31 March 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along - Week 4

Welcome to another week's questions and answers for Lies of Locke Lamora read along. Once again, do visit Andrea at Little Red Reviewer for everyone's answers to the questions.

This week's questions are brought to us by Ashley at SF Signal.

1. In the chapter “A Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass” we learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so much fantastical as realistic – how about you?
I really love these details that flesh out the world. It shows that there is life outside of the main arc of the story and the author has put in a lot of work into imagining all aspects of this world.

2. When Jean meets with what will become the Wicked Sisters for the first time, the meeting is described very much like how people feel when they find their true work or home. Agree? Disagree? Some of both?
It does sound like Jean has found his true love. I was pretty surprised how fast Jean picked up using the Wicked Sisters and how natural he was at fighting though.

3. Salt devils. Bug. Jean. The description is intense. Do you find that description a help in visualizing the scene? Do you find yourself wishing the description was occasionally – well – a little less descriptive?
I don't mind descriptive scenes, as long as it's not redundant or too flowery. I think the description Lynch used for the scene was spot on. It added to the tension and sense of danger that the gang faced in that situation and made it that much more exciting.

4. This section has so much action in it, it’s hard to find a place to pause. But...but.. oh, Locke. Oh, Jean. On their return to the House of Perelandro, their world is turned upside down. Did you see it coming?
Let just say I made the mistake of reading some discussion threads which spoiled the surprise. Anyway I would never have guessed it coming in a million years. It's fitting but I would like see that GBs together for a few more novels.

5. Tavrin Callas’s service to the House of Aza Guilla is recalled at an opportune moment, and may have something to do with saving a life or three. Do you believe Chains knew what he set in motion? Why or why not?
Chains wanted the boys to be prepared for all kinds of situations. He might not know exactly what mess the GBs will get into but at least he gave them a good foundation.

6. As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent – only greedy and resorting to trickery – comes to mind again. Will this pattern continue?
Well Locke learnt his lesson at a young age and he swore that he will never get anyone killed because of his schemes. So I don't think he will hurt anyone unless they deserve it.

7. Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?
I don't think there is a difference between the two. Both the actions of lying and conning are so ingrained in Locke that he can't simply just be himself. The Thorn of Camorr will always live on in Locke.

Kindle Spring Sale

Amazon UK is running an awesome Kindle Spring Sale till the 12th April with plenty of great classic and newer books. I've already picked up Assassin's Apprentice & The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb and also Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns too. It's at the lowest price I've seen for this book.

Did you get any books in this sale? And have I missed any other gems?

29 March 2012

Awesome Cover for Betrayer

Are you following Aaron Dembski Bowden on Facebook? If not, then you should be doing it right now. To celebrate the fan page reaching 2,000 fans, Aaron has released the cover for the upcoming Horus Heresy story, Betrayer on his blog.

Betrayer cover art by Neil Roberts

I'm really loving the details and the expressions on Lorgar's and Angron's faces. Also, who knew the Ultramarines can spill so much blood?

This is going to be another epic Horus Heresy novel to look forward to!

28 March 2012

Caged View by Kenya Wright

Caged View is a collection of short stories set before the events of Fire Baptized. I know this is a prequel but to fully appreciate these short stories, I highly recommend reading Fire Baptized first as these stories serve as explorations into the main characters' pasts. Just like Fire Baptized, the stories are well-written and extremely enjoyable.

26 March 2012

Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm

Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.

Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.


Before I begin the review, I would just like to say Wow! Is Dead Harvest really a debut novel? This book was such a fantastic read that I finished the book in no time at all. I was extremely impressed with the tension throughout the story and also with the cinematic quality feel that this book creates. To top it off, the protagonist Sam Thornton is a brilliant anti-hero that you can't help but love.

One of the reasons I like this book so much is because I'm a big fan of supernatural movies and shows. When reading Dead Harvest I'm reminded of scenes from Supernatural, Fallen and End of Days. This book contains the best elements of these stories and has created something absolutely wonderful in the urban fantasy genre.

25 March 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along - Week 3

It's time for another The Lies of Locke Lamora read along. This week's questions come from Bryce at My Awful Reviews. Once again you can find other people's answer over at the Little Red Reviewer.

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastards books. From what we read, what are your initial impressions of the magic Lynch is using? Is there any way that Locke and Company would be able to get around the Bondsmage’s powers?
I like it that magic isn't that common in this world and it actually costs an arm and a leg just to even hire someone who can casts spells. I've read too many stories that are spoiled by way too powerful magic. This means that Locke and Co. have to rely on their wit to overcome the challenge that is the Bondsmage.

2. Not a question, but an area for rampant speculation: If you want to take a stab at who you think the Grey King might be, feel free to do it here.
At first I thought it could be Jean because his background is a mystery. Maybe he became an orphan because of the Capa and now poses as the Grey King to get his revenge. Then I thought maybe it's Chains, he did say he wants to disrupt the Secret Peace. Where is he now anyway? We never know what happened to him in the story.

