this is part of as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge

Books I acquired (and have reviewed) in 2014

November 2014

Wizard's Bane goodreads

Rick Cook (Wiz Biz #1)

Surprisingly interesting crossover between programming and wizardry, although I was expecting it to be basically Suveh Nux in book form and it was not. Fantasy elements and relationships all rather generic, but then it was written back in days of old when they weren't quite such clichés.

The Cabinet of Night Unlocked

Jeff Noon

A short story with a totally compelling idea. I read this years ago, and forgot what it was called; it would float into my head from time to time (especially the ending "Thus") and I'd be unable to find it. So eventually I caved in and asked the internet and they knew in short order, so well done Nicholas. Worth your time, and pretty short.

Warbreaker goodreads

Brandon Sanderson

Averageish story; again, Sanderson proves good at inventing worlds and magic systems and not as good at people. Not sure I bought Lightsong's ending, nor love wherever it showed up. Vasher is cool, though. And Hoid! Cosmere fans must be super happy.

October 2014

The Slow Regard of Silent Things goodreads

Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicles #2)

Read the author's introduction note. I have nothing to add to that. I liked it, Pat.

(Oh, one thing to add, though; I imagine that there are a billion more clues buried in here that I was too obtuse to notice. If you're reading Rothfuss, and you haven't read around the books (the Tor ongoing review by Jo Walton is particularly good in this regard) then you've missed loads of stuff.)

September 2014

What If? goodreads

Randall Munroe

Randall's snarky style basically never disappoints. A good introduction to the column. I am mildly unhappy that some of them are only available in the book, but commercial pressures will out, and Munroe is dead good in this area and so is allowed. Particularly liked the one about the periodic table of boxes. I had no idea astatine was so horrid.

August 2014

The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot goodreads

Robert Arthur Jr. (Three Investigators #2)

Got along with Crooked Cat and for the same reasons. This one is actually quite clever, before the horse got flogged all the way into death and beyond. Also, learned much from Wikipedia article about how these were written; I think when I was a kid I actually believed that it was Hitchcock doing the writing.

The Secret Of The Crooked Cat goodreads

William Arden (Three Investigators #13)

Bought on sheer whim after I remembered the thing being hidden in the cat but couldn't remember anything else about the plot. Had remembered Tunnel Two but not the other entrances.

June 2014

FaceOff goodreads

David Baldacci

Various famous thriller characters team up in twosomes, with stories written by the two writers in collaboration. Bought for the Lucas Davenport, of course. I haven't read any Jeffery Deaver before, and I don't think I'll bother since Lincoln Rhyme sounds like an arse. Nice to see Lily again. One day I will read the rest of the stories.

May 2014

The Blade Itself goodreads

Joe Abercrombie (First Law #1)

Everyone in this is a horrible, horrible bastard. It's very compelling, don't get me wrong, but if you're going to read it, you need a high tolerance for people having lives which suck and continue to suck and will never stop sucking and are ground into the mud, over and over again.

Before They Are Hanged goodreads

Joe Abercrombie (First Law #2)

Second book of how a world entirely populated by the grubby and the nasty and the horrid goes. There is quite a lot of potentially very cool backstory going on which we don't find out much about. I think I'd like to read the Wikipedia articles about the sons of Euz.

Last Argument Of Kings goodreads

Joe Abercrombie (First Law #3)

Final book in trilogy of horrible people doing horrible things to one another. I was quite surprised by who the bad guy actually turned out to be; maybe everyone else knew it was coming (pardon, I'm avoiding spoilers). I've said to a few people looking for who "the good guys" are in A Song of Ice and Fire that there really aren't any good guys and any bad guys; there are just guys. In this, there are bad guys, and that's all there are, but one of them is considerably badder than most.

April 2014

The Corpse-Rat King goodreads

Lee Battersby

Started to read based on recommendations; did not continue. Just didn't like it; not sure why. It feels like the sort of thing I _ought_ to like.

Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute goodreads

Jonathan L. Howard (Johannes Cabal #3)

More of the Cabal. And a fairly serious enemy, too. Couldn't help but be reminded of Only Forward's "Jeamland" by the world. Cabal deals with it all with aplomb, as usual.

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