The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It’s not over until the mockingjay sings So how about a Hunger Games prequel you say? Well, I’ve read the original books long ago and so I won’t be able to make a comparison. On its own, the story is engaging as you follow the future president Snow through his mentorship of 10th Hunger Games and beyond as the slow descent into darkness begins. Pitting kids to fight each other to the death in an arena is a unbelievable proposition. …

Posted on

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 If you don’t control your temper, your temper will control you. Stephen King is no stranger to putting more or less ordinary people in strange situations and let them deal with it. This book follows a similar recipe, cutting off a small town from the rest of the world completely. A drifter ex-soldier as one of the main heroes is not a novel idea. …

Posted on

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 My review: First law of gossip - there’s no point knowing something if somebody else doesn’t know you know it. A nice short and witty continuation of officer Grant’s adventures. There’s more magic, London and jazz vampires so what more can you ask for? There’s nothing about this book that particularly jumps at me as being “wow, that was awesome”. Certainly not nearly as much as the first book in the series where everything was new and exciting. …

Posted on

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 I know life is hard, I think everyone knows that in their hearts, but why dos it have to be cruel, as well? Why does it have to bite? This is very much not a normal Stephen King book, but at the same time it is. It’s both mysterious and familiar. It’s full of little things to make you stop and think about your days and how they impact the future. …

Posted on

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: Nikoros came away from the meeting having learned several new words, as well as some novel hyphenations of familiar ones, and a fascinating twist to the art of negotiation that his education had previously neglected Oh boy, was my review of previous Gentlemen Bastards book Red Seas Under Red Skies an unknown premonition. The mages reappear and what a fun adventure they create for our heroes. …

Posted on

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 4.5 out of 5 My review: When you can’t cheat the game, you’d best find a means to cheat the players. This has been a fun continuation of style set in the original Gentlemen Bastards (The Lies of Locke Lamora). It repeats much the same recipe - glorious (mis)adventures, schemes that are several layers deep and mixture of luck and misfortune in equal measure. …

Posted on

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: I’ve got kids that enjoy stealing. I’ve got kids that don’t think about stealing one way or the other, and I’ve got kids that just tolerate stealing because they know they’ve got nothing else to do. But nobody–and I mean nobody–has ever been hungry for it like this boy. If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. …

Posted on

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Goodreads page My rating: 4 out of 5 My review: Keep breathing, I said. It’s a habit you don’t want to break. This has been one fun book. Witty, quite funny and full of magic. There were a few dry spells (Ha! Get it?) here and there, but I still consider this a successful combination of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and more traditional CSI/detective books. There’s London, there’s magic, there is science and fake history. …

Posted on

Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan

Goodreads page My rating: 5 out of 5 My review: The world had never ceased to change, but it would also never change for anyone. I got to this book through reading Ken Liu’s translation of Three Body Problem (one of my favourite sci-fi series). He has done similar great work translating this story. The story reminded me of William Gibson writing in many ways (especially Neuromancer storyline), but sprinkled with Chinese culture. …

Posted on

Ringworld by Larry Niven

Goodreads page My rating: 3 out of 5 My review: Widely considered a classic of sci-fi, this book as been in my “to-do” shelf for a long time. I finally got to it now, and I have mixed feelings. The idea itself is interesting enough, all the interesting tidbits of trivia about a future world, aliens, fall of some distant civilization interesting. But somehow I am missing a bigger picture or a story line. …

Posted on