Sunday Status Update, August 21 2011

In which our editors attempt to answer that age old question: what are you reading?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This past week I read Man Booker Prize award-winner The Inheritance of Loss. A well-written book in many ways, but neither the story nor the characters pulled me in so mostly I didn’t care much for it, which was the general consensus of the book club. I also read the sequel to the YA Moonshadow: Rise of the NinjaThe Nightmare Ninja.  A letdown from book one—found myself skimming a lot of the (too many) fight scenes.  I know, I know—what does one expect in a ninja book?  I finished The Fates Will Find Their Way—a Virgin Suicides kind of book of linked stories that I ended with very mixed feelings about. Loved the premise and some of the stories, but other parts felt like they were pressing. I’d recommend it, but with the caveat that like many anthologies, you’ll find yourself enjoying only a certain percentage of it.  Finally, I’m halfway through in Search of Dark Cosmos—a good popular science read so far, though I have a sneaking suspicion that once I get to the actual Dark Matter discussion (just starting) the 2005 publication date is going to nag at me the rest of the way: “You know this is probably outdated . . . You really should pick up . . .”

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: I just got back from a Disney cruise and my welcome home was complete chaos at work. After finally finishing A Dance with Dragons, I had to take a break from traditional epic fantasy and read Swierczynski’s Expiration Date. His books are down-n-dirty quick reads and with Martin‘s ASOIAF being such a heavy story, I needed something to cleanse my reading palate before going back to another fantastical world.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews John: Still slogging through Ours Not to Reason Why.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I am still working on the print books I mentioned last week, but I did finish two audiobooks: the excellent Neuromancer by William Gibson and the mediocre 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson. I tried listening to Alyson Noël’s Evermore, but I absolutely hated it within the first 30 minutes, so I quit and asked Kelly if she’d try to get that reviewed for us… stay tuned for her opinion. Then I turned to Larry Correia’s Hard Magic. This one looked iffy to me, but it’s incredibly entertaining so far and Bronson Pinchot’s narration takes it to an even higher level. I can’t wait to review it so I can let you all know about it!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: After finishing A Dance with Dragons, I had such good intentions of getting ahead on my ARC pile, but you know what they say about the road to Hell. Or, in this case, the road to Annwn. I got sucked into Evangeline Walton‘s Prince of Annwn and spent two days wandering the paths of the Welsh Otherworld. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking read, though it ended in an odd place. Now I’m back to Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. I loved her Dead on the Delta, but I’m having some trouble with Juliet. I’m a little confused by some of the metaphysics, and I may just be too old for the high school angst. I’m only halfway through, though, and some tantalizing information has just appeared, so I’ve great hopes for the rest of the book.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Rebecca: I’m currently reading Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson (not quite as kinky as it sounds) as well as writing up a review for The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman. In a non-fantasy capacity, I’ve also been enjoying some of the later Agatha Christie novels, but will soon be back in the fantasy genre for Bearers of the Black Staff, the next lot of books in the never-ending Terry Brooks canon.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Robert: As far as reading goes, I had a pretty productive week finishing two books in The Monster’s Corner and Ganymede. The former is another impressive horror-themed anthology from Christopher Golden, although I did not enjoy the novel quite as much as I did The New Dead. The latter is the latest release in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, and is thankfully more in spirit with Boneshaker and the novella Clementine than its disappointing predecessor, Dreadnought. I also tried K. V. Johansen’s Blackdog for a little bit longer, but gave up after a hundred pages. I thought the premise was interesting, but the characters and writing style just did not click with me. So now I’m reading The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen, which is described as “a literary tale of action and intrigue that puts a fresh spin on today’s global crises, asking questions about the nature of history and the future, and our own roles in shaping them.” After that, I plan on reading The Sacred Band, the final volume in David Anthony Durham’s epic fantasy trilogy.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: I think everyone will agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best film in the original trilogy, but I’ve always felt that this is the exception for SFF series. So I was quite impressed with Lev Grossman‘s The Magician King. I thought it took the right cues from Empire, building on The Magicians and setting us up for the next novel in the story. I wonder if Grossman will stop at three novels or if he’ll continue to follow in C.S. Lewis‘ footsteps and create a “Chronicles of Fillory.” In the novel, Christopher Plover writes at least five novels of Fillory…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Stefan: I caught a nasty summer flu this week, which kept me from reading as much as I usually like to. I did read Roil by Trent Jamieson, a book I had high hopes for but wasn’t very impressed by, then turned around and read it again just to make sure. I’ll be working on the review this weekend, and getting started on The Postmortal by Drew Magary. After that, I’m looking forward to Awakenings by Edward Lazellari.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’m still working on Kat Richardson‘s Downpour. I’d love to be able to drop everything and read it straight through — it’s that kind of compelling — but life’s other demands keep clamoring for my attention. I’m also reading the September 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction for next week’s Magazine Monday column.

What are you reading?

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RYAN SKARDAL, on our staff from September 2010 to November 2018, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

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  1. @Kat: Bronson Pinchot reads audiobooks? Awesome!

  2. I know! And, as you’d expect, he’s SO FUNNY!

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