So in spite of the fact that I did next to no reading last week, that didn’t stop me from getting new books to, er, not read. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the best move I’ve ever made.
But I feel myself getting back into a reading groove, and soon all will be righted. In the meantime, let’s take a gander at the lovely new books that found their way to me last week.
Daryl Chestney’s Commandment, which looks like an interesting dark fantasy with heavy overtones of politics and ancient myth. Bog-standard summary there, I know, but something about this book appealed to me, and I really think it might be worth taking the time to read. Amazon doesn’t have many reviews or ratings for this one, so I’m really going in blind when it comes to the quality of the story, but it’s not like we all haven’t done that a time or two, and there’ve every chance this will be one I won’t want to leave my shelves.
Also by Daryl Chestney, Dominion, set in the same world as Commandment. Off the top of my head I can’t remember which book came first and which one came second, but either way, it’s nice to have both parts. The Christian symbolism is pretty plain on the cover, and normally I try to steer clear of Christian fantasy as I’ve found it to usually be pretty heavy-handed in its messages and metaphors, but as I said about Commandment, something about this called to me and so I’m willing to take a chance on it. After all, not every piece of Christian fantasy I’ve ever read has been that bad.
Volume 1 of Stein & Candle Detective Agency, which, if anyone’s interested in this, is currently priced at a very affordable $0.99 through Amazon.com. This seems like it’ll be a nice piece of light fluffy humourous fiction for when I fancy something a little less involved than the usual heavy fantasy and speculative stuff that I’ve been hankering after lately. Nothing wrong with a bit of a break from the norm. Paranormal detectives aren’t exactly new to the genre, and teenage paranormal detectives, well… Let’s face it, sometimes we all like rewatching the first season of Buffy, and that’s kind of what this book puts me in mind of.
Rod Kierkegaard Jr’s The God Particle, a sci-fi mystery involving time-displacement, corporate greed, and physics that I might well be able to wrap my head around. (The truth about why I usually avoid hard-core sci-fi, ladies and gents, is that physics is really not my strong suit…) Definitely looking forward to reading this one! (Also priced at $0.99, if anyone’s interested.)
Boris and Arkady Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic, previously published in the early ’70s and was recently retranslated and rereleased. Again, it’s science fiction (apparently hailed as a sci-fi classic when it was first released), and the premise of a man illegally looking for alien artifacts and getting in over his head pretty much guarantees that I’ll be making the time to give this one the reading it deserves. It isn’t due out until early May, so my review won’t be up until then, but rest assured, this one gets moved near the top of my reading list!
I normally try to keep religion out of this blog as much as I can, and so I’m not sure whether or not to review Mark Townsend’s Jesus Through Pagan Eyes here or elsewhere. The subtitle, “Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ,” speaks very much to discussions I’ve had with friends in the past (had one earlier today, in fact), and so when I got the chance to read this, I couldn’t very well say no. I am making an effort to keep reviews on this blog confined to geekly things, if not straight-up fantasy and speculative fiction, so this really doesn’t belong here, but if anyone does happen to be interested in hearing what I think of this, I may make a rare exception.
Lizzie Stark’s Leaving Mundania, which subtitles itself, “Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games.” I’m an so excited to read this. I admit it, I’m a gamer. Part-time LARPer, too, and I know many people who whom role-playing isn’t the so-called “delusional escape” that some people think of it as, but instead something that gives them relief from stressful daily life and can be an act of empowerment. I’m glad that this book even exists, really, because I love it when people actual do good research not only into what RPing is but also into how it can benefit people. It looks into large organizations such as the Society for Creative Anachronism, historical re-enactment, and fantasy/medieval-based games. Rest assured that this one will be getting reviewed here, since while it may be playing to the stereotypes to assume that most fantasy geeks are gamers, I know a fair number of people who read this blog have an interest in RPers. Let it never be said that I can’t play to an audience!
And that is my wonderful haul for this past week. If you’ve got an commentary on the books I received, I’d love to hear it. Also interested to know what books you got, too!