Fantasy Book Review
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Take Back Plenty is not an easy read, either stylistically or emotionally, for all it features some high octane escapes, unique aliens, a large and diverse world to explore and a mystery to be solved, however though I do feel somewhat let down by the book's treatment of its protagonist, I can't deny it was an amazing journey and one I'd recommend to any fans of SF, or indeed anyone interested in some highly unique writing.
What makes Truth and Fear such a triumph is that it can be read as thriller and fantasy. I cannot delve too deeply into the storyline without revealing too much, so all I can say is this is a rare thing: a sequel that surpasses its original.
Whilst it is an inventive novel in its own right, Pollen does not quite equal the power of its predecessor. Whereas Vurt took readers to a place they had not been before, Pollen goes some way to returning them to a sense of the familiar, not so much in terms of revisiting Noon’s reimagined Manchester as through the novel’s underlying conventional conceit of fantasy’s war upon reality.
More questions and answers are waiting for you in this great book, the Thursday Next novels are going from strength to strength without any sign of flagging - they just get more intriguing as the series continues. Where this series will end I have no idea and look forward to being continually surprised, but at the same time I hope that there are many more books to look forward to reading in the coming years (I don’t ask for much).
So welcome to Midnight where nothing is what it seems and not knowing everything about your neighbours may end up getting you killed. I enjoy this kind of story, a mystery/crime/thriller/urban fantasy novel, there is something for everyone here and enough loose ends to keep you intrigued to find out what could happen next. If you have read anything by Charlaine Harris I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read anything by Charlaine Harris, then Midnight Crossroad might be the book to get you started.
Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon is the second book of the Zenn Scarlett duology, a book that ties everything up in a neat package, but leaves plenty of room for future books in the same universe. There aren't many YA books that take to the stars, but Schoon easily proves that YA and space opera can be a perfect mix.
I can’t help but smile when I read these books; they are well written and completely enjoyable. I still have lots of questions about the Gale family which always makes me curious as to what may happen next. I am looking forward to the further adventures of The Enchantment Emporium series.
My opinion is split. One the one hand I can see this as being a foundation stone for the next book, which hopefully will push the action wider as in this one we spend the majority of our time with Gray and his skirmishes whilst the wider world is a jumble of names of far away places. On the other I can see this as being a fairly middling start to yet another fantasy trilogy where characters are running around doing the same old thing with flashes of LOTR and the Elder Scrolls popping up. It gets a bit messy in places, but doesn’t drag by any means, so although I don’t love it, I didn’t mind reading it either.
This is a glorious collection of Ian Miller’s work, the fantasy fan’s equivalent to a coffee table book you hope that your visitors will pick up to discover for themselves.
With Words of Radiance, Sanderson clearly stamps his authority as the master of the "Hollywood" style of epic fantasy. It is hard to comprehend just how much stuff is going on this book, not to mention how this book impacts the wider Cosmere (the universe that ties all of Sanderson's books together). Big action set pieces of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things is exactly what I want from my epic fantasy, and Sanderson delivered beyond what I could have hoped for. I'm tired, I can barely keep my eyes open, but I can't stop smiling. That's my endorsement for this book.
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read. See past winners.
Words of Radiance
Half a King
The Fell Sword
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