Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Book Review)

Going by his Shadows of the Apt novels, Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite SFF writers by far. Empire In Black and Gold and Dragonfly Falling are very enjoyable novels that focus on something very different for a fantasy series, sentient insect-human cross-breeds as a dominant species and their wars against each other. Having gotten that foothold into Adrian’s work, and getting back on the reading train a few months ago, I was excited to try a different track with his Children of Time novel, which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award last year. Much acclaim has been showered on the author and novel alike, and now having read it for myself, I am very much inclined to agree. As with his Shadows of the Apt series, Children of Time tackles a very different sort of space opera that does indeed hearken back to some of Arthur C. Clarke’s best work and presents it as something truly wondrous and intriguing.

Continue reading “Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Book Review)”

Garro by James Swallow (Book Review)

I started listening to the Black Library audio dramas back in September 2011, well after they’d been established as an important by the publisher. Ranging from stories set in Warhammer Fantasy Battles or the various shades of Warhammer 40,000 the audio drama series have definitely carved for themselves a niche among Black Library’s many products. None however have been as enjoyable as James Swallow’s stories featuring Nathaniel Garro, once a captain of the Death Guard legion and then a Knight-Errant for Imperial Regent Malcador following the Isstvan III treachery. Garro is the collected edition of all these audio dramas and also includes a brand-new novel, telling the story of Garro’s journey from being a legionnaire to a legion of one.

Note: This review contains some spoilers.

Continue reading “Garro by James Swallow (Book Review)”

Crossfire by Matt Farrer (Book Review)

Some of the best Warhammer 40,000 fiction that I’ve read to date has been rather unique in that it hasn’t focused on the “war” aspect of the setting so much. Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor books for instance, have shown us how Imperial society works at a remove from all the wars in which the Imperial Guard and the Space Marines fight, and it has been really good. The same goes for some recent novels like Chris Wraight’s The Carrion Throne. However, as it turns out, one of the early pioneers of such was Matt Farrer with his Shira Calpurnia series which focused on an Imperial law-officer, Arbiter-Senioris Shira Calpurnia as she transfers over to a bustling Imperial world and has to navigate its politics and other less obvious dangers. The first novel, Crossfire, does a lot to set the stage for Shira’s new adventures and it is a fantastic read that really takes us across many levels of Imperial civilian life through a very unique perspective.

Continue reading “Crossfire by Matt Farrer (Book Review)”

The Damnation of Pythos by David Annandale (Book Review)

Getting back into the Horus Heresy series after such a long break has been a great experience. Legacies of Betrayal and Garro: Vow of Faith helped ground me and remind me of many of the ongoing storylines while The Crimson King continued the story of the Thousand Sons and Magnus. It also helps that you can jump back-and-forth between novels given how many narratives are in play and that certainly is key for a returning reader since you are not bound to a specific reading order. And in that respect, The Damnation of Pythos by David Annandale is a good example since while it continues a narrative introduced in the Veritas Ferrum micro-short, it is also a standalone. It is also one of the most bleak stories in the series, very intense and emotionally draining even, which fits right in with the horror of the Horus Heresy.

Continue reading “The Damnation of Pythos by David Annandale (Book Review)”

Dune by Frank Herbert (Book Review)

This review was originally posted on The Founding Fields, here, where I got my true start as a reviewer. Frank Herbert’s Dune is a science-fiction classic and for me, a foundational read in my teenage years that has shaped much of my reading over the last decade and a half. I’ve reread the novel many times and it always holds up, even now in these times. It challenges you like few other novels ever will. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Dune by Frank Herbert (Book Review)”