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The Devil You Know
Mike Carey
Whodunnit? Murder in Mystery Manor
Anthony E. Zuiker
The Rise of Endymion - Dan Simmons A fitting conclusion to a masterpiece. The Hyperion Cantos are not works of art that can be explained or described, they must be discovered and experienced.
As you can tell, I loved this fourth installment just as much as I loved the other three and I must admit that I'm more than a little sad that there is no more for me to indulge in.
To keep it short, Dan Simmons' novels will hold the same high spot in my life than Tolkien's.
Deadline - Mira Grant For only the second time in my life, I have abandoned a book before finishing it. Although I really liked the first novel in this series, Deadline truly doesn't cut it. The change in main protagonist is the source of all evils for me. Georgia Mason was an intelligent and sympathetic character that instantly made me relate to her and care about her life and her world. Her brother, the main voice in this sequel, is the complete opposite. Grant constantly portrays Shaun Mason as so naive as to be pathetic and unlikable (the only way a guy can live with the same six people 24/7 and not know a thing about them is to either not care about them at all or see them as barely important. Either way, he’s a jerk). And while Feed managed to portray the Mason siblings' relationship as the most solid of friendships, Deadline takes a rather creepy and distasteful look at it. This, to me, was the killing blow.
Ultimately, there are way too many fine books to be read in this world to keep torturing one's self by reading a bad one.
Endymion - Dan Simmons This is an easy one. Dan Simmons' Cantos has become one of the most defining and important literary works in my life. You will not find the symbolism and tragedy of the Hyperion in this third volume, but I don't see this as it weakness. To me each book has its own purpose. This book was about action, deception and, as always with Simmons, human relations. And by the end of Endymion you have that feeling of closure and fulfilment, even if you know you there is one final piece of the Cantos left to explore. Simply amazing!
Hounded - Kevin Hearne Fun and great. This is a series that I will definitely continue to read. Good, funny writing, a protagonist that is actually likable and a great story to direct all of this. Wholeheartedly recommended!
Fool Moon - Jim Butcher Another good novel by Mr Butcher.
Our protagonist's whining does get on one's nerves sometimes (yes, we get it, no one trusts you and you can't tell anyone anything or they will get killed. Really?!?!).
Still, a fun and quick read!
Speaking From Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel - Alan Bradley Another great novel starring Flavia. As has come to be expected, this was a fun, but short, read. More than the main mystery of the book, this newest episode provide entertainment and information on the overarching story spanning all the novels in the series so far. Can't wait for the next one!
Monster Hunter International - Larry Correia I feel conflicted about this book. At times I thought it was amazing and at others I kept wondering why I was still reading this junk.
The concepts are really fun and put to goo use (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc). Owen Pitt is a good protagonist that is not too this or too that. The story of this first Monster Hunter novel is well paced and manages well to introduce the characters and the universe while moving the plot along.
Now for the drawbacks: If I have to read another sentence about how amazing and cool guns are, I will shoot myself! (Yes, pun intended). We get it Mr Correia, you like your guns and know a lot about them but are those long descriptions and metaphors really necessary? I don't think so... Same thing for the personal comments about government. Yes, we get it, you think governments are all evil and you hate them all. It is however quite annoying to have to read about it so often. You get the feeling the author is working really hard to push his political views down your throat. Not cool.
Then is the ridiculousness of Owen's interactions with his love interest, Julie. I mean I felt in most of these sequences that I was actually reading a YA girly novel. Every single scene (and I mean EVERY SINGLE SCENE) between these two was stereotypically adolescent to the point of irking. I get that the author was trying to be funny by showing a protagonist that was able to kick monster butt and yet unable to speak to a woman, but here too there is such a thing as pushing it too far
I'm usually not too harsh with my ratings, especially when I did enjoy the setting and the story. But the low points were extremely irritating and took away a lot of my enjoyment.
Zero Sight (Zero Sight, #1) - B. Justin Shier How refreshing to have a protagonist that is likeable! He's far from perfect but this is exactly what makes him more human and relate-able.
This is a little gem of a book. The story is gripping, the magical/supernatural world is perfectly setup and makes it one of the most "realistic" ones out there.
I can't wait to read the sequel and sincerely hope Justin Shier has a lot more in stock for us!
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline What an amazingly good read! The story was original and though I barely missed many of the cultural references in the book growing up (by just a couple of years!) I knew very well about them.
Only two reasons I'm not giving this great book 5 stars: the plot was way way way too predictable. Read the first two chapters. Now guess how the book will end. That's exactly how it ends.
Secondly, although I chose the book because of all those geeky cultural references from my childhood, this will definitely be a barrier for younger readers. You really can't understand what it is like to have grown up playing Atari unless you did yourself.
Besides these elements, this is one of my favorite books ever. One I will go back to read often in the future.
The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie An amazing start to what will surely become one of my favorite series!
It is refreshing to read about normal and less than perfect characters! I caught myself thinking that Mr Rothfuss should perhaps take some pointers to make his own characters more agreeable...
The book finishes in a cliff-hanger, so you will definitely feel like jumping right away into the rest of the series.
Simply put, this is a must-read for all fans of fantasy!
Monk's Hood - Ellis Peters Another great Cadfael mytery! The only downsides: a bit short, and little too obvious. Still, very enjoyable.
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi That was good!
This was my first Scalzi novel, and I must say I will become a follower. The world-building elements were deep enough to make the universe believable without overwhelming the reader. The main character is likeable and heroic, without being obnoxious. Basically, this books is a perfect balancing act between first-in-a-series novel and amazing stand alone read.
Mr Scalzi, I tip my hat to you. A must read!
Legion - Brandon Sanderson This was so much fun! The character (or is it characters?) was amazing and original and I wish Sanderson would write a full novel with him (it was over way too quickly!). Highly recommended!
Relic - Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child A fun thriller. Although the story was familiar to me, it was a real page-turner nonetheless. The ending was not as satisfying as I would have hoped but that did not take away the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this books. I will definitely continue with this series as I want to see how Pendergast is developed in later novels.
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Gritty and dark like a classic crime novel, and set in a great futuristic world. I just found one of my favorite authors!
Storm Front - Jim Butcher A quick and fun read! It really made me want to read more of the adventures of Dresden.
There are a few annoying repetitions in the narrative, which is one of the reasons this is not a 5 star book, but the writing is solid for the most part.
As my first urban fantasy book, I couldn't be more happy to have chosen this novel.