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The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett (Book Review)

Peter Brett’s Demon Cycle series is another series that I wanted to read when I got back into reading in late 2011, given that his name often came up alongside those of author (very) popular authors on a lit of “best of” lists. I eventually got to read the first novel last year, as part of my “25 Series To Read In 2013” reading challenge, and the experience was… illuminating. As with many of the other highly popular books I’ve read in the last three years, I didn’t come away as impressed as I’d hoped/expected to, but The Painted Man was still a good read, enough that I wanted to carry on with the sequel, though I never got the chance to.

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

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Hammer of Angels by G. T. Almasi (Book Review)

G.T. Almasi’s debut to his smash-read Blades of Winter arrived in February 2014, but thanks to reviewer privileges I got to read the novel much earlier, in December 2012 itself. I didn’t like the sequel as much as I’d liked the debut, but it proved to be a good enough read in the end and I loved getting back with the protagonist Alix Nico on her globe-trotting adventures.

In light of The Founding Fields currently suffering some major site issues, I’m going to be reposting my reviews from the site to the blog, so enjoy away!

The original review can be found here.

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Blades of Winter by G. T. Almasi (Book Review)

G. T. Almasi debuted in late summer 2012 with his debut novel Blades of Winter, the first in the Shadowstorm series. It was a novel that captivated me from the get go, being a very modern James Bond-style action-thriller that also reminded me that I loved the action-espionage-drama-thriller genre mash-up.

In light of The Founding Fields currently suffering some major site issues, I’m going to be reposting my reviews from the site to the blog, so enjoy away!

The original review can be found here.

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The Plague Forge by Jason M. Hough (Book Review)

Last year Jason M. Hough put out one of the best debut novels of the year, one that I even put on my “Best 2013 Debuts” list at the end of the year. The Darwin Elevator was a really fun and fast-paced action SF novel set in a post-apocalyptic future where the only remaining mass of humanity is concentrated in what used to be the (roughly) coastal city of Darwin, Australia and where humanity’s lifeline to the stars, a space elevator built by mysterious aliens, is located. He followed it up with The Exodus Towers and that too was a great read, though not as good as the predecessor. Still, they were both enough for me to love Jason’s writing and I’ve been looking for time to read the final novel ever since.

I finally got the chance to read The Plague Forge last month and the experience proved to be worth the wait for it falls squarely between the previous two novels and he gives quite a resounding conclusion to the Dire Earth Cycle trilogy. The revelations at the end are mind-boggling indeed, and though the ending is rather natural, there are also plenty of hooks for Jason to return to this setting at a later time, which I sincerely hope he does. But in the meantime, I had as much fun reading The Plague Forge as I did the other two novels, and I loved how he closed out the story of all the characters, whether I hated or loved them.

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NANP: On Choosing Names

Joining me today on the blog for Names: A New Perspective is one of 2013’s biggest debut authors, Jason M. Hough. Published by Del Rey Books/Random House, his Dire Earth Cycle trilogy is about a post-apocalyptic world brought on by the advent of an alien space elevator in Darwin, Australia in the near future. I’ve only read the first two books so far, The Darwin Elevator (review) and The Exodus Towers (review), but I have been impressed by both, and The Darwin Elevator even made my “Best Debuts of 2013” list. Both books are really good explorations of a human society that is struggling to survive in the face of a Resident Evil style viral epidemic and dwindling resources while at the same time also riven by the base natures of individuals who care only about power. I would recommend both books highly and will say that whatever Jason puts out next, I’ll definitely be reading it. In the meanwhile, while I figure out when to read the concluding novel in the trilogy, The Plague Forge, here’s what Jason has to say on the topic of names.

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12 Days of Best SFF Characters of 2013: Day #8

For this new seasonal list of the best SFF characters I’ve read this year, my eighth pick is trio of Leia Organa, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, who have been the mainstays of the Star Wars universe since its earliest days and have recently starred together in several novels, most notably in Troy Denning’s latest, Crucible, as an old generation of heroes and in Martha Wells’ Razor’s Edge as a young generation of rebels against the galactic tyranny of the Empire. Both novels are among my favourite novels of the year and the portrayal of this trio has been excellent in both.