22 March 2012

Carpathia by Matt Forbeck

It's Titanic meets 30 Days of Night.

When the survivors of the Titanic are picked up by the passenger steamship Carpathia, they thought their problems were over.

But something's sleeping in the darkest recesses of the ship. Something old. Something hungry.

What do you get when you put two of the most popular topic, Titanic and Vampires together? You get Matt Forebeck's Carpathia, a fun alternate history about the survivors of Titanic. The story pays a big homage to the old school vampires, the ones that are vicious, afraid of garlic and can shapeshift into bats and wolves. None of that silly sparkle in the sunlight stuff.

If you're into your vampire lore, you will immediately recognise that the names of the main characters in Carpathia are an amalgamation of character names in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Like the characters they are based on, the survivors must take up arms against the vampires or be forever damned.

20 March 2012

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed...

The Quantum Thief is a hard SciFi novel that has received plenty of praise and has been on my radar for quite some time now. So I immediately jumped to it when Fantasy Faction chose this book as its March book club read.

18 March 2012

In My Mailbox #3

First off I got these two lovely books, War of the Spider Queen Volume 1 & 2 from Wizards of the Coast. I'm a big fan of Forgotten Realms and absolutely love the Drizzt series that R.A. Salvatore has created. Can't wait to see what Bob and the other authors have in mind for the Drows of the Underdark.

17 March 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along - Week 2

This is the second week into the Lies of Locke Lamora read along and this week's questions were supplied by Susan at Dark Cargo. Click here, if you missed my responses for week one's questions and here to see what other people has answered for week two.

1. Do you think Locke can pull off his scheme of playing a Midnighter who is working with Don Salvara to capture the Thorn of Camorr? I mean, he is now playing two roles in this game - and thank goodness for that costume room the Gentlemen Bastards have!
When I found out Locke is also the Midnighter I thought how is this con going to work? Then I realised that the Midnighter role gives him a way out of the situation he set up. But why does it have to be so elaborate and complicated? I think it’s because Locke is cocky and in order to look for some excitement and challenges, he has to create these handicaps for himself in the games he plays.

Since we’re only at around the half-way point of the book, it’s obvious that something’s bound to happen to make it difficult for Locke to pull off the con.

14 March 2012

Giant Thief by David Tallerman

Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.

Big time.

I’ve been reading a lot of books on thieves lately and each author manage to bring something different with their creation. Giant Thief is a fun and humorous take on this trend, and on many ways it succeeds. In this book we have a thief who has the charisma to charm his way out of any situation, and there are plenty of scenes where Easie Damasco uses his wit to weasel his way out of the direst confrontations. However its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness for me. At no point I felt that Easie is in any danger because I know that he will always get out of him. In fact he made it through the story pretty much unharmed.

Another weak point is that the story can be considered as one long chase sequence and after a while you just get tired of all the running. Since most of the book is filled with action and running, very little space is left for world building. Due to this, the world just failed to make an impression on me. The setting feels very much like a generic version of a medieval fantasy land with the usual nobles and peasants that inhabit it. For an imprint that is known for its genre-bending stories, Giant Thief feels a little too linear and ordinary.

10 March 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along - Week 1

This is my first time joining a read along and what better book to start with than The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch? This read along is hosted by a bunch of great people and week one is led by Andrea at The Little Red Reviewer.

1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far? If this is a re-read for you, how does the book stand up to rereading?
This is my first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora and I just finished it today. It was a fantastic read, full of action and drama. I can really see why so many people love this book and I will definitely be reading the sequel.
What I love: The cons that Locke pulls off. He can just go into any situation and start spilling out crap and people would believe him.

What I dislike: I don’t really have anything that I dislike in the book. If I have to nit-pick, then maybe Locke is too good at the things he can do.

5 March 2012

Eisenhorn Omnibus by Dan Abnett

In the grim far future, the Inquisition moves amongst mankind like an avenging shadow, striking down daemons, aliens and heretics with uncompromising ruthlessness.

This is my second year reading Black Library novels and I consider myself still very inexperienced in the 40k lore. So to broaden my perspective, I decided to visit one of the all-time classics, the Eisenhorn Omnibus by Dan Abnett.

For those who don't know already, the Eisenhorn Omnibus is about the exploits of Gregor Eisenhorn, Imperial Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos. Eisenhorn was originally just a character in Games Workshop's Inquisitor game but Dan Abnett found the concept artworks and liked them so much that he decided he must write the backstories for the character.

The omnibus consists of three books and two short stories. The books are all named after the three major orders of the Inquisition, Ordo Xenos; Ordo Malleus and Ordo Hereticus and the general theme of each book echoes its title.

Before I get into the details of each story, I must say that this omnibus is an absolutely amazing and exciting piece of work. I don't know why I waited so long before I picked up this series. There are explosions, plenty of deaths and battles with Chaos Marines, daemons and even a Titan! I can see why it is held in such high regards by the fans.