July 4th 2011

July’s Reads

Continuing my obsession with re-watching science fiction shows, I finished Stargate: Atlantis and started in on Stargate: Universe.  I’m up to season four in Star Trek: Deep Space 9.  I’d be farther along if I didn’t have to wait for the Netflix discs… DS9 probably won’t be out for streaming until October, at which point I will be done, done, done with that particular series.  Also, I reconnected with a whole bunch of my roleplaying buddies from CompuServe so… yeah, I spent more time writing than reading this month.

Fatal Circle by Linda Robertson: This is the third book in the Persephone Alcmedi series, wherein she makes great strides in taking up the mantle of the Lustrata. The Fairies are still out to get her… and the vampire Menessos. It’s up to Persephone, as Lustrata, to bring balance back to the world. The book left plenty of loose ends to address in another book, but not so many that I’d feel extraordinarily angry with Robertson if she didn’t write another one (though I hope she does). If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, read this series! (I’ll bet I said that before, didn’t I?)

Unseen by Rachel Caine: I have been remiss in not mentioning the Outcast Season series by Caine.  This is the third book in the series (the first two being Undone and Unknown).  This series is a tangent or companion series to the Weather Warden series.  The star of this series is Cassiel, a former Djinn, who’s been confined to human form by Ashan, leader of the Old Djinn.  Her mission — destroy all of humanity.  It’s too bad Ashan didn’t take into account the fact that turning Cassiel into a human would slowly infuse her with human compassion.  While Joanne Baldwin and others in her series are sometimes mentioned in passing, this series is all about Cassiel’s struggle to accept being human, and to find some other way than total annihilation of the human race to eliminate the evil that threatens to destroy humans, Djinn and the Mother herself.  An excellent series, and you don’t even have to have read any of the Weather Warden books to understand who the players are… another, interestingly, this book ends at a point that’s right about at the middle of the latest Weather Warden book.  Sadly, based on what appears to be her publishing schedule for this series, I’m going to have to wait another six months to read the next one.  Bummer.

Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne: The third (and, I hope, not last) book in the Iron Druid Chronicles has our Druidic hero traveling with a group of unlikely companions all bent on revenge, and killing the Norse thunder god, Thor. Given the stories they tell, Thor clearing deserves whatever he gets. The Morrigan is again predicting doom, but when isn’t she? Other recent events and their consequences are starting to catch up to Atticus, and he’s going to have to relocate once the adventure to thrash Thor has been completed.

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July 1st 2011

June’s Reads

So, I finished Stargate: SG-1… and there are no more episodes of House or The Big Bang Theory or Castle to be watched.  Of course, I’m now watching Stargate: Atlantis and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (and in regards to that show, I’m still trying to remember why I thought it was so good… because season 1 has not been great).  Anyway, I also read!  And it looks like everything stayed in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Supernatural category this month… definitely reflecting what I was watching on the boob tube.

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde: Jasper Fforde has probably got the most twisted imagination of any author I’ve read. This is his latest in the Bookworld series, in which the written Thursday Next is having difficulties with her co-characters and understudy, and the “real” Thursday Next appears to be… missing. Despite having only 30 minutes for reading at lunchtime during the summer months, and all sorts of obligations, and the Stargate/Star Trek addiction of mine, I polished this one off in about four days.  If I had had the chance, I’d have sat down and read it all in a single day!  I highly recommend you read this one (and it’s possible, I think, to read this without having read the other Bookworld books… but they’re all so good, you really do want to read them all).

Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne: What’s not to love about a 2,000+ year old Irish Druid who looks like a college student, has fantastic Celtic knotwork tattoos, and chats telepathically with his Irish wolfhound?  Back in May, one of my favorite authors, John Scalzi, highlighted this book on his blog.  I found the premise and Hearne’s thought process intriguing, so I downloaded the story to my Kindle and finally got around to reading it this month.  It’s probably a good thing I waited a bit because know I want to read the rest of the series… the second book only became available this month, and the third will be out July 7.  Hearne tells an interesting story and sets just the right tone so that it really isn’t all that unbelievable that there’s a 2,000+ year old Druid living in Tempe, Arizona.  It’s not your typical urban fantasy novel, and I highly recommend it.  I just downloaded the second book, and pre-ordered the third!

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris: In this book, the eleventh in the Sookie Stackhouse series (on which the HBO series True Blue is loosely based), Sookie is once again at the center of mayhem.  The Regent of Louisiana is making life difficult for Eric and his vampires, Sookie learns a lot more about her fae side of the family, misfortune seems to be following Sam around, Debbie Pelt’s crazy sister wants Sookie very dead, and on top of it all, Sookie is hosting Tara’s baby shower.  If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll most definitely want to read this one, too.  If everything you know about Bon Temps you learned on HBO, this will confuse you to know end.  That said, read the whole series.  The books and TV show take different paths, but both are very good.  Oooh, that reminds me… better set up the DVR to record True Blood!

Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne: As I said above, I loved the first birth in the series so darn much, I immediately went back to Amazon and downloaded the second book to my Kindle (the third should be ready for download next week). We continue to follow Atticus O’Sullivan in his adventures in Tempe. Some rather nasty, badass witches have come to town, trying to horn in on the local coven’s territory. Not only that, but some Bacchants have come down from Vegas, a fallen angel is snacking on high school students, and a couple of ancient Celtic goddesses are making life more than a litter interesting for our hero. I must say that one of my favorite characters in the book is Oberon, Atticus’ Irish Wolfhound.

A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky: This is a Tor.com original short (well, short-ish) story. Most of us know the story of Helen of Troy. She left her husband, Menelaus, and went with Paris to Troy. Menelaus, Agamemnon and Odysseus decide to fetch her back, but apparently Artemis is keeping their ships in port because she’s ticked off about something. She says she’ll let the winds blow again so the ships can set sail, under the condition that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to her. And, being a man, he does. This is Iphingenia’s tale, told as her memories fade and she becomes the wind.

Overtime by Charlie Stross: Another Tor.com original short story! This one is a little creepy, a little bizarre and a little bit funny. Possibly even more than just a little bit funny.  I haven’t read much by Stross, but based on this little story, I’m definitely going to find more of his works!

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