Last Argument of Kings – Joe Abercrombie

“Dance!” laughed the Bloody-Nine, and the sword reeled around him. He filled the air with blood, and broken weapons, and the parts of men, and these good things wrote secret letters, and described sacred patterns that only he could see and understand. Blades pricked and nicked and dug at him but they were nothing. He repaid each mark upon his burning skin one-hundred fold, and the Bloody-Nine laughed, and the wind, and the fire, and the faces on the shields laughed with him, and could not stop.” 

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Alexander Freed

“Chirrut Îmwe felt the warmth of an alien star on his skin and a sea breeze pawing at his robes. The heel of his staff dug into hard-packed sand. Beneath the odors of the conflagration and death was the perfume of jungle flowers and the sweet stink of dirt beetles. Beyond the electric snap of blaster bolts he heard a high-pitched chittering-the noise of a beast he had never encountered. To this cacophony, he added his voice:
‘I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.'”
—Alexander Freed, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Alexander Freed’s novelization for Rogue One is, put simply, one of the best Star Wars books I’ve ever read. Continue reading “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Alexander Freed”

The OA

The OA, a Netflix original, premiered on December 16 2016. The series is a mix of mystery; sci-fi; fantasy; supernatural; drama; interpretative dance; Lost; Stranger Things; mind-fuckery; this that & the other thing, etc.

The series was created by Brit Marling (who stars as “The OA”) & Zal (BATMAN) Batmanglij.

Synopsis:
The series centers on Prairie Johnson, an adopted young woman who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years. Upon her return, Johnson calls herself “The OA”, exhibits scars on her back, and can see, despite having been blind when she disappeared. While many believe she is a miracle, others worry that she could be dangerous.

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King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence

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And now, an exhaustive look at the dos and don’ts of kicking a severed head, as told by Jorg Ancrath:

“I dropped the head and kicked it into the crowd. I say ‘kicked’ but in truth it’s a bad idea to kick a head. I learned that years ago, a lesson that cost me two broken toes. What you want to do is shove the head with the side of your foot, like you’re throwing it. It’s going to roll anyhow so you don’t need that much force. See, the thing about severed heads is the owner no longer has any interest in minimizing the force of the blow, or any ability to do so for that matter. When you kick somebody in the head as you do from time to time, they tend to be actively trying to move themselves out of the way and the contact is lessened. A severed head is dead weight, even if it’s watching you.”

I just finished King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, and I am literally in awe of this author. This is some of the best dark fantasy I’ve ever read, easy. For all the grittiness and horror and bleakness in this series, Mark Lawrence writes beautifully, and turns a phrase as well as anyone. Continue reading “King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”

Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty

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“Once you were gone, the body meant nothing, had no sentimental value. The future body was all that mattered. The past shouldn’t be here, staring you in the face with dead eyes.”
— Mur Lafferty, Six Wakes

So this is pretty interesting mash-up of styles here: sci-fi, horror, and ultimately, locked-room mystery. This wound up being a “liked it, didn’t love it” book for me, but I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to folks, especially if you’re a mystery fan.

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Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence

The town-square ran red. Blood in the gutters, blood on the flagstones, blood in the fountain. The corpses posed as corpses do. Some comical, reaching for the sky with missing fingers, some peaceful, coiled about their wounds. Flies rose above the wounded as they struggled. This way and that, some blind, some sly, all betrayed by their buzzing entourage. Continue reading “Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”

The Emperor’s Blades – Brian Staveley

Synopsis: The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again . .   

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The Cormorant – Chuck Wendig

He’s got the muscle tone of a crumpled jerk off tissue.

The Cormorant is the follow-up to the fantastically raucous Blackbirds & Mockingbird. Are you sensing the theme here? Yes, BIRDS! And we get to meet quite the bird in this instalment, Corie the cormorant. She is sassy & I adore her! And Jerry. The scenes with the two of them are top notch entertainment!

Miriam is on the move, making her way to Florida. She is now a killer.. but a killer that is trying to change the fate of innocent people who she sees die in her visions. Blood for blood. Her story from common thief to killer is quite the journey! Miriam doesn’t necessarily find this change in.. profession, an easy one. We get to know our girl Miriam on a deeper level in this novel. You should know by now that not everything is always so black & white with her, but with The Cormorant we get a closer look at her past, what she has gone through. We learn more about her mother. It is just a really tragic story. One that Wendig intersperses throughout.

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All Our Wrong Todays – Elan Mastai

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Releases: 2.7.2017

Synopsis: You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. Continue reading “All Our Wrong Todays – Elan Mastai”