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Books I’ve Read this Week

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The Departure (Owner Trilogy, #1)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 (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #1)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 (Alex Verus, #4)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!!!

View all my reviews on Goodreads and Follow me if you have an account over there!

What are you guys reading now? Always looking for reccs!

  • Outer Space Guy

    After reading your review, I put in a hold request for The Departure at my local lib. It sounds like a good read!

  • Saila

    I think I need to read The Departure as soon as I’ve finished the Abercrombies on my Kindle.

    I’m still recommending Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (wrote about this in the comment section of your previous post), it’s a great sci-fi book. If you like something other than fantasy or sci-fi and something that’s a bit light but entertaining, check out Alexander McCall Smith’s ’44 Scotland Street’ series (it does make you want to travel to Edinburgh and visit the Cumberland Bar, I read the books before honeymooning in Scotland and my husband and I visited the bar). Also Jason Goodwin’s ‘Yashim the Ottoman’ novels are great fun (the first book is called The Yanissary Tree). The books feature some vaginal fantasy moments… I actually read these before travelling to Istanbul and the author is a specialist on Ottoman culture so the books have some actual facts about the era.

    I enjoy reading your book reviews (and of course this blog in general) so keep them coming!

    • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

      I am really interested in the Ottoman books, I’ll look them up! I tried to read the Quantum Thief, but it got a bit confusing for me. I will definitely try to revisit, because I started to enjoy it, then got a bit lost in the worldbuilding.

      • Saila

        My problem with reading is that I’m a gobbler: I read extremely fast. My husband says that one of the reasons he fell for me was that I read The Lord of The Rings trilogy in less than three days. With Quantum Thief I had to force myself to slow down because it’s very intricate and detailed.

        Also, ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch is good. Very dark but good. It’s not very long so it’s a perfect quick read.

      • Saila

        Ah! Almost forgot: Wolfhall and Bring Up the Bodies (both by Hilary Mantel) if you are at all interested in the Tudor times. Less sweaty sex compared to The Other Boleyn Girl but more political intrigue. The viewpoint is that of Thomas Cromwell.

  • http://arbitrarynerd.blogspot.com Dustin

    I didn’t know the Kovacks series actually got added onto — looks like I’ve got a decent amount of catching up, I think I’ve only read two or three! And I’ll have to look into the Chosen title (and previous entry), it both sounds interesting to me and a bit like one of the stories I was working on. Of course, I’ve since been distracted by OTHER stories, so I imagine I’ll live.

  • Amanda

    The WOOL series by Hugh Howey is amazing. The description of the silo world was written beautifully and the story is well told. I’m a huge fan of the post-apocalypse genre so I also recommend Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. It has such a detailed account of what would happen if the moon shifted closer to earth that it makes you think that it could actually happen. The next few books in the series intertwine story lines and characters as well.

    Love your book and video game reviews! I tried out Long Live the Queen when you recommended it and it took up way too much of my time. Who knew there were so many ways to die?

  • Jenni

    For a fabulous immersion in more grimdark, try Kameron Hurley. (God’s War and its sequels.) Technically its a bit more fantasy than SF, but there are lots of lovely SFnal elements to the bug-based magic system she’s devised for her feminist dystopia.

  • http://anikocarmean.wordpress.com aniko

    The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine is fun with a touch of darkness. To get some grittier, truly realistic darkness (no sci-fi/fantasy elements), you can’t beat Minette Walters. Walters manages to horrify you by leaving the main, horrifying event totally off the page, but having the effects of the event be very vivid in the protagonist’s mind – an absent presence, if you will.

    I just bought The Departure on the strength of your description. Hopped over to look at the author’s blog. His most recent post is that his wife just died, and his post is shockingly sad, despite being just one sentence long.

  • Matt

    Ah, the Alex Veras series. xD That was a good one. The last one in the series that I have read was where his unofficial apprentice became his official apprentice at the very end. Sadly, work intervenes from having much time to read. Before that series I had my doubts about whether modern fantasy could truly be done ‘well’, without there being unexplained rules of the universe, or giant gaps in logic to avoid the real world intruding too much in the flow of the fantasy. The only thing I wasn’t fond of on my last read was merely the painful reading of any scene involving his apprentice and her boyfriend at the time. >> I neglect further comment to avoid spoiling anything for future readers, but it was painful to read even without foresight of the impending plot twist, you just know the world isn’t that easy to traverse, especially at the beginning of the book. Good choice of reads, Ms. Day.

