Thursday, December 18, 2008

Books make excellent gifts.

Don’t know what to give that special someone (who already has everything) for Christmas? Why not a book? Which one should you buy? Well, that’s up to you. However, I do have a few suggestions that may help you out a little. So here are some books I’ve read and enjoyed that are available at most bookstores and online outlets.

The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.

I devoured this book like a zombie devours brains. Mmmm…brains. Mmmm...more zombie stories.

The Courtesan Prince by Lynda Williams

When Earth's first attempt to conquer the far reaches of space was thwarted by the failure of a faster than light transportation system, the first colonists were abandoned.Subsequent colonizations were successful but ideological differences in cloning caused renegade scientists to sever their contact with Earth and establish their own unique world.Now, thousands of years in the future, the scattered descendents of humanity have evolved into two distinct planetary societies: the Reetions of Rire, who rely on advanced computer technology to regulate every aspect of their lives, and the genetically superior and honor bound Sevolites, of Gelion.With one conflict already behind them, these two cultures are once again on the brink of war. But one last desperate mission is launched and somewhere within a dark region of space, Reetions and Sevolites find themselves torn between their own alliances and the inexplicable desire that constantly draws them closer together.

A sweeping space opera with intricate weaving themes and brilliant characterisation that is sure to please any readers.

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

It should have been a case like any other: a missing princess, a king willing to pay in gold for her return. But before he realizes it, private investigator Eddie LaCrosse, a slightly shopworn sword jockey with a talent for discretion and detection, is swept up in a web of mystery and deceit involving a brutally murdered royal heir, a queen accused of an unspeakable crime and the tragic past he thought he'd left behind.First in a series of hard-boiled fantasy detective novels, in the vein of Glen Cook's Garrett series.

If you love noir whodunits, sword and sorcery with a lot of action and adventure, this book if for you, because it has it all.

Legacies by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

The first book of the Corean Chronicles: Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a great worldwide civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations have fought their way up from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the lost world that preceded them or the details of its fall. Corus today is a world of contending countries, of humans, but also of strange animals and supernatural creatures. It is a place of magical powers, and of a few people who are talented enough to use them. Alusius, the hero of the story, is one. Although born into a successful herder family, Alusius never knew his father, who was killed in action while serving in the Militia. So he is raised on a Nightsheep ranch by his mother and grandparents, and schooled at home. As a child, he shows very strong Talent. He is
warned gravely that he must never reveal this outside the home lest he spend his life in servitude to some rich and powerful person. But as he grows to young manhood, Alusius must serve in the Militia like his father before him. When his country is invaded by the slave armies of The Matrial, an immortal ruler in a nearby land, Alusius is captured and enslaved. A time of changes has come upon all of the world of Corus. If the evil surrounding The Matrial is not brought to an end, those changes will not be happy ones. Gradually, Alusius realizes that he and his Talent have a central role to play.

A great story set in a rich world with well-rounded characters; it’s the perfect series starter. I really enjoyed the adventure too.

Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell

John DeBrun lives, mostly peacefully, on Nanagada with his wife, Shanta, and son, Jerome, troubled only by the fact that he remembers nothing of his past. War is brewing, however, with the Azteca preparing to finally cross the Wicked High Mountains in search of new sacrifices for their gods, the teotl. As the mongoose-men, defenders of Nanagada, struggle to hold out, John discovers that what he has forgotten may hold the secret to saving Nanagada. Pepper, clearly one of the mysterious old-fathers--wonder-workers from a distant planet who fought a war that left the land devastated and deprived of functional metal technology--claims to have known John long ago. Haidan, leader of the mongoose-men, and Dihana, prime minister of Capitol City, coerce John into leading an expedition to find Ma Wi Jung, which, according to the Loa--godlike beings who interfere with human affairs--is their only hope for defeating the Azteca. Buckell's first novel conjures a vividly imagined world, spiced with intrigue and adventure that unfolds at a breakneck pace.

Fast-paced, action-packed and suspenseful, Crystal Rain transports you into an exotics Caribbean-like world inhabited by fascinating characters. A lot about this book is out of the ordinary: its unique voice, its genre, closer to steampunk than sf or fantasy, and its usual setting. Awww, sun, sand and sea!

Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines

Jig is a scrawny little nearsighted goblin-a runt even among his puny species. Captured by a party of adventurers searching for a magical artifact, and forced to guide them, Jig encounters every peril ever faced on a fantasy quest.

Okay, I confess I fell in love with a goblin. Oh my God, this book is SO MUCH FUN!

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