Saturday, April 30, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1117

Hello and welcome to issue #17 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
This is the last issue in April 2011 after a mixed week. After a great Easter Weekend I had to work more than expected which influenced my reading and reviewing - especially reviewing. I'm afraid there will be only a few reviews ready to post until my holiday. Nevertheless I work on it.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Don't miss ....
  2. Blog content, reading progress
  3. What to read next?
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. "My hype"
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. This Summer Winter is Coming
  2. The David Gemmell Legend Award 2011
  3. Interviews related to books I'm interested in
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Game of Thrones title sequence
  2. Transformers 3
  3. X-Men: First Class
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Money quotes....

The Lighthouse

Even with two days without touching a book I read - thanks to Easter Weekend - incredible 630 pages last week!!


I finished two books last week:
- Among Thieves (2011) by Douglas Hulick.
This book is definitely the best fantasy debut I read in 2011 so far!!

- Out of the Dark by David Weber
That was a mixed bag. I liked the alien parts of the book a lot. The human parts included a way too much military abbreviations for my taste. The final part of the book has been surprising but unbelievable from my point of view.


Beside that I'm

- 350 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
I love it.

- 269 pages in Shameless Wonders by A.P. Stephens
My plan is to finish the book tonight (Saturday, April 30th)

- 18 pages in The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick
That will definitely change in the next days .....

Only three books in progress and one nearly finished. I'm missing steampunk and history thriller/mystery.... That leads directly to the question what I will read next.
First choice is simple because it is one of my April choices: The Dragon's Path (2011) by Daniel Abraham. The second one will be one of the books I received last week. Which means I will return to steampunk. But I still need to decide about my next history thriller/mystery.


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

All four books I received within last week I bought on my own. They all have in common that they are related to steampunk.

I posted twice (link one, link two) about the following two books.


Infernal Devices (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0857660978] by K. W. Jeter
"It all began when the Brown Leather Man, a mysterious being with a secret older than humankind, asked proper Victorian London gentleman George Dower to repair a weird device. How coud George have known that this was but one of the many infernal devices his genius father had built, and that he himself would soon be pursued by former clients of his father? For George had always been the unsuspecting key to his father's incredible plans, a key that others would like to possess - from the automaton who wore George's own face to the mad Lord Bendray, bent on using George to destroy the entire Earth." [Source]

Morlock Night (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0857661005] by K. W. Jeter
"JUST WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE TIME MACHINE RETURNED?
At the end of Wells' classic,tale, the traveller returned to the far future in search of his Eloi love. Having acquired his device for themselves, the brutish Morlocks have come back to Victorian England to feed upon docile humanity. But inthe hour of England's greatest need, the legends say, its greatest heroes will also return, to fight against its total destruction." [Back of the book]
A big thank you goes to Angry Robots for bringing back these books to print including new covers and new introductions and afterwords.

The last but one is the second book in the Hidden Star series. Once again I bought the next book in a series without reading the first one. I bought The Hidden Goddess (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0553592665] by M K Hobson because the blurb sounded as promising as the one for the first book.
"Like it or not, Emily has fallen in love with Dreadnought Stanton, a New York Warlock as irresistible as he is insufferable. Newly engaged, she now must brave Dreadnought's family and the magical elite of the nation's wealthiest city. Not everyone is pleased with the impending nuptials, especially Emily's future mother-in-law, a sociopathic socialite. But there are greater challenges still: confining couture, sinister Russian scientists, and a deadless Aztec goddess who dreams of plunging the world into apocalypse. With all they must confront, do Emily and Dreadnought have any hope of a happily-ever-after?" [Back of the book]
By the way the first novel The Native Star (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0553592658] is still available.
Maybe the mix of history, fantasy, and romance set in the Wild, Wild West is also something for you ....


Let me introduce to you the last book I received which is at the same time the first one in the brand new series The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences.


"These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the river Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences- the Crown’s clandestine organisation whose baliwick is the strange and unsettling- will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest..and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books along with her into the perilous fray.
For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun- he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices- must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot… or see England fall to the Phoenix!" [Back of the book]
You would like to get more information about Phoenix Rising (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049766] by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris? Then I recommend to visit The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences or to have a look at the first seventy pages by clicking on following picture. Enjoy!

