Where do you talk about the books you read?
Polls / September 30, 2013

So, I am working on a post about my experience with online forums and book clubs and thought it would be interesting to include some data from other readers in it. Thanks for taking a moment to fill out my poll (you can select multiple options):

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
5 Stars , Reviews / September 23, 2013

  The Republic of Thieves is one of those books that make me second guess all the other 5 star ratings I have doled out this year. In some ways it felt very familiar (in a good way) to go back to reading a story by Lynch. Once again, I love his prose. I love the irreverent nature of the Bastards. In addition to the scheming and thievery, each book so far has shown Locke grow in his relationships with people around him. Lies of Locke Lamora showed Locke grow from independent orphan out for his own survival, to learning to become part of (and lead) a tight knit group of thieves. He evolved and learned to think beyond himself and towards the good of his comrades as well, he learned to appreciate strengths possessed by others and that working together is mutually beneficial. He learned his actions on his own could also have severe results on his allies if he doesn’t take the time to look at the larger picture. In Red Seas under Red Skies, Locke adjusted from being part of a group to becoming part of a pair, a team of two. We saw evolutions in Locke…

The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
4 Stars , Reviews / September 18, 2013

  The Rose and the Thorn is the second half of Riyria Chronicles, a duology prequel to the previously released Riyria Revelations, by Michael J. Sullivan. I loved Riyria Revelations, so I was very eager to read these. One of the aspects that make these books so enjoyable is that Sullivan has created a very fun and interesting dynamic between his two main characters, Royce and Hadrian. This is by no means the only merit to his books. But if you read my review of The Crown Tower, the first half of Riyria Chronicles, you know that I did not love it as much as I did the books in Riyria Revelations. I suspected it was because I missed the interactions between Royce and Hadrian. And now that I have read The Rose and the Thorn, I find further support for that theory. This book was every bit as enjoyable to read as Riyria Revelations, and had just as much of Royce and Hadrian. The Rose and the Thorn is full of mystery, adventure, betrayal and just plain awesome. The story moves at an excellent pace and Sullivan’s characters and their interactions are excellent as well. The world and politics that exist here and how Royce and Hadrian move within…

Locke and Key – Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill (My foray into the graphic novel)
4 Stars , Reviews / September 16, 2013

  Earlier this year I read Horns. It was the first book I had read by Joe Hill, and I have to admit, I was truly impressed. I would imagine it would be hard to break out from the shadow of a father such as Stephen King, and there is always the slight feeling that perhaps  the praise for his books was won in some effect because of who his father is. Well, all it takes to dismiss any notions of that is to read his work. Horns was phenomenal. And then later in the year I read NOS4R2, another truly amazing story. Needless to say, Joe Hill is now on my “must read” list. That said, I always assumed my “must read” list would only be composed of novels. So when Locke and Key was recommended to me the first time, I sort of shrugged and thought, ‘maybe’. I’ve never read a graphic novel in my life and didn’t quite see myself starting now. Well, after a couple more times of having it people recommend it based on how much I enjoyed his books, I decided ‘Why not?‘ Still not feeling fully invested, I managed to get a hold of…

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
4.5 Stars , Reviews / September 15, 2013

  This review was originally posted on Wilders’ Book Review. In Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart, we are introduced to a world where life as we know it has been forever altered by Calamity, the bright red sun or comet became a permanent fixture in the sky. Since it’s appearance, the other change to the world was Epics. People that suddenly have a variety of unique powers that all defy physics, explanation or understanding. The common thread these Epics have, besides the scientific implausibility of what they can do, is their disinterest and mistreatment of humans. Our story centers in just one city of what is now known as the Fractured States. Newcago , which pre-Calamity, used to be known as Chicago, is a place void of light, happiness and normalcy. And this is one of the better towns. One epic, Nightwielder, keeps the city in perpetual darkness. Neither sun nor star shines down for the people of Newcago.The reigning Epic, Steelheart has the ability to turn materials to steel and is ruthless, he will kill on a whim, he’s impervious to fire and bullets, and any other weapon that a human would have access to. Our protagonist David has been planning (obsessing…

The Daylight War – slight rant. Contains spoilers.
3 Stars , Reviews , Spoilers / September 9, 2013

Earlier this year, I read The Daylight War immediately after it was released. It was a book that I was looking forward to and unfortunately, I was really disappointed. I was over half way through the book before I even felt interested in most of it. The first two books, while maybe not ground breaking works of fantasy, were fun to read, books that kept me turning pages until I realized I was suddenly at the end. So, I was a bit surprised and frustrated at my lack of engagement with this one. After giving it some thought, I decided to list out some of the things that didn’t work for me:

The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
5 Stars , Reviews / September 7, 2013

The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker is so spectacularly different; I can’t help but love it. But, unfortunately, I am certain that this is not a book everyone will love. K. J. Parker delves into the intricacies of war and economics in detail that will lose some readers. As much as I enjoyed the book, I have to admit it could get almost a bit dry at points. Almost, but not quite. It could have very easily been dry if done by a different author, but Parker managed to balance all the information, made it interesting, and also inserted a  sardonic sense of humor that really gave the book an edge.  Honestly, I think that detail is part of the reason why I loved the book. To me, this story is so much closer to reality than any other fiction or fantasy book I have read. Yes, Basso and his world do not exist, but the concepts and the way they were presented were so relatable to our world you’d have to actively make an effort to stay blind to it. “I’m corrupt and ruthless and I change the world for my own personal gain. Which is why it’s so good…