24 May, 2008

More To Read

Greetings. Time for more book recommendations (you know you love it).
Scar Night by Alan Campbell. Another book that got serious play all over the fan sites recently. I almost didn't get it at all but then the sequel came out and that sounded really good so I decided to give this one a try. I'm extremely glad I did. This book is much better than a first novel has a right to be. There are some basic fantasy plots set in a very unusual world. The heart of the book has to do with secrets that the church has hidden for centuries from the citizens of Deepgate, a city suspended above a huge abyss by chains. I won't say here what the secret is because that would ruin it. The story moves at a pretty good clip. It is graphic in some places with a good amount of deadpan humor interspersed. Definitely a good read and I'm looking forward to the sequel (which I've already bought) as well. A 4 out of 5.
Dusk by Tim Lebbon. I'm not really sure how I felt about this book and that's probably not a good thing. At first I was distracted by the amount of gore and profane language. It's not that I'm against these things per se, it's just that I enjoy writers who can get the point across without appealing to the lowest common denominator. The story is very short and focuses around five characters, one of whom is the vessel through which magic returns after a centuries long absence. There are some very good things in this book. The end, in particular, was one of the biggest surprises I've ever gotten at the end of a story but it's not really enough of one for me to highly recommend this book. In fact, a few days after finishing it I realized that I really don't care what happens to these characters in the next book. That's pretty telling right there. 3 out of 5.
The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt. I've had this book for almost two years and put off reading it again and again. Many of my friends have heard me insist that I really don't like reading sci-fi. After reading this and Dan Simmons though, I think maybe I do like reading sci-fi. At least, intelligent sci-fi. This book centers around interstellar archeology but before you think boring...the mysteries McDevitt presents here and their subsequent resolutions will keep you on the edge of your seat for most of the book. I wish I had only read this sooner. There's something here that keeps me from giving it a perfect score, but I can't put my finger on it. Nonetheless, a 4 out 5.


Stizz said...

Funny that you should mention Scar Night as I just acknowledged Iron Angel (the sequel) in my blog.

I loved Scar Night and cant wait to get my paws on the next one.

The Dusk and Dawn books by Lebbon were ok. It sounds like I enjoyed them a bit more then you did, but for the most part it was a pretty shallow experience. There were some cool moments though.

Dan Simmons is great! I don't know anything about McDevitt and the Engines Of Gods, but I'm right there with ya for my love of a good Simmons book. :)

Haonmot said...

Yeah, I guess the best way to describe the Lebbon books is shallow. Just not enough meat and the Mages and their crew seemed more stupid than threatening to me. If you like Simmons you should definitely try McDevitt. And Scar Night just really took me by surprise. I can't wait to read the sequel (of course it's way down in my pile o'books to read.