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site


Last week I told you again about Prince of Thorns (hc, UK, 4th August 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007423293] by Mark Lawrence. It is one of the two 2011 debut novels I try to push a bit even I have not read one of them.

The second book is the debut novel of author Daniel Polansky. I have been as impressed by the blurb as several publishers in different countries.
"Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.
The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted." [Source]
Information from the author's website (including additional annotations):

LOW TOWN will be published in the US and Canada by Doubleday on August 16, 2011.

The same book will be published simultaneously in the UK and Commonwealth by Hodder & Stoughton under a different title, THE STRAIGHT RAZOR CURE.
Attention: As far as I know this is not the final UK cover

The German translation will be published in Germany by Piper under the title Der Herr der Unterstadt on September 29th, 2011.

Translations are also forthcoming in the following languages, with the respective publishers in parenthesis:
French (Bragelonne)
Spanish (Planeta/Ediciones Minotauro)
Croatian (Znanje)
Polish (Papierowy Ksiezyc)
Czech (Euromedia)
Russian (Eksmo)

And finally this is the book trailer:


In this case I tend to go for the German paperback edition. One reason is the price ... But there is still some time left until I have to decide.

No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

This Summer Winter is coming ...



On Monday, May 2nd, 2011 the final voting for The David Gemmell Legend Award 2011 opens.
And these are the shortlists in the three categories:

The MORNINGSTAR Award shortlist for Best Fantasy Newcomer/debut
CHARLTON, Blake - Spellwright (Tor US)
HINKS, Darius - Warrior Priest (The Black Library)
JEMISIN, N.K. - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Orbit UK/US)
PEHOV, Alexey - Shadow Prowler (Tor US)
VICTORIA, Mary - Tymon’s Flight (HarperCollins Australia)

RAVENHEART Award shortlist for best Fantasy Book Jacket/artist

EINARSDOTTIR, Olof Erla - Power & Majesty

LOCKWOOD, Todd - The Ragged Man (Pyr)

NIELSEN, Cliff - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

SULLIVAN, Jon - Shadow King (The Black Library)

VICTORIA, Frank - Tymon’s Flight (HarperCollins Australia)


David Gemmell LEGEND Award shortlist

BRETT, Peter V - The Desert Spear (Voyager)
HEITZ, Markus - War the Dwarves (Orbit UK/US)
JORDAN, Robert and SANDERSON, Brandon - Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight (Orbit UK/Tor US)
PEVEL, Pierre - The Alchemist in the Shadows (Gollancz)
SANDERSON, Brandon - The Way of Kings (Gollancz/Tor US)
WEEKS, Brent - The Black Prism (Orbit UK/US)

Go and VOTE!


Interviews! A nice topic. Once a while I like to read them. But I don't feel I'm able to conduct one. Fortunately there are fellow blogger who do interviews well. Today I would like to recommend three of them.
As mentioned above one of my current reads is The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick. I like to read when Robert is talking about the books of his series. Checkout the interview over at Mira's List.

The next interview reminded my of an outstanding review project: Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney. Shame on me! I really hope to find some time for it during my upcoming holiday.
Anyway I highly recommend to read Paul Kearney. There is a great new interview with Paul Kearney over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist which you should not miss even you have not read a single line by Paul Kearney.

The last interview I would like to recommend today is an example for a series which I totally missed. It is also the story of success. It shows that it is possible to start with a small publisher and to end with a contract from one of the big publishers. I talk about Michael J. Sullivan and his The Riyra Revelations series. The series will be republished and this time I will not miss it because I ordered the books in advance ..... And know read the great interview Riyria Revelations Redux: An Interview with Michael J. Sullivan over at Stomping on Yeti.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

After all these years a movie series comes to its end and it will be in 3D. I don't think I have to tell you something about the Harry Potter phenomenon. The trailer shows breathtaking action.


So far I have not seen one of the Transformer movies. But I must admit I like the Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon Trailer. Maybe this has something to do with age. The older I get the more action I like ....


A new theatrical trailer of the next movie in the X-Men universe is available. X-Men: First Class will hit the cinemas in June (US =3rd and Germany = 9th). It contains a few new scenes.


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Like millions of other people I would like to have a bit more of it. You don't know what I mean? MONEY ....

