Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Republic of Thieves

              Okay, so the rundown is as follows: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch is about two confidence tricksters, seen before in The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, who try to rig an election for the Deep Roots party in the fantastical city of Karthain. It's a tautly-plotted, tense, hyper-stylized book with brilliant, sharp dialogue and memorable characters, and Lynch handles the complexity brilliantly.

                However, the book has several flaws in the form of infodumping to gratuitous extremes, a sudden veer into left field in the final act, and a severe sense that the series is no longer as grounded as it used to be.

               In the end, I wholeheartedly recommend buying this book. I honestly hope you won't regret it, I certainly don't, and regardless of what you have to do, I highly suggest that you read it. 

More, as always, below

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tiger Shrimp Tango


  Okay, so the rundown is as follows: This is a good book. Good, but not great. It's hilarious, twisted, and a lot of fun to read. It moves quick, the dialogue is fast, and the descriptions are lavish. If you have a weekend free and want to try some Dorsey, this is a pretty good one to start with.

         But those returning to the world of Serge Storms will find little here they didn't find elsewhere. Serge is still Serge, Mahoney is portrayed as little more than a joke at this point, and if you've read Dorsey's books, you already know the formula by this point. 

          In conclusion, it's a fun read, but I wouldn't rush out to buy. Wait for summer, and get this from the library. It's an enjoyable book, and if you haven't read Dorsey, starting here isn't a bad idea. But it's not an essential edition, just a good one.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Rook

                 Okay, so the rundown is as follows: The Rook by Daniel O'Malley may not be a great titanic work of literature, but it is fun. The dialogue is witty, the detail is in overload mode, the creatures are frightening, and it's one of the few books with sentient religious fungus that I can also describe as "a hilarious read". And for a first novel, while it shows the wear and inexperience of its author, it's one hell of a debut. 

                  The bad is a few pacing issues, a tendency to over-info-dump while simultaneously delivering loads of detail, and the fact that there are loose ends to be tied up and the falling action seems to be setting up a sequel. 

                  But all in all, I suggest finding this book, taking possession of it, and clearing space on both your shelves and in your weekend for it, because if nothing else, it's too interesting a ride to pass up.

More, as always, below.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


       Okay, so the rundown is as follows. For all the lavish, bright, interesting points of Mainspring, Jay Lake's novel falls flat for the most part. It's rushed in the good parts and padded everywhere else, the characters don't seem to matter other than as props, and the main character doesn't really show enough growth to make his journey make sense. It's a loud, empty mess that might be a good read if you take it slow and get it out from the library, but I cannot recommend in normal circumstances. It's got good worldbuilding, but that's not enough to save it.

More, as always, below.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Thin Executioner

           Okay, so the rundown is as follows: The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan is a brilliant, violent coming-of-age novel about a young man's attempt to gain power through a human sacrifice ritual so he can become an executioner. It is very well-written and even unnerving in places, and while just falling short of a place on the bookshelf, is at least worth the time it would take to read it.

            The good is a plot that moves very quickly and contains some unexpected twists, some vivid and disturbing passages that serve as a sort of commentary on culture, and a well-kindled glimmer of hope stuck between all the brutal passages about nearly dying from mosquitoes and cannibals. 

            The bad is a number of irritating recurring characters and that the protagonist is pretty much a loudmouthed ass for the first third of the book, before changing into a decent human being somewhere along his journey.

              But in the end, this is a highly-readable volume, and one well worth your time. Go. Find it. 

More, as always, below.