Arkady Martine’s science fiction debut is one of those rare novels that haunts me in my sleep. It’s been days since I put it down, and yet scenes from “A Memory Called Empire” will come back to me, as vividly as something I’ve lived through instead of just reading about. I’ve relived its climax several times, in fact; Martine’s prose has imprinted in me such an unforgettable scene as few others I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent months.
In current parlance, I am shook.
I had no clue what to expect when I spent a credit to pick Hero Forged up on Audible. It was one of those impulse buys we all make, influenced by a tweet by Esme Weatherwax of lovely book blog “The Weatherwax Report” fame. Without a doubt (and I usually have plenty of doubt, trust you me!), Hero Forged is a purchase I’ll be forever thankful I made. It’s one hell of a journey, and I’ll say just enough about it to sharpen your appetite!
Breaking Chaos is the brutal, climatic ending to one of the finest dark fantasy trilogies in recent memory. If you haven’t read the previous entries in the series, do yourself a solid – get them!
Everything Brian McClellan has written, that I have read, I have loved. The original Powder Mage trilogy, Sins of Empire, the novellas in-between – I’ve lost myself in that world for long, sleepless nights filled with unforgettable characters and the smell of gunpowder.
The Anointed is one of 2018's #SPFBO's ten finalists; this is BookNest's official score for the competition.
I’ll say it out front: I did not enjoy my time with Keith Ward’s The Anointed. That’s not to say the book doesn’t have merits – there is an imaginative quality about the setting of this novel, a world in which nothing floats on water, where people know their lifespan nearly from the moment of their birth (or their ‘Span’, as used in the novel), and where that same Span can be transferred to another at the cost of the transferrer’s life. The cover is also pretty damn neat!
Oliver Mayes’ debut novel, Occultist, has made a litRPG believer out of me, an accomplishment I wasn’t certain would ever be in the cards for me. All this, considering how each time I’d picked up a book in this particular subgenre of speculative fiction, I ended up walking away with devilishly bad impressions. In my experience, the litRPG genre suffers from several issues, the biggest of which are an over-reliance on nostalgia and a trend towards dense exposition, and I mean walls upon walls of text as unreadable as a bad 80’s AD&D module! But this isn’t about the subgenre as a whole, it’s about the first instalment in the Saga Online series, so let’s get into it!
Gates of Stone took me longer than I usually spend with a 500-page fantasy novel, and has left me with mixed feelings. Angus Macallan is the pseudonym of author Angus Donald, whose historical fiction is well-known to historical aficionados; this novel is his first entry in the world of epic fantasy.
I’ve had the hardest time figuring out what to write about Josiah Bancroft’s third instalment in The Books of Babel. This series of books has been one of the most pleasant surprises in my whole life as a bookworm, and I'll be damned if I screw this review up!
Talking about the middle book in a trilogy can sometimes prove difficult. The main characters have been spoken about and covered in the review of Chasing Graves, which got a brilliant 4.8 out of 5. The society built on necromancy has been analysed, a number of its failings pointed out in detail. Yet there is great need to speak about this novel and speak I shall!