Another batch of mini-reviews! 🙂 Lots of Brandon Sanderson in this one, but there’s also a few other titles noted here in this post. Included in this batch are:
A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
By: Adrianne Harun
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.
I remember when I first heard of this book, the premise sounded intriguing and unique from some of the stuff I usually read. I picked it up some time ago and had started reading it but after almost 100 pages in, I decided to put it down. I’m not sure if it was the time that I had read it or that I had chosen it as the book to read when travelling to and from work, but I just could not get into it. Almost 100 pages in, I wasn’t even sure what the book was about or where it was heading, which was a bad sign. Hence the DNF.
Another batch of mini-reviews! 🙂
Some of the Best from Tor.com 2015: A Tor.com Original
Format/Source: eBook courtesy of Tor.com
A collection of some of the best original short fiction published on Tor.com in 2015. Includes stories by Nino Cipri, Seth Dickinson, Jeffrey Ford, Yoon Ha Lee, Maria Dahvana Headley, David Herter, Kameron Hurley, Noah Keller, David D. Levine, Michael Livingston, Usman T. Malik, Haralambi Markov, Daniel José Older, Malka Older, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kelley Robson, Veronica Schanoes, Priya Sharma, Brian Staveley, Sabrina Vourvoulias, and Ray Wood.
I don’t always make any blog reviews about fantasy anthologies such as this as usually my reviews run the same responses, but I felt the need to review this compilation as I thought it was a pretty solid one for the most part. Of course there were a few that I liked more than others, hits and misses so to speak, but the range of stories that Tor.com featured this past year was an interesting one. Lots of familiar names, but also lots of names that I’m not familiar with. Kameron Hurley’s “Elephants and Corpses” was definitely a standout (which left me more excited to get around to reading The Mirror Empire), Usman T. Malik’s “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” was absolutely absorbing and well-rounded a novella, and Seth Dickinson’s “Please Undo This Hurt” was quite thought-provoking. That’s of course from the stories that did standout in my mind after all this time (as I am typing this review some time after having finished reading this cllection) but nonetheless I think this is definitely a collection worth checking out.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
By: Becky Chambers
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.
So I’ve been keeping a lookout for this book since last year when it was listed as a book to check out when it comes out and picked it up towards the end of 2015. It sat on my TBR pile for a little while until earlier this month I learned that it had been longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016, which was a surprise as it’s not very often you see a book from the speculative fiction genre cropping up on a major book prize list. So boom! Ended up at the top of the TBR pile, haha.
By the way, I looooove the book cover for this novel. Simple but elegant and pretty 😀 *happy sigh*
Another batch of mini-reviews today (I think this might be something of a trend this year?)! This time it’s mostly classics, novellas, and one DNF *le sigh* —
The Devil’s Nebula (Weird Space #1)
By: Eric Brown
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Rebellion Publications
Best-selling author Eric Brown has created a brand new shared world for Abaddon Books: Weird Space. This thrilling space-opera series will begin with the release of The Devil’s Nebula. Brown will introduce readers to the human smugglers, veterans and ne’erdowells who are part of the Expansion – and their uneasy neighbours, the Vetch Empire. When an evil race threatens not only the Expansion, but the Vetch too – an evil from another dimension which infests humans and Vetch alike and bends individuals to do their hideous bidding, only cooperation between them means the difference between a chance of survival and no chance at all.
I received a copy of this book when I signed up for Rebellion Publication’s newsletter which was cool. Unfortunately a few chapters into the book I had to put it down: the characters didn’t strike my interest and despite throwing readers directly into the action from the get-go I just wasn’t interested. I’m normally all for spac opera but this just didn’t catch my attention at all, and with so many other books on my TBR pile, yeah, I had to put it down.
The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur #2)
By: Hannu Rajaniemi
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
“The good thing is, no one will ever die again. The bad thing is, everyone will want to.”
A physicist receives a mysterious paper. The ideas in it are far, far ahead of current thinking and quite, quite terrifying. In a city of “fast ones,” shadow players, and jinni, two sisters contemplate a revolution.
And on the edges of reality a thief, helped by a sardonic ship, is trying to break into a Schrödinger box for his patron. In the box is his freedom. Or not.
Jean de Flambeur is back. And he’s running out of time.
I read the first book, The Quantum Thief (review) a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t in any rush to pick up the second novel, really, but then I saw it while browsing the bookstore some time ago and decided to pick it up then and continue along in Jean le Flambeur’s adventures 🙂
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