-fantasy-the 3rd book of the Shadowmarch tetrology. I ended up reading this in short sections at lunch at work, and I think that really worked against this book. The way it was written made it so it needed to be read in 3-5 long reads. Barrit ends up going through yet more stuff and meeting the King of the Qar, Briony makes it safely to another kingdom only to face assassination, etc and ends up fleeing back to Southmarch and the fruitcake godking reveals his plans to sacrifice the king of Southmarch to gain control of a god for his own personal use. This book just didn't really resonate with me, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in fewer, but longer, sessions.
STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI: BACKLASH
-fantasy- I really enjoyed this book. It was a short adventure, with everyone going to Dathomir, and a confrontation with the Dark Sisters, but it was light and humorous. Several one liners just caused me to burst out laughing. Allston can write good Star Wars stuff. Hoping the next book advances the plot a little more though.
MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN: DUST OF DREAMS
-fantasy-overall, this was nearly as bad as Toll the Hounds, in that everyone whined and complained about the harshness and meaninglessness of life. If they really felt like how they talked, they would have killed themselves off. The very FEW action parts to this book were great, but were so far and few between that they were lost in this mammoth volume. With the tone of the series turning soapbox'ish and not about the action, I can no longer recommend this series. The action, the politics, the maneuvering, it is all gone, given over to mindless rants about philosophical whines by people who shouldn't be ABLE to whine philosophically. Dreading the final book but also looking forward to it just to end this nightmare. This series has devolved into a kind of Terry Goodkind preachiness.
TEARS OF ARTAMON: PRISONER OF THE IRON TOWER
-fantasy-Gavril gets back his drakhaoul, Eugene finds the gate and gets a drakhaoul of his own and another kingdom, the Francians, challanges Eugenes empire.
VANG: THE MILITARY FORM
-scifi-an ancient alien lifeform is recovered from space and ends up taking over a world, which is then nuked to prevent it taking over other planets. This was how "Alien" should have been. Alien lifeform takes over humans and changes them to ultimate warriors and spreads like wildfire. Very violent, lots of fighting, lots of people writhing in agony while being taken over. Just as good as I remember from back in junior/highschool.
VANG: THE BATTLEMASTER
-scifi-2000 years after The Military Form. Another Vang is found, this time a battlemaster. Sadly, this book was not nearly as engaging or exciting to read. The battlemaster was obsessed with getting back to its homeworld instead of taking over human space. Once there, and it realized the Axon-Neurone time was over, it just gave up. Not much fun reading about an alien that just makes diversions so it can go home to die. Pooh.
DEMON CYCLE: THE WARDED MAN
-fantasy-a world several thousand years after ours. The night belongs to demons, which rise out of the core of the earth and destroy life where ever they can find it. Wards, drawn symbols, are humanity's only defense against them. Defensive wards are all that are available to humanity. A prophesied savior, the Deliverer, is supposed to restore humanity's ability to fight back. Follows 3 main characters, Arlen, Leesha and Rojer. Arlen becomes a messenger and finds a lost city of new offensive wards. Leesha becomes a villages Herb Gatherer and makes up new wards. Rojer is a jongleur who can play the violin and charm demons. In the end, Arlen is betrayed by a kingdom based on arab culture [big surprise there] but wards himself and starts to teach the hamlets how to fight back. Brutal. While not graphic, very bad things happen and you are not left in doubt about what those bad things are. Extremely well written and it just pulled me right to the end. A book I was excited to be reading. Good stuff.
DEMON CYCLE: THE DESERT SPEAR
-fantasy-follows Jardir, the Desert Spear [the man who betrayed Arlin in the first book], as he grows up and takes over the Krasians. Begins his drive to take over the northern kingdoms to make them all one so they can effectively fight against the demons wholesale. Arlin, Leesha and Rojer are wound through the story, and Leesha plays the next biggest role, after Jardir. Once again I really enjoyed this, not quite as much as The Warded Man, and am looking forward to the next book in this cycle.
CODEX ALERA: PRINCEP'S FURY
-fantasy-Tavi goes to the land of the Canim, only to find them overrun by the Vord. Makes a kind of peace with the remnants and they all head back to Alera. Meanwhile, back in Alera, the Vord queen is taking over, fast. Gaius buys enough time to give Tavi time to get back to Alera. Gaius dies and things get real bad, real fast. The Vord are just voracious.
CODEX ALERA: FIRST LORD'S FURY
-fantasy-the final stand in Alera. The Vord queen has been "corrupted" by human emotions, and Tavi makes the most of that. A last stand back in Calderon, Kitai and Tavi end up killing the Vord queen. Tavi becomes First Lord. Alera makes alliances with other races, in preparation for the time they will have to invade the Canim homeland to destroy the Vord there. A good ending place, but leaving so many huge threads that sequels seem almost a given.
BILL, THE GALACTIC HERO
-scifi/satire-a complete military scifi satire. Bill the rube gets conned into joining the army. After surviving many trials, Bill becomes inured does what he needs to to get away from the front. Ends up going back to his homeplanet and tricking his brother into joining. Bill just can't get a break.
1 unfinished novel