"Finance is the art of passing money from hand to hand until it finally disappears.
Robert W. Sarnoff

"Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
Groucho Marx, US comedian with Marx Brothers (1890 - 1977)

"No one can earn a million dollars honestly.
William Jennings Bryan, US lawyer, orator, & politician (1860 - 1925)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Edi's Giveaway: The Winner of The Crippled God by Steven Erikson

Today the time has come to draw the winner of my second giveaway:

[ISBN-13: 978-0765316561]


The Crippled God
by Steven Erikson



First of all let me say thank you to all five participants. Only one of you will get the price.

Let's start with the procedure. First of all every participant gets a number for the drawing:
1 = Michael , 2 = Bibliotropic , 3 = Mark Lawrence , 4 = RaveAir , 5 = Taylor Smith

I use the True Random Number Generator over at Random.Org for the drawing.

Step One - Set parameters


Step Two - Draw winner by click on Generate


We have a winner. It is number 4
Congratulations RaveAir !!!
Now I need your full mail address. I sent a mail to the address shown in your blogger profile.
I wait for your reply.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1116

Hello and welcome to issue #16 of Edi's Weekend Wave - Easter Edition.
Easter Weekend. That means for days in a row out of office. It also means to visit relatives. On Sunday we expect my mother and my sister. I will share work with my wife which means I'm responsible for the dessert and for the cake. I like to bake. Beside that I will find some time for reading and to play Final Fantasy VII which like more and more. And of course I deliver you this issue of my Weekend Wave.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Don't miss ....
  2. Blog content, reading progress
  3. Listening to ...
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. "My hype"
  3. Giveaway
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Decade’s Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies Viewer’s Poll
  2. Steampunk-inspired music
  3. Howls Moving Castle
  4. Inspiring places to work
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Game of Thrones title sequence
  2. Falling Skies
  3. X-Men: First Class
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Cloud quotes....

The Lighthouse

In case you did not recognize, I run my second giveaway which will end on April 25th.

The Price

[ISBN-13: 978-0765316561]



Reading occurred to be a bit difficult last week. There is a direct relation between the time I spend for reading and the time I spend in front of my notebook. On Thursday I read only 57 pages and on Friday 52 pages. Fortunately I read a bit more the days before. In sum I read exactly 500 pages last week.


This week I finished one book:
- Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent.
My comment on GOODREADS:
" What a great read! The mix of historical facts of Russian history supernatural horror is brilliant. I have been emotionally touched by Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov's fate.
The second book in the Danilov Quintet is more than a worth sequel.

I expect to finish this fabulous book within this weekend."
I work on the review which I hope to present you within the next days.


Finally I decided to read Among Thieves (2011) by Douglas Hulick next.
So far I read 158 pages. What a great debut novel. Fortunately more and more blogger pay attention by posting very positive reviews. Even I did not finish Among Thieves so far I highly recommend it and I hope there will be more hype around this great read. I will return to Among Thieves later in this post. Anyhow I expect to finish the book within the next days.

I'm happy that finally my ordered copy of The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick has been delivered. I could not withstand and read the first chapter (16 pages). Pazel and Thasha are back! I must quote the very first sentence because it gives you a glimpse of what to expect:
"It might have been a palace window in Etherhorde: round, red-tinted, firelit from within, but it was a living eye set in a wall of sapphire lunging east through a cobalt sea."

Beside that I'm

- 271 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
again and again I'm surprised how easily I can return to this book for a chapter or two without losing connection.


- 235 pages in Shameless Wonders by A.P. Stephens
Only two chapters more. My plan is to finish the book by end of April.

- 117 pages in Out of the Dark by David Weber
As I read it mostly at the gym it will take a while until I will finish it. as I wrote last week I prefer to read the "alien chapters" and that hasn't changed.


I told you recently that my wife and I are playing video games on our PS2:
She plays Final Fantasy VI and I play Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy games are famous for their soundtracks. Some of the songs are real catchy tunes. There is one song from Final Fantasy VI which does not get out of my head. And this is the extended version of the extended version of the Veldt Theme ...

I'm hypnotized by that song!

