Sunday Status Update: April 15, 2012

Ah, Spring, the time when a young person’s fancy turns to…reading fantasy novels. Wait, what?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I read the first two books of N.K. Jemisin‘s INHERITANCE trilogy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms. I liked the voice in both but could have done with a bit meatier worldbuilding. Reviews to come. On the physics front, I wrapped up Michio Kaku‘s Parallel Worlds. And my son and I have started reading Lord of the Rings and he’s just met Tom Bombadil. I was worried he might think it was too slow at the start, but he kept me reading for two hours yesterday.  I hate to imagine what’s going to happen when the Fellowship actually forms and sets out from Rivendell–goodbye voice; I’ll have to read until they get to Lothlorien.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Kat: This week I finished The Best of Kage Baker which was so very very good. I miss Kage Baker. In audio I read the second in Kristen Britain’s GREEN RIDER series, First Rider’s Call. It was fine, but not good enough to make me want to continue with the series. Lastly, I read Michael Swanwick’s Bones of the Earth. After reading three of his books, I just can’t decide how I feel about Swanwick…. I guess I’ll just have to read another one.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: This week I finished The Troupe, by Robert Jackson Bennett. I don’t understand why more people aren’t reading him. Don’t people want to be in on the Next Big Thing?   Bennett has a unique voice, and a vision of America that is believable and original. I also finished Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery, A Trace of Smoke. Set in 1931 Berlin, the book seems to focus more on the rise of the Nazis than on solving the mystery of who murdered Hannah’s cross-dressing gay brother Ernst, but that focus makes the book frightening. Cantrell researched it well, and while she overdoes the period details, it’s an engrossing story.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Terry: I keep adding to the number of books I’ve started and gotten halfway through, instead of finishing anything up lately. This week I started The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4, edited by Ellen Datlow, and have yet to read a story in it that doesn’t scare the pants off me, so it’s a good thing I’m reading it at home instead of in public. Datlow‘s summation of the year in horror at the beginning of the book is worth the price of the entire volume; my list of books to look for expanded enormously upon reading it. I’ve also started Simon R. Green‘s Like a Serpent’s Tooth, which is kind of silly (and thus not much to my taste), but just that much too good to put down permanently.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I read C.S. Lewis‘s Prince Caspian, for the most part because it happened to be kicking around in my bedroom with nothing else to do (I’d cited it for a paper and was waiting on the edited draft to see if I needed the book further). Returning to Narnia is always a bit bittersweet for me as I grow older: on the one hand the allegory is far more evident now than it was to my eight-year-old self and of course I now know how it ends (never liked The Last Battle), but on the other hand…it’s Narnia. I can’t get through so much as a page without the old BBC opening theme coming to mind.

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TIM SCHEIDLER, who's been with us since June 2011, holds a Master's Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he's an athlete.

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  1. Terry — yes, having your pants scared off in public could be quite embarrassing! Is the Simon R Green a “Secret History” book? I read one of those, and couldn’t really get into it. I’m a Nightside girl myself.

  2. Oh, it is a Nightside novel — one of the Lilith War books. I didn’t recognize the title.

  3. Terry: Yup, anthologies by Datlow (and/or Windling) are always great for expanding your TBR pile via awesome introductions.

  4. If you can’t die until you’ve read all your books, I’m going to live forever. I think at this point that’s the only way I’ll ever be able to read everything already in my library, not to mention the new books that seem to arrive daily!

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