This is WebGenii, with an installment from my "Reading Diary". So what have I been reading lately?
After finishing "The Cloud Roads" by Martha Wells last week, I eagerly began its' sequel, "The Serpent Sea". I wasn't disappointed. The story continues to focus on the character of Moon as he joins with his newfound tribe in a struggle to keep their home colony viable. What really makes this series stand out for me is the believable but alien culture that Ms. Wells has created and her characterization of Moon. The tension Moon feels as he's pulled between remembering his previously solitary life and the frustrations and rewards of living with other people, who he is starting to care about; are completely understandable. She makes Moon's progress and conflict as he moves from a solitary life to one as a member of a group credible and involving. Both books are published by Night Shade Books. I recommend them both. She also has some short stories set in this world available for download at http://www.marthawells.com/compendium/
I also read "Seed" by Rob Ziegler published by Night Shade Books. It is indeed, a dystopian bio-tech thriller, that at it's conclusion had me wandering around the house debating thin air. And then I passed it to my husband, so I could talk about it with a live person. I think this is a terrific book for starting conversation. If you do read it, let me know in the comments.
One of the thoughts that kept coming back to me, is that this type of dystopian novel is built on the comparison of the future society with our own, that inevitably positions our society as the apex of human achievement and every other society represents a fall from grace or squandered opportunities. Anyhow, I recommend this book; if only for the opportunity of taking your mind far away while scrubbing the bathroom fixtures.
Next I read Andrew P. Mayer's "The Falling Machine ", published by PYR. This was an oddly uninvolving read with a weirdly paced cliff hanger ending. Especially given that it has every element in place for a riveting read. Steampunk! Robots! Girl Heroes! This is one of those books where you just can't tell if it is the book or the reader. Don't let me discourage you if this sounds like your cup of tea. I'm putting it in the Your Mileage May Vary pile.
Lastly I caught up with an old friend - Garrett. The hero of "Gilded Latten Bones" by Glen Cook, published by Roc. This is a long running fantasy series featuring a detective in the fantasy city of Tun Faire. Garrett is a classic noir detective; world weary and cynical.
I'm glad to see that Mr Cook is still writing the Garrett series and in this one he's doing something interesting - he's making Garrett grow up. As a result, reviews of this book are all over the place, because that standard cynical detective is typically never shown as a man with a family and community. Nope, he's the loner, drink in hand, musing about a beautiful dame who done him wrong. But he is fundamentally incapable of having a relationship. But in "Gilded Latten Bones" Garrett is moving towards a different life, one where a family and relationships are possible. Like Moon in "The Serpent Sea" he is experiencing that tension between a solitary life and one as member of a community. And no, I didn't see that parallel until I sat down to write this.
I wouldn't start the Garrett P.I. Series with this book, I'd start with an early book in the series. But if you like an enjoyable light riff on the classic detective series you can't go wrong with one of these books. Whether you enjoy "Gilded Latten Bones" will depend on your feelings about Peter Pan growing up.
Books that came in through the mail this week were:
"The Drowning Girl" by Caitlin R. Kiernan, published by ROC. Caitlin Kiernan was one of the authors listed in "The Year in Fantasy" Panel at World Fantasy 2011. So I’m looking forward to reading her.
"Dark Victory" by Michele Lang, published by TOR. This is the sequel to "Lady Lazarus". An alternate history of World War II featuring a witch coming of age and battling Nazis.
"Fair Coin” by E. C. Myers, published by PYR. A young adult novel with a hero discovering a wish granting coin that turns his world upside down.
"Changes" by Mercedes Lackey, published by DAW. A new entry in the world of Valdemar
"Dancing with Bears", by Michael Swanwick, published by Night Shade Books. Isn’t that a great title? "Dancing with Bears" follows two con men in a "post-utopian future". Hmmm.
"The Bards of Bone Plain" by Patricia McKillip, published by Ace. A new fantasy featuring a young bard and a princess researching the past. A gorgeous colourful cover on this one.
"Blood Spirits" by Sherwood Smith, published by DAW. This is the sequel to "Coronets and Steel", a terrific book that I reviewed last summer. This involved identical princesses, mysterious powers, hidden kingdoms, swordfights. Man, I just want to find a big comfy chair and curl up right now!
Just to recap, the books that I mentioned today were:
- "The Cloud Roads" and "The Serpent Sea" by Martha Wells, published by Night Shade Books.
- "Seed" by Rob Ziegler published by Night Shade Books.
- "The Falling Machine" by Andrew P. Mayer, published by PYR.
- "Gilded Latten Bones" by Glen Cook, published by Roc.
- "The Drowning Girl" by Caitlin R. Kiernan, published by ROC.
- "Dark Victory" by Michele Lang, published by TOR.
- "Fair Coin" by E. C. Myers, published by PYR
- "Changes" by Mercedes Lackey, published by DAW.
- "Dancing with Bears", by Michael Swanwick, published by Night Shade Books.
- "The Bards of Bone Plain" by Patricia McKillip, published by Ace.
- "Blood Spirits" and "Coronets and Steel" by Sherwood Smith, published by DAW.
This has been WebGenii letting you know what is on my reading list.