Books 7

Two months on from the last list. Much time on trains has meant much time reading, hence the list is already long.

  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik: a gunpowder mix of fantasy and historical epic. I was not convinced at first, but the writing is excellent, the plot is solid, the characters memorable, and before I knew it I’d gone on to read the rest of the series… although I stopped short of buying Crucible of Gold because I refuse to pay £11.39 for an ebook.
  • The Kings of Eternity and The Angels of Life and Death by Eric Brown: after reading and thoroughly enjoying Engineman I thought I’d try some other books by the author. I’m glad I did; I recommend both books.
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: having seen the trailer for the movie, I wanted to read the book before seeing it in the cinema. It’s fantastic, confusing, and engaging. I definitely recommend reading it before seeing the movie.
  • The Departure by Neal Asher: I’m a long-time fan of Neal Asher‘s books, so I was pleased to see he’s writing another series. This book is a convincing look at our future, with plausible technologies and an all too realistic guess at what future government will be like. I enjoyed it, so I was forced to read the sequel…
    • Zero Point (Owner Trilogy 2): this one felt a little more forced and contrived, but was still entertaining enough that I’m waiting impatiently for the final part of the trilogy to be written.
  • Evolution by Craig Saunders: If you’ve read the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks then you’ve got a rough idea of what you can expect from this one. Unfortunately it’s not nearly as well-written as Banks’ books. It does have a reasonable plot and some nice ideas, and when I got it, the price was £0.00, so I’m happy. It’s still only £1.29, and I’d say it’s definitely worth reading at that price point.
  • Scarab by Stavros Halvatzis: another bargain read, this one was £0.77. As I said in Books 6,  “I’m a sucker for sci-fi. I’m a sucker for ancient Egypt. Put the two together and you have literary catnip.” Here we have a similar combination of themes, though set in the present day, and with quantum physics thrown in as well. It’s not as well-written as Imhotep or Resurrection, and I wasn’t too keen on some of the ways the African stereotypes played out. It’s a fun enough book though, with some interesting if only partially-explained ideas. I’ll be interested to read the sequel.
  • Phase-Shift by Paul Taylor: it’s very rare that I don’t finish a book, but I actually had to stop reading this one as I got so irritated. This is an excellent example of where good editing could really save a story. The author sets up an interesting enough plot, and it seems like there’s some good ideas, but it was very poorly-written. For example, whilst most of the book is in the past tense, there are parts – presumably copied from ARM’s website – that suddenly switch to the present tense. It’s quite grating. Remember Keanu Reeves’ performance in The Day The Earth Stood Still? Totally more believable than the main character in this book. I can’t recommend it, but I hope it gets a re-release after some heavy revision.
  • Series: Extinction Point – Book One by Paul Antony Jones (awesome post-apocalpytic thriller on bikes!) and Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 1 by Sean Platt & David Wright (every Steven King book ever all in one): I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve read more of these.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m very much looking forward to diving in to The Mongoliad: Book Two

Previously: booksbooks 2books 3books 4books 5, books 6.

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