What I'm Reading:
I finished a couple of books last week: All Necessary Force by Brad Taylor and Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan. As I mentioned in my last reading update, the Pike Logan series is quickly becoming my favorite espionage series after just 2 books. The last 20% of the book was awesome, and had me screaming "this is what I read espionage novels for!" inside my head. It had a great, action-packed, emotional ending. Great stuff. I also enjoyed the ending of The Fires of Heaven, and thought the book was very solid overall. I am now reading the next Pike novel, Enemy of Mine, which just came out last week. So far, it is off to an even better start than the previous 2 (which is hard to believe). And I am just about finished with The Ragged Man by Tom Lloyd. I sound like a broken record, but this is another solid edition in the series. I hope to finish reading it later today.
-Win one of 6 copies of Night of the Swarm by Robert V.S. Redick, the last book in the Chathrand Voyage series. Details here.
-Jim C. Hines posted the greatest fantasy book cover of all time. This is a must-see.
-John Marco has review copies of this long-delayed Lukien novel. I'm planning to finally read the 3rd Lukien book, Sword of Angels, sometime in February.
-See Brent Weeks blog post here for details on how to win some Lightbringer swag.
-Read a free Wild Cards short story from Daniel Abraham at tor.com here.
-Wert with news that Tad Williams has completed his next Bobby Dollar novel.
-Karen Miller has finished the draft of her next novel, book 1 in the Tarnished Crown series.
-Paul S. Kemp has finished the draft of The Godborn, which is due on shelves later this year.
-Ken interviews Brandon Sanderson.
-Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (A Fantastical Librarian)
-Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (Pat's Fantasy Hotlist)
-Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (SFF World)
-Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (Bookworm Blues)
-A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Pat's Fantasy Hotlist...this is an im-progress reading update. Pat doesn't seem to be enjoying it very much. His thoughts seem to echo Larry's. The world must be coming to an end for those 2 to agree on a fantasy book )
-A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Justin Landon with a guest review at Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review)
-A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Elitist Book Reviews)
-A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (The Wertzone)
-A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Neth Space)
-Red Country by Joe Abercrombie (Elitist Book Reviews)
-A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder (The Speculative Scotsman)
I'm finally nearing the end of The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, with just 120 pages left. I had hopes of finishing it by tonight, but I spent more time watching football last night (than reading), so I likely won't finish it until tomorrow. I still think my chances of finishing all the WoT books by Jan 8, 2013 is slim, but I'm going to keep at it (unless, of course I flip-flop back to The Twilight Reign). Especially since the 2nd half of The Shadow Rising has been so good (the first half felt bogged down a bit to me, at least for the non-Perrin storylines).
I'm also finding (or rediscovering) that I prefer my Kobo Touch e-ink device to my Kindle Touch. I think the only reason I stick with the Kindle is because I buy all my ebooks from Amazon (thanks to the referral purchases you guys/gals make). Sure, I still 'liberate' ALL of my ebook purchases so I can read them on any device, but it is still nice to be able to buy and read immediately on the Kindle (without having to do the .mobi -> .pub conversion via computer first). So that is the big reason I have a Kindle...but if I judge the devices purely from a reading standpoint, I prefer the Kobo by a LARGE margin. It feels better in my hand, and has way more customization options (I can provide details if anyone is interested). I do have the new Kindle Paperwhite on order and due for delivery on October 3...but I also am really intrigued by the Kobo Mini. And if the review of the Kobo Glo are good, I might be tempted to return my Kindle PW and switch to the Glo. I'm not sure anyone is interested, but I'll provide more feedback on my e-ink decisions as they evolve.
-Terry Brooks posted an older (from 2009) article entitled "Why I Write About Elves" here (the link is to a .pdf file).
-Aidan posted the cover art for The Dark Defiles by Richard Morgan.
-Tom Lloyd is looking for comments on the draft cover copy for The God Tattoo, which is a collection of 11 short stories set in the Land (the setting for The Twilight Reign). The draft copy sounded good to me, though I will definitely purchase it no matter what.
-Peter V. Brett is running a "Make Your Own Daylight War Cover Contest". Details here.
-SQT is running a giveaway for Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein. The contest ends Oct 2.
Rather than kick my reading funk in the pants, I think Shadow of Night just stretched it out. There were parts of it that I liked, but it didn’t grab me to the same degree as the first one did, and I had a lot more issues with the story itself. And while I was never annoyed with it enough to give up on it, I was also never highly motivated to pick it up or read for long stretches at a time.
-Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Fyrefly's Book Blog)
On the pacing factor, things don’t look so rosy for the first hundred pages when the story is being set up. The story seems to be stuck in stasis a bit however things do pick up once the crew reaches Ninavel and things soon go from bad to worse with a couple of plot twists. The author has to be lauded for making this story extremely unpredictable, beginning from the direction of the story to the style presented as well as the end twists. Nothing happens as expected for the characters and the readers will get to experience this form of literary confusion as well. Courtney Schafer is something of an enigma in terms of her writing as she allows to the story to go haphazardly as per the character dictates and yet it feels like part of her overall story plan. This curious move with the story direction is something that might stump a few of the readers who are looking for the action-oriented adventure feel of her debut. I would caution them not to throw in the towel but give the story a try as once they reach the end; they will get a definite idea about where the story is heading and what the climax entails for Dev, Kiran and the rest.
