Thursday, April 1, 2010

Up and Coming (and Essential?) in April

I'm not presenting an objective list. What would the point of that be, when someone else is doing just that, but a dozen times better than I could? This is, instead, just a personal list of books that I'm interested in and the reasons that I am. Perhaps our tastes will line up and you'll find something, or perhaps not. Let's find out, shall we?

I’m generally hesitant about doing something like promoting book two of a series I haven’t read, but I think I may have to make an exception here. I’ve heard quite a few good things about The Painted(/Warded)Man, though not all positive, but Aidan’s review convinced me to give his books a shot. The excellent cover art for The Desert Spear might’ve just given me the push I needed to do just that…though Aidan seems a bit less thrilled with this second volume, here.

If there is a poster child for internet promotion, it’s Sam Sykes, as far as I’m concerned. I wasn’t wowed by the concept, and Wert’s lukewarm review countered the Abercrombie comparisons and left me mildly interested but unlikely to purchase. Then I read Syke’s interview on A Dribble of Ink. Sykes has the kind of online personality that it’s hard to not get taken in with at least a little bit; he’s so over the top you just can’t help but laugh with him. And then I read Syke’s thoughts on reviewing in general over at the Speculative Scotsman, and I was sold. Can you really tell me that that combination of comedy and insight isn’t something you want to investigate further?

I was first introduced to Kay through Ysabel, and I was more than a little mixed. The prose was excellent and the atmosphere and glimpses of past cultures superb, but the modern world’s intrusions became more infuriating each time they occurred. Thankfully, I’ve been told again and again that Ysabel’s a bit of an outlier in Kay’s catalogue, and Under Heaven looks like the perfect book to give him another chance. If you have any doubts in your mind about this one, I’ll refer you to SF Review’s glowing review. Or, if you need still more convincing, what about Pat’s equally awed take?

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