are going to shake the foundations of both Idriss and Vidar. Vidar must solve the mystery of a three thousand year-old religion and its connection to the vampiric jewel imbedded in his chest.

And to be honest it’s quite an interesting mystery. Especially when you look at all the clues that are placed and the revelations throughout the story that gives a few twists in the tale. It’s not billed as the start of a series but you can see that by the end the possibilities for one are opened up.

As much as I enjoyed it by the end there is a strange sense of frustration in parts that I’m was missing something. The trouble is that Chadbourn is trying very hard to keep things from the reader and not to make things obvious. So it does get slightly confusing and the questions that come up don’t really have any satisfactory answers.

Like the nature of the forest and why it is surrounding Idriss – there is an answer of sorts but the greater sense of the place is left out. This partly because as it might spoil the sense of claustrophobia but also that there are more tales to tell and they might come to reveal more.

This holding back does make it a little tricky in the middle but we get back on track when Chadbourn reveals more evening bringing the question of science into this seemingly straight fantasy novel.

I feel that I’m treating Lord of Silence slightly too harshly as it is supposed to be less deep and more action than Chadbourn’s big series. The trouble is it seems that he’s fighting with himself not too go exploring more and delve deeper into the characters and the world with the action parts. The balance isn’t quite there.

The good thing is that if there are any more books he’s laid a good foundation with both characters and the world they inhabit – he’s definitely knocked down the walls of Idriss only to bring more enemies to the gate.

Overall a Chadbourn has made a worthy stab at traditional fantasy giving it his own twist. I’d just like to have seem more exploration of the world and people of Idriss but I was happy at the end and possibilities he’s left open.


This week has been a little quiet on the blog. I’ve been distracted by reading. And if you’ve seen my Summer Reads post you’d know why.

I’ve finished both Lord of Silence by Mark Chadbourn and The Last Colony by John Scalzi. Meaning I know have three books that I need to review. The other one is Voices by Arnaldur Indridason.

All three are worth reading but aren’t shining examples of the authors work I’ll explain that more in the reviews that are coming this week. It is harder to review books that you like I think. You can’t just gush but you also can’t let the weaknesses overtake the positives.

I’m 30 or so pages in to In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan. I’m hoping to have that and Wireless by Charlie Stross finished this week.

There are a few news stories that I’m meaning to get to as well. One is Amazon deleting (and refunding) already downloaded Kindle books and the other is the Daily Mail on Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. I’ve only just got a copy of Tender Morsels so I’ll need to get more of it read before I wade into that argument. Amazon seems to have heard the cries and said they won’t might pull Kindle titles but not delete them from users in future. The irony being that it was titles by Orwell that caused the problem.

I haven’t had time to catch up with the RSS feed this week so that might make have to make a move away from it’s normal Sunday slot or have a special edition next weekend.

Lots of Cover P0Rn to show you as well. I need a clone! Oh and I’m away from the world for two weeks in August – literally away from a constant or reasonable internet connection so wondering if to schedule some stuff of give you all a book-break? It’ll probably be book break as I’m focusing on less titles on the blog consciously trying not to overwhelm you or me.

Hope you’ve all had a good weekend.


I got a lovely email the other day from Telegram Books directing me to their website and making a few suggestions of books that I might like. So I thought I’d bring you a couple of books that sound right up my street.

 

All_My_Friends_med

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

All Tom’s friends really are superheroes. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding the Perfectionist is hypnotized by her ex, Hypno, to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him.

Six months later the Perfectionist is sure that Tom has abandoned her, so she’s moving to Vancouver. She’s going to use her superpower to leave all the heartbreak behind. With no idea that Tom is beside her she boards the plane: Tom has until they touch down to convince her he’s there, or he loses her forever…

You must admit that novelised superheroes are quite rare and a superhero love story must be rarer. Sounds like an amazing idea. I wonder if it’ll work?

Legend of Sander Grant WEB

The Legend of Sander Grant by Marc Phillips

Sander Grant comes from a long line of giant men, cattle ranchers in Dixon, Texas. And as Sander is soon to learn, he is one of the few remaining descendants of the angels mentioned in The Book of Genesis who procreated with women, thus souring their relationship with God. He would rather people forgot all about these ill-begotten sons of his, so he’s taken to warning Sander by raining hurt on his mother and inflicting their cattle with BSE. Sander knows too much. He’ll have to make a deal with God. A magical tale that 

I don’t know why but the idea of giant men as cattle ranchers sounds very very interesting! At least I’ve never seen a story like that before.

Anybody read them? Or others from Telegram Books? Any thoughts?

I think I’m going to be paying a bit more attention to them now I know about them :)

thedevilspaintbrush.jpg

The greatest shock for me reading this fictionalised retelling of history was understanding the meaning of the title. Not that the story itself wouldn’t be considered shocking in it’s day. And would probably be considered more than eyebrow raising now.

