Sunday, March 28, 2010

heap of reviews coming soon... including robin hobb's dragon haven, horns by joe hill, carrie vaughan's kitty series & reviews of giant robot, yen & surface magazines + more

I've been so busy with actual work lately - the kind that pays the bills - that I haven't had a chance to get to review all the books I've read over the last week or so. I've also got a couple of great magazine reviews to do as well.
On my list are:
Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb - this is the second book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles and it's every bit as good, if not better, than the first book of the series. I actually read it entirely in one sitting, until about 6am in the morning - on a work night!
Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughan - the next book in the 'Kitty the werewolf radio host' series of stories. Yep, a werewolf called Kitty, ironic, right? This is typical Vaughan; great urban fantasy easy-read.
The Elusive Bride by Stephanie Laurens - completely gooey historical romance; although you could say there's a touch of fantasy to it as well since the very posh bride gets a bit more raunchy than you'd think during the British Raj! Lots of fun to read, though. It's part of Laurens' Black Cobra Quartet.
Horns by Joe Hill - oh, the magnificent Joe Hill! This is a great urban horror story with a touch of grunge, a bit of sex, the devil, snakes and family relationships... Awesome!
As for the magazines ... have just discovered Giant Robot, a Japanese pop culture, art, music, fashion mag from the US, in ENGLISH! I so wish I could read Japanese. Still... this mag is great. Unfortunately though, like a lot of print publications at the moment, it's being threatened with closure if they can't get some cash through the door. So, they've very cleverly asked their supporters and readers for donations. Go to and leave them something. We've got to support all the magazines we can! You can buy Giant Robot at Borders in Singapore; there are six issues a year and you can subscribe via the website.
Also in my magazines to read pile is the latest issue of Yen. This is another funky mag with a Japan / Asia edge to it. Great photo spreads and interesting, quirky left of field content. It's also available from Borders and is published in Australia.
And... got a copy of Surface; the "new version". I have to say, I preferred this mag back in the day when it had a bit more meat to it. I appreciate that times are difficult now, but what used to be a substantial read has been reduced - both in content pages and paper thickness - to a mere shadow of it's original self. Still, great photography and quirky content.
On top of the magazines, I've got a couple of books on the go as well ...
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan - this is the second book from Ryan set in a world that's been invaded by zombies and reduced to subsistence living. The best-seller, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, was beautifully evocative of a rural idyll with an unseen menace. These aren't typical zombie stories; it's not about the science and the slobber but more about the emotions of seeing your loved ones dead, but walking around. Have just started it, and am already hooked.
Heresy by SJ Parris - got my hands of an uncorrected proof of this one. It's a historical thriller with a touch of the mystical as a former monk in the 1500s gets involved in a series of murders that may have a link to black magic. Again, just started... but so far it's good. Historical detail is great but not so overwhelming to take away from the characters.
So... there you have it. I owe about nine reviews. Will hopefully get them done in the next week; I promise!


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