The Black Prism is another of the most anticipated fantasy novels of the summer, coming this time from Brent Weeks. First known for his Night Angel Trilogy, Weeks brings us the first entry in an all knew series, Lightbringer, that promises many great things. Having not read Weeks’ other books, The Black Prism slipped right under my radar until a couple of weeks before its release, at which point I decided to take a look at what it was about. The various blurbs and previews did it for me, and I decided this one might be worth checking out. My decision was a good one.
The Black Lung Captain is the follow up to the very well received science fiction swashbuckling adventure, Retribution Falls. Chris Wooding brings back the whole crew of the Ketty Jay and all their associates for a second round of excitement, betrayals and all of what he got us acquainted to in the first Tale of the Ketty Jay. Unfortunately, this formula doesn’t work quite a nicely as one would like for the sequel, resulting in a still greatly enjoyable story, but one that is not quite up to the level of the original. Still, this second novel helps separate this series from others with its continually distinctive approach.
Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings has received much attention, and it is well deserved. Sanderson serves up his sixth standalone, adult effort and the first in his all-new Stormlight Archives series, predicted to run no less than ten novels. Yes, this is another long one. The Way of Kings delivered just what I expected, an incredible epic, going even farther than I anticipated. If there is one book for epic fantasy this summer, this is it. This immense novel really is unavoidable.
Whatever you may try to do, its always impossible to completely avoid hype. That is what happened to me in the case of I Am Number Four, I gave in to the hype and decided to give the book a chance, see what the deal was all about. And what a deal it is. Even before its release, I Am Number Four had sold movie rights off and filming also began before publication. That was enough to get me interested; a book that is so good that it is able to get a huge movie deal so fast, before even the reactions of readers are known - I had to see what it was. I can’t say I’m displeased. Make no mistake, this is a YA novel and it does contain a number of clichés and it’s also evident why it’s perfect blockbuster material - not always a plus for a book - yet it’s a book that carries you away with its fast-pace story, lovable characters, neat mythos and yes, a blockbuster feel, that are all very likely to win you over.
If you’ve been snooping around the internet on the blogosphere and places like Twitter in the past few weeks then you might be aware of Tome of the Undergates’ author Sam Sykes’ BRAVEST CHALLENGE. This challenge, issued to a number of fantasy bloggers, aims at putting reviewers/bloggers out of their comfort zone by making them read a book, chosen by Sykes himself, that he believes is different from the type of books the blogger usually reads and which he thinks they will hate. The blogger then reads and reviews (or attempts to do so) and as a result see whether the blogger is set in their reading ‘ways’. I was one such blogger issued with the challenge, and Sam picked David Bilsborough’s 2007 debut, The Wanderer’s Tale. According to him I tend to like fantasy that has ‘fast action, deep plot, characterization out the wazoo’ and The Wanderer’s Tale supposedly does those things badly. Though I’m not quite sure how to interpret ‘characterization out the wazoo’ I gladly accepted, both unsure of what I was getting into and excited about the prospect. Well, I’ve read Bilsborough’s book and, in acceptance with the terms of the challenge, have reviewed it below.
I’ve come to this anthology late compared to some reviewers, but then again I wasn’t really planning on reviewing it in the first place. I picked it up while in Canada and though (as in so many other cases) that the opportunity was too good to pass. So here I am reviewing Lou Anders’ and Jonathan Strahan’s anthology that according to it’s very own subtitle should innovate the sword and sorcery sub-genre. Has it done that? Maybe not, but on the way it has certainly presented a strong offering of short stories from a slew of renowned authors of the genre. Below you will find a short review for the majority of the stories contained within the anthology.
I have no idea how I missed this - I mean, really don't know - when it appeared online a couple of weeks ago but as you can see, the artwork for the sixth book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s hugely entertaining Shadows of the Apt series has been released. I previously mentioned the sixth book when its title, The Sea Watch, was revealed at the end of June. Now its cover is available for all to see, and what a cover it is.