Alex Acks, Murder on the Titania, and Other Steam-Powered Adventures, Queen of Swords, 2018.
The title says it all really: murder mysteries, adventures, steampunk. What it leaves aside is that it is a very, very entertaining read and it'll be a perfect addition to your summer reading list.
Cassandra Khaw, Food of the Gods, Abaddon, 2017.
Audio version available on Audible.
I had already read and enjoyed (and reviewed here) Hammers on Bone, but I had yet to try the Rupert Wong series, also by Cassandra Khaw. As it is shortlisted for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards, it was the perfect occasion to dive into it. Food of the Gods (which comprises two novellas, Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef and Rupert Wong at the Ends of the Earth) proved to be a delightful and funny read, despite some "Eeks!" and some minor nitpickings.
John Ayliff, Belt Three, Harper Voyager, 2015.
Nothing I've read recently has quite made the cut for the blog. So here I was, wringing my hands, "What to review?", when I remembered Belt Three by John Ayliff. I read it a few months back, but at the time I was in a run of very strong stories and it fell off the podium despite some solid qualities. I'm glad this space opera got now its second chance because it is well worth a look.
Martha Wells, All Systems Red, St Martin's Press, 2017.
Audiobook available on Audible.
All Systems Red is a fun and entertaining scifi novella. Though part of a larger series with future upcoming volumes, this first book is a stand alone and can be read independently.
Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods, Harper Voyager, 2017.
You don't judge a book by its cover. Except in reality, you often pick a book by its cover. The Prey of Gods' cover was what instantly drew me: it's beautiful and invites curiosity about the story. The novel wasn't such an instant hit with me, but it's a great blend of scifi and fantasy in a story packed with action.
Jen Williams, The Copper Cat trilogy,
Epic and heroic fantasy trilogies are my best frenemies. When I pick up a new one I always long to find back that sweeping sensation I felt the first time I read Lord of the Rings but I usually end up casually throwing the book above my shrugging shoulders: "Been there, done that, read it to death a thousand times". Having read Diana Wynne Jones' Tough Guide to Fantasyland (with accompanying novels of Derkholm) doesn't help either.
So, by the end of the fifth chapter of the Copper Promise, I was eyeing it pretty dubiously wondering if I should really need going any further. But read on, dear reader, because my adventure with the Copper Promise has a happy ending that includes a happy me...
M. Suddain, Hunters & Collectors, Jonathan Cape, 2016.
Though Hunters & Collectors lacks a bit of substance, it is a very enjoyable scifi novel with a grisly baroque comical twist to it that will certainly delight anyone looking for something entertaining to read.
Connie Willis, Crosstalk, Gollancz, 2016.
As much as possible, I try not to review twice the same author, except in the Collections. There are so many writers worth being discovered and if I did, I'd probably spend my time reviewing some of my favourites in a loop: Pratchett, Stross, McMaster Bujold, Willis... Oops! "Do you, at least, have a good reason for reviewing Willis again?" will you ask with a stern look. Yes: my reason is that we all need a laugh and a feel good story right now and that's what Crosstalk provides aplenty...
Daniel O'Malley, The Checquy Files,
The Checquy Files is a series of novels written by Daniel O'Malley and currently comprising two volumes. It's another one of these urban fantasy novels in which a governmental organisation is dedicated to the supernatural (along the lines of the PC Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch or, in a scifi setting, The Laundry series by Charlie Stross). And like many many (many) of those novels, it takes place in London...
The Invisible Library is one of these novels when you think "It ain't much but it's fun". It's even a bit of a pity that the novel has some flaws because the concept is attractive and intriguing...
Gail Carriger, The Parasol Protectorate,
The Parasol Protectorate is a series of five light hearted steampunk fantasy novels, written by Gail Carriger and narrating the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti.
James S. A. Corey, The Expanse,
The Expanse is a series of space-opera novels written by Daniel Abraham (who also writes fantasy) and Ty Frank, under the pseudonym James S. A. Corey.
If I had to sum up the series, I'd say: "You can feel a strong Firefly influence (but not as good as), with multiple points of view chapters à la Song of Ice and Fire and it ain't much, but it's fun." ...
All reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I only review stories I have liked even if my opinion may be nuanced. It doesn't apply for the "Novels published before 1978" series of blog posts.
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