Recent Reads

books

Those of you who follow my Instagram or Facebook feeds know that I’m currently working on a new project. It’s a bit of a departure from my previous works (don’t worry, I’ll get back to Riley and her friends soon!), and to help me get into the right frame of mind I’ve been reading. A lot.

cotar_coverUp until recently, it had been a while since I’d allowed myself the time to sit down with a good book and lose myself in the worlds other authors lovingly created. I have the amazingly talented fellow author Hailey Edwards to thank for turning me onto Sarah J. Maas. Holy cow does this woman know how to write a compelling tale! I started off with the A Court of Thornes and Roses series (book 3 is coming out in May – I can’t wait!), and once I had devoured both of the books currently available in that series, I switched to her Throne of Glass series. Damn. Just damn. The series sucked me in—and Mr. Awesome Sauce, too. It can be a bit dark at times though, which was a bit of an adjustment after the often lighthearted and sarcastic urban fantasy books I normally read.

 

orconomicscover To help break things up a little (and let Mr. Awesome get a book or two ahead of me) I decided to read Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike. I’ll admit I picked up the book purely based on the awesome cover art—a testament to the importance of hiring a good cover designer. I’ve long been a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett after my eldest brother introduced me to him over a decade ago. Orconomics is so reminiscent of Pratchett’s magical, satirical, tongue-in-cheek writing, that delving into that world was like greeting an old friend. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me snort. I don’t know when the next book in the Profit Saga is due to come out, but you can be certain that I’ll be picking up a copy!

 

clean-sweepAnother lighthearted series that I recently delved into is the Innkeeper Series by the amazing husband and wife team of Ilona Andrews. Mr. Awesome Sauce and I have been reading their Kate Daniels books for years, and always enjoy the rich world and cast of characters that they weave. This new series is no different, and we both instantly fell in love with Dina Demille and her friends.

I also recently signed up for Owlcrate (a monthly YA subscription, for those who aren’t familiar with it). I haven’t had a chance to crack open the book from the January box—Rose Blood by A.G. Howard—, but I did enjoy reading Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst.

I’ll have more news on my latest project soon, including some amazing cover art by the super talented Giselle Ukardi, so stay tuned!

Stay cool ghouls & boys,

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Book Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

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I was turned onto Hugh Howey by Mr. Awesome Sauce, who recommended I check out his blog a few months ago. As a proponent of indie authors, Hugh has some truly helpful and insightful information on his blog. The fact that he’s a genuinely likable and funny guy, just makes him that much more awesome, and a spectacular advocate for all indie authors. So, after stalking him on his blog and Goodreads for a few months I finally decided to give his book Wool, the first book in the Silo Saga, a try. To save a bit of money I bought the omnibus edition rather than each individual book in the series.

All I can say is: HOLY. CRAP. I’ve read some pretty damned good books in my time, and have several that will probably be my all time favorites until the day I die (Interview With The Vampire and Pride & Prejudice, for sure), but I’m not sure that even they compare to the brilliance that is Wool. Hugh has a way with words that seems also supernatural, as if he is using some occult-driven powers to weave a tale that fully ensnares the audience. It is entirely possible that Hugh is the bastard child of Cthulhu and has been sent to enslave us all. He is an insanely talented evil genius, and reading Wool captivated me to such a level that I wanted to take copies of the book and shove them into the brains of everyone I know because I couldn’t stand the thought of being the only one in my social circle who knew of it’s greatness.

From the very first page his writing grasped me in a choke hold of awesomeness, and didn’t let go until I had devoured Wool and gone on to read another three of his books (Shift, Sand, and Half Way Home).

One of the best things about Wool, was that the world of the Silo Saga was as much of a character as Holston and Juliette, seeming to breath in time with it’s inhabitants, all while chugging along in pursuit of it’s own goals. Not only did the characters have to overcome the challenges put in place by their fellow inhabitants of Silo 18, but also the obstacles created by the world and silo they lived (and oftentimes, died) in. Every twist and turn in the story left me breathless and crying out WTF?! all while alternately cursing and praising Hugh’s genius. In the end, all I could do was grab a fistful of money and shout “TAKE MY MONEY, DAMN YOU!”

Book Review: Out Through The Attic by Quincy J. Allen

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I had the pleasure of meeting Quincy J. Allen, and several other local authors, at Denver Comic Con earlier this summer, and have been stalking him on Facebook ever since :o) He sat on several panel discussions that Mr. Awesome Sauce and I attended, and we soon decided that he was our kind of people. After all, anyone with a mohawk that awesome has to be cool, right?

I admit that I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but I strive to support local authors and artists whenever I can, so we picked up a copy of his newly released book Out Through The Attic. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that full out made me cry (Severus Snape’s death gets me every time!). Quincy’s book did that. With the very first story. I’d never have thought that a civil war era steampunk tale would reduce me to tears, but this one did, with astounding ease and powerful prose. From there he led me into a futuristic world where disease and death had been conquered, and man had become a plague upon the earth. Next came the drunken confessions of a drug-addicted, ex-movie star dwarf, who’d finally reached the end of a sordid life. And then I was whisked off into space to a mining colony where corruption was rampant, and good men risked their lives fighting for justice (that one was my favorite).

I have only one complaint about the stories in Out Through The Attic – I want more! I want to know more about these characters and what drives them. Each tale is a glimpse into another world, and I want to immerse myself fully into each one. I’m eager to see what Quincy comes out with next, and won’t ever be hesitant to read a short story again.