I haven’t read any non-fiction lately, so skip this if you’re not looking for fiction.
Recently, I’ve read six or so of the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher. A modern-day, rebellious wizard in Chicago assists police to battle supernatural enemies.
They’re alright, not great but certainly not bad either. Pulp entertainment novels that serve their purpose.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Secluded monks struggle to cooperate with secular forces against a shared enemy in a recovering post-Apocalyptic Earth-like setting.
This one depends greatly on whether or not you like Stephenson. If you do (and I do), Anathem is excellent. If you don’t, you probably won’t be able to finish it.
Divine Justice by David Baldacci. A fugitive from U.S. federal agents seeks refuge in a small West Virginia town that is not as innocent as it seems.
I thought the story was unremarkable and unimaginative, the characters were thin and poorly developed, and the writing was clunky. Other than that, I guess I’d call it average.
Steven Erickson’s Malazan Tales of the Fallen series through Book Six: The Bonehunters. An sprawling empire struggles to fulfill the vision of its fallen emperor in a world thrown into chaos by ancient forces.
Erickson does a great job of carrying out grandiose, sweeping plotlines despite keeping the direct focus on the gritty, day-to-day survival of individual characters. I thought Book 5: Midnight Tides was underwhelming, but the other books thus far have been excellent. Erickson maintains a very interesting balance between vulnerable mortals, and ground-shaking immortals.
I’m currently reading Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan. Law enforcement in the splintered remains of the United States enlist the services of a genetically altered, sociopathic “thirteen” to track down a series of murders thought to be committed by another “thirteen” variant.
I haven’t finished it yet, so I won’t comment much. The story thus far is inviting, and the book is well-written, but there’s a certain undertone to it that I find unappealing. I’m curious to see if it improves by the end of the book.