Strikes me its been a while since I did a recent reads update (like, has it really been since last summer?). Rather than try and catch up on everything I’ve read since, I’ll just do the ones I finished in the last week or so. 🙂
First up is S. Andrew Swann’s Heretics, the sequel to last year’s Prophets. After the first fifty or so pages of world building, I really enjoyed Prophets, so I was really excited when this book came out. Unfortunately, as is the curse of middle books in planned trilogies, I found it, well, a little boring. Swann has great ideas in this book, I won’t argue that, and he spends just the right amount of time developing them. His approach to the twin paradox introduced by wormhole “accidents” was awesome. Except that after a while, you get the feeling he didn’t know what to do with the duplicate character. On top of that was the repeated explanations and descriptions of the exact same thing that could have been so easily glossed over with “What happened a few pages ago is happening again. And Again. And one more time for posterity.” Like I said, this is the curse of trilogies in my experience, which means the closing act in this saga should be back around to a decent space opera action story. I’d classify this series as light space opera, fine mind candy for when you need to take a break on catching up on Tolstoy.
Next up is Ken Scholes’ debut novel, Lamentation. I’d read a lot of good things about this book, so there was a lot of anticipation going into it. As is often the case, going into something with too much anticipation is just guaranteed to be disappointing, and at first, I was. The writing is fine, the story is fine, but there was a bit of lackluster at first while Scholes tried to figure out where to put his feet in the sand.
And then the story kicked it up a notch, as Emeril would say, and following a minor surprise with the Marsh King (about half way through the book), the pace of the story really hit its running stride. The first half of the book is by no means a drag and is interesting in its own way, but I think I ended up reading the first half over the course of weeks, and the second half in two days.
But its not all been fantasy and sci-fi over here – I’ve also had time to read a graphic novel (yes, you can roll your eyes…now.). Thanks to the lending library at work, I managed to finally grab DC’s Kingdom Come, or as I now like to think of it, a really long story line with every super hero and villain in the DC universe rising in tension so we can just nuke them all and get it back to the original few.
Interesting approach, and I loved seeing Captain Marvel back even like this, but the decision to just launch a special nuke or three at all the superheros to end the rising conflict caught me as a cop out. Sure, it fit the premise of humanity deciding for itself rather than kowtowing to the super and metahumans – but a super bomb??? Come on. Bah.
Which brings me up to date. This week I’m fumbling around for something to read. I’ve got more than a few books that I’ve started that I should pick up again. I thought about giving the The Warded Man a go – it got a lot of praise last year, and the sequel just came out, but in trying to read the first chapter, I was overwhelmed by the number of bad edits. And I mean bad – like two or three sentences must have been sewn together, only no one made sure the mesh was right, leaving behind the start of one sentence and the conclusion of another, comma, third unrelated thought to tie it off (I kid you knot 😉 ).
And now I should get some food, and think about adding some more words to Captain and the Tan Eel before calling it a night (the story is still going fabulously, and I’m still waiting to hear back on my last submission of Dark Lord Rising, but that will be at least a few more weeks before I know).