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Found 13 results

  1. Abe 'Sarge' Griffin served in WWII 60 years ago. His squad was responsible for finding more unusual (meaning supernatural) threads. After destroying a polish madman's weird ritual and taking the arcane pieces with them, so he could not try again, they went home, but Abe was never the same again. He has not aged a day, is faster, stronger, tougher then any human ought to be. Being on the verge of killing himself from ennui and loneliness he is visited by the granddaughter of his old squad-mate Paddy. Paddy is old and demented, but Anne, the granddaughter, tells Abe that Paddy has not been himself for days, trying to flee the home crawling, trying to reach Abe any way he can. Abe agrees to come with her to visit Paddy and trying to reassure him, but as it turns out, things are far from fine. The past they left behind in Poland has caught up with Abe and the left-overs of his old squad, and they have to figure out a way to end it, this time for good. I enjoyed this book very much. It's a mixture of superhero action scenes (though Abe is not actually wearing a costume, he displays typical abilities and powers of a classic superhero) and lovecraftian horror, with some military bits thrown in. The Action is varied, engaging and fun. The scenes are described well, so I always had a good sense of what's going on even in more complex tussles. There are monsters, fanatics and people driven crazy. The author managed some pretty disturbing images and scenes, but it never felt like too much, if you know what I mean. It always fitted well within the story and did not seem to be purely for shock value. I liked the characters. Abe tells the story from his perspective, but there are also a bunch of other support characters. Abe, for all his old demons and problems is a pretty sympathetic character and I like his thought process, tough deviance, rough nature and protective instincts, but I also could understand his deep flaws. Anne is a pretty awesome character too, though, understanding and independent, weak only when the action is up. I simply gobbled the book up and am very happy to know there's still one more part out there, because I'm not quite done with this author yet.
  2. Teeth was an amazing read, dark and heavy, yet charming and full of character. It's author, Hannah Moskowitz, is no doubt a wonderful writer with a lot of skill but due to the topics of her other books I just couldn't enjoy them that much... Teeth was interesting because it had some fantasy elements, a 'fish-boy', a dark backstory and good dialogue. I especially enjoyed the dialogue between Teeth and Rudy, and I'm not going to lie, I found myself wanting them to be together romantically, in a way. Turns out I'm not the only one, as on goodreads it has often been shelved as 'LGBT'. For those who aren't familiar with this novel, I'll give you the blurb. "Be careful what you believe in. Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house. Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life." Are there any other books you can think of with similar themes, or that fans of this book might enjoy? (this question is mainly targeted at people who have read the book, but I'm open to other suggestions of course!)
  3. Amra is a lucernian thief, a few steps above a pickpocket, as she says. Her friend Corbin, another thief, comes to visit and asks her to safe-keep a figurine, left over from a trade gone wrong, he wants to use as leverage against his client. But at the end of the night Corbin is dead and Amra in possession of a statue that a lot of powerful people want at all costs. But Amra is searching for revenge for her friend. Amra's world is a vaguely late medieval Swords and Sorcery kind of place. While Swords, Daggers and Crossbows are the weapons of choice the first arabesques do exist. Magic plays a powerful part, but there are also seers called blood witches, demons and people who make pacts with them, necromancers, philosophers and gods. And it seems all those parties are taking an interest of one kind or the other in Amras Quest for vengeance. Amra herself is as likeable a character as if rarely seen. She's a marked and scarred woman of distrustful and careful disposition with a clever, straight mind, but also loyal and brazen to a fault. She also has a dry and sarcastic humor that I like a lot. A good counterpoint is her companion, the mage Holgren. He has a more easygoing, joking temper and a unconcerned 'It'll work out' mentality. I like how the book managed it's information about the world. There are a lot of world-specific idioms used, that give the world more depth, but the book doesn't bog you down with a ton of unnecessary background information. Amra as the first-person narrator explains everything necessary to get all the later plot points and understand the story in full, but the world still keeps a lot of secrets since very little is explained just for the fun of it. At the end of the books there's a little dissertation on the history of the world, magic and gods, which is amusingly written and offers some new information. I was reminded of Harry Dresden for most parts of the story. Amra is just a regular person without magic or power, but gets involved in things that should obviously be far outside the scope of her abilities. She gets battered and bruised by fate, but nevertheless in the end she perseveres. As Harry Dresden she has powerful allies as well as powerful enemies, and her solid plans and loose tongue help and hinder the alternating. In short, I liked it a lot. It's not too long, well written and engaging, with a great female heroine. I actually red the two sequels shortly after, because I did not want to stop. :readingtwo: (Spoiler: they are awesome too, but especially the second book is quite different)
