Review Round-up January

Review Round-up January

I just cant believe that January went by so fast! It feels that is was a two week month instead of the four weeks, maybe it's largely owed to the fact that I read some very exciting books or that I longed to get back to reviewing/blogging after the Christmas break. I don't know, all I can say is that January has already proven to an amazing month reading wise and I hope that the others months will proof to be just as fruitful. And with each finished month, you can expect an Review Round-up post wherein I highlight a few books that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past month.

1. The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, Tor
 
The Emperor's Blades copy was already on my reading shelves and it kept lurking and lurking to be read but the pub date was in January so I really had to exert some control. But when I finally was allowed to read it I was awed. The story that Brian Staveley has put down in The Emperor's Blade is just amazing and exactly what I seek in a epic/high fantasy story. Even more so is the fact that The Emperor's Blades is Brian Staveley's debut into the genre fiction. The Emperor's Blades follows the storylines of three children of the murdered Emperor. One is trained as heir to the throne by isolated monks, learning just how to best manage an Empire, another is training with the elite warriors known as the Kettral who ride giant birds into battle, yes GIANT birds! and lastly there is a nice change of scenery as the only daughter is navigating her way through a thick political game. From start to finish you are in the hands of master storyteller in the making, Brian Staveley keeps the story pacey at all times, throwing enough twists and turns at you to keep you guessing and glued to the pages. The Emperor's Blades is definitely a heavy contender for my best books of 2014 list already! A powerful debut full of action, intrigue and magic!

Read the full review here

2. Dangerous Women by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, Tor
 
One of the biggest anthology releases of last year was Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. This book featured all new original, specially written short stories featuring dangerous women ranging from superheroes to serial killers, bandits and private investigators. Both editors have chosen an amazing set of stories from both female and male authors as well as representing a many different genres: Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Dystopian, contemporary, Urban Fantasy and much much more. By including so many different genres, the diversity of this anthology is immense. No story is like the one told before. In my review you can see the complete list of authors and their stories that are included in Dangerous Women. Even now when I am typing this Review Round-up I still have most of the stories in the back of my mind. They will stick and grow on you. And I do have to note that there is one story that I think every fantasy fanatic wants to read, and that is the one written by George R.R. Martin himself that is set in the A Song of Fire and Ice universe and tells the story of what happened before the first book. Even if you haven't read the series but watching the TV show instead I think you will still gain a lot of pleasure by reading this story, it chock full of intense action and a lot of deaths... And if you aren't into A Song of Fire and Ice there are plenty of other stories in it, think Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Lev Grossman, Jim Butcher and much much more. 

Read the full review here

3. Hang Wire by Adam Christopher, Angry Robot

An early release that I was really looking forward to. I have always wanted to have read a Adam Christopher book. His name has gained some rave reviews in the blogosphere but unfortunately haven't had the chance to read any of his earlier works. When I read the synopsis of Hang Wire I knew that this would be a cracking story, and it really was so. With literally cracking a fortune cookie the live of San Fransisco blogger Ted Hall is changed... He gains power of a god, but doesn't know it himself... Meanwhile The Olde Funfair has made his way into town as well as the notorious Hang Wire killer... Adam Christopher tells this story with a definite attitude, you either like me or you don't, if you are part of the latter I don't care, my stories just rock! And you bet it does. Adam Christopher shows his own interesting interpretation of Urban Fantasy, it isn't with your normal tropes but they are twisted into a clever way to produce on very addicted story. Adam Christopher has made it onto my must read list, I hope I can get around his other books soon.


Read the full review here 

4. The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar, Hodder and Stoughton

The Violent Century was released October 2013 by Hodder and Stougthon and was again a book that I wanted to read. Written by World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar, this just had to be a good book. Well, it proved to be great. The Violent Century is an different interpretation on the ever popular superhero genre. Its set in the present time where Fogg is confronted by his boss, and has to retell what exactly happened in the past, when he was still working to keep the British empire safe from other countries. It told in the form of many flashbacks, but mostly takes place during the second world war and eastern Europe. Lavie Tidhar interpretation of what a superhero really is provides an interesting view. Yes, when they unleash their powers it gets intense, but there is more than the cinematic fighting scenes to the story of The Violent Century. Besides this tight action Lavie Tidhar introduces you to quite the powerful emotional undercurrent to the story. If you are looking for a fresh, new and original superhero story, The Violent Century is something for you.

Read the full review here

5. MetaWars: Freedom Frontier by Jeff Norton, Orchard

I think I can still recall the moment that I first was introduced to the MetaWars series with Fight for the Future. I contacted Jeff via Goodreads and he kindly send me the book. And it was really a book with a WOW factor, the whole idea behind the MetaWars series struck me as brilliant. Though yes I did have some reservations that it might be to heavy for children/young-adults, but all along the way Jeff Norton keeps the subjects approachable for this audience and creates a very engaging, fast paced and nonstop ride both trough the real and digital world. Freedom Frontier is sadly the last book in the MetaWars series and now that I have read it, I have an empty feeling. It has been a great journey and Jeff Norton kept on surprising me with not only taking his story further with each book but also seeing his growth as an author. If you ever need to get your kids a series to read, get them the MetaWars series and they will be entertained for hour at length.

Read the full review here

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These were my favourite books of January, which books did you enjoy the most?

Cheers,
Jasper

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