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

Let me say thank you to Tor/Forge.com for sending me a totally unexpected copy of Trades of the Flesh(March 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765327840] by Faye Booth.
"Preston, 1888: as the century draws to a close, the prostitute murders in London have made young Lydia Ketch's 'trade' a political issue. Lydia, the tough but optimistic daughter of a former workhouse inmate, has spent a year working in the 'introduction house' of Kathleen Tanner, a job that has given her an income few others could match. When Lydia meets Henry Shadwell, a young surgeon with a passionate interest in biology, the two develop an instant - and non-professional - bond. And Henry soon enlists Lydia's help in his underground sidelines; first as a model for pornographic photography; then as an assistant in procuring corpses for medical experimentation. With the dangers of her own line of work becoming clearer by the day, and her new found delight in her own sexuality burgeoning, Lydia becomes disillusioned with her life as a prostitute. And it soon become clear that her trade - and Henry's - are even more dangerous than either had imagined. "Trades of the Flesh" is a gripping novel about the body and its desires, from a precocious voice in historical fiction." [Source]
I showed the book to my wife. She is really interested in to read it. I must say that the book is not after my current taste. I'm not interested in dark erotic tales. But I want to be fair. I will wait for the comments of my wife about Trades of the Flesh. Then I will finally decide whether I will give it a try or not. I have so many books ...

And finally I received my copy of the third book in the Chathrand Voyage series:

The River of Shadows (US,2011) [ISBN-13:978-0345523822] by Robert V.S. Redick. I'm happy that I ordered a copy in advance last year because I still wait for my reviewer copy. I don't know when this copy will arrive. But when I get it I promised the author to use it for a giveaway. So fingers crossed .....





Last week I told you that I received a signed reviewer copy of Prince of Thorns (hc, UK, 4th August 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007423293] from author Mark Lawrence. Next month I will buy a copy of Prinz der Dunkelheit (pb, UK, 9th May)[ISBN-13: 978-3453528253] which is the German edition. I can't wait to start my project to read the same book in two different languages at the same time. I'm thrilled ....

Would you like to read a few pages of Prinz der Dunkelheit in German? Then click on the following picture.

Im Buch lesen



Lesen Sie im Buch


And now I come back to Among Thieves (UK pb, April 2011, cover on the left) [ISBN-13: 978-0330536202], (US pb, April 2011, cover on the right) [ISBN-13: 978-0451463906] by Douglas Hulick is the first book in the new A Tale of the Kin series.
"Drothe is a Nose, an informant who finds and takes care of trouble inside the criminal organization he’s a part of. He also smuggles imperial relics on the side.
When his boss sends him to Ten Ways to track down who’s been leaning on his organization’s people, Drothe discovers hints of a much bigger mystery. Someone is trying to stir up trouble between lower-level criminal organizations, including the one Drothe belongs to. And there’s a book rumored to contain imperial glimmer (or magic) that a lot of very dangerous people seem to be looking for - including two crime bosses known as the Gray Princes.
When Drothe discovers the book, he finds himself holding a bit of swag that can bring down emperors, shatter the criminal underworld, and unlock forbidden magic…that's if he can survive long enough to use it."

There is another Among Thieves giveaway over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. With some luck you can grab a copy of the US edition. But hurry up to take part. I don't know when the giveaway will be closed.


No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

Do you like fantasy movies? Then you instantly should head over to Tor.com and take part in
But you need to hurry up because the poll ends 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, April 24th.

Of course I left a comment with my favorite movies:
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (no doubt about it)
2. Watchmen (best comic book adaption)
3. Inception
4. The Dark Knight

I'm sure that The Lord of the Rings film trilogy will make it to the top ten. And when talking about The Lord of the Rings I can't let you go without showing you a fan made trailer covering all three movies. I'm glad that we own the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings.


Watchmen shows one of my all time favorite characters - Rorschach. I wanted to show a video containing a best of Rorschach scenes. Unfortunately it is not permitted to embed the video. If you would like to see it then follow THIS LINK. Attention: This video contains violence.

In case you think I have abandoned steampunk, let me assure you the next steampunk books are on their way. Recently I discovered Escape the Clouds. This is a band who steampunk-inspired music. And that is what the band has to tell about the video I would like to show you:
"Every Storm has an End
A short film celebrating the release of our second, steampunk-inspired album Circumnavigator. We wanted to capture the core story presented on our web site and the album: a man's journey around the world to save his stricken wife.

