The Oncoming Storm by Christopher Nuttall

The Oncoming Storm by Christopher Nuttall is the first book in his new Angel in the Whirlwind series. A well-known self-published author of many books, this is his first step into traditional publishing through Amazon’s 47North imprint. While I’ve not had the pleasure of picking up any of Nuttall’s previous novels, The Oncoming Storm certainly makes him an author that I plan to revisit. Continue reading “The Oncoming Storm by Christopher Nuttall”

Master of Formalities by Scott Meyer

master-of-formalitiesMaster of Formalities by Scott Meyer was a book I was very much looking forward to, and one I enjoyed despite it not meeting the expectations that his Magic 2.0 series left me with. Full review at SFFWorld.

There is plenty going on in Master of Formalities despite it being set almost entirely on Apios. We follow House Jakabitus and its staff as they deal with the arrival of the heir to the Hahn Empire, a people that they have been at war with for countless years with no end in sight. However, the situation may now change with Master Hennik there, and it’s down to those running the household to do what they can to accommodate him. With centuries of traditions and many requirements, the staff of House Jakabitus have their hands full, and Wollard, their Master of Formalities, is the one in charge of them all, ensuring that etiquette is adhered to at all times.

Battlemage by Stephen Aryan

battlemageMy latest review over at SFFWorld is Battlemage by Stephen Aryan. For longtime readers of Walker of Worlds you will likely recognise the name – Steve reviewed here with me back in 2011, and this is his debut novel. I was very much looking forward to reading Battlemage, and despite it not being my usual go-to genre, I really enjoyed it. Read my full review here.

To start with let me say that Battlemage is a very quick read. Not only are the characters and story interesting, but Stephen Aryan manages to tell the story fluidly and without preamble. It’s easy to get caught up in the narrative, and the switching between the three main protagonists does little to slow the story – if anything it ensures that you keep on reading to find out what is happening to them when they are off-page. The structure is sound, while the action, intrigue, and entertainment really makes this a debut that shows great promise for the future.

While the story and characters are both interesting, it’s the world in which Battlemage is set that I really enjoyed reading about. While we are dropped into this fully formed world and learn little things about it in the early chapters, it’s as the story progresses that other aspects become apparent, and many questions raised. This was, perhaps, the most frustrating thing about Battlemage for me – I wanted to learn more and more about the history of the world, the races that inhabit it, and how everything has changed throughout the ages. But Steve peppers the narrative with titbits, not quite giving full explanations, but presenting enough to make me want to read the next novel to find out more.

Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton

Lawrence Newton was born into a board family on the colony world of Amethi, a planet that required long-term investment and global warming in order to melt its ice and make it comfortably habitable for humans. He dreams of life among the stars, exploring and searching for new planets for the human race to colonise, but the reality of current starflight expeditions is bleak. When events in his life lead to a discovery that could allow him to fulfill his dream he heads to Earth in the hopes of realising it. Continue reading “Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton”

Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

working-for-bigfootI love me some Harry Dresden, so Jim Butcher’s new collection of three short stories featuring my favourite wizard was a must-read. And read it I did – head over to SFFWorld to see my full review!

The events of the stories in Working for Bigfoot follow the same supporting characters over a period of time. Due to this they fit in to different points of the series: B is for Bigfoot takes place between the second and third novels (Fool Moon and Grave Peril); I Was a Teenage Bigfoot takes place around the same time as the seventh novel (Dead Beat); Bigfoot on Campus takes place after the eleventh novel (Turn Coat). Those familiar to the Dresden Files will see this through some aspects of the stories, while anyone new to the series (or only partway through) will have no trouble picking them up for a quick read. There are very few spoilers for later novels present, with only Bigfoot on Campus giving some details on recent events, and as such this makes the collection a very good taster of Harry Dresden.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

the-aeronauts-windlassOver at myself, Rob, and Mark have done a joint review/discussion of Jim Butcher’s latest novel, The Aeronaut’s Windlass. It’s not often we find we’re all reading the same book at the same time – it’s only happened once before with Libriomancer by Jim C Hines – so when the opportunity arises it’s always good fun to do this. Head over and check it out in full, it’s nice and long!

Considering how touch-and-go I can be with anything outside of Science Fiction, and how a recent Steampunk novel by a favourite author of mine didn’t quite hit the mark, I was very pleasantly surprised – here is much more here than gears, steam power, and airships. Add in Jim’s prose and storytelling ability to a world that asks many more questions than it answers, and there really is very little (if anything) that left me wanting.

Running with a GPS Watch

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been doing some running over the past couple of years, and thankfully I’ve managed to keep it up over the summer despite my naturally lazy personality. I’ve been going out pretty much consistently baring illness, which fortunately only kept me sidelined for a couple of weeks, hitting around four runs each week.

The last time I posted about running was after a 5k race that I took part in, and while that still remains my personal best over that distance, I am definitely fitter and quicker now than I was then. One reason why I haven’t beaten that pb is the simply fact that the course is almost entirely a gradual downhill run, with only a couple of very short uphills along its distance. Continue reading “Running with a GPS Watch”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Every now and then I hear about a book through various sources and think, ‘you know what, that sounds rather good.’ What inevitably happens then is that it slips to the back of my mind where it will stay until a little reminder comes up. This is exactly what happened with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, so I dug out the book from the to-read pile and kept it in plain site so I would know to pick it up next. I started reading it one evening and a couple of days later it was done and dusted – and would have been sooner if it wasn’t for that pesky thing called work! Actually, reading is a word that cannot be effectively used to describe the experience I had with Ready Player One. Absorbed? Devoured? Whatever, it’s fair to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. Continue reading “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline”

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

I don’t read much fantasy, mainly because the genre doesn’t often appeal to me. Every now and then I come across one that takes my fancy, and because of my taste I’m rarely disappointed when I put sci-fi aside to read one. Over the past few years only a handful of fantasy books have made it into my reading, and of those only a few have stuck with me – but now Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed can be added to that small and exclusive club. Continue reading “Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed”