Brian Herstig profile
Place of birth: Columbus, Ohio
Now living: Minneapolis, Minnesota
3 favourite authors
- Octavia Butler
- Gregory Keyes
- Terry Brooks
3 favourite books
- The Lord of the Rings
- The Parable series (Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents)
- His Dark Materials trilogy
3 favourite films
- Blade Runner (Director's Cut)
- Children of Men
A tangled web of Victorian romance, near misses, séances, the butler did it, and animal jokes somehow meld with the Nazi blitz of London, the Enigma code, and true love. It is a comedy more specifically a farce and, for me, the tone and slapstick completely distracted from the story.
If you haven't yet started the Temeraire series, I recommend you do so. Peter Jackson - he of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fame - has optioned the rights to the series and plans to make several movies based on the series. Get them in now, so you can say you knew them and read them before they became mammoth Hollywood blockbusters.
Ultimately, The Shadowed Sun is a more personal tale than The Killing Moon. There is so much to love about it. But I found a few plot threads a little too easy to predict. I loved the characters and identified with each. The story grew organically and weaved together beautifully. And while, as I mentioned above, there is a significant emotional and moral discourse happening here - more so than the first book - for some reason I found myself LIKING the first book just a smidge more. Having said that, read them both. They are two of the best books I heave read all year.
If you cant stand - or dont like your kids - to read a story in which there is plenty of, gritty violent scenes, swearing, questionable characters and sexual relationships then this isn't your book. Abercrombies style is to write a fantasy story in which the characters react like realistic people. Youll never see a teenage-prodigy, heroes are non-existent or in for the cash, and there are plenty of crooked and corrupt characters, just like the real world.
With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins... There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dominant power - and it was named the age of Faerie. Ever since this time, a bitter war has been raging between the forces of good and evil. And it was during this age that the Elfstones protecting the Elven race disappeared. They have been missing for thousands of years. Now a clue to their location may have surfaced in the ancient diary of a princess, and it will be the beginning of an adventure that no-one could have anticipated.
"This book had a slower pacing and buildup, which helped allow me to focus on the characters and their motivations. While the action the quest is key, spending time on the company helped flesh them out a bit more and made the choice and results have more weight. Brooks is building a longer story here and wants us to be invested in not just the end result, but the people. I, for one, found this to be a welcome change. And I also have a sense we may see some other old friends again." Fantasy Book Review
Railsea is a great book that has the potential to be the kind of classic that others will mimic like Dune and Moby Dick before it. It is a unique approach to an unexplored part of a world space has been explored endlessly, under the ocean has been tried, every conceivable corner of the land has been tested. But railroads at once old and, nowadays, a hope for a cleaner and faster future have been almost forgotten. Mieville has found a way to bring them into the here and now and used it as a setting for a grand adventure.
This is the perfect book for a parent-child book club. Be warned it has virtually no action and is a character and plot driven novel. I found it to be extremely compelling, expertly written, and very insightful in a non-preachy way. But it is not easy and not intended for children under the age of 13 or so. It is a novel that needs and deserves to be discussed after it is read.
If youve read and liked Rangers Apprentice, you will enjoy Brotherband Chronicles. The focus on the building of a group and need to work together is something new and different in Flanagans world and it works quite well. He is an accomplished writer who knows how to pace a book and use humour. Overall a good and simple read.
As a book, The Mongoliad stands on its own, but as an online interactive media experiment (members can post their own fanfic, pictures, maps, etc.) it is an exciting peek into a possible future of interactive, serialized publishing.
In the first of her Dreamblood duology, N K Jemisin presents a vivid world of dreams and reality, sanity and insanity, and the stories of the people caught up within it. Its a compelling tale of corruption and justice and the lengths people will go to in pursuit of both.
If youve got a special place in your heart for Feists work or have been keeping up with it at least semi-regularly over the last 20+ years, this book will be a pleasing return to form. With the intricate back story and web of relationships it isnt one to pick up as a novice. For those of us who have always had a soft spot for Pug and the world he inherited it is a welcome return and beginning of a fitting set off for one of the great fantasy series of our time. One can only hope the last chapter of the series closes out with the energy and promise of this book.
Locke & Key continues to be a compelling series that questions what memory and emotion mean. The fourth story arc, Keys to the Kingdom, is solid, but not overwhelming and feels like the middle volume in a trilogy a little going somewhere but not quite yet. Until the last story, that is, which expertly and incredibly sets up the final arc of this incredible series.
The Wicked Years series looks at the social and political dealings of the land of Oz touching on things like animal rights, prejudice and stereotyping, good and evil, the role of fate versus free will in our lives, religion as totem and charade, and what defines family and being a parent. Maguire has created, throughout the series, a large tapestry that he uses to tell a political and ethical narrative that is closely enough rooted in our memory of Oz (from the movie) but that has enough room to breathe, grow, and become its own world. The political machinations, religious subtext, personal and broader struggles all feel very real.
The third story arc in the 2009 British Fantasy Award winning and Eisner nominated series continues to impress, although for the first time in its release there is a weak link.
But these criticism's are minor. Jemisin has created a well-paced, thoughtful, intriguing book that has unexpected twists. The characters are fleshed out and memorable. If you like solidly built worlds where gods and people mix and enjoy looking at a culture in transition, you will find this book a great read. Ultimately, the series is about change - both intended and unintended - and the role an individual can play in setting in motion or keeping in motion those ripples of the world around us. Book one was fantastic. Book two is superb. And book three promises to be just as good. Jemisin takes her writing extremely seriously (even if the tone of the books at time is very light...) and respects her audience. Her blog (http://nkjemisin.com/) contains several posts about her use of trilogy in an unorthodox manner (different human protagonists in each book) and a character study of one of the gods. As a new author finding her voice, Jemisin is on extremely solid footing and is someone to watch.