2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars, Bernard Cornwell, Dresden Files, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Jim Butcher, R.A. Salvatore, Roman Empire, Romans, Wizards
It’s been a busy summer of devouring books as fast as I can; so fast that I couldn’t get a review written of each of them. So, instead, here’s a rapid fire list of what rocked and what was as dull as a rock.
Books that Rocked:
Outliers: The Story Of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell is always an interesting read. His ability to find connections in places where they aren’t expected is uncanny. In Outliers, you will learn that where and when we are born have a large influence on our future.
Time to Hunt – Stephen Hunter
I’ve read a few of the Bob Lee Swagger novels, and this one is the best so far. Go back in time to Bob’s harrowing escapades in Vietnam, and learn why they call him “The Hammer”.
- Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, Book 6) – Jim Butcher
- Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, book 7) – Jim Butcher
- Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8 ) – Jim Butcher
- White Night (The Dresden Files, Book 9) – Jim Butcher
- Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10) – Jim Butcher
- Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11) – Jim Butcher
Yup, it’s been a summer of Jim Butcher. I’m not surprised. Harry Dresden is a perfect lead character. He’s filled with doubt and weaknesses, but always has enough steely resolve and powerful magic to pull himself out of the tightest places. Each book is better than the last, and I can only hope that Butcher keeps kicking them out.
- The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) – Brent Weeks
- Shadow’s Edge (Night Angel Trilogy) – Brent Weeks
- Beyond the Shadows – Brent Weeks
The Night Angel Trilogy was an interesting fantasy series. It focused on a young boy who wants to escape his danger our and hopeless life as an orphan. He gets himself apprenticed to the greatest assassin of the land and ends up having a drastic influence on the world while defeating a great evil. Yup, that sounds like just about every fantasy series out there. Great characters and interesting plot twists make this a worthwhile read.
- The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) – Joe Abercrombie
- Before They Are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two) – Joe Abercrombie
- Last Argument of Kings (First Law: Book Three) – Joe Abercrombie
Other than the Butcher books, this was my favorite series of the summer. The story was full of intrigue and plotting, but what was interesting is that for all the machinations of man, there was a handful of demi-gods running around pulling the strings that no one really believed in. Couple that with a half dozen morally gray heroes and heroines and you’ve got a formula for a great read. Each chapter switches to a different hero’s perspective, and Abercrombie was able to make it so you instantly know which character you are with.
The State of the Union – Brad Thor
An interesting thriller that explores what would happen if Russia was playing possum and only pretended to lose the Cold War. Think Tom Clancy crossed with Dan Brown.
As interesting as rocks
Daemons are Forever (Secret Histories, Book 2) – Simon R. Green
Loved the first book for its sheer volume of fantastical creatues. The follow up fell flat for me.
The Orc King: Transitions, Book I – R.A. Salvatore
Salvatore has dozens of great books starring the dark elf, Drizzt Do’urden. As he has progressed, the books have taken on a morally preachy timbre. I love the action, but could do without the sermons.
Agincourt: A Novel – Bernard Cornwell
A book about my favorite historical battle? Count me in. I can’t remember now why this was bad or good, and I guess that’s enough to say about it. However, Cornwell typically hits the mark and I would not hesitate to recommend him.
The Red Wolf Conspiracy – Robert V. S. Redick
The whole book takes place on a boat. There’s some interesting characters, but I didn’t really get into it.
Sharpe’s Trafalgar: Richard Sharpe & the Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805 (Richard Sharpe’s Adventure Series #4) – Bernard Cornwell
I really enjoy the Sharpe series, and I’m going to keep reading them. This book wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t that great either.
Soldier of Rome: The Sacrovir Revolt: A Novel of the Twentieth Legion During the Rebellion of Sacrovir and Florus – James Mace
I really wanted to like this series, but it is entirely too dry for me. I guess I’ll find a different Roman era series to read.
That’s 21 books read since March, not too shabby. Luckily, most of them have been good, including 3 series: The Night Angel Trilogy, The First Law, and The Dresden Files. Get some!