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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update: Recent Notable Books and 2010 Releases Read

As mentioned in my continuously updated "Anticipated Novels of 2010",
so far I have read 14 of the 90+ titles there. I have reviewed some already and I will present the short summary here as well as links to the full reviews so far, while quick takes are in the post linked above:

City of Ruin/Newton (draft, A+/A++ - still need to read final version), The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/Jemisin (A+), Spellwright/Charlton (C-), The Bookman/Tidhar(A, full rv), The Desert Spear/Brett(A), Servant of the Underworld/de Bodard(A, full rv), The Left Hand of God/Hoffman(A++, full rv), The Conqueror's Shadow/Marmell(C), The Napoleon Concerto/Mellon(A), The River Kings Road/Merciel (D), Geosynchron/Edelman(A+), Freedom/Suarez(C), Spirit Lens/Berg(A), Thirteen Years Later/Kent(B)

So far The Left Hand of God is still my number one 2010 release read, though of course nine of my Top 10 Anticipated novels are still to be obtained and read by me, there are lots of promising debuts and then there are surprises like the superb The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (FBC Rv). All of the above highly recommended books by me (ranked A or higher) will have full reviews here in due time and of course some already do.

From other recent reads that I have not reviewed yet or do not plan to review, The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming (A-, short take on Goodreads) was interesting and I would recommend it especially if it grabs you from the first pages. Here in the USA and for PC , Kindle or iPhone/iTouch users, Amazon provides a nice extract via the Kindle edition sample.

I also discovered "Legends of the Land" a wonderful series written by Steve Cockayne and of which the superb debut "Wanderers and Islanders" (A+, short take on Goodreads) kept me reading way too late, while the second and third book The Iron Chain and Seagull Drovers are on their way to me and will be read on arrival. I plan to do a series review for this one since it deserves as wide a readership as possible.

Another book that impressed me a lot is the 2009 mainstream release "Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi"(A+) by Geoff Dyer, which I plan to fit in my review schedule for next week alongside Spirit Lens.

The recent mini-disappointments were FreedomTM by Daniel Suarez (C, Goodreads quick take) and Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent (B, Goodreads quick take); after the subtler Daemon (FBC Rv), Freedom devolves into your standard goodies vs baddies thriller; vampire books and me do not really fit and Thirteen Years Later is much more of a vampire book than Twelve in its big picture, so despite being very engrossing and a page turner, I was left a bit cold by it.


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