  4. So I stumbled across this book from an author I had never heard of before. But I couldn't put it down! It was a very fast read and I loved every second of it! It's called Inevitable Ascension by VK McAllister. I was wondering if anyone else had read it and your thoughts on it? It has some sci-fi fantasy elements and while it has a lot of action and dark scenes it was also hilarious! I loved the characters! I just need someone to share this with dang it! LOL
  5. Greetings All, hopefully someone can help me in my search. I'm a HUGE spy fan, however, I want to give that a break and try something new. I've come up with some criteria, and hopefully your recommendations can meet them. If You Select Sci-fi or Fantasy, the book must be a series. Choose one of the categories and then recommend a book. If you recommend: Fantasy: I don't want the generic medieval/Tolkien rip-off. No Elves, Dwarves or Castles. I want something original, and more mature orientated. No YA, and no fantasy set in modern day. Science-fiction: No military SF. I get enough of the bad-ass solider kicking ass from BSG, Stargate/Trek etc. I've tried to read The Lost Fleet but just couldn't bring myself to finish it. It's nothing against the author but the main character type is repetitive . No time travel either. I'm leaning toward space opera, and I know it's hard to find SO that isn't also military. Thriller: I'm looking for the average person caught in a conspiracy type thriller. Right now, I'm eyeing The Girl on the Train, and seriously considering the purchase. Any other of those types of novels is great.
  6. Following the recent announcement of the 2015 David Gemmell Legend Award winners I thought I'd bring up a topic that's been circulating hotly around the internet for the last few months. Is the fantasy/science fiction genre really dominated by white males? Why? There are of course plenty of arguments both for and against; but the majority of the internet seems to be clamouring for a fairer representation of gender and race in awards such as the DGLAs. These awards - along with many 'recommended' lists by both authors and bloggers - do seem to be dominated by this single demographic. The debate was sparked earlier this year, when the Hugo Awards were surrounded by a controversy that came to be dubbed 'Puppygate'. I don't claim to know all the finer details, but it boils down to the fact that a couple of authors who had been previously nominated for the award believed that the only reason they didn't win was because the voting was stacked in favour of minority authors. They started a campaign, calling themselves the 'Sad Puppies', claiming that the 'true spirit' of the Hugos (i.e. celebrating 'fun and traditional' science fiction) was being taken over by women, LGBTQ and people of colour, and that these people were only getting the votes because of their gender, race or sexual preference. This campaign encouraged people who sympathised with this view to vote only for authors the Sad Puppies told them to, which of course excluded most of the minorities mentioned above. The Gemmell Awards have also been criticised because all but one of this year's shortlisted authors falls into the 'white male' category. I found it interesting that, when reviewing my own reading so far in 2015, 33 of the books I've read were indeed written by (white) men, while 5 were written by (white) women. Although I never actually consider the gender or race of an author before reading a book, I've come to realise that maybe I should; and that maybe I should make more of an effort to balance out the kinds of authors I read, particularly since I also publicise my reviews on my own personal blog (which, looking at my review archive since starting the blog in 2013, does lean heavily and embarrassingly in favour of white male authors). With this in mind, I'm interested to know what people's opinions are about the following: The Hugo Awards/'Sad Puppies' controversy? The Gemmell Award shortlisting? How different genders/races/sexualities influence and/or are represented in your own reading? The SFF genre and how certain authors are 'pushed' on readers (e.g. Amazon recommendations, prominent displays in Waterstones, etc.)? Anything else you may have come across relating to other issues in this genre? There's a really good article here on Fantasy Faction summing up the Hugo stuff, along with several others elsewhere on the site for those who are interested. I look forward to hearing people's thoughts!
