I've never blogged a re-read before, so to a large extent I'm making this up as I go along. The basic idea is that I'm breaking the book down into about 10 chunks so I have a decent amount to discuss, but it doesn't take a year to get to the end of it. For this first part I'm looking at the prolog and Chapters 1 through 4 of Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Before I get to that though, I thought it would be worth setting the scene a little bit:
Dragons of Autumn Twilight was published in 1984 and fantasy fiction was rather different back then. Most of the big names we're currently familiar with hadn't been released (no Wheel of Time or Harry Potter or Game of Thrones). There were a few blockbuster series (Eddings Belgariad and Brooks Shannara spring most readily to mind) but the market was much smaller and there wasn't much in the way of licensed or game based fantasy fiction. Dragonlance changed that in a big way.
Okay so this is a slightly unusual situation. I'm reviewing a book that won't be published until 2015, but it was published when I bought it. That's because the author self-published and then subsequently sold the book and a sequel to a major publisher. That explanation out of the way let's talk about The Clockwork Giant by Brooke Johnson. It's a Young Adult novel with a steampunk setting and a heavy emphasis on romance.
Peter F. Hamilton is a writer of epic galaxy spanning space opera science fiction. And all of that is right here on show in Great North Road. But the novel manages the clever trick of also being very down to earth and character focussed.
Brandon Sanderson's first novel Elantris has the advantage of being a stand alone book (for the moment, there have been talks of sequels). There's something extra satisfying about getting the whole beginning and end of a story in one go. Elantris was Sanderson's first novel and it's a very capable outing displaying most of the things that people generally enjoy about Brandon Sanderson's writing. The world building here is strong and by no means limited to the city of Elantris and its immediate surroundings. In fact there are areas of this world we never visit that nevertheless feel quite real to me.
Those of you who are familiar with Joseph Campbell and the concept of the monomyth are going to spot some very familiar structures in The Warded Man. While this may only be the first part of the Demon Cycle, Peter V. Brett makes liberal use of the Hero's Journey for each of the three protagonists in … Read More…
This is another of those series where you're not going to get a wholly satisfying conclusion to each book. That doesn't mean it's a bad book, I just like to warn people about that sort of thing up front. It does reach a logical pause point of sorts, but there's clearly a lot of unresolved issues. Apparently Blood Song was … Read More…
This is the first book in a trilogy called The First Lawand I should stress that it is not in itself a complete story. In fact, in many ways it reads more like a prologue. A coming together of the cast and setting the stage before the story itself gets going.That’s being a little harsh perhaps, but I didn’t find it a satisfying experience to read just this book so it’s worth noting. Be prepared to invest in all three books.