A Master of Djinn — P. Djèlí Clark

Carrying straight on from where The Haunting of Tram Car 015 left off, with all our favourite characters involved, this really is some great writing.

This trilogy has been my first taste of Djèlí’s writing and i’m very impressed.   His imagination is excellent and his ability to put that imagination into words for all us avid readers is simply marvellous.   I’m certainly going to be reading more of his work in the future: i’m hooked.

All in all, a wonderful blend of steampunk, fantasy and folklore all thrown into an alternative history in Cairo with lots of shenanigans mixed will in.   And it’s great to have main protagonists who are strong women, from different religions, who also happen to be in a same sex relationship.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

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The Haunting of Tram Car 015 — P. Djèlí Clark

Very similar to A Dead Djinn in Cairo, although with mostly different characters and a lot more pages to enjoy.

Once again, wonderfully written, keeps on a moving, interesting characters, great descriptions.

The only thing left to do is to read A Master of Djinn, which is a rather good length novel that i’m so looking forward to devouring.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

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Stability — Philip K. Dick

My aim is to read all of Philip’s books in order, not all at once, but occasionally when i feel the urge to have my head done in a little bit.   And this, my blog/review readers, is Philip’s very first.

While it’s only a little short story, it quite an entertaining one set in a dystopian future with a time machine screwing with people’s heads.

A great beginning to a great writer’s bibliography.

Available in The Collected Stories: Volume 1.

Philip’s Page

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Private Universe — Seth Rain

And so we finally come to the end of this rather enjoyable series.

It’s been pretty much full gas all the way and all the way through you really don’t get much of an idea who is on whose side and what their actual agendas really are until they suddenly reveal themselves and off we go again in a completely new direction.   It’s certainly been an interesting roller coaster ride.

And what a lovely ending, Seth isn’t afraid to kill lots of people that we like along with the ones we don’t: which we always like, don’t we?

I’m certainly looking forward to reading more from Seth in the future.   10 out of 10.

Seth’s Page

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Wabi Sabi — Sosuke Takahashi

It’s such a shame that a book that is telling us about the things that this book is telling us about could have been translated so poorly.

Or was Sosuke deliberately trying to make this book full of imperfection in some weird sense of ironic humour that i just don’t understand?   Maybe even that’s lost in the translation.

Seriously, if you are going to write books in a language, be sure to have a complete grasp of that language before doing so, if not, then write in your own language and get someone who has a complete grasp and understanding of the language you want the book in to translate it for you.

The content has a lot of good stuff for the reader to consider, but it’s presentation through the woeful English writing just ruins everything this book talks about and makes one think that this writer does no practice what he preaches.

Sosuke’s Page

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Spectrum Worlds — Seth Rain

The first book in The Cyberpunk Uploads series.

Having just been put through the ultimate in tedious and pointless interruptions to story flow and action scenes when i read The Heartstrikers series, to sit and read this book was an absolute pleasure.   Yes folks, if you really like a high paced, non-stop, story line then this just might be what you’re looking for.

On top of the fast flowing story it’s also a rather good story.   We essentially have a battle royale going between three groups: androids who hate humans and want to eradicate and/or enslave them, humans who want to do the same to androids, and then there’s the odd-ball androids and humans out in left field who think we can all live peacefully and happily together ever after.   Centre it all in the London of the future, known as Lundun, and shove our main protagonist, The Postman, right in the middle of all this is.

The most astute reader will get to realise by the end of the book that there really isn’t anyone The Postman can trust, android or human, everyone seems to have agendas and secrets and i’m really looking forward to learning more in the next book, Messiah Online, which i dove straight into without any hesitation.

Seth’s Page

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The Maid — Yasutaka Tsutsui

We have a young woman who can read minds who works as a live in maid so that she doesn’t have to stay in any single place very long so that no one will guess her secret.

Thus begins our journey with Nanase as she works for and lives with 8 different Japanese families and ventures through their thoughts and discovers all their private truths.

As a lover of Japanese fiction i found this very interesting, and i can imagine that it must have been quite controversial in Japan when published and probably still is.   Tsutsui essentially strips away the public veneer of polite and controlled Japanese people and society and suggests that there’s something very different lurking underneath: what are their private thoughts and lives really like, can we really take people at face value?

My first book by Tsutsui and i’m looking forward to reading a few more soon, which are already queued up on my Kindle.

Yasutaka’s Page

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Last Dragon Standing — Rachel Aaron

Considering this was the shortest book of the series, it seemed to drag on much more than the previous books.

Once again, like most of the series, Rachel seems to just like filling pages with belabouring conversations when we’re in the middle of seriously important stuff to do.   One can’t help but wonder just how much of the problems faced by our characters in this series would have been avoided if they just got on with things instead of continuously stopping to have a conversation about something completely unimportant.

It gets quite ridiculous when it takes 4 times as long to read about something happening than the something happening is taking to happen because everyone has to have a conversation about something before anything can finish happening.

But, none the less, i got to the end because — belabouring conversations aside — it is a rather good tale.   It is such a shame that it wasn’t edited more strictly and seriously cropped to keep things moving along.

Rachel’s Page

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A Dragon of a Different Color — Rachel Aaron

Moving along from the first four books, Rachel throws in ever more magical beasties, deeper plots and characters.

All good, and now it’s time to read the last book in the series, which just happens to be the very shortest by a long way.

Rachel’s Page

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Direct Descent — Frank Herbert

The first non-Dune book of Frank’s that i ever read.   And what did i think?

It ain’t Dune, that’s for sure.   But, then, what is?

But it could have been better written.   It just all seems rushed to fit into a 100page novella kind of thing when it could have been written really well as a full length trilogy.

The Earth has become humanity’s library, the place where all the knowledge of human history is kept for anyone in the galaxy wishing to access it, it’s like a galactic wide Wikipedia and then some.

And all Frank could think to do is to write a novella sized rushed thing out about it?   Disappointing: not because it’s bad, but because it could have been so much more.

Frank’s Page

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