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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SFF or Maybe Not, Three 2012 Books for Any SFF Lover, Brian D'Amato, Hari Kunzru and Carlos Ruiz Zafon (by Liviu Suciu)

In the same spirit as the recent posts about the most interesting upcoming books of 2012, here is a bit more about three 2012 novels that may or may not be considered sff, but have all the characteristics that make sff so interesting to me.

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In 2009, Brian D'Amato published the superb In the Courts of the Sun first in an announced trilogy called The Sacrifice Game. The novel was a combination of near-future extrapolations, time travel and a wonderful recreation of the Maya world of the 7th century, all narrated by unlikely hero  Jed de Landa, or more precisely by Jed 1 and Jed 2 as the form of time travel the novel uses, leads to that.  

Here is my description of Jed in the FBC review linked above:

"born in 1974 and displaced from his native Guatemalan village by military action, Jed is taken as a young age to the US and grows up in foster care in Utah, exhibiting physical frailty since he suffers from hemophilia so any wound or cut is potentially fatal, while showing great mental agility especially in fast numerical computations and ability to play games of skill and chance".

I was entranced by the novel and its fascinating narrator and I kept looking for the second book in 2010, 2011 and then sort of forgot about it. Imagine my surprise to discover yesterday that the 2nd Jed de Landa novel that bears the trilogy title, The Sacrifice Game will be published on July 5 and imagine my delight that I actually was able to get an e-arc which I plan to read asap and review on the publication date. I had time to read only the first two pages so far but they rock...


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Published in early March though I managed to get a copy and read it only in early April, Gods Without Men, the awesome tapestry novel from Hari Kunzru kept only growing in my estimation since. I wrote a sort of raw-thoughts mini-review on Goodreads, though the book is even better appreciated on a second or third read as its subtlety becomes more evident and the somewhat abrupt ending less jarring and more natural. As I was away from FBC at the time, I was not able to do a full review and while I hope to do it at some point this year, for now I urge you to take a look at the book and prepare to enjoy the multilayered story and its joyful style and unlikely heroes. 

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Also soon (more precisely on June 21 in the UK and on July 10 in the US), the 3rd book in the superb Cemetery of Forgotten Books series of Carlos Ruiz Zafon will finally make its English language apparition. I talked about The Prisoner of Heaven a little on its original Spanish publication last fall, but I am eagerly awaiting to get a copy of the translation too as my Spanish is only so-so and I could have missed a lot of subtleties...

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