Holiday Monday here in the USA. No work! Which is great – except everything that needs to be done at work will be crammed into four days instead of five. Sigh. But I do get a free day to fit in some reading. Smile.
So here are the novels I’ll be trying to finish up or start this week.
STORM FRONT (THE DRESDEN FILES #1) by JIM BUTCHER
I began this one over the weekend, and it has been a thoroughly enjoyable story so far. Much different in style and tone from Hounded by Kevine Hearne and Artful by Peter David, which were my first forays into Urban Fantasy.
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.
There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.
Magic. It can get a guy killed..
REAVE THE JUST by STEPHEN R. DONALDSON
I started this collection of novellas and short stories from the author of Thomas Covenant last week and have been enjoying it. So far, Donaldson has dazzled with a story about Reave the Just and his intervention in the horrible situation of his “kinsman” as well as penning a dark tale about a young, foolish man cursed by a cuckold husband and haunted by a djinn, who finds his privileged life destroyed and death itself withheld from him.
While I have not enjoyed every book written by Mr. Donaldson (The Gap series wasn’t my favorite), I acknowledge that the man can write a compelling narrative with deep meanings, multi-dimensional characters and twisting plots. Plus, this collection promises to have stories running the fantasy gamut from straightforward fantasy tale with a meaning to grimdark-esque stories with non-traditional protagonists, so no need for me to be worried I will get bored.
CITY OF STAIRS by ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT
Several reviewers that I respect wrote glowing recommendations for this novel, so I had to pick it up.
The Goodreads’ description makes it sound very interesting.
A densely atmospheric and intrigue-filled fantasy novel of living spies, dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, ever-changing city-from one of America’s most acclaimed young SF writers.
Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city’s proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Divani. Officially, the quiet mousy woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country’s most accomplished spymasters-dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem-and that her own abilities might be touched by the divine as well.
THE SCOUT AND THE SERPENT (CHRONICLES OF THE NAMELESS DWARF #3) by D.P. PRIOR
I’ve been reading this series slowly for the last few weeks. It isn’t as “epic” as the author’s Shader series, but what it does have is The Nameless Dwarf, who is a very interesting sword and sorcery protagonist.
Nameless (as he is now known) is a dwarf who committed such heinous acts of brutality to his own people that he was sentenced to the most horrible curse known to the dwarven mages: his name to be magically wiped from the minds of everyone – including himself. But during the Shader series, Nameless was released from his cell to help save the universe from “uncreating”, and now that the world is safe and his chance at a new life has unraveled, he has begun a desperate quest to save the remainder of his people and atone in a small way for all the lives he destroyed. His journey taking him into a realm of chaotic magic where the dreams (and nightmares) of a god become reality.
Accompanying him on this quest is a mysterious female thief, a rather shady mage, and a young boy. Each of these people have their own reasons for finding themselves with Nameless, not necessarily to help him.
Light, entertaining read so far.
So what will you be reading this week?
Oh, the Dresden Files are a great intro to contemporary urban fantasy. Fifteen books into the series and the writing and storylines are still going strong! Can’t wait to see what you thought of the first one/if you’ll continue with the rest of them.
I’m really psyched with Harry Dresden so far, and from what my friends tell me, the series doesn’t really get “good” until book four. Looking for great things with this one!
Excited to see that you will be reading City of Stairs soon! Hopefully it will meet your expectations 🙂
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Reave the Just is a great anthology by Donaldson. I have another one in hardcover but the name escapes me. The Gap series … gah … I read it for completeness sake but will never read it again.
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I’ll be reading the newest Toby Daye book, _The Winter Long_ by Seanan McGuire. And also _Nine Goblins_ by T. Kingfisher. I’m looking forward to both of them.