Monday, May 31, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Ledger: Read in May - Plan for June 2010

Dear readers,
last day of May today. Time to review what I read this month and what I plan for June.
May has been a mixed month. I read more than I expected and I posted less - especially reviews - than I wanted.
In the end it all depends on my job. My schedule depends on how many hours I have to spend for work and how exhausting these hours are.
Anyway June will be an interesting month:
- My wife and I will visit a medieval fair
- 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP in South Africa
- Super Mario Galaxy 2; after I long time I will again play a video game
- Tons of books to read
- More than a dozen reviews to write

Anyway the most important thing is to enjoy life.

And now I come back to the main topic of this post.

Books read in May 2010
I read in sum seven books, finished another two remaining from May and started a new one!

Books remaining from April and finished

Beat the Reaper (2009)
[ISBN-13: 978-0316073769], by Josh Bazell
A mix of Dexter, ER, Gray's Anatomy, House MD, Sopranos, The Godfather.
Absolutely entertaining!
Review in progress ...

Silver (January 2010, 432 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile.
Go, Buy, Read and Enjoy an intelligent, peppered with action, gripping roller coaster thriller full of twists, turns and surprises, populated with heroes who are more 3D than Avatar and who deserve your esteem and sympathy.
Read my review

Books finished in May 2010

City of Ruin (June 2010, 400 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0230712591], by Mark Charan Newton
This book is definitely one of the fantasy highlights in 2010! Read my review

Thomas Riley (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1590807002]by Nick Valentino
Nick's debut novel is straight and steamy all age book. Review in progress ...

Burning Skies (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385427] by David J. Williams
A firework of action, betrayal and technology. Special review in progress ...

The Gaslight Dogs (April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316021791] by Karin Lowachee
It was not the book I expected after reading the blurb. But under the premise that it is the first book of a series and you let yourself in the story without reservations you get an interesting read. Entertaining but definitely no candidate for the fantasy book of the year.

Wintercraft (May 13th, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0755370962] by Jenna Burtenshaw
Wintercraft is young, fresh fantasy with a trace of darkness, packed with emotion and action. Read it, don't eat it! Don't stay away, devour is okay!
Read my review

Shadow Prowler (Feruary 2010, 396 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0765324030] by Alexey Pehov
I read the book despite all the mixed reviews and I'm glad I did it. I really liked this peace of traditional fantasy. It differs a lot from the books I read this year. Review in progress ...

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
(Snowbooks, UK, April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906727208]
(Pyr, US, September 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142407]
For details read Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Burton & Swinburne and Spring-Heeled Jack
What a debut!!! For me it is definitely one of the top debuts in 2010. Highly recommended. Review in progress ...

Books started to read in May 2010

Black Hills (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316072656] by Dan Simmons
I read 15 pages so far. Will continue to read in June

Planned Reads in June 2010
Top of the list are two books I wanted to read in May. I started the first one. The second one is a "virgin" from reading point of view. I list the books in the reading order. Of course there is an exception. After a long, long time
I will read an anthology: Swords & Dark Magic. The plan is to read the book during the whole month and review two stories at a time. And I want to read a trilogy back to back. here we go:

So far I read two Dan Simmons novels in my life: Terror (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-3453406131] and Drood (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1847249326]. Both are excellent books - read my review of Drood. I bought the next novel Black Hills (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316072656] without hesitation.
"When Paha Sapa, a young Sioux warrior, "counts coup" on General George Armstrong Custer as Custer lies dying on the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, the legendary general's ghost enters him - and his voice will speak to him for the rest of his event-filled life.
Seamlessly weaving together the stories of Paha Sapa, Custer, and the American West, Dan Simmons depicts a tumultuous time in the history of both Native and white Americans. Haunted by Custer's ghost, and also by his ability to see into the memories and futures of legendary men like Sioux war-chief Crazy Horse, Paha Sapa's long life is driven by a dramatic vision he experienced as a boy in his people's sacred Black Hills. In August of 1936, a dynamite worker on the massive Mount Rushmore project, Paha Sapa plans to silence his ghost forever and reclaim his people's legacy-on the very day FDR comes to Mount Rushmore to dedicate the Jefferson face." [Source]
It is on my shelf since two months and now the time has come to read it. So far I read 15 pages. But I'm not sure whether to write a review or not. The reason is quite simple: I read the ultimate Black Hills review. Go and read Black Hills review over at Kamvision. I don't need to praise this review more because it tells its own tale.....