  • Ron Chance

    I enjoyed your reviews. I’ll definitely have to check these out.

    I’m new to your blog so have no idea what you have read, so here is my two cents.

    I agree with Aniko. The Weather Warden series is really good and worth checking out. Anything by Charles De Lint is good. I started with “Moonheart”.

    Kelly Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, and Kim Harrison have some great series. I think you would enjoy them.

    The Quantum Gravity series by Justina Robson is excellent.

    Before I get too long here (too late), anything by Margret Atwood.

  • Emmanuel

    I just finished reading the Apotheosis series by S. Andrew Swann. A good sci fi read. 3 books total (book one: prophets, book two Heretics and book three Messiah). I loved it. The writer really put in the extra effort to build his own fantasy/sci fi world. It’s immersive. I think you would like it.

  • Joe H.

    John Burdett, before the Bangkok series, wrote another mystery novel — The Last Six Million Seconds — set in Hong Kong in the last couple weeks before the handover from the British to the Chinese. More deeply flawed, dirty & corrupt characters and another really twisty plot — highly recommended.

  • Diziet

    Have you read any Iain M Banks? His Culture series novels are outstanding, and he plays with social and gender change as well as technology, and exceptional stories. He’s like a Scottish Joss Whedon, which I don’t say lightly!

    p.s. love your hair.

  • Matthew

    I hope this is an appropriate place to pose this question. What I was wondering about was whether you are working on a fiction book and if so, then what genre. I heard you say in one blog or another that you wanted to write a book. You certainly are up to the task. And you have every likelihood of doing a great job. Only problem is you might do it in a romance style and I’m not likely to read that. I know there are many male readers of romance but I’m not one of them. Maybe you could do a blog entry on your ideas and possible progress on your book.

  • Bill Fedderson

    Really enjoyed this series on your recommendation. The owner series as well was a treat. If you haven’t read it yet, ‘The Matadors’ series by Steve Perry might be right up your alley.

  • Tim Gatward

    Check out a book called “Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss…

  • Deano

    Hmmm… The Departures doesn’t appear to be available in kindle e-book format, which is annoying.

    Felicia, if you haven’t read Ann Leckie’s “Ancilliary Justice” yet, then you need to immediately invent time travel, travel back several months and tell your earlier self that she needs to read it NOW!

  • John

    I’m attempting to write one like “The Departure,” but currently I’m read “12 Years ASlave.”

  • Ren

    Neal Stephenson’s Reamde and Snow Crash are really good blends of virtual worlds and real life action. Snow Crash in oarticular had a lot of interesting concepts I think you’d find interesting. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series has a really unique and well built world with strong female leads- you should check it out too!

  • Mockingbuddha

    So last night my buddy and I were working on character designs for this pulpy Sci-Fi novel I’m almost finished writing, that we also want to make into a comic. We had The Flog playing on Hulu via Roku. We got distracted talking about how cool and geeky you are and how you would probably like our book. I said, maybe you were more into fantasy than Sci-Fi, but this post shows me otherwise. So… here is a link to a serialized version of Laser Boy Book 1 on wordpress.

    http://mockingbuddha1.wordpress.com/

    It’s about a gang of homeless kids on a space station. I put a mature content warning on it to be nice, but nothing goes past what an R rated movie would do.
    PS. You were amazing in Dr. Horrible, and The Guild rocks! Always liked Eureka, and it was cool when you joined the show. One of these days I’ll get around to a Supernatural Binge Watch.

  • Kamilla

    You should read Jane Yellowrock! :O you would love it!

  • Pepperpot

    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, Kylie Chan White Tiger. Both awesome.

  • davedough

    Old post but have you ever read the book Technogenesis by Syne Mitchell? It’s out of print and hard to find but worth it if you want a strong female lead in a believable future. The book wont win any awards and comes off a tad cliche at times but its a fun ride on the not so distant future of the Internet and the beast that lives within it.

  • SinisterTruth

    Corin Hamilton’s little known eBook, A Devils Chronicle. If you like feuding cyborgs, anti heroes and evil women plus poetry too then this book is a must. It’s definitely for mature readers though (a rapist gets castrated, for example).

  • Genesis

    I’m currently reading The Shining Girls by Lauren Buekes. Pretty dang awesome so far, it’s about a time-traveling serial killer and the girl who is trying to bring him to justice.

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