Red Planet Blues - down and out in the martian fossil rush

Posted by Sevhina on Fri, 08/14/2015 - 14:17
Red Planet Blues Book Cover

​​​​​​​At the crossroads of a gold rush western and science fiction you'll find Alex Lomax, private investigator. Most residents of Mars dream of finding Martian fossils, returning to Earth fabulously wealthy, and virtually immortal in a synthetic body. Alex is a wanted man back on Earth so he's stuck in the one grungy port city Mars has to offer when a dame (synthetic) walks into his office. We have now boarded the roller coaster ride of crosses and double-crosses that makes up Red Planet Blues. The dame's husband is missing and since the lazy and corrupt Martian police are doing nothing she hires Alex to find him. The deeper he digs the stranger this case gets and the ultimate motherlode of Martian artifacts is on the line. Alex finds that the trail of greed and murder leads back to the first discovery of fossils on Mars and he's now caught in the middle. At least he's getting paid by the hour and if a couple of fossils wander away from the motherlode who can blame him?

The Codex Alera Series - may be habit forming

Posted by Lore on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 17:45
Furies of Calderon Book Cover

​​​​​​​Furies of Calderon kicks off the Codex Alera series which is an excellent 6 book series written by Jim Butcher. The series follows the life of Tavi, a young boy with no fury-crafting skills, in a world where everyone has access to elemental furies and their magical abilities. The fantasy world of Alera is very interesting and the magic system hooks you in quickly by creating a diverse set of circumstances. Furies are elemental beings (Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Water or Wood) capable of helping the person who summons them in various ways from small everyday tasks through fighting in combat. As examples, earth furies help lift heavy loads and wind furies help their summoner travel faster. Alerans start to manifest their personal furies as children and by the time they are teenagers they are capable of summoning one or more furies to aid them at will. A person's place in society is often dictated by the strength of their furies.

The Runelords - Earth King series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 07/31/2015 - 17:24
The Sum of All Men Book Cover

David Farland has created a world where rulers take advantage of a magical process by which they acquire one or more of the attributes of their subjects, such Farland has created a world where rulers take advantage of a magical process by which they acquire one or more of the attributes of their subjects, such as strength, stamina, glamour, metabolism, grace, etc. The person that gives up such an endowment is known as a "dedicate" and they are now crippled in that capacity for the rest of their lives, all so that the receiver can be enhanced. Those who receive endowments are known as Runelords and they each approach the ethics of receiving endowments from different moral perspectives which adds to the richness of the characters. Some are ruthless in their thirst to improve themselves for their own purposes, while others pledge their lives to making the world better on behalf of their dedicates.

Ready Player One - a novel for MMO players

Posted by Lore on Fri, 07/24/2015 - 19:27
Ready Player One Book Cover

Anyone who has ever played a character in an online game or assumed any kind of persona in a virtual world will identify with this book. Serious MMO players in particular understand the challenge of managing the demands of the real world versus a virtual world and know the perils of trying to live in both at the same time. The two have a way of bleeding together with each having the ability to negatively impact success in the other. Ernest Cline take this concept and creates a virtual utopia known as the OASIS and juxtaposes it against a dystopian society that is in near ruins. Many people live in poverty in the "stacks", which are trailer homes vertically stacked on top of each other, and the only grass they ever see is virtual grass when they are online.

Riyria - 7+ books of fantasy goodness

Posted by Lore on Fri, 07/17/2015 - 18:43
Theft of Swords Book Cover

​​​​​​​The Riyria series has an interesting publishing history that is not very typical. Michael J Sullivan self-published 6 books in this series on his own and they were successful enough to land him a publishing deal with Orbit Books. These 6 books were then re-packaged into a trilogy containing 2 original books each and known as the Riyria Revelations. This is a great trilogy that has a strong story arc containing well written and entertaining characters and it all wraps itself up nicely at the end. What more could you want?

The Powder Mage Trilogy - excellent flintlock fantasy

Posted by Lore on Sat, 07/11/2015 - 02:06
Promise of Blood Book Cover

Promise of Blood is what is known as "Flintlock Fantasy" which means it contains a world where guns (musket/flintlock era weapons) exist alongside swords and sorcery. This book introduces the concept of Powder Mages, who are gun using sorcerers that rely on gunpowder to fuel their abilities. Powder Mages are able to enter a powder trance by ingesting gun powder which allows them to manipulate and control bullets as they fly, or even explode nearby gun powder being carried by their enemies. It is a unique magic system and executed pretty well by Brian McClellan. That concept, combined with an interesting story arc, carries the series and make up for the characters which I found to be a little uninteresting as a whole.

Mistborn - a great fantasy series not to be missed

Posted by Lore on Wed, 07/08/2015 - 18:35
Mistborn Book Cover

Mistborn is an excellent series and I thoroughly enjoyed every book in the original trilogy: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. I was completely drawn into Sanderson's world of Allomancers and all of the interesting things they could do right from the start. Allomancy is the art of "burning" a metal that you ingest to enhance your own physical and mental abilities. There are 8 metals that can be burned and most Allomancers can only burn a single one; however, there are rare individuals who can burn all 8 and these are known as Mistborn.