I have been so impressed by The Sweet Smell of Decay that I ordered the second book in the series in advance.
I received the copy and I can't wait to read it. Paul Lawrence's writing is so alluring......

A Plague of Sinners (May 2010, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636914], by Paul Lawrence
"July 1665. The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed."

There are several reasons why I the following book made it to my list:
Reason one, reason two, reason three, reason four, reason five, reason six. I did not need more. And you?
This is the book I'm talking about: Kraken (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0333989517] by China Miéville.
"The Natural History Museum's prize exhibit - a giant squid - suddenly disappears. This audacious theft leads Clem, the research scientist who has recently finished preserving the exhibit, into a dark urban underworld of warring cults and surreal magic. It seems that for some, the squid represents a god and should be worshiped as such. Clem gradually comes to realise that someone may be attempting to use the squid to trigger an apocalypse. And so it is now up to him and a renegade squid-worshiper named Dean to find a way of stopping the destruction of the world as they know it whilst themselves surviving the all out-gang warfare that they have unwittingly been drawn into..." [Source]

I want to read more science fiction in 2010. Therefore I added following book to my reading list:
The Machinery of Light (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385434] by David J. Williams. It is the final one in the Autumn Rain trilogy.
"With The Machinery of Light, David J. Williams completes his furiously paced, stunningly imagined trilogy - a work of vision, beauty, and pulse-pounding futuristic action.

September 26, 2110. 10:22 GMT. Following the assassination of the American president, the generals who have seized power initiate World War Three, launching a surprise attack against the Eurasian Coalition's forces throughout the Earth-Moon system. Across the orbits, tens of thousands of particle beams and lasers blast away at one another. The goal: crush the other side's weaponry, paving the way for nuclear bombardment of the cities.
As inferno becomes Armageddon, the rogue commando unit Autumn Rain embarks on one last run. Matthew Sinclair, an imprisoned spymaster, plots his escape. And his former protégé Claire Haskell, capable of hacking into both nets and minds, is realizing that all her powers may merely be playing into Sinclair's plans. For even as Claire evades the soldiers of East and West amid carnage in the lunar tunnels, the surviving members of the Rain converge upon the Moon, one step ahead of the Eurasian fleets but one step behind the mastermind who created Autumn Rain - and his terrible final secret." [Source]

This month I want to read four K. J. Parker books. The first one will be The Folding Knife (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-978-1857236101]. I admire K. J. Parker's writing. Beyond my admiration I deliver you two good reasons why you should read The Folding Knife too. The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker (reviewed Liviu Suciu)
Blood of the muse: The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
"Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough." [Source]

The next book is from the well known author Kevin J. Anderson. First published in 2009, I own a paperback copy of The Edge of the World (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316004190] which is the first book in the Terra Incognita series.
"Terra Incognita - the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the known world only by the words here be monsters.
Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the world, pin their last hopes of ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.
Each will send its ships to brave the untamed waters, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unseen by any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave, and the mad, willing to leave their homes to explore unknown. Even unto the edge of the world ..." [Back of the book]

The blurb promises a lot. And I can't wait to discover the blank spaces on the map.

The whole Scavenger series by K. J. Parker

Shadow (2001)
[ISBN-13: 978-1841491059]

[ISBN-13: 978-1841491820]

Memory (2003)
[ISBN-13: 978-1841491721]
"A man wakes in the wilderness, amid scattered corpses and inquisitive crows. He has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. The only clues to his former existence lie in his apparent skill with a sword and the fragmented dreams that permeate his sleep." [Source]

I admire K. J. Parker since I read and reviewed The Colours in the Steel (1998) [ISBN-13: 978-978-1857236101], the first book in the Fencer trilogy. But this time I will read the complete series in a row.

Normally I'm not so keen to read short stories. But I want to give following anthology a try:
Swords & Dark Magic (July 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0061723810], edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders.
"Swords & Dark Magic is the most important new fantasy anthology to be published this decade. Featuring new stories from the bestselling and brightest writers working in the genre, including: New York Times bestselling authors Scott Lynch and Garth Nix; genre greats Michael Moorcock (with an all-new Elric novella), Michael Shea (with a fully authorized new Cugel the Clever adventure), Robert Silverberg (with an all-new Majipoor tale), Glen Cook (with an all-new Black Company story), Gene Wolfe, and C. J. Cherryh; and hot new writers who've been re-inventing swords and sorcery like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Tim Lebbon, and many more." [Back of the book]

I know, I know, again ten books. But I'm so keen to read ... to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 ... and much,much more. June will be definitely a month with less sleep.


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