Sunday, August 19, 2007

Before they Are Hanged - Joe Abercrombie

I simply can't get enough of Abercrombie's fantasy satire. I was going to take a short break from reading (as I've had to read several books in a short period and I wanted to get some writing done) but come on, Before They are Hanged? How can you resist a title like that? And the writing is as engaging and compelling as that of his first novel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sleeping God - Book Review

Violette Malan has crafted another marvelous novel. This one (as opposed to Mirror Prince, her first) takes place entirely in a fantasy world. Dhulyn Wolfshead is a mercenary brother, Partnered to Parno Lionsmane, and a Marked Seer. Their story is captivating (I had trouble putting the book down to go to sleep and ended up reading a few extra hours). The country they travel through in this book is being turned against the Marked, persecuting and casting them out much the way the Nazi's did to the Jews before WWII. What makes the novel stand out, is that the propaganda is so well written you almost believe the priests that the Marked are evil, before being pulled back from the hysteria and seeing it for what it is. Misapplied logic. The ending is very satisfying, making you wonder how you missed predicting it.

The Blade Itself - Book Review

Alright, so I've finished The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. And boy was it ever a good read. My only complaint was that there was too much swearing. I know people think it's more 'realistic', but honestly, what's realistic about an old bald, bearded wizard mouthing off? Can you picture Gandolf asking what the S**t is wrong with kids nowadays? I can't. And really, the excessive use made the scenes where it would have added to the effect paler by comparison. Consider the lack of effect the one swear word in book 7 of Harry Potter would have had if we'd seen that character (or indeed any characters) swear excessively in that or earlier books. The line works so well that my roommate almost fell off the couch when she read it.

Still, if you want a phenomenal read, with gritty realism concerning magic, barbarian living and war (not to mention some delightfully hateful characters) than definitely pick up this book.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

World's Biggest Bookstore's Sci-Fi Fan Letter

The store's science fiction and fantasy newsletter I edit is now online! Visit it at www.scififanletter There you'll find all our back issues as well as photos from sci-fi related events in store. You'll also find links to various publishers' websites and a listing of books coming out next month. You can also sign up to have the newsletter emailed to you each month by sending a blank email to: Simply put 'subscribe' in the subject line and you're in.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stardust - Movie Review

The movie has been dubbed the new Princess Bride. As someone who's read the story, I couldn't understand how this could be. The story is not at all humourous. It's about a young man who decides he will prove his love to a rather haughty young lady by bringing her a fallen star. Yet, the movie achieves a sort of delightfully evil slant that makes you laugh while at the same time makes you wonder if you really should be laughing. In other words, it's very British.

But most importantly, the movie stars Mark Strong as Septimus, one of several brothers sent to find the necklace that knocked the star out of the sky. And his performance is as masterful as the one he gave in the 1997 version of Emma when he played Mr. Knightley to perfection. It was quite a joy to be sitting in the theater and seeing him appear on screen. Especially when none of the ads for the film mention him (which is a crying shame).

The Slacker

Once again I've been slacking off. At least as far as this blog's concerned.
From now on I'll probably be changing the content of this site to what I'm currently reading at any given time. And as I read several books a week that should have me posting more often.

My current book is the Blade Itself, due out in September from Pyr books. I'm only a few chapters in so far, but the book is wonderful. (In a scary, twisted sort of way - you'll understand that when you read the book.)