-The Tainted City by Courtney Schafer (Fantasy Book Critic)
This is the first in Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series, and it’s taken me long enough to get to it. But I’m very glad that I have: it’s awesome. Brutal and grim, this is a very different UF novel, that shies away from the current trajectory of the genre while embracing some of its best tropes. I really enjoyed reading this novel.
-Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (Civilian Reader)
The Other Lands is an incredible and epic installment in the Acacia trilogy. It brings everything to a whole new level and prepares us for the final encounters that I couldn't be more excited for. If you like epic in your fantasy, the Acacia trilogy is the one for you. It will have you living and breathing the life of a Known World inhabitant (and Other World as well) and that's exactly why I read fantasy.
-The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham (Only the Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
I've read all five of Brent Weeks' published novels and it's a certainty that he's evolving with every book. With The Blinding Knife, I believe he's entered a new stratosphere and one that puts him on par with anyone who's written these kinds of stories. It isn't only the best book he's written; I consider it one of the best epic fantasies I've read.
-The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks (Staffer's Musings)
As I mentioned on Friday, my 'fantasy' reading time will be less than normal the next couple of weeks as I work my way through an iOS programming book. That reading is going well, and everything is making sense this time around. I did read about 10 pages in The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan last night. I hope to go to the gym today during my lunch break. If so, I should get another 40 minutes of WoT reading time while I ride the bike. While I would prefer to use that time on the iOS book, at this point, I need to be sitting in front of a computer to read the iOS book, so I can work on the sample app in the book. Anyway, maybe using the gym as WoT reading time will give me extra incentive to work out at least a couple of times this week. The first 4 months of this year I was working out 4-6 times per week and had dropped 10 lbs. Since then, working out has been sporadic and I've put 6 of those lbs back on. Boo! I also still have to decide if i think I can catch up to WoT in time for the final book. I think it is looking increasingly unlikely...so if I am NOT going to catch up, I might as well stop rushing to read it and maybe read The Twilight Reign instead. The 4th and final book in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima is due out in a month, and I kinda had hopes of reading that one soon, too.
-None...didn't have time to look for any this morning, and didn't notice any worth mentioning from the weekend. Will keep my eyes open as always. If you know of any, feel free to let me know via the comments or an email.
-While I was typing this, Solaris announced a debut author for September 2013. They are calling it a "historical supernatural thriller".
-John Marco has finished the edits for his long delayed Lukien novel The Forever Knight. I'm an admitted fan of his, so I'm looking forward to April 2013 when this book hits shelves. It will also give me extra incentive to finally read the 3rd Lukien book. I think I never got around to it because of the size..it is one HUGE book in hardcover. I need to track down Marco's first series in trade paperback, and the 2nd Lukien book in hardcover. I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever see that first series in ebook format. Anyway, enough of my personal stuff...if you can't wait until April 2013 to see what Lukien has been up to, you can read chapter 1 here.
-Fantasy Book Critic is featuring a guest post by M.R. Mathias. He gives an update on his new series, as well as details a giveaway for The Wardstone Trilogy.
-Brent Weeks lets us know the map of the Seven Satrapies has been updated. Looks really nice.
-Mieneke reviews The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby. Looks like she had (mostly) good things to say about the beginning and the end, but the middle was a bit more problematic.
-Joshua Palmatier seemed to like Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines. I bought the Jig trilogy/omnibus edition recently and hope to read it (Jig) sometime..though I'm not sure when.
-Wert with some mostly positive thoughts on Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson. I had toyed with the idea of reading this before I finish the last 3 "core" (Erikson) Malazan books, but think I will go ahead and finish books 8, 9 & 10 before jumping into this prequel trilogy.
-The Little Red Reviewer had some mixed feelings on Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.
-Mihai's review of Blue & Gold by K.J. Parker reminds me that I forgot to order this book. I should check and see if the book is sold out (or not).
This section will be short this time, as I haven't read much of anything since Monday...other than a book on iOS Development (in case you are wondering, it is this one...and it might be one of the best programming books I've ever read. Definitely recommend it if you want to learn how to develop for the iOS devices). My free time will likely be devoted to the iOS book for the next bit, so my WoT/Twilight Reign read is going to be S-L-O-W. Bummer.
Anyway, the round-up was so much fun to post on Monday, you are
being subjected to getting another one today.
-Several books in The Wars of Light and Shadow series by Janny Wurts have dropped into the $4.99-$5.49 price range. You can find them here.
-This book isn't being listed for a sale price, but I wanted to mention you can now buy Legion by Brandon Sanderson for your Kindle here ($2.99).
-Harper Voyager is accepting unsolicited manuscripts for the first 2 weeks of October. More details here.
-Mieneke interviews Rowena Cory Daniells.
-The September edition of "Ask Terry Brooks" is now live for your viewing pleasure.
