I was on a roll this week and finished three books and have started on a fourth. My concentration levels must have improved a lot!
The first book was Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, #04 in his Red Rising Saga. I enthused like mad about the first three books in this series, which I now include in my “favourites of all time”. This fourth book begins a new story arc with the introduction of more characters alongside those we already know. Here is the blurb:
A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?
And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:
A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.
An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.
And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.
My words are inadequate to describe my response to this book and I urge you to read the reviews on Goodreads and other sites if you want something more eloquent. I gave the book five stars and wrote the following:
Oh, how I adore this series and I cannot wait until the next instalment! The author gets better and better with each book and his skills really show here with the story being told from different points of view. Some new characters are introduced and we learn more about others. We also gain more knowledge about other parts of Solar System and how each society works. Pierce Brown’s world building is superb and so detailed.
Please write a lot more books set in the Red Rising world, Pierce!
I cannot wait until the next book in the series is published!
My second read of the week was a return to a book that I had already started, then laid aside as I lost interest. That break actually did me some good as I picked up Wool by Hugh Howey and really enjoyed the second half. This is the blurb:
In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.
Oops! Just saw the mistake in the above – stories instead of storeys? Anyway, in the end I decided that the book fully deserved four stars and this review:
I have given this book four stars because I think that, over all, it deserves that number. The whole idea behind this book is intriguing: people living in a huge silo, deep underground, surviving after a disaster on the surface. The author has worked out how a society might live in these circumstances, layered and separated by their roles, but joined together by the staircase which winds down through the levels of the silo.
I did lose some momentum when reading the book. Another book that I had been waiting for became available at the library and so I put this one aside whilst I finished that first, then returned to Wool afterwards. The story does gain some extra excitement and speed as the book progresses and I really enjoyed picking it up again.
Some of the reviews here are a little confusing as I think the book was originally published in parts, but I read the whole of book 1 in a single volume.
There are further books in the Wool series and I will almost certainly have a look to see if our library service has them in stock.
My final book of the week was a much shorter and easier read: The Reindeer People by Megan Lindholm.
The Reindeer People is the first in a series of reissues of Megan Lindholm’s (Robin Hobb) classic backlist titles. It is set in the harsh wilderness of a prehistoric North America, and tells the story of a tribe of nomads and hunters as they try to survive, battling against enemy tribes, marauding packs of wolves and the very land itself. Living on the outskirts of the tribe Tillu was happy spending her time tending her strange, slow dreamy child Kerlew and comunning with the spirits to heal the sick and bring blessing on new births. However Carp, the Shaman, an ugly wizened old man whose magic smelled foul to Tillu desired both mother and child. Tillu knew Carp’s magic would steal her son and her soul. Death waited in the snows of the Tundra, but Tillu knew which she would prefer.
Now, I am unsure about this blurb as I am almost certain that the story is set in prehistoric Scandinavia, rather than North America. Anyway, it was an enjoyable read and I have already requested the sequel from the library! This is my three star review:
I have read a lot of this author’s other books under her Robin Hobb name and love much of her work. When I picked up this book, I was drawn to the prehistoric setting as I also like Jean M Auel’s books.
This was a short and easy read with an interesting plot and characters. What really made the book for me was the obviously painstaking research into the lifestyle of prehistoric reindeer herders. The sheer struggle to survive and the complex social organisation are woven beautifully into the tale. There are some very dark moments and intriguing magic and fantasy themes. I really want to know what happens next!
I have now started the third book in the Demon Cycle series by Peter V Brett: The Daylight War. My library seems to have most of this series in stock as print books, but was missing this one and I was wondering whether to buy a copy. But, I was so pleased when I found it on their ebook catalogue! So, I am now reading it on my iPad.
Well, I will be reading it as soon as I finish this blog post…