  7. The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy 2015

    Fantasy fans . . . it's that time of year again! The final shortlists have been announced and voting is now open until Friday 17th July. What are the awards? The David Gemmell Awards is an annual event that recognises outstanding achievements in fantasy fiction. The purpose of the awards is to raise awareness of the fantasy genre, celebrate the cultural importance of fantasy literature, reward excellence in the field, and commemorate the legacy of David Gemmell and his contribution to the fantasy genre. You can visit the website here. There have been some awesome winners since the awards began in 2009, including Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, Mark Lawrence, and Andrzej Sapkowski. The awards are comprised of three categories: The Ravenheart award for Best Cover Art The Morningstar award for Best Debut The Legend award for Best Novel This year's awards The final shortlists have been announced as follows: Legend Award (Best novel) Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (HarperCollins) Valour by John Gwynne (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK) Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (HarperCollins) Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz) The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (Orbit) Morningstar Award (Best debut novel) Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell (Jo Fletcher Books) The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot) The Godless by Ben Peek (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK) The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley (Pan Macmillan/Tor UK) Age of Iron by Angus Watson (Orbit) Ravenheart Award (Best cover art) Laura Brett for The Slow Regard of Silent Things Mike Bryan for Half a King Jason Chan for Prince of Fools Sam Green for Words of Radiance Jackie Morris for The Fool’s Assassin ***You can vote by clicking here.*** So, has anyone read any of the books on the shortlists? Are there any authors/books you think should have made the shortlist but didn't? Who will you be voting for? The winners will be announced on Saturday 8th August 2015.
  8. After reading (and loving!) the three published entries in the comedic fantasy/sci-fi series Magic 2.0, I had to ask the author, Scott Meyer for a chat about his past and upcoming work - and he was kind enough to oblige. Hi Scott, thanks for talking to us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I currently live in Florida with my wife. I write humorous science fiction novels. I’ve written three installments of my Magic 2.0 series, and my first book in a different science fiction universe comes out in July. It’s called Master of Formalities. I also have a comic strip called Basic Instructions. Before the writing and comic work started paying the bills I was a Walt Disney World cast member, and an office manager. I made my living as a stand-up comic for over a decade, and I briefly worked in radio. Before we get onto Magic 2.0 - would you like to tell us a bit about Basic Instructions? It’s probably the most text-heavy, art-light comic in the history of the medium. I started it around a decade ago. It was originally meant to draw people to my website in hopes of getting them to hire me as a comedian, but then I burned out on comedy and Basic Instructions became my primary creative outlet. Where did the initial inspiration for the Magic 2.0 series come from? If you read or watch any substantial amount of science fiction you will eventually come across the idea that reality is a computer program. I got to thinking about what kind of things I could do if I found the bit of code that defined me. Then I thought about the repercussions of those changes. Then I thought about how I would deal with those repercussions. The rough idea for Off to Be the Wizard took shape from there. What is your writing process for each book? Do you have a complete series planned out or are you taking it one book at a time? I need to plan things out in advance. I think about what kind of story I want to write. Off to Be the Wizard was kind of a coming of age story, Spell or High Water was sort of a mystery, you get the idea. Then I work up an outline of the major events in the story. Once I’m happy with the outline, I write the first draft, writing every day for a set amount of time, or until I reach a certain number of words. I have very specific ideas for where the series will go long-term, but I have no solid plan beyond the book I’m currently writing. What have been the most challenging and most fun aspects of writing the series? The most fun part is coming up with ideas and figuring out how to make them work on the page. The most challenging part is also coming up with ideas and figuring out how to make them work on the page. That may seem like a cop out answer, but I’m in the happy position where the fun part of my job is challenging, and the challenging part is fun … most days. There are days when it’s not working, every sentence is a slog, and I’m sure I’ll never write a usable word again. Which character and which book are your respective favourites in the series, and why? Off to Be the Wizard will always be special, because it was the first one I completed and got published. I’m also pretty darned proud of my next book out, Master of Formalities. I think my favorite character is Brit the Younger/Brit the Elder, who I introduced in Spell or High Water. They are the same person, caught in a time loop in such a way that her older and younger versions are together in one place at the same time and have to deal with each other. There’s a lot of fun to be had with that idea. If you discovered the source code of the universe, what's the first thing you think you would do? Almost exactly what my character Martin did, but more slowly and carefully. The 8-bit style cover art is really attention-grabbing and wonderfully unique - where did those designs come from? My publisher, 47North, hired a series of designers who came up with those. I wish I could claim credit for them. They’re much better than the original self-published edition’s cover, which I did create myself. So you've started work on the fourth installment in the series - can you reveal anything about what it has in store for Magic 2.0 fans? (And, whether there might be a fifth?!) I do plan to write more Magic 2.0 books after the one I’m currently working on, but I don’t have any specific plans that I’m ready to talk about at this time. The fourth book involves the wizards’ attempts to create dragons from scratch. Do you have any interest in branching out from Magic 2.0 and writing other, unrelated novels, perhaps in a different genre? Master of Formalities, (which, again, comes out in July) is sort of a distant future epic science fiction humorous soap opera. I like to describe it as being “like Downton Abby, if it was set in the Dune universe.” I’m also putting the finishing touches on a modern day mystery story. We’ll see what happens with that. Thanks again to Scott for talking to us. Find out more about Magic 2.0 here, Basic Instructions here, or follow Scott on Twitter @binstructions.
