Showing posts from January, 2016

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Book One)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Book One) N. K. Jemisin, 2010 Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read the first book in a series by a person of color Premise: Shortly after her mother’s death, Yeine is summoned to the city of Sky, the city of the ruling Arameri family, the city and family her mother rejected and abandoned. She was brought up to be a local leader and a warrior, but if she hopes to survive her scheming high-born kin, she’ll need knowledge and allies that are both in short supply. I love it when a book is worth the hype. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an exquisitely crafted novel. It explores culture, cosmology, theology, and morality in a gripping, personal story about one woman, her past and future, and her place in the universe. The world is made up of countless kingdoms, but they are all under the ultimate rule of Sky and the Arameri, because the Arameri have an advantage granted them by the Skyfather, Itempas. I don’

The Waterborn (Children of the Changeling, Book One)

The Waterborn (Children of the Changeling, Book One) Greg Keyes, 1996, New ebook edition 2015 New ebook release! I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review. Premise: Perkar lives in a land full of gods: the little gods of things, the gods of places, the bigger gods of the old places that bargained with his ancestors. Hezhi lives in a city with one god. The River controls the city, controls the priesthood, controls the rules that govern Hezhi’s royal blood. They each set forth to change their fate, and so may change the fate of many more. I really liked this. It’s been a decent while since I’ve read such a strong fantasy novel. It’s long without dragging, although if it were written today, it would probably be broken up into two books. Both Perkar and Hezhi’s societies are explored carefully, and the differences are stark. I want this book to be a movie or a miniseries. Casting it would make some people’s heads explode. You see, it features a young man who

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Sara Pichelli, et. al., 2014 Premise: The Guardians of the Galaxy, plus fan-favorite Iron Man, are up against a coalition of galactic powers with ambiguous goals. One goal is clear, though: Quill's father, lord of the Spartax Empire, wants him home... or dead. Collects Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1, #1-3, GotG: Tomorrow's Avengers #1 I enjoyed reading this, but only a few days later, not much of it stayed with me. The art is nice, modern comic art. Sticking Iron Man into the story feels more than a bit like an obvious marketing ploy, although his snark adds a fun dimension to the book. Issue #0.1 is a retelling/revamping of the origin story for Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord). It’s fairly well done and probably the most interesting bit of the book. The main plot of the book concerns King J-Son and a council made up of rulers of all the major galactic powers. They discuss the jurisdi

The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett

The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett Nathan Ward, 2015 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: Everyone familiar with Hammett’s writing knows it was inspired by his time as a Pinkerton Detective. But what does that actually mean? Nathan Ward attempts to reconstruct Hammett’s pre-writing career and its impact. I enjoyed reading this book, but it’s trying to fill a very specific niche. It’s not a complete biography; it’s not much about the later part of Hammett’s life. It is mostly an attempt to reconstruct where and when he worked as a detective and the people or kinds of people he worked with. There is very little confirmed material to work with, so the author has to rely on third-party recollections or examples from similar operatives and/or operations. He questions the truth of some of the more impressive stories Hammett told about his time with Pinkerton, but replaces the whiz-bang tales with a more groun