Showing posts from April, 2014

Sex Criminals: Volume One

Sex Criminals: Volume One Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky, 2014 Electronic copy provided by NetGalley for review Premise: Susie and Jon have something unusual in common. When they orgasm, time stops. No, literally. Once they find each other, what else would they do with such a talent... Collects Sex Criminals #1-5 I had heard only good things about this title, so I jumped at the chance to read the trade. I did really enjoy it, but I think it starts much stronger than it ends. The story starts in medias res, then flashes back and forth to fill in all the background. Susie's origin story in the first issue was probably my favorite part. I'll agree with other commentators here, and say that for a book written by two guys, it does a fantastic job with a girl's sexual awakening. Susie's confusion, angst, loneliness and curiosity all felt very real and plausible. I have less context for the plausibility of Jon's story in issue two, but it's interesting a

River of Stars

River of Stars Guy Gavriel Kay, 2014 Premise: Sequel to Under Heaven . It is a different time for Kitai. The balance between the court and the army is finally tilted to the court’s satisfaction, but what will that mean when Altai riders from the steppe pour over the border? Into this time are born a few people who may affect the course of history. Or they may not. It is not given for mortal men to know. It is hard to describe a book like this. I can describe the characters: subtle, passionate, vengeful, honorable, wise, foolish. I can describe the prose: meditative, textured, delicate. I can describe the themes: the place of men in history, the role of narrative in destiny, the secret small reasons behind the sweep of ages. But somehow, all of this together is more than the parts. Kay's style of historically-inspired fantasy isn't for everyone, but I usually find it satisfying. River of Stars is a book about an invasion and a war. It is also a book about extrao

Cold Magic (Spiritwalker, Book 1)

Cold Magic (Spiritwalker, Book 1) Kate Elliott, 2010 Premise: Catherine Barahal was brought up by her aunt and uncle after her parents’ death. She plans to go to school. She plans to help in the family business. She would never plan to get swept up in the politics of nations, revolution and magic, but once events are set in motion, she’ll do whatever she must to survive and discover the truth of her past. After I loved Jaran , I decided to pick up one of the author's more recent books. Despite being different in almost every other way, the books share a cross genre appeal and a compelling heroine. Cold magic is... fantasy steam punk adventure alternate history with a thread of romance. The magic is fascinating. The characters are complicated and varied. I was completely thrown by a sharp left turn in the plot, but was eager to discover where it was headed. I loved how historical figures were different, but recognizable. The story swings from the concerns of young girls


Gateway Frederick Pohl, 1976 Hugo winner - 1978 Premise: Ever since humanity found ships left behind by the mysterious Heechee, people have been taking them out for the chance at a fortune, despite a much larger chance of death. Robbie Broadhead tries to be one of those prospectors, but he doesn't get what he expects. I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. The ending was actually pretty effective. Getting there, however, was somewhat of a slog. I found the first third or so incredibly slow. The story flips back and forth between Broadhead's experiences as a prospector and his sessions with an artificial therapist years later. It's supposed to be a mystery how he became rich and so screwed up, but the character is rather unlikable, and I wasn't able to muster much interest in his story. However, I do think that there is some really interesting writing in this regarding unreliable narration and self delusion. The ending, as I said, is emotional