The Devil’s Paintbrush is the story of the meeting of Major-General Sir Hector MacDonald, one of the heroes of the British Empire, and the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley. Not a combination you’d expect to find. But meet they did and Jack Arnott breathes life into those events showing both compassion and frankness about his subjects.

It is a quite an extraordinary tale and from the list of acknowledgements I’m willing to consider that Arnott spend a lot of time on the reconstruction of events but at the same time he has to have injected some narrative compulsion to the proceedings.

MacDonald meets Crowley as a great scandal is unfolding around the Major-General and the Beast acts as his savour. Even though limited by the order of the events Arnott takes us and the characters on a journey that goes from Paris to battlefields of Sudan via the backstreets of Edinburgh.

And it’s the battlefields of Sudan that has some of the best moments. Not only do they contain the key to the title but the core of self-destruction of MacDonald. It also shows the dark nature of imperialism. As a solider MacDonald commits some brutal and offensive acts and in private his own sexual needs were at the time  offensive.

As I was reading the thing that hit me is what would and wouldn’t be accepted in the modern day and the acts that are so scandalous in MacDonald’s private life at the time wouldn’t be his downfall now. What would bring him down would the acts committed in the name of war.

Crowley’s role in this deconstruction of MacDonald is to help release him from the constraints of Army-life and the situation itself. This isn’t an entirely altruistic act.  He’s using MacDonald as a Knight in his own fight with his ex-mentor and to advance his own status through the acquisition of a manuscript and what it represents. He does release MacDonald in a way but it’s not a noble path he shows him.

Arnott has successfully re-imagined the events of those few days and expanded them into a comment on the past and how far we have come.

There are no longer people called ‘Fight Mac’ or ‘the Best’ and maybe they are creations of their own time. I have to praise Jack Arnott for his skill as a storyteller and thank him for shedding light on this forgotten but none the less important piece of history.

Highly Recommended

Out Now

This week has been bit of a strange one – I really did burn myself out with last weekends massive posts. I’m been decidedly unbookie. Well that’s a but of a lie I made my third trip from Wales to London’s Forbidden Planet to meet an author – though it’s my forth time this year after making a special trip to see Marie Brennan. All great fun – will have to take some pics of the signed books!

Well starting off this weeks catch up with event on the blogosphere we have a wonderful event from Booksmugglers:

link: The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Young Adult Appreciation Month: An Open Invitation

Young Adult novels rule, and are currently experiencing something of a boom in the troubled publishing world. And, we Book Smugglers have totally jumped on the increasingly crowded YA bandwagon. It is a genre that we love, and because of that love we are organizing a celebration of the genre: our first ever YA Appreciation Month, from July 19th to August 16th.

And it’s thanks to looking at Garth Nix on Wiki that I spotted this:

link: Garth Nix’s Amazon Blog: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen and two other books Permalink

Anyway, gather round folks! I have news. It’s been reported in various industry publications, so I might as well post it here too: I will be writing two more novels set in the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre. They will be published by Allen & Unwin in Australia and by HarperCollins US and HarperCollins UK.

You should read my tweets on Twitter about it! I’m so excited!!

link: Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review: Tim Powers – Where do I start reading?

Tim Powers – Where do I start reading?

Well thank god that’s not only me and strangely the consensus so far is The Annubis Gate. I’ve got that boxed up somewhere…. now I have excuse to pull down boxes for books and have a rummage.

link: Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist: Win a full set of Mark Chadbourn’s THE AGE OF MISRULE

I’m giving away a full set of the US edition of Mark Chadbourn’s The Age of Misrule.

Go enter!

link: Upcoming Interviews, Notes, & News ~ Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review

The Subterranean Press signed-limited edition of The Blade Itself has been put up for pre-order. They also announced Peter V. Brett’s The Great Bazaar and Other Stories, which is supposed to expand the world of The Warded Man/The Painted Man with "outtakes from the first novel in the series — really, standalone short stories themselves — as well as additional material to flesh out Brett’s bravura storytelling."

hmmm I don’t know – on reflection I liked but really don’t love The Painted Man so buying a limited edition really isn’t an attractive option. I wonder if I should order the trade paperback? It’s either £45/20 so nothing really expensive either way.

My problem is that I liked the concept more than the story as it felt stretched out. Maybe I’ll change my mind after reading Desert Spear?

link: OF Blog of the Fallen: Personal top 10 lists

What are 10 speculative fiction (the definition of which is left up to you, of course) would you say are among the best ever?

"Best ever" – such a loaded term.

link: Speculative Horizons: Adrian Tchaikovsky book signings

Adrian Tchaikovsky has announced a series of book signings in support of the upcoming third novel in his Shadows of the Apt series, Blood of the Mantis.

