steam punk

The Cinder Spires, The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher; 2015; $27.95; 630 pages; Roc Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46680-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 10/20/15-10/25/15

An exciting seagoing adventure that takes place in the skies above a planet.  Patrick O’Brian would be proud of this.  There is a great cast of characters of people at all different places in their lives.  There are those who have never been in combat and are forced to grow up quickly and another who has been publicly disgraced for doing the right thing. It was an awesome adventure.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  It was an exciting and quick read.  I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

What is with the title of the review? The book has a definite steam punk feel to it through some of the descriptions.

Death from The Book Thief and Hades here would get along.

Skin Game, A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher; 2014; $27.95; 454 pages; A Roc book, New York, NY; SF; 978-0-451-46439-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 6/22/14-6/24/14

Harry is busy training for Parkour and being Warden of his own private demon island prison, when Mab, Queen of Winter has a job for him that he can’t refuse because he is the Winter Night.  He is tasked to help Nicodemus break into a secure vault in the underworld.  He is aligned with several people and supernatural beings with whom he has done battle with before. He has his usual cast of supporting characters backing him up although his brother Thomas is only mentioned.  He finally figures out that Nic is trying to steal the Holy Grail and it’s not being guarded by a Templar Knight in Jordan, but is in an extremely secure vault in Hades’ Kingdom.  Harry keeps Nic from getting 4 other artifacts that are as powerful as the Grail and has a very interesting conversation with Hades.

Grade-A

Did I like it?  Yes, it is packed with action, humor and all kinds of double crosses and shades of grey and all kinds of supernatural creatures.  The only problem with this book is that it ended and now I have to wait at least a year for another one.

What is with the title?  Death in The Book Thief is one of the most compassionate characters ever written and Hades is a very compassionate character also.

 

Akin to Harry Dresden

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey; 2009; $22.99; 388 pages; eos, New York, NY; 978-0-06-171430-6; fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 12/23-12/25

Why did I pick this up?  Someone had told me if liked the Harry Dresden books that I should try this series.

What is the story?  Stark got sent to Hell 11 years ago without dying and managed to survive.  While there he was like the gladiator that would not die facing all kinds of enemies.  When he comes back to Earth he is looking for those who sent him to hell and wants revenge on them.  While doing that he helps save the world, make some friends and learn a lot about himself.

Did I like it?  Yes, Stark is Harry Dresden without the humor and without so many friends.  He is a one man wrecking crew.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Stark is a magical being like Dresden and battles supernatural enemies here on the earthly plain.

Wow another life change

Cold Days by Jim Butcher; 2012; $27.95; 515 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46440-8; Science Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 7/6-7/10

Why did I pick this up?  Because I really like this series and this book gets me current on the series.

What is the story?  Harry is now the Winter Knight and is given an assignment by his Queen to kill an immortal.  However, of course, that is just one of the things he has to contend with in addition to an island jail, a battle that makes the ones from Lord of the Rings look boring, a parasite in his brain and trust issues.  All of Harry’s friends and supporting cast are here although some new characteristics come out in some of them.  More than one immortal dies and Harry and his friends are changed forever.

Did I like it?  Yes, it is good to see the gang again and see how they have all changed through the events of the last couple of books.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  In addition to Harry’s life changing several of the main characters lives change, but one very close to Harry undergoes a major life change.

The X-Men and Show Tunes

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher; 2011; $27.95; 477 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46379-1; Fiction, Police, Supernatural; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 5/13-5/14

Why did I pick this up?  Because of the way the previous book, Changes, ended, I wanted to read this right away.

What is the story?  Harry mysteriously died at the end of the last book and spends this entire book doing two things.  One  is evaluating his life so far and beginning to understand the ramifications of his actions in his previous adventures. Two is helping his family and friends battle an evil that is trying to take over Chicago.  What happens in this story will have long range ramifications for Harry, Murphy, Molly and a few others.

Did I like it?  Yes, it was a interesting adventure with the usual amounts of humor and horror among other things.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  During the course of the story Harry likens his ghost like abilities to various X-Mens’ abilities and at one point uses a song from West Side Story to calm himself down.