After all this talk about video games in the last posts, it’s about time I talk about books again. The problem is, though, that it has been a long time since I last time since I actually FINISHED a book. I started several but apparently every time I pick up something to read it’s a new book so I end up with way too much cross-reading. But then again, it does give me several books to talk about today which is nice.
Promise of Blood (Brian McClellan, Powder Mage #1)
Starting with one book I was curious about since I first saw an ARC (advanced reader’s copy, basically a preprinted books for book sellers and journalist to review and/or just know beforehand what the book is about so you can sell it as soon as it hits the shelves. it’s a common practise in most media industries) at my last store.
Advertised as a mix of fantasy elements and a setting resembling the French Revolution I was quite intrigued about it. Now, having read the first few chapters (of my bought copy), it is probably the best books of the lot I read right now (excluding the last one in the list). The characters and their stories are mysterious enough to keep me reading, the writing style is good and lacks mayor issues and I really like the magical element and want to learn more about its rules.
So, yeah. I will eventually keep on reading and maybe even buy the next books. As far as I know, the third and last novel in the series will debut in February ’15, with several short stories available as ebooks.
Ein Sturm zieht auf (David Hair, Brücken der Gezeiten #1 – Mage’s Blood, Moontide Quartett #1)
As I’m reading this one in German I just mention both the translated and the original title which just shows again the weird discrepancy between the both. But that’s maybe a topic for another post 😉
As…well, both titles suggest, the world this series is set in heavenly centres around a artificial bridge across two continents and the war that breaks out whenever that passage is usable.
Woven into this west against east scenario is a mix of religious supremacy and a magic system which is quite interested albeit not as grasping as the one in Promise of Blood is. What very well be due to my lack of religious interest, though.
The Bone Season (Samantha Shannon, Bone Season #1)
That one’s sitting on my reading shelf for the longest time despite being really, really good. Maybe best described as a mix of Orwell’s 1984 (which is also on this list, funnily enough..) and the Hunger Games series, it tries – and succeeds – to add a complete Fantasy Layer into this distopian story.
Set in London and Oxford in a not to distant future our heroine Paige is one of the gifted and therefore outlawed part of the society, trying to come through in a small gang of criminals. But only until she gets abducted and brought to Oxford where she is trained by and forced to fight for and alongside a seemingly all-powerful race from beyond the aether – the mysterial world from where Paige and her follow gifted got her powers.
What makes this debut so good is not necessarily the setting (while it DOES help 😉 ), nor the fantasy elements. It’s entirely the world building, the quite extensive descriptions and explanations. Shannon doesn’t just tells her story and tries to educate her readers, she takes them by her hand and gives them a tour through her world so they really understand the story and not just identify with the protagonists but become their friends and comrades with all the knowledge one needs.
And after all those rather over-hyped distopian YA-novels with close to none immersion and world building, I’m rather happy about this one.
I just have to finish reading it 😉
And now I have to go to work. I hope I add another post to this as there ARE even more books on my list….See ya!