A quick review of the latest books to be fed through my eyeballs.
It’s been seven months since my last book list. I must try harder to publish these lists more frequently, as I could barely recall the plot of a few of the books. Without further ado:
- Betraying Nexus by Richard L. Sanders: it’s currently free on Kindle; it’s a quick read but reasonably intriguing.
- Quarantine by Greg Egan: some clever ideas and an interesting story… well worth a read.
- Imhotep by Jerry Dubs: I’m a sucker for sci-fi. I’m a sucker for ancient Egypt. Put the two together and you have literary catnip. Jerry tells a good tale, and I enjoyed his other books too (see below).
- Kaleidoscope by Jerry Dubs: a dark, weird detective tale with a difference. Only 77p, worth much more!
- Genus by Jonathan Trigell: this is the sort of bleak future that feels very real and very near. A brilliant read.
- Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear: this wasn’t always the easiest to follow (I found the descriptions of the ship were more confusing than clarifying), but it was a gripping read nevertheless.
- The Mongoliad: Book One: Greg Bear, Neal Stephenson, and a host of others. Oh my. The biggest problem with Book One is that the subsequent books are not yet written. There were a few minor inconsistencies (and points where it feels like a different author had taken over), but on the whole a great read.
- The Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay) by Suzanne Collins: we already know from Harry Potter that it’s not necessarily the best-written or most original stories that become popular events. I suppose this trilogy was okay – I read through them pretty damned quickly, so they must have been interesting and entertaining enough.
- The Epoch Index by Christian Cantrell: hurrah, another book by Christian! I previously read Containment, Anansi Island, and Human Legacy Project, and wrote “a particularly happy discovery, almost like a futuristic Roald Dahl with the twists at the end of them“. I’m happy to say this was just as good.
- The Earth Is My Witness by Jerry Dubs: Jerry again, another 77 pence cracking read.
- The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross: ohmygoshmorestross. It’s a bit frustrating that there’s so much back story (but on the other hand, some of it was a useful reminder). Due to the layout and style, I thought I’d got to the end and was a bit annoyed, only to find it continued for a few more pages tying up loose ends. Like the rest of the Laundry series it’s a fun read.
- Resurrection by Arwen Elys Dayton: more literary catnip. Ancient Egypt, modern-day Egypt, aliens, … loved it.
- The Antipope by Robert Rankin: see The Antipope and Antipope the second.
- Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey: strangely showing up as ‘Not currently available’ on the Kindle store, which is a real shame. This is a brilliant set of stories. Followed by …
- First Shift – Legacy by Hugh Howey: a clever prequel, best read after Wool. Also not available at the moment for some reason.
- Convergent Space by John-Paul Cleary: an absolute bargain at £1.99, this is great space opera. I look forward to the sequel.
- Brasyl by Ian McDonald: everyone seems to be raving about this, and indeed it’s a very clever story, but obstructed somewhat by the extensive use of patois which can make it hard to catch the meaning sometimes. The ideas are brilliant, the storytelling is good (though it took a little too long for the threads to come together), and it’s worth a read – but be prepared for a challenge.
- Toys by James Patterson & Neil McMahon: I actually got this as a 2-for-1 Tesco disposable paperback read beside the pool, and it fit the description perfectly. Eminently disposable, utterly nonsense, an amusingly entertaining page-turner if you turn off your brain for a while.