-Tor is running a contest in which you can win A Memory Of Light backpack, stuffed with several non-WoT books. Details here.
-Tor is also giving away an audio book edition of The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan. You better hurry, though, as this contest ends today.
-Joe Abercrombie informs us that the US release of Red Country has been delayed 3 weeks. The new release date is now November 13, 2012.
-Add Liviu to the list of bloggers who love the new Weeks book, The Blinding Knife (review).
-Graeme gives The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Tad Williams) a 9.5 out of 10.
-Another positive review (A Fantasy Reader) of A King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Looking forward to reading this series next year when the final book is published.
-Neth reviewed Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear.
-The Ranting Dragon was a bit disappointed with Goliath, the conclusion of the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. I find it weird how much buzz there was around the first book when it was published. There was quite a bit less for the 2nd book, and I hardly saw a mention of the 3rd. Considering how popular steam punk was/is, I found it out how little the series final book was mentioned (though maybe I just don't follow the bloggers who were really interested in this series).
-Rob had a positive reaction to Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines.
And that is all for today. Until next week....
I haven't posted one of these round-ups in quite a long time, so I thought I would try posting one to see how it goes. In reading news, I am bouncing around between reading WoT and The Twilight Reign (TTR). I am only on book 4 of WoT, and I had REALLY wanted to get caught up in time for the pub date of A Memory of Light. But with my reading pace, I don't think there is much chance of me getting caught up, which bums me out. And if I cannot catch up, maybe I should read a couple other recently ended (or soon to end) series, like The Twilight Reign. I did just re-read book 1, The Stormcaller. It was just as good as I remembered, and I seemed to follow the storylines a little better this time. Thanks to a little Amazon.com trick, I was able to buy the UK edition of the last book, The Dusk Watchman, so I have all 5 books in the series now. Anyway, my indecision on whether to read WoT or TTR means that I bounce around so often between the 2 series that I am making progress on neither. What I need to do, as geeky as it sounds, is figure out how many days are left until AMoL is published, and how many total pages I have to read in WoT to get caught up by Jan 8, 2013. If I think the "pages to read per day" is reachable, I might try one more all out push to read nothing but WoT and try to finish it. If the pages per day is just too high, I might pursue some other series, and mix in a WoT book every so often.
Last week I decided to order the new Kindle Paperwhite, despite already owning a Kobo Touch, Nook Simple Touch, and Kindle Touch. Not to mention the Nexus 7 tablet I do a lot of reading on. Pretty silly to order yet another device I guess, but the new higher DPI Kindle Paperwhite interests me..mostly for that higher DPI and the built-in light. I have been doing almost all of my reading on my Nexus 7 lately, as reading on LCD doesn't bother me. But I do find I get distracted with checking espn, my email, tech blogs, etc...and I never really got attached to my Kindle Touch for some reason. Hoping the Paperwhite will be as good as it sounds. I have to say I like the idea of having a little 5 inch reader like the newly announced Kobo mini. So I am kinda torn between the 2. And for one last twist, as much as I prefer a "pure" Android device to something like the Kindle Fire, I have to say the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9" interests me. A year or so ago I tried out the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and thought it was the PERFECT size for a tablet. So the 8.9" KF HD is tempting...IF it is easily rooted so I can put "pure" Android Jellybean on it. As you can see, I have an addiction to gadgets, just like I do for books (and music). Maybe I will get around to writing quick review of my Nexus 7 as a reading device (especially if enough of you ask )
Guess that is enough personal stuff for now...on with the fantasy bits...
-Wert is up to part 14 of his Wheel of Time So Far series of posts. Spoilers abound, so be warned. An excellent way to remind yourself of what has gone on before.
-Aidan has news of a new forthcoming series by Patrick Rothfuss.
-Tor is running a giveaway for a bunch of graphic novels. Looks like the deadline is Sept 30, 2012.
-Joe Abercrombie posted an extract of his forthcoming book, The Red Country. You can view that extract here.
-The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams: Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
-Elitist Book Reviews makes me really, really want to put down my WoT books until I finish the Twilight Reign series. See Steve's review of The Dusk Watchman.
-Phil (from A Fantasy Reader) with a review of Orb, Sceptre, Throne by Ian C. Esslemont. I still think I will finish the core (Erikson) books before I return to reading the books by ICE. I know some things will be spoiled by reading that way, but oh well.
-Sarah from Bookworm Blues just reviewed the 3rd book (and final) book in the Vampire Empire trilogy. Sounds interesting, but I just can't do vampires (other than The Twilight Reign). 99% of the time, vampires (and zombies) make a book an automatic "no" for me. Petty maybe, but there it is.
-Joshua Palmatier with his thoughts on Hammered by Kevin Hearn. While I am now sticking to completed series only, I wonder if I could/should read this series. I wouldn't read them consecutively, but maybe mix them in when I need a break from my current fantasy series. I am guessing these Iron Druid books work fairly well as standalone novels? Anyone?
Ok..will wrap up this post for now. I have lots more to mention...maybe I'll do another one of these round-ups later in the week.