Hit the break to see why I picked these characters.

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Best Debuts of 2013

In a lot of ways, 2013 has been a fairly good year for debut novels, as much as 2012 was. There have been some really fantastic releases, and they have all continued an unofficial tradition of doing something different with the genres that they have been set in. I can say for certain that of all the debut novels I read this year, none of them have been quite what I expected. Some of these novels have been really, really good while a small handful have been disappointing.

I put together a list at the end of last year in which I ran through my top picks of all the debuts I’d read, and I found the experience to be quite rewarding, and a great help in figuring out just why these novels were so good beyond just writing up the reviews.

All in all, of the 20 debut novels I wanted to read this year as per my list (link), I read 18 of them. Here are the 8 books I consider to be the best of the bunch.

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12 Days of Best Covers of 2013: Day #9

The ninth pick for the “12 Days of Best Covers of 2013″ list is the cover for Martha Well’s latest novel, a Star Wars tie-in for the new Empire and Rebellion series, The Razor’s Edge. This new series takes place after the original Star Wars movie and continues the adventures of Leia Organa, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in those early days of the Rebellion. It was a really fun book that did much to add to the mythology of these characters and add to the overall Star Wars lore as well. The most fun part was in seeing how these characters continued to interact after their victory over the First Death Star, and the primary protagonist was Leia herself, one of my favourite female characters in SFF.

The ninth comic cover that I pick is Nick Runge’s excellent cover for the first cover of J. W. Rinzler’s adaptation of George Lucas’ original script for Star Wars, The Star Wars. I’ve read the first three issues of the series and they’ve been quite interesting and fairly good. They betray a much more fantastical tone to the entire setting and its evident that George Lucas’ imagination really did run wild for that initial attempt. I’d definitely recommend the series!

Without further ado, hit the break to see both the covers in all their glory! The full list of all these covers is available here.

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The Cover Art Mega-Post Part 3

So this is the third such post I have done for the blog. I took a 2-month break in between posts so that I could have some more material to showcase here, and it certainly has helped. There were a lot more books I wanted to cover, but I chose to stick withe magic number 17, the number of books I’ve covered previously.

A lot of the books on this list are next year’s releases, and just as before, they all sound great, even some of the ones that are second or third (or else) in their respective series. I’m not sure if I can put aside the time to catch up to them any time soon but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get around to some of them at least. We’ll see how that works out.

In the meantime, enjoy all these great covers and these books! Hope you liked the previous posts and that you’ll like this one as well.

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NANP: Naming Verisimilitude

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is one of this year’s most promising authors, Django Wexler. The first book in his Shadow Campaigns series, called The Thousand Names interesting enough, was released earlier this month and has generated quite a big buzz both before and after its release. I’m definitely interested in picking it up because I like both editions of its cover and because I like the premise of it. I’m buried under ARCs at the moment and am behind my reading as well so I won’t get around to the book anytime soon, but I’m definitely reading it this year. Till then, there’s Django talking about names in fiction.

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The Cover Art Mega-Post

I haven’t done something like this before, but I was thinking of doing this for a while. Thing is, there are so, so many books coming out later this year or just about to be released actually, that I really, really want to read, and doing individual posts for all of them on The Founding Fields would be a bit of chore. So I’m just doing a general bumper post collecting all these covers and details on the books.

Hope you enjoy!

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2-year Anniversary Special – NANP: Names And Traditions

Continuing with a week-long event for my 2-year blog anniversary, today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is noted SF author William C. Dietz, who has written books like DeathDay (the first in his Sauron duology), Resistance: A Hole In The Sky (from Del Rey), and The Seeds of Man (self-published). DeathDay was actually my first introduction to his work (and sadly, my only experience of it to date), and I remember that I adored that book. It had some really cool moments in it, and ends on a promising note. I got the sequel, EarthRise, last year and I’m looking forward to revisiting the duology soon. Here’s his take on the topic of names.

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