Monday, January 28, 2013

Recent Reads Coming Into 2013

Since the end of November, I've finally had a bit of time to catch up on reading, which had taken a back seat to more pressing family wackiness. I've read some good stuff too!

Just after Thanksgiving, I read The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck. This was a good mystery sheathed in very good sci-fi. The cover makes it look like it might be military science fiction, but it really isn't for the most part. The main characters are a private cargo ship captain and a spy. The story goes very dark just before a happy-ish ending. Hoping to see more in this universe soon!

Then in December I grabbed Myke Cole's Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier. I really enjoyed the first novel in this series and was suprised that the main character from that book took a back seat to a new character's story arc. Eventually the two meet up, though. I found it interesting that, at least to me, the first novel portrayed the military in a very positive light, even though the main character didn't really agree with them. This second book seemed to portray the military in much less positive way - but I guess that could be due to the situation the Forward Operating Base was facing. This is a good series, military science fantasy I think is the term that's being used to described it: Modern day military with magic and other dimensions.

The first book I started this year was The ABACUS Protocol: Sanity Vacuum by Thea Isis Gregory. This is set in the far future, as recent graduate gets her first job on space station to upgrade the Artificial Intelligence that helps run the place. In this setting, an AI became sentient on Earth and horrible things followed. Humanity keeps AIs in check to make sure they never achieve sentience again. This was a good book! (And it had cats!)

After that, I finally got around to reading a book I've been wanting to pick up since it was published last may. Weird Space: The Devil's Nebula by Eric Brown is a far future story as humanity's empire shares an uneasy border with a hostile alien race. However, some colonists ventured beyond the far border of the alien's territory, and what they encouter there wants to take over everything, starting with our minds. This is a good space adventure in an intriguing setting. It's also kinda gross in places, but I guess that's the point of the Weird. There's a sequel due out this year that's on my wish list.

And I recently finished one last year's birthday gifts from my wife. Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman. I've been a fan of Hickman since I was a teenager reading the Dragonlance novels when they came out. I'd heard good things about Wayne of Gotham and was excited to get this. In it, an aging Batman relies on technology to enable him to perform the same feats he used to be able to do on his own (carry Harley Quinn over his shoulder up a flight a stairs without getting winded). Hickman makes interesting use of technology in the Batsuit and Batmobile, and the story fleshes out Alfred's family, as well as the story of Bruce Wayne's parents, which is really the main story, as it haunts Bruce in modern day with repurcussions from things his father did. Good stuff, but not your typical Batman versus his rogues gallery story.

The Kassa Gambit, The ABACUS Protocol, and Fortress Frontier were each eARCs from NetGalley. I bought The Devil's Nebula myself because it sounded interesting. Wayne of Gotham was a gift from my lovely wife.

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