Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A brief update and a book round-up

Poking my head up from revisions to share a couple quick things:

Audible has bought the rights to publish The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City in audio format! Release dates are TBD - I'll share them when I know them. 

The Tainted City was listed over on Staffer's Musings as a "must read" book for the fall: yay! Nothing better for motivation/inspiration than hearing someone wants to read the book you're working so hard on.

My reading pace has slowed to a crawl now that I'm spending most of my scant spare time on revisions, but I haven't stopped reading entirely...and man, I've read some good books lately.  When I start up my little Monday book rec posts again after I finish my final draft, I'll do more to highlight the ones I particularly loved, but here are a few quick thoughts on what I've read recently:

Range of Ghosts (Elizabeth Bear): LOVED this. Took me a little while to fully get into the characters (in the early chapters I felt oddly emotionally distant from them, which surprised me since it hasn't been my experience with Bear's writing in the past).  But the fascinating worldbuilding more than made up for that early distance, and by the end I was firmly in love with the characters too. I'm salivating for the next book in the series (Shattered Pillars, out in March 2013).

The Killing Moon (N. K. Jemisin): I had heard great things about this one, and I'm delighted to say it lived up to my (high!) expectations.  I liked Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy but didn't quite fall in love to the same extent many others did - but this one hit all the right notes for me.  Characters, worldbuilding, and plot were all excellent. Looking forward to reading book 2 (The Shadowed Sun), which is already available.

The Black Opera (Mary Gentle): as a singer (albeit choral, not opera), how could I resist a novel in which musical performances can create miracles?  A really fun ride, with a bunch of appealing characters and a seriously epic climax.  I did find some of the philosophical dialogue a little heavy-handed in nature, and I had some quibbles with the ending, but none of that got in the way of my enjoyment of the book. 

The Straits of Galahesh (Bradley P. Beaulieu): Sequel to Beaulieu's debut novel Winds of Khalakovo, even more chock-full of complex politics and world-building.  Formal in style, but that works very well with the Russian-inspired culture of the Landed; and many scenes are quite emotionally affecting (especially those involving the origins of the akhoz).  Like Winds, the novel rewards the patient reader - Beaulieu does a terrific job of pulling disparate threads together for a thrilling finish.  I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the Lays of Anuskaya trilogy next year.      

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