It’s funny when people talk about the summer months being the time they get a lot of reading done because, at least so far, the exact opposite has been true for me. After flying through the run of all the Michael Connelly books this spring I turned my attention to my biennial run of the seven seasons of The West Wing, which cut into my reading time somewhat.
In my last book posting I has just started The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass. I rated the book five stars on Goodreads because I couldn’t rate it any higher. The book, the first of a six book series that’s broken into two trilogies, was so incredibly well written it was easy to visualize every single action that takes place in the book. The book sat on my “to read” shelf so long my wife, who rarely reads the same books I do, has read the first four books of the series and said each one gets better than the one before it. I probably should have just run right into the second book of the series, Enchanter, but a few books at the top the shelf drew me in, so on to them I went.
I started reading Brad Thor’s books before anyone knew who he even was, and even though he’s not in the class of a Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn his thrillers are great page turners that have all been top notch. Black List is Thor’s twelfth novel, and while none of them would be considered Pulitzer or Nobel type fiction each has been a fun read. This one might be his weakest book, and it does take a significant amount of time for Thor to get around to explaining why everything is happening, but the non-stop action more than makes up for the slowness of the final plot developing.
Next up was Monster Hunter Legion, the fourth book in the “Monster Hunter” series by Larry Correia. The world the book is based on is a simple one–it’s right here, right now. The big problem is all those monsters you’ve read about since childhood are real but most people don’t know it because the governments of the world hide the existence of them. That’s where the monster hunters come into play. They’re contractors that kill these monsters to collect the PUFF (Perpetual Unearthly Forces Fund) and to keep the regular citizens safe.
It’s a great idea for a series of books, and while a little over the top they’ve all been really good. The one issue Correia is having with the series is the first book, Monster Hunter International, was such a great read that the other three that have come out in the series pale in comparison. I gave Monster Hunter Legion an easy 4/5 on Goodreads, but graded on a curve against the first book Legion would struggle for a three. I’ll still keep grabbing them as they come out (and you should too if you aren’t) but it will be interesting to see of Correia can come up with a story that was a good as the first book.
Now I’m on Crucible of Gold, the seventh book in Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” series set in the Napoleonic era where both sides have intelligent dragons. It’s a well thought out series, and despite wishing that Novik had kept the action in Europe she’s had Temeraire and William Laurence traipsing around the globe. Crucible of Gold begins with them in Australia, which at this point in history is a penal colony they’ve been exiled to because of Laurence’s conviction for treason against the Crown. As the book begins the Crown has come calling on Laurence to reinstate him to the Air Corps for an important mission. Laurence has some doubts. We’ll see how it turns out as the book moves along.
If you scan through last month’s posting you’ll see I forgot to add in the books I was looking forward to seeing released. Turns out that wasn’t an issue because there wasn’t any. For the first time in a very long while I picked up absolutely nothing in my trips to the book stores of the area. A list of science fiction/fantasy books for August shows that may happen again this month.
There was some news in the book world I can share though. There’s a huge download on Tor.com of some great short stories. It will only be up for a few more days, but it’s well worth the time to check it out. After waiting for the last two books of the “Eli Monpress” series by Rachel Aaron to be released in mass market editions I decided to tweet at the author to see if/when they were coming out. Aaron shared with me that because of their size they wouldn’t be released in paperback. I laughed at her line “This was partially my fault, I wrote them too long for MMPB format”. I guess I’ll forgive her and it looks like it will be the trade format for those two.
Until next time…