Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Peter Hamilton: The Fallen Dragon

A stand alone novel from the creator of Nights dawn. Space opera with a small dash of future philosophy thrown in. There were times when I struggled to keep reading this. For most of the middle section of the novel I wasn't sure who was good who was bad, which characters I liked which characters I didn't like. George R.R. Martin can do moral ambiguity and still keep your interest in his characters but in this book Peter Hamilton can't. Nevertheless there is a good story in there with plenty of clever stuff. Example of the clever stuff: A couple of hundred years after the invention of faster than light space flight the age of space exploration is fizzling out because it has turned out to be uneconomic. Recommended if you are prepared to put in a bit of effort to get to the end.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Mark Haddon: The curious incident of the dog in the nightime

Another book I started reading by accident and a very good one at that. This book is tricksy. For the first few chapters you think you are reading a light hearted whimsical view of the world from a the point of view of a teenager suffering from a form of autism. It is only when you are about half way in that it dawns on you that this is not a light hearted tale at all. It is deadly serious and very very good. Well recommended. Has lots of clever maths in it by the way as the narrator is a whizz at maths even though he is incapapble of empathy.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Garth Nix: The Fall

I must be regressing. I am reading yet another Young Adult fantasy. This book came free with a box of cereal as far as I recall, I read a few pages and hey ... it was pretty good. Lots of imagination in this first book of Nix's Seventh Tower Series. A young "Chosen" in a world that is veiled from light falls upon hard times when his father disappears with the families only proper sun stone. Without the stone our hero is likely to be booted out of the elite chosen ranks so he must set out on a desperate adventure to find one. Good stuff and with magical shadows it is somewhat in the vein of "His Dark Materials" but not nearly as dark.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

George R.R. Martin: Deamsongs Volume II

The second volume in this retrospective from the creator of Ice and Fire. This is just as good a read as the first volume although for different reasons. In the first volume I found the retrospective bits more entertaining than the stories. In this volume, perhaps reflecting Martin's developing craft as an author the stories are much stronger and the retrospective bits are more forgettable. For fans of Ice and Fire who missed Robert Silverberg's Legends collection this volume gives a second chance to read the Ice and Fire prequel "The Hedge Knight".