Results 31 to 45 of 126
February 20th, 2008, 10:56 AM #31
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Just posted my review of Whitechapel Gods:
"Like Stephen Hunt’s “The Court of the Air” and Jonathan Barnes’ “The Somnambulist”, “Whitechapel Gods” takes place in a fantastical Victorian setting. In this case, the backdrop is 19th century London, specifically the district of Whitechapel—that is, a Whitechapel like you’ve never seen before, walled off from the rest of the city and transformed into a “steampunk-driven hell” where humanity suffers under the tyrannical rule of the ancient gods Mama Engine and her consort Grandfather Clock. We’re talking about a world where dissenters are crushed under the heels of man/machine hybrids such as the Gold & Black cloaks, and the unstoppable Boiler Men; where clocks act as portals for the all-seeing eye of Grandfather Clock; and where there are things much worse than death such as eternally serving Mama Engine in her Great Work. If that’s not bad enough, there’s also a disease called “clacks” that transforms flesh into gears & metals, and Old Whitechapel where if the air doesn’t kill you then the Ticker Hounds, nesses, clickrats or Frankensteins will. In other words, it’s a world without any freedom or hope.
Into this bleak milieu—which partly evokes H.R. Giger, The Matrix, and various steampunk-influenced videogames, anime & comic books—we have a resistance that has finally gotten the break they need, a weapon that could actually kill Grandfather Clock. Of course, they’ll have to recover it first from the bowels of the very dangerous Old Whitechapel, and do so before the maniacal John Scared—the weapon’s original owner—can get his hands on it and without getting killed by the Baron’s Boiler Men who are determined to stop them at any cost. Even if they accomplish all that, they’ll still need to construct the weapon and infiltrate the Chimney—the heart of Mama Engine’s Great Work—in order to activate it, and that’s not even taking into account the problem of how to deal with Mama Engine or the third god that is now making its presence felt…
Told over the course of two days and through multiple point-of-views, “Whitechapel Gods” moves along at a vigorous pace that feels very much like watching a movie or playing a videogame. In fact, “Whitechapel Gods” shares many similarities—both positive and negative—with such visual mediums including comic books. For instance, the action scenes are stylish, elaborate, and over-the-top. The plot meanwhile, while cool in a geeky kind of way, is admittedly thin and relies on numerous deus ex machinas like Aaron who can see into the essence of things, the drug mei kuan, and characters who have a hard time dying. Speaking of which, “Whitechapel Gods” features many larger-than-life characters that would look good on the big screen or coming out of your Xbox 360 + PS3, but are a bit lacking in the development department. Still, between such memorable personalities as Bergen, a statuesque German hunter with a shameful secret; Missy, a former whore haunted by voices; Oliver, ex-leader of the Uprising and the key to defeating the gods; the goblin-like villain John Scared with his doomsday plot; and the Faustian-like Baron Hume who speaks in poetic riddles, it’s hard to complain.
In the end, what can I say I’m just a huge fan of the whole Victorian/steampunk setting, so even though “Whitechapel Gods” lacked the depth & insight one might expect from a novel and had its share of issues, I thoroughly enjoyed S.M. Peter’s debut. So much in fact that I was very sad to see the book end, especially in a manner which seems to rule out any sequels. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for standalone novels, but in this case I loved the world and the characters so much that I just want to keep returning back to S.M. Peters’ Whitechapel over and over again..."
February 21st, 2008, 01:48 PM #32
Sounds good to me, definitly on the shopping list.
February 22nd, 2008, 12:09 AM #33
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
Finished Devil's Footprints by J. Burnside and it reminded me why I read very little mainstream fiction without fantastical elements these days. It starts very interesting, but then it just meanders in pointless and completely boring and uninteresting ways. The only thing that sustained my interest to finish it was the author's style. I would recommend as a much, much better read with similar overtones, The Sea by J. Banville
March 3rd, 2008, 10:17 AM #34
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Well some of you have probably already seen this, but I just posted my March 2008 spotlight HERE featuring this month's speculative fiction releases. A number of them I already have in my review pile like Dark Wraith of Shannara, Space Vulture, Mad Kestrel (which I'm currently reading), The Born Queen, The Lost Ones, Poison Sleep, The Magician & the Fool, Before They Are Hanged, A Fire in the North, etc., but there are still a lot of titles that I'm interested in getting. Particularly:
Procession of the Dead by D.B. Shan
Truancy by Isamu Fukui
The Boundless Deep by Kate Brallier
The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell
Mario Aceveda's urban fantasy series
Gladiatrix by Russell Whitfield
and Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
I'd also like to read the releases by Jeffrey Ford and James Morrow, but considering that I've never read any of their works, I'm not sure if their new ones are the best place to start?
