The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

If I ever wished to write a thriller, something that yanked on a reader’s nerves page after page, I would try to emulate Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid’s Tale. I have never read anything so pregnant with tension. Every single scene is ripe with it in a way that can be exhausting. Many writers would not…

Runaway Horses – Yukio Mishima

It is rare to find in an author someone so married to the beliefs that they write about; particularly when it comes to fiction. Good writers can pen from any angle, get into the heads of both villains and heroes. While we may get an authorial viewpoint sneaking in from time to time, it is…

Memories of Ice – Steven Erikson

Fifteen days and 784 pages later, with some of the tiniest font I have seen, I finished what is probably one of the finest fantasy novels I have ever read. Third in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Memories of Ice is considered by many fans of the series to be the finest of them….

The Summer Dragon, Todd Lockwood

Why do I love dragons? Is it their impossibility? Even with hollow bones, something that large carousing through the air with nothing but muscle power is pretty unbelievable. Is it their ferocity? I do also love bears and sharks (at a distance). Is it their mythical nature? I tend to be drawn towards those creatures…

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

I was trying to think about when post-apocalyptic literature began. I don’t know that there is any, that I am aware of, pre-cold war, nuclear-fallout stuff. Maybe some early zombie movies? This dearth of post-apocalypse media is odd given that humanity has dealt with large-scale disease before. How did no one think to write a…

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

The story of Commonwealth is simply the tale of two interwoven families; a narrative common to many of us even if every clan is unique. But somehow Ann Patchett manages to spark interest in familial history in a way that your mother and grandmother have always failed to do. I love inter-generational literature. Int-Lit. I…

To Ride Hell’s Chasm, by Janny Wurts

Hell’s Chasm terrifies me, and it does so because Janny Wurts’ talent for writing about a harrowing flight through some of nature’s most unforgiving terrain is second to no one. I didn’t even really understand the title of the book until the lead characters come to the titular Chasm itself, and then I could think…

Kings of the Wyld, Nicholas Eames

As if the fantasy genre and heavy metal weren’t connected enough, along comes Nicholas Eames to tighten the leather straps and forever marry two oddly similar forms of entertainment in Kings of the Wyld, the first in a series that thrums like a Jimmy Page riff in a genre full of entry-level chord practice. What’s…

Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

It took me ten days to read The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. I could have probably read four or five books in that time, but instead I chose to invest myself in this sprawling fantasy epic that clocked in at over 1200 pages, in the mass market paperback version, and while I found…

Problems in Redwall

I hadn’t planned on writing about Redwall. I don’t meant to be reductive when I say that it’s a kid’s book, and finding depth and writing insight within it wasn’t something I expected. That’s not to say that books written for children always lack depth, but they aren’t known for it. I read Redwall because…

Book Review – Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

I’ve read more science fiction in the past year than I have in my entire life, largely thanks to the influence of Neal Stephenson and Ursula LeGuin. I have some large sections of my sci-fi puzzle missing, and Orson Scott Card was a big piece of that. I knew very little about Ender’s Game going…

Book Review – Sabriel, by Garth Nix

I’ve been interested in this book for a long time because at some point, and I don’t remember when, someone read me a paragraph from Sabriel that was beautiful. Having now read the book, I have no idea which passage that was, but that’s largely due to the book having elegant and pleasing prose throughout…