The song is "Above the Overcast" - track #9 off the album. The album version is pure instrumental. The other ten songs are a mix of vocal tracks and instrumental pieces that evoke different moments along the journey." [Source]
Now watch, listen and dream ....



Maybe some of you know the wonderful animated movie Howl's Moving Castle. The castle itself is impressive. Beside the animated castle you can find other versions of it. I would like to show you two different version.

The first one is a papercraft version of the castle. Watch and enjoy the video:


I hope you agree with me that the papercraft version of Howl's Moving Castle is impressive.
Can you imagine a ceramic version? No? Then follow me to a gorgeous post which shows and explains and incredible epic ceramic project.


Attention: Don't forget to close your mouth after visiting the post.

Like millions of other people I have a nine to five job - to be more precise it is a seven to four one (in case nothing unusual happens. That means I spend a lot of time in a office which looks like millions of other offices. But it could be different as the following post from the good guys over at webUrbanist show. Have a look at

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

The Wertzone is one of the blogs I follow. Adam is a profound connoisseur of the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire. Since I read The GAME OF THRONES title sequence I'm addicted to the title sequence. I highly recommend to read Adam's post because he explain in detail what is shown.
As the locations within the title sequence will change from episode to episode I hope that all of them will be available in near future. And now watch .....



"FALLING SKIES opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force.
At the center of the series is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a Boston history professor whose family has been torn apart. [...]
FALLING SKIES focuses on the resilience of the survivors and their determination to maintain their humanity when all else has been destroyed. It is a tale of endurance, commitment and courage in which everyday people are called upon to become heroes. They may be outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned, but nothing can beat the human spirit. Most of all, the series is about the ties that bind people together in the most difficult of circumstances. " [Source]
This is a part of the synopsis of the upcoming TNT series Falling Skies. Have a look at the five minute teaser which gives you a first impression about what to expect. It seems there will be a lot of drama and action. I don't know whether one of the German TV channels will buy it ...



A new trailer of the next movie in the X-Men universe is available. X-Men: First Class will hit the cinemas in June (US =3rd and Germany = 9th). It contains a few new scenes.


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Escape the Clouds inspired me to fetch some cloud quotes for you ....

"A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them.
Leonard Louis Levinson

"Weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society -- things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed.
E. B. White, US author & humorist (1899 - 1985)

"For each thorn, there's a rosebud...
for each twilight — a dawn...
for each trial — the strength to carry on,
For each stormcloud — a rainbow...
for each shadow — the sun...
for each parting — sweet memories
when sorrow is done.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe

I must admit I'm a bit bubbly today. Maybe not the preferred precondition for a serious review. But always the foundation for a more emotional review. I think it is the right mood for the book I would like to review today.

What do you get when you mix together a mix of Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, a pinch of black humor, Django, Snow White, magic, a sword, a coffin, beautiful and mysterious women, the Arthurian legend, a medieval world? I assume nothing really worth to read. But offer these ingredients Alex Bledsoe and you get the third adventure of sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse: Dark Jenny (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765327437].

And that is exactly the right point to send a big thank you over the pond to Alex Bledsoe for sending me a signed copy of Dark Jenny.
I read the 348 pages divided into 35 chapters in just three sessions.

After the The Sword-Edged Blonde (my review) and Burn Me Deadly (my review) we dive with Dark Jenny for the first time for a whole story into Eddie's past.

It is winter in Muscodia. A favorite meeting point in the town of Neceda is Angelina's Tavern which is at the same time the office of sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. On a hard winter day a messinger delivers a six feet tall coffin. The recipient is Eddie. Everybody insight the tavern is keen to know who is inside the coffin. After some preparations Eddie is willing to tell the background story of the coffin content. And that is where we go back in time with Eddie LaCrosse who is an exceptionally gifted story teller. Like people in the tavern you are immediately drawn into the story. You will loose contact to your surrounding. Fortunately there are some breaks when Eddie needs a drink. That is exactly the time you should use to go to toilet and get some refreshments. The story is significantly influenced by the arthurian legend. That is the familiar element of the story. The salt in the soup is Eddie LaCrosse. He makes the story extraordinary and unique.

