Neal Stephenson is a challenging and erudite author. He is the writer responsible for Snow Crash, one of my favourite books, along with classics like The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle and Anathem. Lauded, celebrated and awarded – Neal Stephenson has many laurels. When SEVENEVES hit shelves around the world Barack Obama, then POTUS and leader of the free world, earmarked it for his summer reading. When the POTUS dedicates time to kicking back and reading a Sci-Fi novel, you know that it isn’t an ordinary book.
I’ve read a lot of fantasy. It is my favourite genre. This will be no surprise to anyone. It is also a genre that is filled with some pretty terrible books: formulaic, bland and boring. I love it, though, because it is a treasure trove of rich and rewarding stories. You simply need to sort the good from the bad. Some of the very best fantasy writers spurn the formula and create something new. I’m going to talk about one such author today. Glen Cook, and his Chronicles of the Black Company.Read More »
Dawn of Wonder is the first book in a fantasy series by Jonathan Renshaw called The Wakening. The book follows Aedan, a precocious but damaged boy, in a coming of age story amidst a backdrop of strange events, political threats and turmoil.
It’s notable to mention that Dawn of Wonder is a self-published work. That is nothing new, but Dawn of Wonder belongs to a qualitative batch of polished and compelling books that have emerged in the past few years without the initial backing of a publisher. This is really exciting, as good stories deserve to be told, with or without the approval and support of a traditional publishing house.Read More »
Riyria Revelations is a fantasy trilogy by Michael J. Sullivan. Yes I am reviewing an entire trilogy. The books that comprise the series are Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron and they are incredible. I picked up on a recommendation for this series after really finishing The Shadow of What Was Lost. Thanks to that book I was on a fantasy high and wow am I glad I found mention of Theft of Swords. I read it, bought the next two, and now here we are.Read More »
The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington is a cracking book. The emergence of a new series of this calibre is incredibly exciting. James Islington is an Australian author, which as an Australian myself, makes me immensely proud. There are precious few Australian voices in the international pool of epic fantasy, but Islington is proof that there are incredible fantasy writers out there awaiting discovery. It’s refreshing. Islington is a pioneer. I wish him every success.Read More »
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is the first book in a series that he has dubbed The Themis Files. I found this one entirely by chance while browsing a bookstore, and after reading the blurb I knew I had to experience it. At this stage it is looking to be at least a trilogy, with Sylvain Neuvel implying that there could be more. Sounds great to me. The sequel, Waking Gods, is due for release in April this year. So this is the perfect time to jump in and grab this one. The wait will be far less agonising for you.
Like glimpses of bafflingly advanced alien technology? Giant robots? Ambitious scientists? Enjoy enigmatic G-men with complex agendas and suspiciously vast resources? This book delivers.Read More »
Final Fantasy is a big deal. And Final Fantasy XV is a big deal even by those standards. Final Fantasy XV is a game that was almost relegated to vapourware, a game in perpetual development with no release in sight. But now, after countless delays and a decade of development, it is here. So, how is it shaping up? In short, it is good. It is really good. It is straight up incredible.Read More »
I’ve noticed something about my reading habits recently. I lean heavily toward genre fiction, but I in no way limit myself to that. I’ll pretty much read anything that has a plot that can pull me in. I’ll give any book a chance. But, if it hasn’t hooked me by page 100 or so I’ll probably set it aside. I like to give a book a chance but I don’t have the time to see every one I pick up though, and there is just too much to read. The system has worked for me but a book I started reading recently has begun to highlight a few flaws in my system. That book is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.Read More »
I was incredibly excited to dive into this book. After the tremendous impact of A Head Full of Ghosts, it was an immense relief to know that I had another one of Paul Tremblay’s books up my sleeve. So, it was with extreme anticipation that I dived in to A Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, and I was not disappointed. This book is every bit as complex, nuanced and emotional as A Head Full of Ghosts, and in some ways it pushes the boundaries even further. The ambiguity and unique readings of Ghosts is present here too; it’s becoming a signature, and one I relish the opportunity to experience. Paul Tremblay’s fascination with the parallels between the supernatural and psychosis make for thrilling reading.Read More »
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle is a fantastic book. It’s a novella, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in impact, significance and emotional engagement. LaValle takes on the classic mythology of cosmic horror and crafts something new, compelling and utterly his own. It’s great.Read More »