Rama II Rama #2

This book feels rather different from Rendezvous with Rama.

For the first half, I wasn’t sure that I actually liked the difference. Rather than the almost sterile science fiction that Clarke is better known for, the sequel deals a lot more with characters, drama, and to some extent matters of faith. It’s especially interesting in how long it takes them to even get to Rama, especially compared to the first book.


Rendezvous with Rama Rama #1

It’s been a little while since I’ve read much science fiction, particularly any of the sort that Clarke is known for. Forget strong plot or characters and focus entirely around the big idea: In this case, the starship Rama is plenty large.

It starts off quickly, only a few chapters before you’re on the ship. From there, you have situation after situation, describing how interesting the world that Clarke has built is and how the explorers react to it. The lack of a more specific antagonist becomes more of a problem towards then end, in that the book just sort of ends. There are various problems throughout the book, but no sense of building. I’m still not entirely sure how much I like this style.


Whitechapel Gods

Didn’t finish; probably won’t.

I’m not sure why, I just couldn’t get into it. There are some really interesting ideas (a steampunkification disease for example), but it was hard to get a grasp on exactly what was going on.


American Gods American Gods #1

American Gods falls on the unfortunately long list of books that I wish were better. It won (or was at least nominated) for a whole pile of awards[1]. It’s by an author who’s works in other genres I’ve enjoyed (e.g. the movie Corline or his episodes on Doctor Who) and who seems like a solid person in real life.

I just couldn’t get into it.


The Unnaturalists The Unnaturalists #1

Right on the heels of Year Zero, I have another book that got itself on my list based on the potential in its world building: The Unnaturalists. I mean, how can you not be intrigued by a world where London seems to have been yanked into another world, where Science[1] has grown into a religion.

You have things like people cursing with “by Saint Darwin and all his apes”. A world where you hear someone say (with a straight face) “I turn my attention to another window, the one in which Saint Pasteur smites the Demon Byron for his licentious poetry.”


Wool Silo #1 Wool #1

The story of how Wool came to be is actually pretty interesting. Howey originally self-published the first story (only ~50 pages) through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Although he didn’t originally expect it to do as well as it did, it just took off and over the next few years he wrote several increasingly longer (although still well within the novella range) sequels.

Very cool.


The Blood of Olympus The Heroes of Olympus #5

So, The Heroes of Olympus. It’s the second series based on the idea that all of the Greek (and now Roman) myths were true. The gods/demigods/et al live in the ‘center of the Western world’ (read: America). It’s actually a really neat idea and a really neat world. It turns out, those old myths are really weird.

But herein lies the main problem I had with The Lost Hero. We’ve already been there / done this. The Lightning Thief did it and did it better. If you only read one of the two, I would honestly suggest that one. On the other hand, if you loved the Percy Jackson books and want to read more? You could do far worse.


2015 Reading List

Partially to keep myself honest and partially because I think these books look neat, here is my (entirely too ambitious) current reading list for 2015: