The Departure by Neal Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ok, well, my tastes have gravitated towards violent, uber dark sci-fi lately, and this is probably the best one I’ve read since the Takashi Kovaks novels by Richard Morgan. SOOOOO GOOOOD.
A future world where humanity has eaten away the planet, reproduced to unsustainable levels, and a socialist/fascist/corrupt government controls them completely and has plans to liquidate the “stock”? Yes please!
There are so many things in this book that seem PROBABLE and real and not so fiction-y. Especially on the tech side. The world building is doled out perfectly, and grows to be completely believable, like this, frighteningly, could be OUR FUTURE. I can’t imagine an author being more air-tight in his world building. It’s so good.
Of course, the main character is an amnesiatic uber-human who is much more than he seems at first, and the grand plan is to take down the government, and there’s a subplot on Mars, but MAN is the ride bloody and dark and horrible and perversely fun. The characters are GREAT, a few main ones women, and awesome ones at that.
If you don’t like people being graphically murdered by robots and other people, this is NOT the book for you. But dystopian fans will enjoy. Onto the next book already, and MAN is it good too!
Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
HERE COME THE THAILAND BOOKS! I read all the books in this series while I was in Thailand, and besides the last one, I LOVED them. There’s nothing better than being in a foreign country and reading a book SET in that country to live the flavor of both worlds more fully.
This is a mystery series starring a Buddhist cop who is half white/half thai, the son of a Thai prostitute. The cast is full of dirty and corrupt people you kind of fall in love with. It’s violent and graphic and edgy and just really really fun.
The first book has a great mystery with a HUGELY crazy payoff (a specialty of this author as you get into the series) and it’s a page turner, so be warned.
It definitely starts out slow, and there are long parts of Buddhist philosophy that might make the average mystery reader impatient, but that’s kind of WHY I liked it. I thought about things I’d never thought about before, because of the book. The whole issue of prostitution in this series is a HUGE part of it, and a bit offputting a bit, because it’s couched in a way that it’s “liberating” for a lot of these women. It’s a controversial and debatable issue, but the world view of the book did make me think about the issue more than I ever have and that’s cool, when a book can do that to you.
Highly recc this book and the next two in the series. Not sure if it was because I’ve been to/was in Thailand, maybe that enhanced my enjoyment. But I’d urge you to try it out, and maybe travel there yourself later
Chosen by Benedict Jacka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As you may have seen, I’m a HUGE fan of this series, set in London with underground mages, and this installment doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it smooths over a lot of the worldbuilding and character connections from before. I love the way we learn about the past of Alex Varus, our hero, and explore his “grey” areas, in a world of white and black mages. His powers, though not aggressive and powerful in the traditional sense, make him have to solve problems in more clever ways, which makes for good reading.
This book got a BIT repetitive in the middle, but that is kind of the point, so I didn’t fault it much.
Loved the secondary characters as usual, and interesting twists at the end make me want the next one ASAP! Jim Butcher fans will like this series, I promise!!!
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What are you guys reading now? Always looking for reccs!