Breakers by Edward W. Robertson (2012) Sci/Fi Action Horror. Breakers is my second favorite book I have read so far this year. Pride and Prejudice beats it out overall but really who can compete with Jane Austin despite the lack of alien invasions and worldwide plagues in the Regency countryside. I grew to love the writing style of Breakers, but what really stands out is the solid character work. Excellent well thought out plotting means little if you don’t have great people to follow and care about. And Breakers has that in spades. An outstanding book I am surprised is not more popular.
Dungeon Crawler Carl by Matt Dinniman (2020) LitRPG. I am definitely on board the Dungeon Crawler Carl train. Or at least the collection of shopping carts strung together carrying nursing home residences with at least one of them pissing on the wall that stands in for a train in this universe.
There are many deft and humorous touches in this book that make it a delight to read. But there are two standouts. One is the way Matt Dinniman mixes the horror of the genocide of the human race with his light touches and humor. The other is the relationship that grows between Carl and his girlfriend’s house cat named Princess Donut. Very well realized characters that grow during this faced paced adventure.
Dungeon Crawler Carl is a great place to start if you are Lit/RPG curious. Even if you have no interest in the genre as a whole, the humor and fun characters make this a very easy to get into and enjoyable read.
Fathomless by Greig Beck (2016) Shark Attack Book. Reading my notes on Fathomless, I really am surprised how touch and go I was during the first half of the book. Author Greig Beck eventually introduces some new fun characters. Kills off his comic relief and both the author and his protagonists seem to find their footing. I am still impressed by the scope of Fathomless. Beck clearly did his research and was not afraid to step out of his genre’s comfort zone.
There are more books by Greig Beck featuring Cate Granger, and I am looking forward to reading them. I assume the sequels take place in Albuquerque because how anyone is going to convince her to enter a body of water larger than a hot tub at this point is a mystery to me.
The Fire in the Glass (The London Charismatics Book 1) Jacquelyn Benson (2020) Steampunk Adventure. Overall, I cannot recommend The Fire in the Glass enough. It is a beautifully written, engaging, and thoroughly enjoyable novel that will transport readers to another time and place. Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, fantasy, or just superb storytelling, this book is not to be missed. Jacquelyn Benson has truly outdone herself with this fantastic read.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813): Historical Romance. In the end, even though we know how it turns out Pride and Prejudice is so much fun to read. I find myself unable to put it down once I start. Just one more chapter, then I will go to sleep.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (1975) Book Review: Vampire Book. A lot of the things we love about King are fully formed in Salem’s Lot. The creation of place and use of internal dialogue. The way he fleshes out his characters before he unleashes whatever is hiding in the closet is almost second to none. It is a legitimately scary book and bits stick with you. An excellent read and well worth the time. Just don’t answer your window while reading. Especially if you are on the second story.
The Rats By James Herbert (1974): Nature gone wild Horror. Speaking of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot. The Rats shares one other attribute with that brilliant novel. The ending is muddled, hurried and anticlimactic. Apparently our schoolteacher turns into Jason Borne right at the end and figures out where the “King Rat” lives and drives in the middle of a chemical attack to the secret lair only to find the king rat is an albino obese rat with two heads requiring barely a shovel to the noggin to defeat. Shades of King’s “and then he stabbed Dracula in the coffin” ending.