The Sky Road: A sublimely satisfying conclusion to the FALL REVOLUTION

The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod

For those who have read the first three books in Ken MacLeod’s Fall Revolution series, The Sky Road will be a sublimely satisfying last bow. None of the books are connected linearly in a strong sense of the expression (in other words, it’s not necessary to read them in order, but it goes a long way toward manifesting the overall vision); The Sky Road offers yet another perspective on the future of humanity through the splintered lens of politics and technology. This novel is a delicately pointed end to the series, and while it is certainly the most subdued, it may be the best of the four.

Like The Stone Canal, The Sky Road is divided into two stories told in alternating chapters. The first focuses on a young man named Colvis colha Gree and is set centuries in the ... Read More

The Last Hawk: I didn’t believe in the matriarchy

The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro

The Last Hawk is the fourth of Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE saga, if we’re going in publication order, but it’s the first book about Kelric Valdoria, one of Sauscony Valdoria’s brothers. You don’t have to read the previous three books first (Primary Inversion, Catch the Lightning, The Radiant Seas), but you need to read The Last Hawk before you read Ascendant Sun, its successor.

Kelric, a Jaggernaut with psi powers, crash-lands on the planet Coba and wakes up in one of their medical facilities. Coba, which used to belong to the Ruby Empire, has been forgotten and has managed to stay off the current Skolian Empire’s radar. The planet is a matriarchy with essentially no military and relatively low levels of technol... Read More

Clariel: A rewarding (though not perfect) return to the Old Kingdom

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen by Garth Nix

It's been over ten years since Garth Nix released a book set in the world of the Old Kingdom, where an ancestral line produces individuals who take on the mantle of the Abhorsen, the necromancer responsible for keeping the dead beyond the Gates where they belong.

Set six hundred years before the events of Sabriel, Clariel is a young woman with dreams of becoming a forester, preferring solitude to anything the city can offer. Unfortunately her mother is one of the most sought after goldsmiths in the world, and the family's move to the royal city of Belisaere provides her with more materials for her craft. Clariel hates it, and in the dinner parties and formal lessons that follow, she quietly plots her escape.

An opportunity arises from unexpected quarters. After an "attack" that's so clumsily staged even Clariel realizes it's just for ... Read More

Lyra’s Oxford: Another glimpse into Pullman’s Oxford

Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman

Everything Means Something...

First of all, if you have not read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, then don't attempt to read this story, as you'll be utterly baffled. But if you have, you'll be treated with another glimpse into the parallel Oxford that Pullman so vividly created and explored in Northern Lights/The Golden Compass.

The book itself is beautifully presented, bound in cloth and filled with engravings of the city by John Lawrence, a style of art that perfectly matches Pullman's atmosphere of a gritty, turn-of-the-century English city. Included in the book is a quote from an Oxford guide, an introduction, the short story itself entitled "Lyra and the Birds", a map of Oxford, and then a collection of bits and pieces that may or may not mean anything... Read More