Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I'm reading right now

Okay this is one of those lazy posts - where I just let you guys know whats coming next!!
Here's the list:

1) Bone Shaker by Cherie Priest  - a zombie novel about a town destroyed by a mean machine and has led to leakage of a poisonous gas that converts the alive into "undead" - which gets sealed up (duh!) and a boy's mission to prove his dad innocent, by going back into this ghost town filled with the undead ( called Rotters!)
Trust me, its been heavy going for me. with the work-man like prose and dreary descriptions of action-scenes that almost make you feel that nothings happening with the plot. Will let you know when ( and IF!) I finish.

2) Memories of Ice - Part 3 Malazan Empire of the Fallen series - the awesome awesome series that put the word "epic" back into epic fantasy. Hugely sprawling and immensely huge cast of gods, humans, non-gods, and a countless number of super cool "races" that abound the world. I have to go back and try the re-reading of the Malazan series thats been happening on Am frankly struggling to tie back in the pieces of jigsaw puzzle thats one helluva laarge one :D

3) I sure want to get my hands on part 5 of the awesomest fantasy series ever written of course. still waiting for Dance with Dragon- my pre-order copy comes to me in Aug ( yeah, sadly after the whole world has done with "spoiler-less" reviews of this one :D )

Oh yes - I also finished one of the most enjoyable books ever - Gentlemen Bastards Series, opening, Lies of Locke Lamora.

Wait for the reviews. Coming Soon!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Hunter's Run

I know this is perhaps one of the forgotten gems of GRRM, but it still ranks pretty much up there in terms of the quality of pure unadulterated story telling. 

A terrific SF thriller that once again cements the fact the GRRM is indeed one of the best story tellers of our times. Joining him this time are two other talents, Daniel Abraham and Gardner R. Dozois. I have read the first two parts of Daniel Abraham’s much acclaimed Long Prince Quartet series that has repeatedly taken the mantle of being the most under-appreciated Fantasy series out there. I haven’t heard of Dozois, but heck, with two names that most certainly promised a rollercoaster of a ride, I couldn’t resist.
And a treat it was.
An absolute masterpiece in terms of the twists and turns and a simple yet appealing plot that sticks to the original purpose of story-telling. To entertain. Without getting lost in the hyperbole of clumsy world building. There are so many lessons that GRRM could give the young guns who write so much trash out there in the world today.

Okay. So here’s the shotgun summary of the book –
Ramon Espejo is a prospector on an alien planet Sao Paulo. Someone who has escaped the poverty and misery of the Third World countries on Earth in a near future to come to this “New World” which held so many promises and hope for people like him. But a drunken melee and bar-room brawl results in Ramon knifing the wrong bigshot  and having to cool off away from the city for a few days. Escaping into the unexplored beautiful , yet dangerous country sides of Sao Paulo, Ramon decides to do what he does best. Prospect.  But things go horribly wrong after he gets kidnapped by aliens in the wilderness. What happens next, after he escapes them forms the majority of the story. 

There ain’t a lot of fast paced action. And yet the storyline keeps ticking ahead without any effort as you get pulled into the psyche of the tormented protagonist Ramon. He is not a likeable chap for sure. The prose is laced with Spanish cuss words. (I would probably attribute it to the fact that both GRRM and Abraham reside in New Mexico and collaborate a lot!! smirk.) A hard man who lives by his own set of hard rules. Yet as the story progresses, the layers around him unfold like layers of onion peeling off. Revealing the true man that he is. The depth of characterization is amazing. Well, there ain’t a lot of characters in this book. You get the whole story played out from Ramon’s point of view. Which keeps the story linear and perfectly lucid. While there ain’t a lot of world building around the alien culture or the planet, the glimpses of the world he is trapped in, makes for enough tasty morsels. (I just loved the cat-lizards called Chucapabra!!!) 

The picture that the authors paint of Ramon’s mental makeup, his questions about himself and the whole sentient race that kidnapped him, the so called New World Society – all of it makes for delicious reading. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. A full nine on ten for this.  Now am waiting for Daniel Abraham’s new series, Dragon’s Path and the hugely acclaimed 2011 SF thriller, Leviathan Wakes. Haven’t stopped hearing people rave about this one!