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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Book Review)

The Hunger Games is one of the series I wanted to read in 2013 as part of my “25 Series To Read In 2013” reading challenge. Having seen and loved the movie adaptation of the first novel in the series, and waiting with high anticipation for the second movie, this was a series I was really looking forward to reading eventually last year. And read it I did. One of the great things about it was how it added more to my movie experience than I’d thought, helping contextualize a lot of the scenes. And that I suppose, is the true strength of the combined experience.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (Double Review)

With the upcoming release of Myke’s second novel, Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier in the first quarter of 2013, I was one of the reviewers invited to review the book as I’d previously reviewed the first novel, Control Point. And the great thing is that Fortress Frontier is a much better novel than Control Point, especially since it has a much better protagonist and the story is much more interesting as well. If you liked Control Point, then Fortress Frontier is definitely going to be a better experience in almost all respects.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole (Book Review)

Myke Cole is another 2012 debut author I discovered in that same year. His first novel Shadow Ops: Control Point presented an interesting world where magic and technology exist side by side and where governments around the world use magically-empowered special forces. It was a fun novel, albeit a protagonist who made it really tough to like him, and is one that I can certainly recommend, if only because of the world-building and the fact that it does get better towards the end.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper (Book Review)

Trinity Rising is Elspeth Cooper’s 2012 sequel to her 2011 debut Songs of the Earth, and is the second novel in her Wild Hunt epic fantasy series. Going into the novel, I had quite high expectations of it since the debut was a fairly strong debut novel on its own and was one of my better reading experiences in that year. But Trinity Rising failed a number of my expectations and it ended up being nowhere near as good as its predecessor. Still, my interest in the Wild Hunt remains undimmed and I’m planning on reading the third novel soon, so we shall see how it all goes.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper (Book Review)

Two and a half years ago I got it in my head to make an effort to read as many of the David Gemmell Morningstar Award shortlisted nominees as I could. Maybe it was because all these finalists were debut authors of the previous year or something, but I thought that it would be a fun little challenge to take on. One of the very first books I read as part of this impromptu challenge was Elspeth Cooper’s Songs of the Earth, which is the first in her Wild Hunt series. It ended up being a fairly interesting novel by all accounts, with a really fun magic system and some fun characters as well, so I was rather pleased with it in the end. If you want to read something different from the norm, then Songs of the Earth is definitely something to check out.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Judge Dredd: 99 Code Red by Jonathan Clements (Audio Review)

Up until mid-2011 I had never listened to an audio drama and didn’t even really know what it was. Then, I suddenly got on a kick to listen to all of Black Library’s various audio dramas that I could, and in 2012 I expanded that to Judge Dredd audios from Big Finish. These were some of my biggest exposures to the Judge Dredd franchise and Jonathan Clements’ 99 Code Red stands as one of my absolute favourites by a long margin. It has a great story with some great voice-acting and I certainly recommend it.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra R. Clarke (Book Review)

In 2012, Angry Robot Books launched its Young Adult fiction imprint Strange Chemistry. One of the very first titles to be released under the new imprint was Cassandra R. Clarke’s debut novel The Assassin’s Curse. This was one of the very first YA titles I’d read at the time, and it was kind of an eye-opener since that was also a time when I was experimenting with some different genres and YA just happened to be something that I found attractive. The Assassin’s Curse didn’t exactly wow me unfortunately, but it proved to be a good experience nonetheless.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher (Book Review)

The sequel to Adam Christopher’s 2012 debut Empire State didn’t arrive until much later in 2013, and it was a rather frustrating wait since I really liked the first novel and wanted more of the same from someone I considered to be among the best debut writers of 2012. But unfortunately, The Atomic Age seemed to exemplify the faults and negatives of Empire State far more it did the good things. The difference between the two is a phenomenal one for me and I was extremely disappointed by it.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Empire State by Adam Christoper (Book Review)

One of the very first books I read back in 2012, and my very first Angry Robot book too I think (might have been Matt Forbeck’s Carpathia actually!), was Adam Christopher’s debut novel Empire State, which mixed in several different genres together to create a really fun narrative. It could even be described as superhero noir-steampunk I suppose, which sounds awesome when you think about it and Adam definitely delivered on the promise as well.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu (Book Review)

In a rather surprising move, and owing to the popularity of Wes’ debut novel The Lives of Tao, Angry Robot fastracked the sequel for an end-of-the-year release date, instead of putting it out a few months back. It was a great move as far as I’m concerned since based on my reading experience Wes improved quite a bit in the sequel and delivered a much better novel. In fact, The Deaths of Tao would have made it to my end of the year “best of…” list, but it was unfortunately narrowly beaten out. Suffice to say, if you liked The Lives of Tao, then you are definitely going to love The Deaths of Tao as well.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (Book Review)

Another one of my great finds last year was SF author Wesley Chu, who debuted in the Spring with The Lives of Tao, a contemporary SF novel about long-lived, body-hopping aliens who have been guiding the course of Humanity’s development for thousands of years. The Lives of Tao was one of the better debuts that I read last year, and I’d certainly recommend that everyone read the first novel at least. It is fun, it is serious, it has great action, great characters, and what more can you want?

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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Valkia the Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell (Book Review)

Soon after having The Gildar Rift published in late 2011, Sarah had a second novel published a few months later. This time she tackled Warhammer Fantasy, with a character that I’ve since come to love. Valkia is easily the match of other great female characters of other big franchises, and her origin story is quite a compelling one. Its a shame that there haven’t been more stories with Valkia told since, in the longer format that is, because she has the potential to be a really great character in the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.

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