March 3rd, 2008, 01:41 PM #35
I'm not familiar with the Morrow but I see no reason whatsoever for not starting Ford with The Shadow Year. It's stand alone.
March 4th, 2008, 10:54 AM #36
Ford and Morrow are mostly doing contemporary stand alones, so just pick whatever sounds good to you.
March 4th, 2008, 12:05 PM #37
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
Morrow's book sounds interesting; I did not care that much for the Witchfinder one, but in general I find books about witch hunts, kind of like books praising the Soviet Union, both based on ideology and misinformation.
March 5th, 2008, 10:27 AM #38
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
Thanks for the recommendations, will try the Norminton. Have only read Burnside's memoir about his father, which was brilliant, so will have to check out Devil's Footprints.
There's a new young adult series by Andy Briggs coming out about a website you can download superpowers from - maybe more sci-fi than fantasy, I'm not sure? He's got some stuff up on MySpace about it but it looks pretty good.
March 10th, 2008, 07:59 PM #39
Some more release announcements, with apologies for repeats:
Elom -- William H. Drinkard -- This is SF, but it may appeal to fantasy fans who like Gene Wolfe's New Sun books and it's getting some good buzz. It's about folk on a planet who live in rather primitive circumstances and then things get interesting.
The Golden Rose -- Kathleen Bryan -- Alt. realm fantasy, sequel to The Serpent and the Rose. Main character is now the ruler, and finds that it is tricky.
Mad Kestrel -- Misty Massey -- Alt. realm fantasy, getting some buzz, pirates, mystery and stolen babies with magical powers.
Mother of Lies -- Dave Duncan -- Alt. realm fantasy in the Children of Chaos series -- bad goddess, bad things.
Reaper's Gale -- Book Seven of The Malazan Book of the Fallen -- Steve Erikson -- Yeah, I know, this one probably already got mentioned. I still need to read further to see if I can get properly hooked on this series or not. Having read some of Glen Cook's Dread Empire series now, I have a better understanding of what Erikson's trying to do structurally than when I read his first novel.
Steward of Song -- Adam Stemple -- Sequel to Singer of Souls -- A man who can see the fey folk in the streets of Edinburgh, really, really wishes that he couldn't.
In a Time of Treason -- David Keck -- Sequel to Keck's debut In the Eye of Heaven. This series seems to provoke much debate.
RA Salvatore – The Highwayman -- Alt. realm fantasy -- This is the latest in Salvatore's non-tie-in DemonWars series/setting, which is a really interesting series in a lot of ways.
The Outlaw Demon Wails -- Kim Harrison -- Rachel Morgan series -- The punk rocker of the supernatural fantasy field is back with another dark thriller.
Renegade's Magic -- Robin Hobb -- Alt. realm fantasy -- Not that she needs the advertising, but boy, is this one getting a lot of attention and buzz.
Bone Song -- John Meaney -- A city powered by the dead has big problems. This one sounds really funky. I'm definitely checking it out.
Heart of Light -- Sarah A. Hoyt -- alt. historical fantasy, Victoriana -- A couple on their honeymoon in Egypt runs into magical trouble because the husband is a spy for the Queen. Sounds fun. Lord Peter Whimsey with demons is something I enjoy as a concept.
