Showing posts from September, 2014

Age of Iron by Angus Watson

Writing historical fiction can be daunting and exciting in equal measures. Especially when it is about times little known. Like the times before the birth of Christ. Right. The dark before the dark ages. Author  Angus Watson  uses this opportunity along with painstaking research findings from his life body of work - to give us the tales of the Iron age in his debut book -  Orbit 's latest,  Age of Iron  set in South Great Britain circa 61 B.C. Sound interesting ? You bet it is. A ride on the dark side of time - before the world had settled into it's rails - and set in the wildly exciting and highly conflict-ridden realms of an unexplored Great Britain - how wonderful is that, thought I as I requested for a Galley Copy of this book. And as soon as I cracked open the book, I was swept headlong into the twisty proceedings. Right from the initial battle scenes of Barton where King Zadar's sweeping army  routes the ill-trained and ill-equipped rag-tag army (  " A

The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer: Delightfully original and exciting debut

Whitefire Crossing, the first book in the Shattered Sigil is Courtney Schaffer’s debut that came way back in 2011. I’ve had my eyes on this one since then. And yet I never got around to reading this book. I had heard all good things about Courtney’s terrific debut – combining her love for mountaineering with the undying passion for anything fantasy. So I’m really glad I finally read this one. This book also happens to be my first ever audio-book that I finished listening to. So hey, claps go! A terrific debut by all rights – a wild thrilling adventure set atop treacherous mountain passes laced with a delightfully detailed magic system along with an unforgettable and charming duo of protagonists – Whitefire Crossing is a refreshingly original take on epic fantasy – with an entirely new setting for the story (well most of it anyways)  to unfold - The wild untamed mountains called Whitefire where the winds can tip you over and the slightest whistle can bring down avalanches.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff Vandermeer is a name that has been on my reading horizon for a long time now. Funnily enough, his name surfaced when I was doing research around writing workshops and found that Jeff and Ann, the writer-duo conduct a fantastic writing workshop retreat every year. And then of course, his name frequently pops up related to terms like the “ New Weird ” – a reawakening of the Lovecraftian horror themes with post-modern sensibilities.  A new age Legend. Annihilation , however, was the full frontal page news for me. Hitting me squarely between my eyes with the force of a lightning bolt. It was the real deal indeed and I think I am sufficiently wowed to follow Jeff’s writing career to the very end of the world. (Or whatever weird ends he takes me to as a reader!) Annihilation probably heralds Jeff reaching out to more mainstream audiences – with this cleverly marketed trilogy called Southern Reach being published one after the other – starting from Feb through Septemb

The Martian by Andy Weir: Robinson Crusoe stranded on Mars.

The Martian by Andy Weir - his first ever novel, earlier self-published then picked up by Crown to be released early 2014 has become a runaway success story. I actually would like to thank Crown for bringing back the focus to this lighthearted sci-fi novel about the compelling story of survival of this astronaut stuck on the surface of Mars for close to eighteen months. I would have entirely missed this gem had it not been for the intelligent marketing behind this title. It's a great book. and am sure it would have done well by itself but the backing of a traditional biggie ensured that it reaches a wider audience. Like me (smug grin!) Anyways - Andy delivers a compulsively readable account of Mark Watney - a modern day Robinson Crusoe - stranded on the planet of Mars when his mission went horribly wrong - and while rest of the crew manage to escape and get back onto the spaceship "Hermes" - Mark is left for dead. He wakes up alone and finds that he is "