I haven't been keeping a book log for the last few years, so this won't be complete. Books will be given in no particular order. Books include fantasy, mystery, and science fiction. NO SPOILERS
I really enjoyed Guy Gavriel Kay
's Under Heaven
. Always an excellent writer, Kay's previous books, Ysabel
and The Last Light of the Sun
, were not my favorites. I'm much more interested in characters than plot or tech. If I don't find the main characters interesting, there's a good chance I'll drop the book. I can't remember any of the characters from LLotS
, and liked late-arriving supporting characters in Ysabel
more than the main characters. Anyway, UH is set in an alternative ancient China and has some great mythic moments.
Information on the publisher's page for UH also led me to Liu Fang
, a simply amazing pipa player.
I also reread Kay's Sarantine Mosaic books which are set in an alternative Byzantium. Great characters, although I found the fact that three main female characters all find Crispin to be so interesting a bit hard to take this time through. Megan Whalen Turner
's latest in the Thief series, A Conspiracy of Kings, was released in the spring. I wholeheartedly [heart] this series, but feel that this is one of the weaker of the series--still excellent though! I can only hope for more stories. The Thief series is set in an vaguely eastern mediterranean setting. There's a mountain kingdom (queendom), Eddis, and two lowlands/coastal countries, Sounis and Attolia. All are jockeying for power and are under a looming threat by an overseas power.
The sequel to Scouts Progress
, Mouse and Dragon
, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was released in June. A Liaden Universe
novel, it continues the story of Daav yos'Phelium and Aelliana Caylon after their lifemating. If you've read the Agent of Change sequence, you have some idea of the story's outcome. I consider Scouts Progress
to be one of their strongest books. I think I need to reread Mouse and Dragon
, sequel to Fledgling
, was published a few months before Mouse and Dragon
. These 2 books are about Daav's young daughter. They're back story to the end of I Dare
where Theo shows up and announces she's in some trouble. The upcoming Ghost Ship
will merge the two series' storylines.
Sharon also published Carousel Tides
, a contemporary fantasy set in coastal Maine. Elizabeth Peters
had a new Amelia Peabody book out. It has a certain level of quality, but was so reminiscent of earlier books in the series that I kept thinking that I'd already read it. I would be happy if she wrote another book focusing on Ramses, Nefret, David, and Lia (the younger generation). The God of the Hive
is a direct sequel to The Language of Bees
by Laurie R. King
. King writes about Sherlock Holmes after he's retired via Mary Russell, a young woman of American and British parents, who becomes his apprentice and later partner. These two books are set post-WWI. I reread several other books in the series this year: Justice Hall
(my favorite), The Game
, and Locked Rooms
. Lindsey Davis
, the latest in her Marcus Didius Falco series. I thought it was a good entry and finished off a long-running plotline. I usually buy the British version as it's often released several months before the US edition.
A fantasy series that I ran across this year and just ripped through was Celine Kiernan
's The Poison Throne
, The Crowded Shadows
, and The Rebel Prince
in the Moorehawke trilogy. I first encountered the series via an excerpt in the back of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
, and was prompted to think, "I want to read this now!" The well-drawn main characters are all young, and a bit...emotional as some reviewers have pointed out. I chalked it up as a different cultural background (characters and author) and/or the time setting which is late medieval. I am looking forward to more books by Kiernan.
I was also happy to read Corvus
, sequel to The Ten Thousand
, by Paul Kearney
. I want more novels about the Macht. Corvus
is set several years after the events of The Ten Thousand
. The first book is a re-telling of Xenophon's Anabasis--mercenary force has to fight its way out of a country. Corvus
felt like a re-telling of Alexander the Great. I'm happy to see there's another book scheduled for 2011, Kings of Morning
released a new Lydia Chin/Bill Smith novel, On the Line
. She alternates books between Bill's and Lydia's POVs. This book was Bill's. I prefer the Bill books, while a male friend prefers the Lydia books! This is an excellent mystery series and I always enjoy reading one. Diane Duane
started a new contemporary/near-future series with Omnitopia Dawn
. Set at a software company running *the* MMORPG, it's really a big set-up for future books. I do hope for future books in the series. What I thought was going to be the main plot of the story ended up rather minor. I assume it will be brought out more if there are sequels. We also got a new Wizards books, A Wizard of Mars
. It's more Kit's story than Nita's but very welcome. Now if I could only get the next Door Into
... book. Cold Magic
is the start of a new series by Kate Elliott
. It postulates that an ice age into a pseudo-Victorian age still grips Europe and a plague in Africa has caused wide migrations. Interesting characters and milieu. I look forward to the sequels. The books feels more like young adult than her earlier series. Sharon Shinn
published Troubled Waters
, which I hope is the start of a new series. When I asked her if she planned more books in this series at WFC, she said that a lot of people have been asking. The world and its religion are unusual. Moira J. Moore
released the lates in her Heroes series, Heroes Return
. The books are set on a lost colony world. The technology level is probaby medieval, shading into Renaissance, with a few bits of more advanced tech. The main characters are a source and shield. The world has strong storms and earthquakes. Sources can channel the power of the 'disaster' and shields keep them from burning out. Cryoburn
just came out. It's the latest Miles Vorkosigan novel from Lois McMaster Bujold
. While not one of the amazing books in the series (Memory
or A Civil Campaign
), it's a fine entry and I'll read anything that LMB writes.
Upcoming in my next post: another set of books from 2010 that I didn't find as exciting.
Wish me luck--I have to go to the post office.