Blood of Elves
I’ve watched the show, played the game, I wanted to see how the book was put together. For something that has inspired so much, it was a surprisingly scattergun start to the series. But what this does is start a story in a very established world. There’s very little exposition, and the reader is left to understand or flail.
The Odin Misson
Another book I picked up because it looked like the start to a series (which it is). Historical fact and fiction combine into a solid storyline. I would have liked some more character development from the supporting cast, however.
The Alloy of Law
After reading the latest in the trilogy, I wanted to go back and see the characters at their inception. This was interesting as it showed me how the world was introduced alongside the characters, and also let me see how open the first book was – there were lots of ways that the author could have taken the story.
Snow Falling on Cedars
It is a stunning book with a captivating story that deals with issues very relevant even so many years after it was published. The writing was very different from other books on this list, and it was a rewarding read.
The Bands of Mourning
Following on from Shadows of Self, more entertaining, if not entirely ground-breaking. The was one of those reads that I just relaxed into, and found myself wanted to keep going each time! The mark of a good story.
Short and sweet, this novella didn’t break any new ground for me. However, it was a good example of a story taking as long as it takes – if I’d been writing this I’d have probably been tempted to stretch it out, even though the idea might not have fit.
Shadows of Self
I’m falling into the Sanderson fan club aren’t I? Another incredibly rich universe, but this one grabbed me for the strength of the characters. Some cliche’s it’s true, but insightful and realistic, despite the crazy world that they inhabit.
Where to start? At the beginning. Where to end? At the back. And in between is a story about Death and his apprentice. And it’s Terry Pratchett, so it’s amazing.
It’s been far too long since I read a JC book. This one is tightly plotted as usual, and the change of perspective (to the third person) gives a little jolt to the series. While the ghostly elements were missing, this one packed more of an emotional punch for me at the end.
Cult of the Warmason
A strong stand-alone novel, with all the action and violence I’m starting to expect from these Warhammer 40k stories. Here I felt some of the characters got lost, especially when the crisis escalated, but I was unable to guess the ending, and wanted to find out what happened, which is a mark of a well-written tale.
This was a long way into the series, so some of the relationships were a little tricky to pick up, but it was a masterclass in mixed perspectives – I lost count of all the different points of view, and yet the author managed to weave them into a strong set of stories in a truly terrifying world.
Loved how Adam looks at the way people work and approach situtatios. Especially interesting were the actionable points at the end, which I’m looking forward to applying to my work going forward.
Nexus + Other Stories
A friend has recommended that I should write some Warhammer 40k stories. So I’m swotting up on the background and the lore – there’s a few of these books coming!
My word. What a nutty book. Explosions, shootings, car chases, this read like a Micheal Bay movie. While the plausibility of the plot left a lot to be desired, the execution was flawless and it was (if you pardon the cliche) a breathless read.
The Trials of Koli
Felt a lot like the middle of a trilogy (which it is, so what was I expecting), which took some of the tension out of the book as I kinda knew who was going to live. I still really enjoyed the world, as I did last year, and looking forward to getting on with the final story.
A beast of a mystery and thriller that started my year off well. I found the characters strong and believable, and while violent in places, it wasn’t gratuitous. Very well crafted and plotted, but a writer on top of his game.