Monday, May 2, 2011

New Books

So, I have more new books that usual this time. My local Borders held their final two day clearance and there were still a few books worth buying on the shelves at a 90% discount. I also purchased a few books from Amazon recently that I have been looking forward to reading.

First up is The Unremembered by Peter Orullian, published by Tor. I have already received an ARC edition of the book via the Amazon Vine program but I wanted a final copy to call my own. I have read through about 15% of The Unremembered so far and I can safely say that this book is firmly in the vein of David Eddings, Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks. The book reeks of nostalgia for anyone who grew up reading those books. I have had some issues with the book so far but in general I am into it...enough to buy the hardcover.

Speaking of the hardcover, I am very disappointed with the quality of the book. It is a down right cheaply made book. The dust jacket isn't even embossed. The paper quality of the book is just bad. It honestly looks like mass market paperback paper stock. As a result the page contrast is poor. Considering this book is published by is very odd, especially when comparing it against The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Perhaps most disappointing is that The Unremembered had such an awesome piece of cover art. I think this is one of the better looking Tor books that has been published. To waste such a nice piece of art of a budget made book is a shame. I am just glad I didn't pay full list for the book.
Next up is Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick, published by ROC. I was killing some time in a local Barnes and Nobles, since the local Borders is closed, and picked this one off the new releases shelf. I blew through the first chapter and immediately purchased the book. One of my favorite fantasy character archetypes is the rogue. This love has fueled my enjoyment of Steve Brust's Vlad Taltos character, Brent Week's Kylar Stern and Robert Jordan's Mat Cauthon. What I found in the first chapter was a new character to love...Drothe. Drothe as a character, to use movie parlance, strikes me as a reboot of Vlad Taltos. After I finish The Unremembered, I will be reading Among Thieves next and I am excited about it. The only thing I am not excited about is the cover of this book. It just seems so generic and cheesy.

The first book from my Border's haul is The Bone Palace from Amanda Downum, published by Orbit. This is the second book in The Necromancer chronicles. I have read the first book, The Drowning City, already and of mixed opinions about the book. I am hoping The Bone Palace moves in a more favorable direction. While the characters were interesting, I was not a huge fan of the plot. For a book involving necromancers, there seemed to be an awful lot of focus on political intrigue and spying and not much on raising the dead. But that is an issue with my expectations not being congruent with reality. I enjoyed book one enough to give book two, The Bone Palace, a shot. Also, Orbit once again published a book with a beautiful cover. The cover is moody and mysterious and doesn't have a woman in revealing clothing. 
The God Engines by John Scalzi, published by Subterranean Press, is up next. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. I only know that John Scalzi's name is mentioned often on the web and most often in a positive manner...usually along with his Hugo nominated novels. I am not a big fan of "pure" sci-fi. I tend to like what I call Sci-Fantasy...guns & magic in space. That is why I love Warhammer 40K. As such, the marketing blurb on the dust jacket for The God Engines piqued my interest as it is full of mention of "Gods". The cover is an excellent piece of art and very dramatic. It has a distinct impression of power and presence.
Keeping with the sci-fi theme we move onto The Chapter's Due by Graham McNeil, published by The Black Library. I love the Warhammer 40K universe. I don't own this book yet. I have read all the preceding books in the Ultramarines novel series and look forward to continuing the series. Graham McNeill is on of my favorite Black Library authors. As you can see via the previous points, this was an obvious buy for me. Better, yet I found the book in hardcover. Most Black Library books tend to show up as a mass market paperback. The cover is fairly nondescript: simply displaying a lone Ultramarine with a faraway look and striking a heroic pose.

The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, published by Pyr, was an impulse purchase. This is the third book in The First Law series and I neither own nor have read the preceding two books. I purchased this book because I read good things about Joe Abercrombie and Pyr tends to publish excellent books. The marketing blurb on the back of the book is fairly generic so I don't have any real clue as what to expect. The cover is sort of disappointing. Pyr normally can be counted on for dynamite covers. The Last Argument of Kings cover merely depicts a burning piece of bloody parchment and some hard to read typography. Perhaps there is some visual reference that will reveal itself once I have read more of the series, but as of present it eludes me. On a more positive note...the cover material is a luxurious and highly textured card stock that has a great feel. I love it.

Finally, The Reluctant Mage by Karen Miller, published by Orbit. This is the second book in the Fisherman's Children series which itself is a follow up to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology. I have read all of Karen Miller's work up to the Fisherman's Children series and so far I am a fan. She is a very inventive writer and seems eager to explore her boundaries stylistically. Considering there was a huge difference between her Godspeaker series and Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series, I am curious as to what The Fisherman's Children series will be like. Will be a true follow-up or will it have its own individual style. The cover is also really good. I loved the simple two tone water color look. It is evocative. It brims with passion. I like it.

All Image Sources: Scanned Covers

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