A foreign kingdom - Eddie undercover - prime suspect in a murder - entangled in scandal which could be the end of the kingdom - the only way to save his live is to solve the crime.
Sounds like a simple task. But I can assure you nothing is simple as soon as Eddie LaCrosse is involved.

Alex Bledsoe is a wily fox which he shows by the inner construction of Dark Jenny. He develops the act of solving the crime in a nearly perpetual revelation of facts and information which brew in themselves new questions. That force the reader into continuous but nearly unnoticed page turning. This is supported by the interspersed use of black humor and action including outbreaks of violence. And every time when you think you are on the right track the author surprise you with a new and unexpected twist.

The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly grounded the character of Eddie LaCrosse, the tough, sometimes cynical sword jockey with a liability to gorgeous women. In Dark Jenny Eddie blossoms into a full developed charter with depth. You begin to understand why he acts how he acts. His actions are getting comprehensible. The actions of the past have an impact on our actions in future. With Dark Jenny Alex Bledsoe shows the next step of blend of sword jockey attitude with medieval fantasy atmosphere. And the world is much more than plain atmosphere.
The depiction of the obvious and hidden court life is fascinating. There are also other places well described like Angelina's Tavern. Eddie fits to the world he inhabits.
But the author does more. The more we (the author and the readers) get to know Eddie the more Alex Bledsoe tries to fathom his main character by bombarding Eddie with unexpected events, twists and turns. There are scenes where I felt emotionally touched.

The whole series is the result of the symbiotic relationship between Alex Bledsoe, Eddie LaCrosse and the world as their playground for the stories which fuel the relationship .

The end of my review is in sight. High time to separate potential readers of Dark Jenny into two groups.

All of you who never read a Eddie LaCrosse novel before, enter the next book shop and don't leave without buying either
The Sword-Edged Blonde
or
The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly
or
The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly and Dark Jenny.

I promise you pure entertainment with a great character who is the consistently evolution of his well known literary predecessors who made it into a new world full of adventures and mysteries.


As a fan of Eddie LaCrosse it is impossible that you will not enjoy the next evolutionary step in the development of Eddie. At the end of Dark Jenny you are on par with Eddie or is it Eddie on par with you - who knows. He is the kind of guy you would like to spend more time with.

Now I have to say farewell. I'm on my way to Angelina's Tavern where you can find me in the edge near the fireplace ....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Reading bet Reviewing

Dear Readers,

Some of you may have been a bit disappointed because there was no review on last Sunday. I was really willing to finalize one of my outstanding reviews. And then it happened:
Reading bet Reviewing !!

What does this mean? Instead of writing the review (no, don't tell you which book) I spent my time reading the second book in the in the Danilov Quintet series: Thirteen Years Later (February 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0553819595] by Jasper Kent.
"In the summer of 1812, before the Oprichniki came to the help of Mother Russia in her fight against Napoleon, one of their number overheard a conversation between his master, Zmyeevich, and another of their number. He learns of a feud, an unholy grievance between Zmyeevich and the Romanov dynasty that began a century earlier at the time of Peter the Great. Indeed, while the Oprichniki's primary reason for journeying to Russia is to stop the French, one of them — Iuda — is following a different agenda, for he is to be the instrument of revenge on the Romanovs.
But thanks to the valiant efforts of Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, Iuda would not be able to begin to complete his task until thirteen years later. But now, in 1825, Russia once more stands on the brink of anarchy, and this time the threat comes from within."

What a great, great read! This is definitely a more than worth sequel of Twelve. The mix of historical facts of Russian history, supernatural horror and personal fate is simply brilliant. I have been emotionally touched by Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov's fate. I needed to know how it would end.

There was no way out. As soon as I finished
Thirteen Years Later I ordered a copy of The Third Section (tpb, September 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0593065372].
"Russia 1855. After forty years of peace in Europe, war rages. In the Crimea, the city of Sevastopol is besieged. In the north, Saint Petersburg is blockaded. But in Moscow there is one who needs only to sit and wait -- wait for the death of an aging tsar, and for the curse upon his blood to be passed to a new generation.
As their country grows weaker, a brother and sister -- each unaware of the other's existence -- must come to terms with the legacy left them by their father. In Moscow, Tamara Valentinovna Lavrova uncovers a brutal murder and discovers that it is not the first in a sequence of similar crimes, merely the latest, carried out by a killer who has stalked the city since 1812.
And in Sevastopol, Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov faces not only the guns of the combined armies of Britain and France, but must also make a stand against creatures that his father had thought buried beneath the earth, thirty years before." [Source]
The whole is generation-spanning. In the first two books we followed Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov.
Book three is about his daughter
Tamara Valentinovna Lavrova and his son Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov. It will be interesting to see which Danilov generation we will face in book four and five.