March 12th, 2008, 07:17 AM #40
I'm sorry if some of the titles will repeat themselves; Fantasy Book Critic posted a cool list of 2008 releases (to be reviewed)
“The Magician and the Fool” by Barth Anderson (March 25, 2008)
“Infected” by Scott Sigler (April 1, 2008)
“Empress” by Karen Miller (April 1, 2008)
“Paper Cities” Edited by Ekaterina Sedia (April 1, 2008)
”Line War” by Neal Asher (April 4, 2008)
“Blood Ties” by Pamela Freeman (April 7, 2008)
“The Resurrectionist” by Jack O’Connell (April 8, 2008)
“Shadow Gate” by Kate Elliott (April 15, 2008)
“The Crystal Skull” by Manda Scott (April 15, 2008)
“The Sharing Knife: Passage” by Lois McMaster Bujold (April 22, 2008)
“Fallen” by Tim Lebbon (April 29, 2008)
“Death’s Head: Maximum Offense” by David Gunn (April 29, 2008)
“The Queen’s Bastard” by C.E. Murphy (April 29, 2008)
“Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow (April 29, 2008)
“The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski (May 1, 2008)
“The Kingdom Beyond the Waves” by Stephen Hunt (May 6, 2008)
“The Year of Disappearances” by Susan Hubbard (May 6, 2008)
“The Host” by Stephanie Meyer (May 6, 2008)
“A Kiss Before the Apocalypse” by Thomas E. Sniegoski (May 6, 2008)
“Kethani” by Eric Brown (May 6, 2008)
“The Digital Plague” by Jeff Somers (May 12, 2008)
“The Wolfman” by Nicholas Pekearo (May 13, 2008)
“Madapple” by Christina Meldrum (May 13, 2008)
“The Edge of Reason” by Melinda Snodgrass (May 13, 2008)
“Snuff” by Chuck Palahniuk (May 20, 2008)
“Mind the Gap” by Christopher Golden + Tim Lebbon (May 20, 2008)
“The Mirrored Heavens” by David J. Williams (May 20, 2008)
“Cosmos Incorporated” by Maurice G. Dantec (May 20, 2008)
”Promise of the Wolves” by Dorothy Hearst (June 3, 2008)
“Daemons Are Forever” by Simon R. Green (June 3, 2008)
“The Unblemished” by Conrad Williams (June 10, 2008)
“Kushiel’s Mercy” by Jacqueline Carey (June 12, 2008)
“Tigerheart” by Peter David (June 17, 2008)
”Escapement” by Jay Lake (June 24, 2008)
“Havemercy” by Jaida Jones + Danielle Bennett (June 24, 2008)
”The Grin of the Dark” by Ramsey Campbell (July 8, 2008)
”An Autumn War” by Daniel Abraham (July 22, 2008)
”The Time Engine” by Sean McMullen (July 22, 2008)
“The Veil of Gold” by Kim Wilkins (July 22, 2008)
“By Schism Rent Asunder” by David Weber (July 22, 2008)
“Vicious Circle” by Mike Carey (July 28, 2008)
“The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls” by John R. King (August 5, 2008)
March 12th, 2008, 03:52 PM #41
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
From the list above there are many books I am looking forward, but most are well known; the one really interesting book that I was not aware of is the translation of M. Dantec Cosmos Incorporated. I own the book in French as I own all his novels except the last one (Artefact) which I intend to get as soon as I find a good offer, and I own the one English translation Babylon Babies in both languages, so I am going to get this one too.
March 12th, 2008, 06:51 PM #42
http://www.sagaofthefirstking.com/. Tor is making a big push for this, they sent a nice Promotional package with the book, including a pretty cool DVD interview. I'm going to try and get to The Ancient in the next book or two.
pretty impressed, especially since I didn't really get hooked into his Nulaperion sequence. Regardless, this book is worth mentioning because it is being unleashed on US audiences for the first time. Funky is the right word Kat, the story felt like it was set in a world designed by H.R. Giger, with a very strong combination of horror, noir, and science fiction. Good good stuff. A sequel is coming out shortly in the UK, entitled Dark Blood, with a US edition to follow (I think) at the end of the year through BantamSpectra again. As I said, this book can't be mentioned enough and really shouldn't be overlooked.
I'll keep my comments about Hobb's newest one to myself.
March 12th, 2008, 07:23 PM #43
- Join Date
- Apr 2000
- NSW, Australia
Bone Song was the first big miss for me by Gollancz last year. It just didn't hang together well for mind, and the characters and culture weren't plausible. I'm guesing it'd be more up KatG's alley though.
March 12th, 2008, 07:36 PM #44
Well we'll see. The odds of my actually reading a 2008 release in 2008 are usually slim.
I think we're just going to have to accept that some stuff we bring up may have been out awhile, especially the British imports and somewhat vice versa. But hey, if it's new to you, right?
March 12th, 2008, 08:07 PM #45