You must read Sleeping Giants

sleeping-giantsSleeping 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 »

You must read Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

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 »

You must read A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay is a book that I needed to read. I’ve seen it mentioned on my twitter feed for a while, and now I’m kicking myself because I’ve been deprived of one of the best novels that the horror genre has had to offer in years. You really should read this book too. Read on and let me convince you.Read More »

You must read the Ferryman Institute – Here’s why

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl, published by Gallery Books, is a delight to read. The cover and the blurb drew me in while I was browsing books, so I was expecting something interesting. It was Colin Gigl’s excellent plot, world building and characterisation that kept me reading, though. This book is fantastic. It is thoughtful, complex, frustrating and often hilarious. Gigl delivers on every promise the jacket blurb offers, but he enhances it, elevates it, and ascends the book with his strategic use of emotional highs and lows and an enviable control of conflict. This book, suffused with death, becomes more about the gift that life is; something that really resonated with me.Read More »

You must read The Fifth Season By N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, published by the ever awesome Orbit Books, won the Hugo award this year for best novel. Hype often repels me, I have been disappointed before, but the premise sounded great. So, with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, I bought a copy and waded in.

So, straight into it. My impression? This book is wonderful. It is beautifully written, with a vivid but light and accessible style. It is utterly unpretentious, and fiercely intelligent. Read More »

The Lazarus War: Origins – A Retrospective

I haven’t written about the same series twice before. I like to write about them once they are completed, so that I can come at the review and analysis with the full picture and a resolved plot. It is definitely a neater way to do it so I’ve tried to maintain that. This becomes a problem with a series, especially an ongoing one, so I suppose this will be something I face on this blog again in the future. Especially when I read a book that is so good, that gets me so excited about it, that I just have to write about it, to tell people about it. The Lazarus War: Artefact was one of those. You can read my initial review here.

So, I blasted my review off after finishing Artefact, in the afterglow. I was immensely excited by the knowledge that the third book in the trilogy had recently been released. The full trilogy was ready for me to binge on. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but now that I’ve finished Origins, I need to come back to it and write about it again, as a whole. Read More »

You must read The Lazarus War: Artefact

The Lazarus War is a Sci-Fi trilogy by Jamie Sawyer. The first book is called Artefact, published by Orbit Books.

Artefact is a pure, concentrated page-turner. It is compulsively readable and incredible fun. Sawyer is clearly a huge fan of Sci-Fi subculture, and that works just fine for me. He evokes the tense and powerful Marine group dynamic of Aliens, the interstellar travel and stacked odds of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, while tossing in the awesome notion of armoured space marines fighting repellent and hyper aggressive alien civilisations. It soars.

The first book is an explosion of conflict, intrigue and world building. Read More »

If you loved The Stand, you must read The Dead Lands – Here’s why

The post-apocalyptic novel, since 1978, has lived in the shadow of a titan – Stephen King’s The Stand. Benjamin Percy’s The Dead Lands is the first book that I’ve truly felt had temerity to pick up the gauntlet. I’ve been waiting for a book like this. It is a reinterpretation of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition in a post-apocalyptic United States, a United States that has been decimated by an epidemic and twisted by radiation. The land is crippled, broken and mutated. Creatures have evolved and changed. Hairless wolves, giant spiders and other nightmares stalk the boundaries of human settlements. Humanity cowers inside their walls. It is a compelling premise, and Percy packs an incredibly ambitious work of imagination into just under 400 pages.Read More »

The Dresden Files demands your attention: Read it!

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher began publication with Storm Front, the first novel in the series, in April 2000 through Roc Books. As of today there are 15 novels published, with Skin Game being the most recent and the upcoming novel Peace Talks TBD. When I thought about making a new style of post, a spotlight, the Dresden Files sprung immediately and irresistibly to mind as the best possible way to inaugurate it. So while I’m finishing the book I’m going to review next, I’m going to talk instead about one of my all-time favourite series of novels.

The Dresden Files follow the titular lead, Harry Dresden. He is a Wizard. He is a private investigator. He is a black sheep. He flouts secrecy, thumbs his nose at the conservative and secretive hegemony of the White Council of Wizards, and you can find him in the Chicago phonebook under W for Wizard. Harry is an antiauthoritarian in the eyes of the White Council, a thorn in their side, a potentially deadly foe. But he is also a new Wizard for a new age. He not only wields mysterious and arcane powers, he also doesn’t mind revolvers.Read More »

Blood Meridian is a blood soaked must read

Coming off the elegant and hopeful beauty of Station Eleven, this next book was a shock to the system. I really could not have picked something more different to follow with, but it was worth it.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is the darkest and most disturbing book I’ve read in recent memory. I went into this familiar with other McCarthy books like The Road and No Country for Old Men, but it still managed to shock and unsettle me. Blood Meridian is a world populated with people that are desperate, violent, and dangerous and utterly without mercy. It is a Western, and by that I mean it is set in the borderlands of the Old West, but comparisons and parallels end there. This book is a chilling account of practices and actions during this period, a descent into the dark unexplored regions of brutality and blood that choked people attempting to subsist there.Read More »