I highly recommend to read the extraordinary
Danilov Quintet series.

On April 13th 2011 Mihai the Dark Wolf posted his interview with Jasper Kent over at Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews.

Don't forget to visit the official Jasper Kent site


The review of
Thirteen Years Later will be delivered within April 2011.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1115

Hello and welcome to issue #14 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
A not so funny Friday. The PC of my daughter "died". Which means you could push the power button and nothing happened. Fortunately our local hardware dealer offers a system check. To keep the story short. To my relief we need to replace the power supply only. It could have been worse. I'm sure most of you know this feeling when your PC does not work any longer.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Don't miss ....
  2. Blog content, reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Great offer from Seventh Star Press
  2. 111th birthday
  3. April Author Round Table
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Something instead of TV and cinema
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms "Green" quotes....

The Lighthouse

In case you did not recognize, I run my second giveaway since last Monday.

The Price

[ISBN-13: 978-0765316561]



Even I did not find time to read on Friday I read in sum 524 pages last week! To be honest I spent most of my reading time for Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe and Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent . which is more than impressive when you take into account that there was no time for reading on Friday and very limited time on Thursday. Instead of reading I spent time at work. Happens!

This week I finished one book:
- Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe
I loved it. Eddie LaCrosse in top form. I read it in only four sessions!


I still wait for my reviewer copy of The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick.

Now I need to decide which book to read next:
The Dragon's Path (2011) by Daniel Abraham or Among Thieves (2011) by Douglas Hulick

Beside that I'm

- 203 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
NO progress last week

- 438 pages in Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent.
I expect to finish this fabulous book within this weekend.

- 201 pages in Shameless Wonders by A.P. Stephens
NO progress lat week which is a bit sad because it is a good one.

- 70 pages in Out of the Dark by David Weber
I must admit I prefer to read the "alien chapters"

Tomorrow you will get my review of .... depends on which one I get ready.


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

Last week I received in sum four books in different formats - hard cover, paperback, pdf and doc. That means two printed copies and two electronic copies.

Let me start with the electronic ones. Alain Gomez sent my a copy of Celebrity Space [ASIN: B004HD66P4] which is the first story in the Space Hotel Series.
"Set in the not too distant future, a worker hopes that his new job at the spaceport will allow him to get his life back on track. While taking passengers to the space hotel "Moonwalk", a collision with an unknown object brings his dreams... and possibly his life... to a screeching halt." [Source]


I planned to read and review Celebrity Space within May 2011.


The next one is Universal Genius: Collected fiction of Erin Lale (2011) [ASIN: B004SY9MF8] by Erin Lale.
"A Time Yarns Universe Book
Most of the stories in this collection are reprinted from magazines that are currently out of print.

Short stories in this anthology:
-The Timelessness Machine (reprinted from The Sterling Web), Hard sf
- Obamaphone, Alternate history
- In the Beginning Was the Microchip (reprinted from The Science Fiction Store Club Magazine),
Hard sf / cyberpunk
- The Betrayed (reprinted from Mythic Circle), Fantasy
- Stopover on Monta Colony, (reprinted from The Science Fiction Store Club Magazine), Sf
- Gina (reprinted from Collector’s Club Newsletter), Sf
- Russian Sauna (reprinted from Shadowlane), Magical realism
- Infinity is a Function of This Universe, Hard sf
- Tsim, Sf" [Source]
I planned to read and review this anthology in June 2011.


The lust but one is the hard cover. Let me say thank you to Tor/Forge.com for sending me a totally unexpected copy of by Catherynne M. Valente.
"Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century. Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei's beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology, of love and death, which will bring Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation." [Source]
To be honest after reading the blurb I'm not sure if I want to read this book or not. I will read some reviews within the next days. Maybe they will help me to get a clearer view on the book.


