Category Archives: Books I Liked

Books I Liked – Some Girls Bite

Welcome to Books I Liked, a series of blog posts in which I talk about the best of what I’ve been reading.

Some Girls Bite Cover

Ah, urban fantasy, how I love thee.  I may stray to other genres, sometimes for long periods of time, but you know I’ll always be back for you.  Especially when I can fall in love with a new series.

Well, new to me.  Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series has been going strong for years now, with a total of twelve on store shelves right now.  I’m not a stranger to Chicago, and I love series that are set in the city.  Merit is a strong female lead character and her love interest (or one of them, anyway), Ethan, is your typical romance novel lead whose character runs deeper.  Being head of his vampire clan, Ethan has to make decisions for the greater good, not his own personal desires, and Neill does a good job of showing him to be willing to make those decisions.

All in all, this is a fun romp through urban fantasy Chicago, and I couldn’t put it down.   In fact, I’m halfway through the second one now.

Find out more about Some Girls Bite and the other books in the series here.

Books I Liked – Trident’s Forge

Welcome to Books I Liked, a series of blog posts in which I talk about the best of what I’ve been reading.

TridentsForgeCover

I went to C2E2 in March and picked up a copy of Trident’s Forge before it was on sale to the general public.  Be jealous.  Trident’s Forge is the sequel to The Ark (which I talk about here).  As I mentioned previously, The Ark felt complete, so I was curious to see what a sequel would bring.

Turns out, Patrick S. Tomlinson has spun a nice web of intrigue around a first contact story.  The Atlantians are well created.  Their evolution feels purposeful, and every part of them seems to have a logical point of origin.  Very well done.  What I like best about this, though, is that Tomlinson doesn’t shy away from our cultural baggage when it comes to taking over a land that’s already occupied.  This is why I’m not usually a fan of first contact stories.  They have a tendency to focus on the “cool new alien” aspect and ignore the ethical issues that come with the territory.  Tomlinson has put those issues right at the center of the conflict.  Bravo, sir, bravo.

Theresa (main character Brian’s girlfriend from Book 1) has been upgraded to a point of view character in this book, and I couldn’t be happier.  I do love my strong female characters, and Theresa is strong enough to carry a book by herself.

There’s also a little bonus short story at the end that explains how Brian’s ancestors cheated their way onto the Ark two hundred years before the first book.  The story ties into the themes in Trident’s Forge, so it feels like a purposeful addition rather than just something tossed in for fun.

Overall, Trident’s Forge is a strong sequel that stands on its own merits.  Check it out and then join me in the wait for Book 3.

Find out more about Trident’s Forge here.

Books I Liked – The Way of Kings

Welcome to Books I Liked, a series of blog posts in which I talk about the best of what I’ve been reading.

TheWayOfKings

I finally finished The Way of Kings, and only a year after I started reading it!  That’s not constant reading, mind you.  The book is organized into five parts and I found myself putting the book aside for a month or two between parts.  They just provided a natural stopping point, and each part is roughly the length of the average novel, so it felt like time to move on to something else.

That being said, I read the last 10% in a single afternoon, because victory was in sight!  You read the 10% part right.  I got this for my Kindle in the hopes that not being able to see the huge mass of pages I had left would help with morale.  Of course, my Kindle shows the percentage I’ve read at the bottom of the screen, which was worse.  Nothing like reading for hours and only getting through 1% of a book.

All those pages are necessary, though.  A thousand pages gives Sanderson the space he needs to make Roshar feel like a real world.  Seriously, this might be the most detailed fantasy novel I’ve read.  I think if I stepped through a portal and wound up on the Shattered Plains, I’d know where I was instantly.  I can’t say that about a lot of fantasy novels I’ve read.

I feel like I said all I need to say about this book when I said that I put it down for a month or two but then came back to it.  There are very few books that I stop reading only to finish later, and even less that I take such a long break from.  Treat this one like a TV series that’s been on the air for years but you just started binge watching.  Consume the first part and let it rattle around in your brain a bit until you’re ready for season 2.

Find out more about The Way of Kings here.

Books I Liked – The Ark

Welcome to Books I Liked, a series of blog posts in which I talk about the best of what I’ve been reading.

You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we all do. That’s certainly why I picked up The Ark by new author Patrick S. Tomlinson. You see, I was browsing the new paperbacks in the Science Fiction section of the bookstore (because it’s good to read the new releases in your genre, but damn hardcovers are expensive and I have student loans to pay) when I saw what looked like a misplaced romance novel.

The Ark Cover

Okay, so you’re probably looking at the tag line on the cover and saying, “Sarah, that’s not a romance novel,” but I was only looking at the guy looming over the title. And come on, he has that standard romance novel cover model look, square jaw, brooding face, neck muscles, I mean everything.

A quick glance at the back of the book revealed that it was, in fact, correctly shelved, and that it looked pretty damn interesting. It also revealed that the price was well within my book budget for the month, so I impulse bought it. Turns out it was well worth the roughly $9 with tax I paid.

The Ark is a thriller set in a giant spaceship that is home to what remains of humanity after a black hole destroyed Earth 250 years ago, which is about 50,000 people.  With so few people around, it’s a big deal when someone goes missing, and so police chief and former sports star Bryan Benson is asked to investigate. Remember, this is a thriller, not a mystery, and so naturally there’s something huge going on, with the fate of everyone on the Ark at stake. Couple that with the fact that the ship is about to land on mankind’s new home and you have tension turned up to 10.

I think what I like best about this book is the setting.  The Ark feels like a real place, complete with high and low society, political problems, and even a unique sport.  The details felt logical and cohesive.  Good worldbuilding here.

This was a fun read and a damn solid first book. I found myself looking forward to reading a chapter or two every lunch. The pacing is on point and there’s always another twist to pull you on to the next chapter. The biggest surprise for me came after I’d finished and saw an ad for the sequel in the back. Sure, the book leaves plenty of room for one (we’re about to settle a new planet for crying out loud), but everything felt wrapped up to me. You’ll probably want to put the sequel on your to-read list when it comes out, but if you’re not a series reader this book provides a complete story all by itself.

Find out more about The Ark here.