  9. If you have read my recent introduction post, you'll know that I am currently reading 'A Game of Thrones' but I am struggling to keep up with the flow of the book as I don't have a lot of time to put into it. Whilst looking for alternatives in my local bookstore I saw 'Swords of Good Men' and it was recommended for those who found GoT too heavy (On the little paper tag on the shelf). I was wondering if anyone here has read this book or has read any reviews? I don't particularly wish to give up GoT for something I don't know too much about, or ifs worth picking up.
  10. Laura's Fantasy Corner 2015

    Welcome to my 2015 reading log. These were my targets at the beginning of last year: I don't think I achieved any of them. So I've decided this year's targets are going to be a bit more realistic. Targets for 2015: 1. Read at least 1 book. 2. Buy less than 50 new books. 3. That's it. I'm no longer keeping track of my TBR because, frankly, it's depressing. I'm just going to read whatever takes my fancy, and just hope I don't suffer a major loss of mojo like I did towards the end of last year. I'm going to start off the new reading log by posting reviews of the books I read over the last couple of months, since I've only just got round to writing them. I'm yet to complete my first read of 2015, which is Magician by Raymond E. Feist. Happy reading in 2015! [Edited immediately after posting because apparently I can't spell.]
  11. James Frey offers $500,000 in gold

    I thought this was kind of cool: From Asia One.com, edited by me, for more see: http://news.asiaone.com/news/world/solve-puzzle-book-win-640000 The American writer is offering US$500,000 in solid gold to the first reader to solve the complex puzzle in Endgame: The Calling, out on shelves today. The book, co-written with fantasy writer Nils Johnson-Shelton and published by Harper Collins, has 12 young adults from India to America decoding their own sets of puzzles on a worldwide scavenger hunt to find hidden objects and save the Earth from total destruction by alien forces. Readers of the book do almost the same: Sentences, number strings, patterns and even links to online websites are scattered in the text, meant to lead readers towards the location of a hidden "key" that will "unlock" a case of gold coins in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Tied in is a massive online multi-player game - the mobile app designed by Google will be out within the next two months - that allows players/readers to "fight" one another for more clues to the location of the key. "Anybody in the world can win it," says Frey, 45, in a telephone interview from Connecticut, where he lives with his family and runs his production company Full Fathom Five. "We will know when somebody has solved the puzzle and we will make sure he is in a position to get to Caesars Palace."
  12. I'm in my 30's now and sick of reading Young Adult books but don't know where to start. I'm looking for books that: have a main character that is at least 25 years old are in the fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal genre are NOT from the Romance genre and don't contain a bunch of descriptive sex don't have a lot of swearing (some swearing is okay) don't contain incestuous relationships (remind anybody of a certain popular series?)
  13. Hi Everyone I'm new to this forum. I love reading, but I haven't really found any books that have grabbed my attention or kept my attention, so here I am If you could suggest some books to read or send your top 5 books that would be much appreciated. Thanks