And I’ve nicked the date from James’ blog:

Friday 7th August, 12-1 (probably), Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Avenue, London Saturday 15th August, 3-5. Waterstones, United Reform Church, 89a Broad Street, Reading Saturday 22nd August, 1-2 (probably) Travelling Man games shop, 32 Central Road, Leeds LS1 Satursday 29th August, tbc, Garforth Bookshop, 15 Main Street, Garforth LS25 1DS

It’s a series I’m going to have to try again on I think I found it hard to get into the opening of the first one but:

I’m hoping to receive a review copy of this one pretty soon, since the previous instalment – Dragonfly Falling – is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

So looks like it has promise.

link: The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Book Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

At the centre of it all though rests Hallendren and as each of the characters reaches a resolution the Kingdom itself and its beliefs are put to test. I watched an interview with Brandon Sanderson in which he talks about a common trope in the Fantasy genre: the “Rebellion against the Empire” when all characters are fighting and going to war to defeat a common threat and how he tried to make just the opposite here: to make the established government work, to make it better. And I think he succeeds beautifully in what he set out to do.

We’re still waiting for the official UK release of Sanderson. I wonder if we’ll get this one in the future.

link: My Favourite Books: Twisted Metal by Tony Ballantyne (Guest Review)

Another reason I enjoyed this book so much was that Tony also makes robots a fresh and interesting concept – these robots are damn cool! They may not be able to stand up to a T800 (then again, they don’t have to) but they are a damn sight more interesting! Yet each robot is also unique, and the concept behind the creation of robots, how they are conceived, is utterly unique, cool and creepy at the same time. Oh, you will also wince in the battle scenes – Tony isn’t afraid to bring the pain!

Liz @ MFB is lining up some Guest Reviewers and Dave has done a great job of persuading me that this does robots like no one else!

ink: Jon’s Review: The Tenth Case, by Joseph Teller | Bookgeeks

there is a vast array of contemporary literature based around the legal wrangles of court
cases
,
doubtless contributed to by public interest being aroused by television and film. In The Tenth Case Teller manages to combine these two concepts, albeit ones that naturally cross-pollinate, in a skillful and well informed manner. It would be of no surprise to a reader of this offering that his pre-writing experience involved both undercover work for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and over three decades as a defense attorney.

I do like a good legal thriller though can’t remember reading one since A Time To Kill by John Grisham and that’s some time ago. Might be time to retry the genre?

link: Walker of Worlds: Review | Wrath of the Lemming Men by Toby Frost (Myrmidon)

From the depths of Space a new foe rises to do battle with mankind: the British Space Empire is threatened by the lemming-people of Yull, ruthless enemies who attack without mercy, fear or any concept of self preservation. At the call of their war god, the Yull have turned on the Empire, hell bent on conquest and destruction in their rush towards the cliffs of destiny.
When the Yullian army is forced to retreat at the battle of the River Tam, the disgraced Colonel Vock swears revenge on the clan of Suruk the Slayer, Isambard Smith’s homicidal alien friend. Now Smith and his crew must defend the Empire and civilise the stuffing out of a horde of bloodthirsty lemming-men- which would be easy were it not for a sinister robotics company, a Ghast general with a fondness for genetic engineering and an ancient brotherhood of Morris Dancers- who may yet hold the key to victory…

The problem with my fellow blogger is that do too good a job of brining books to my attention that I’ve already dismissed. I’m having to reconsider. I might actually read this one or at least the start of the series.

link: Speculative Horizons: Mark Chadbourn on researching his ‘Age of Misrule’ trilogy

Just a heads-up: UK author Mark Chadbourn has written a little piece over at amazon blog Omnivoracious, about his experience of writing his Age of Misrule trilogy.

I missed this! I met Mark on Thursday. He’s a lovely man with an amazing imagination. I really don’t want to read the last one. I don’t want to know how it ends! (That’s the end of the third trilogy, US readers have a few more books to go yet, lucky buggers!)

link: Walker of Worlds: 2009 Books I Need To Read

So, this post is a reminder for myself as much as you on what is out there from the first half of 2009. I’ve got a couple of these on the shelf at the moment and will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of them in the future :)

The highlight on this list is Jaine Fenn I really want to read Principles of Angels and Consorts of Heaven.

link: The Wertzone: God of Clocks by Alan Campbell

Twelve powerful arconites walk the earth, preparing to bring about the destruction of humanity and bringing its souls under the command of Menoa, Lord of Hell.

Good start to a novel and I wasn’t expecting that when I read Scar Night. I have Iron Angel down as a Summer Read 2009 which has already got me intrigued by it’s opening. So Adam was so so about it. Not stopping me though will just set the bar lower.

link: Newsflash – John Connolly opens The Gates – Highlander’s Book Reviews

…what I am really excited about is John’s latest project The Gates…why? well because when John Connolly turns his hand to Horror or Fantasy as he did in Nocturnes or The Book Of Lost Things then generally something very special happens. Judge for yourself by heading here and reading the first chapter of The Gates then hang around twiddling your thumbs until the book is published in October.