The last book for today is a reviewer copy. A big thank you goes to author Mark Lawrence for sending my a signed reviewer copy of his debut novel Prince of Thorns (hc, UK, 4th August 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007423293] and Prinz der Dunkelheit (pb, UK, 9th May)[ISBN-13: 978-3453528253] by Mark Lawrence. Some time ago I posted about xxx because of the different publishing dates.

"Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him. Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne." [Source]
In this case I will do something special. I will buy a copy of the German edition. Then I will read UK and German edition, review them and compare them. That will be quite interesting.
And I will do something more: After German publishing date I will go to a German book store and try to take photos. Of course I will post them ...


No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

This is about a publisher, a small publisher who tries to win new readers. It is about different fantasy sub genres or to be more precise it is about YA Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy and Epic Urban Fantasy. It is about six books - I read five of them and the sixth is on my shelf. It is about an inviting offer: eBooks for $1,99 respectively $2.99 !!

THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT


What is your favorite flavor of fantasy? Do you like character-driven YA Fantasy? Do you like heroic fantasy with loads of action? Do you like epic fantasy with a wide cast of characters, lands, and lore? How about epic scale urban fantasy?

You get an electronic copy of each of the following books for just $1.99 !!












To celebrate the launch week of Jackie Gamber's Redheart, we're announcing a very special sale. The good news is that we've got a title in each of the above areas of fantasy, so that you can try Seventh Star Press eBooks out in this special sale that will be running through Mid-June. What are you waiting for? Just two bucks and you'll be on a grand adventure. Find out what readers around the world are discovering...there's a growing constellation of quality titles at Seventh Star Press!

...and if you like Crown of Vengeance or The Exodus Gate, the second books in the series are just $2.99 during this special offer!












That is your opportunity to put your nose into good books for an extraordinary price.


111 years ago the US Navy bought their first submarine. A date worth to remember especially for steampunk fans. As you may know since the story of captain Nemo submarines are an important part of steampunk. In case you want to know more (and maybe you would like to see some pictures) I recommend to have a look at following post:



Last week I talked about discovering of interesting features on other blogs. Today I would like to recommend an on going post series over at Pyr-o-mania author round table. The idea is simple and appealing at the same time. A couple of authors answer the same questions. The guests of the April Author Round Table are Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt series), Pierre Pevel (The Cardinal's Blade series), and Joel Shepherd (Trial of Blood and Steel series). It is a good opportunity to get more information about the opinion of several authors to specific questions at the same time. You should have a look.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

This week I don't show you trailers. Instead I would like to talk about a passion beside books. A passion I share with my wife. Don't worry it is all G-rated. We like to play video games and own several consoles from Nintendo and Sony. Recently my wife began to play Final Fantasy VI onPS2. That aroused my interest and I decided to play Final Fantasy V. And then it happened.
Last week our good old PS2 bit the dust. That was really sad because we own a lot of PS2 games including nearly all Final Fantasy parts. Within minutes we decided we needed a replacement. Fortunately a revised version is still available. My wife phoned several shops and there was one only a few Kilometers away. We went there and bought one. Since then we play every day and we enjoy it a lot. My wife is still playing Final Fantasy VI. But I changed my opinion. I started to play Final Fantasy VII instead of Final Fantasy V. My favorite part of the series is Final Fantasy IX.
I know a lot of people will say that the graphics are not of the state of the art. I agree but I say in the same breath a good game consists of more than graphic. Story, music and game play of every Final Fantasy part are extraordinary. And there are still many active sites where you get maps, hints, pictures and more.

The following 30 minute video shows you the history of the Final Fantasy series.


In case you do not like that long videos I offer you an alternative. The Final Fantasy story divided into three parts. Here we go

PART ONE


PART TWO


PART THREE


What's about you? Do you own old consoles and do you still play the old games?


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Today I feel optimistic. In a lot of cultures the color green symbolizes hope. Therefore I thought I would be a nice idea to present you a few "green" quotes ...

"A hedge between keeps friendship green.
German Proverb

"An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight. . . The truly wise person is colorblind.
Albert Schweitzer,French philosopher & physician (1875 - 1965)

"It isn't easy being green.
Kermit the Frog
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