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

Books I acquired (and have reviewed) in 2018

December 2018

A Monster Calls goodreads

Patrick Ness

Ostensibly a children's book. Well, "young adult", whatever that means. But this is not childish. It starts as something akin to a fairy story, but it's actually quite a harrowing look at loss, family, and responsibility presented through the lens of a teenage boy. Definitely worthwhile reading. It reminded me -- or made me think about, at least -- the text adventure Tapestry, by Daniel Ravipinto, from many years ago, which is praise.

February 2018

The Palace Job goodreads

Patrick Weekes (Rogues of the Republic #1)

A fantasy heist novel, with all the standard tropes for a heist, including the reversal at the end and the motley crew. But it's such fun. An awful lot of modern stories don't really grasp the idea of fun. Weekes grasps it with both hands and hangs on for dear life as the crew roar through. There are lines in here that made me actually laugh out loud; just wry observations by characters who seem actually real. Sure, there's not much in the way of deeper heartwrenching meaning in here, but who bloody cares when it's this enjoyable? More! More, I say!

January 2018

Damoren goodreads

Seth Skorkowsky (Valducan #1)

Surprisingly interestingly put-together world of semi-Templar monster hunters with enchanted weapons. The storylines here aren't critical; what's really well-done is the backstory, where each person bonds with their mystic weapon. This feels very real; obviously the goal of urban fantasy is exactly that, that the person next to you in the bar might be preparing to throw a fireball and you'd never know... but most is not that convincing. Despite the outlandish sword battles and the tough-guy narration at times, this is.

Hot Lead, Cold Iron goodreads

Ari Marmell (Mick Oberon #1)

Urban fantasy but set in gangster Chicago rather than right now. This is a surprisingly refreshing change. Mick, our fairy hero, is adopting the whole sub-Marlowe grizzled PI vibe which normally annoys me, but it annoys him too, so he gets a pass. And the world is convincingly put together. The masquerade is fairly weak here -- an awful lot of Chicago's underworld has some vague idea about the actual underworld -- and Oberon's frosted-glass-office narration gets a little tiresome from time to time, but this is worth a read.

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