I’ve read the first two of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series and have Nocturnes and The Book of Lost Things. I’m told that Killing Kind is where it really kicks off

link: Speculative Horizons: Book review: Jasmyn

I was disappointed to find that all of the problems and flaws that marred the first novel are all present and correct in Jasmyn. Worse, they’re even more prominent and intrusive than the first time around. The result is a book that becomes more infuriating and ridiculous with each chapter.

As much as I liked the first one I tried and passed on this one. I’d say James got it right. Sorry.

link: The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.: Wireless by Charles Stross

Hard Science Fiction used to be all about wonder and amazement, about pushing the limits of knowledge and expectation. But that’s been obsolete for some time; the rump Hard SF that we have these days has been formed by two generations of fannish nitpickers, the failure of the US space program, and an abiding sourness about mankind that has no single source I can detect.

This is an interesting take on Wireless I’m reading it at the minute so I wonder how my thoughts are going to compare?

link: Angry Robot Review: Moxyland by Lauren Beukes « Davebrendon’s Fantasy & Sci-Fi Weblog

It is my opinion that this book will end up being one of the greats of contemporary future-fiction, and it can stand proud among the legends that authors such as Philip K Kick and George Orwell have given us

This is a big claim for any novel. I’ve read the opening chapters of this one. Interesting premise. It’s on the Sony Reader, which is my work reading, might have to stop going to the shops at lunch and pick this up.

link: Reading matters: ‘Snuff’ by Chuck Palahniuk

Quite clearly this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but having read pretty much all of Palahniuk’s previous work I wasn’t going to let this one slip by. I very much enjoyed it. And the ending is an absolute riotous cracker!

Wasn’t my cup of tea I must admit but only because I couldn’t get past the boredom of waiting in line. Chuck I think adds depth to his fiction as you peel away and go deeper in. I’m giving Pygmy a go though :D

ink: Walker of Worlds: Review | Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Orbit) See

>I will quite happily recommend this book to anyone that enjoys urban fantasy (although I suspect I’m the last one joining this train) or to anyone that wants to try something a little different and wants a fun read with nothing too taxing. I’ve already got the sequel, Fool Moon, on the shelf and I’ll be slowly building up this collection with all the releases – it’s just so easy and enjoyable to read!

See it’s not just me!

link: The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Books You Really Should Be Reading…

Recently, author Diana Peterfreund had a post over at her blog, discussing books that seem to have gone for whatever reason unnoticed by blogland, or have slipped under the radar of readers

I’ve heard of and am interested in John C. Wright, Juliet Marillier and Heir to Sevenwaters, Fables by Bill Willingham- I have to get back into graphic novels/comics. Where is the time? But haven’t heard of the rest. Hmmm

link: REVIEW | Moxyland by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot) ~ Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review

Overall, I didn’t find Moxyland as thought provoking as the author intended. What could have been a decidedly discussion worthy book turned into more of mishmash of themes not explored well enough and kneecapped by characters you can’t identify with. I give Moxyland 5 out of 10 Hats.

Ok – so I wonder which way the consensus will go?

link: Mathew’s Review: The Lovers, by John Connolly | Bookgeeks

Never have I read a series of books that so depend on the past of one man to determine his future and that of those around him, both friend and foe. Parker has a fascinating and terrible history that I am confident will continue to unravel seamlessly, just as his unsettled present and unpredictable future will play out in one way or another. (The next Parker novel, The Whisperers is due next year). Readers new to John Connolly beware: before sitting down with The Lovers, you must go back into Parker’s past yourself, starting with Every Dead Thing.

Just as I thought I need to carry on reading. And it gets better!

link: The Edge Of The World by Kevin J. Anderson – Highlander’s Book Reviews

I enjoyed this book. The mixture of politics and adventure sustained interest right to the end. I am also sure that the world created here will serve as excellent background for future books in the series. Kevin J. Anderson has shown that his talents are extremely diverse and can now add successful Epic Fantasy to his burgeoning CV, what’s next? Horror, I hope so.

More good thoughts on this one. I love the cover so much!

link: Speculative Horizons: Book review: Retribution Falls

Drawbacks? Can’t think of any. Honestly. The only thought that nagged me was that Malvery needed a little more development, but that – pleasingly – was addressed right at the end of the book. My only complaint is that the book had to end. Wooding has already mentioned that a follow-up is due next year, and believe me – that will be one of the first books on my list for 2010.

I need to read this now!!
Ok and that concludes my catchup of the last couple of weeks.