Mar 112015
 
Review: The Exile

If urban fantasy and epic fantasy had a baby who liked a touch of romance, this story would be it. The story mostly felt like urban fantasy with normal humans encountering paranormal situations, but with a large part of the story taking place in Faerie, with a war and succession issue, there was an overall feel of epic fantasy. I don’t normally dwell on genres, but this book had a unique feel that is sure to cause some comment. I really liked how the story was told. There were multiple narrations told in alternating chapters, with many characters, both human […]

Feb 112015
 
Review: The Eterna Files

This was a very slow feeling story. It has a descriptive quality that while interesting, makes the plot seem very slow moving. The story is mostly centred around 2 investigative pairs, and while I really loved the characters and would like to read stories about them investigating cases, this story didn’t seem to do them justice. Ms Everhart and Harold Spire make a great crime investigating duo. He is very methodical and she is simply brilliant. She is such a strong woman, in an age whether women are seen as much weaker, and she is cunning enough to know how […]

Feb 042015
 
Review: Echo 8

This is a science fiction story with a strong romance element. It has a love triangle that is complex and very fun to read. Unlike most love triangles, the circumstances dictate that there isn’t really a “who will she pick” angle, just a lot of layers that made it feel unique. I found the romance in the story was hot and steamy, but also very fast. The relationships proceed at a breakneck speed which seems almost too fast, until you realize the entire book moves at the same speed. Then it starts to make sense and seem less rushed, but […]

Jan 262015
 
Review: Pacific Fire

I really liked this book. It takes place 10 years after the first one, and focuses on a different character, but the overall feel was much the same, and was very inventive. Sam is a character I found super easy to like and root for. He’s a golem, but seems very human. I was surprised at how much like a normal teenager he seemed, except he’s been extremely isolated (not uneducated or naive though) and knows he is considered a very expensive prize. Even knowing this though, he still has a good heart and great intentions, and follows his own […]

Dec 222014
 
Review: Blindsight

This was a very intellectual feeling sci-fi alien story. I feel like a lot of it went over my head, especially in the first half, but it was interesting, so I kept reading. By the end, I think I really liked it, even if I didn’t fully understand everything. This felt quite different than a standard alien story as there were philosophical wanderings and musings by the narrator. The narrator himself was quite unusually, not feeling fully human as he had half his brain replaced with a machine when he was a kid. It made for a unique perspective in […]

Nov 192014
 
Review: The Ultra Thin Man

I’m rather on the fence about this book. On one hand, this an intricate conspiracy story set on multiple planets with aliens and duel narration. On the other hand, the narrators are so identical they’re almost interchangeable and the world building is woeful low on details. Breaking it down, looking at characters first. The story is narrated by two old-school private investigators in alternating chapters. One has a first person narrative while the other has a third person narrative. That’s about the only difference between them. Other than that, the characters are super similar. At times, I found the only […]

Nov 112014
 
Review: The Three-Body Problem

I don’t read many translated stories, but this sounded like an interesting science fiction alien story. Unfortunately, I don’t think it quite got there. I DNF’d a third of the way in, and hadn’t reached any mention of aliens. I found this book read more like a science or history textbook than an actual story. There were historical tidbits, complete with footnotes, and an overall dry and unengaged feel. The first few chapters were all background information, and I found myself skimming it as I couldn’t see the importance of it to the story. Overall, the blurb sounded interesting, but […]

Oct 162014
 
Review: Eastern Standard Tribe

While I found this first part of the story confusing because I really didn’t understand the tribe set up, the more of the book I read, the more I enjoyed it. The tribe set up is explained about halfway through, and it made a lot of sense. It would have been better if that explanation occurred earlier in the book, but the story wasn’t really about the time zone tribes. It was more about Art and mental health. One thing I really like about Doctorow books is that you can either read and enjoy the story at a shallow level, […]

Aug 072014
 
Martin Reviews: Afterparty

Daryl Gregory’s new book Afterparty (Tor Books 2014) couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I was right in the middle of a punishing slog through Peter Hamilton’s 2012 novel Great North Road, where the plot is so overwhelmingly forced and the characters so underwhelmingly two-dimensional, that I was beginning to wonder if this huge tome (the trade paperback is over one thousand pages, and it must weigh at least a couple pounds) was worth finishing. Gregory’s book provided the perfect relief. Where Hamilton’s story contains a vast set of characters, Gregory’s is a tidy first person narrative. Where Hamilton’s […]

Jun 112014
 
Review: California Bones

This was a magic ladened story set in an alternate history California. The plot revolves around Daniel and his friends attempting the biggest and mostly deadly heist imaginable: stealing an osteomancy treasure from the ruler. The story is intriguing, amusing, and slightly confusing at times. I had a bit of trouble understanding osteomancy and the rules and behaviours it includes. It is explained, and I did understand by the end of book, but it took a bit of work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it was unique and complex, but this isn’t the type of book you can […]