Review: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns
Mark Lawrence
Harper, 2011

I initially put off reading Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns due to some earlier reviews which discussed the novel’s copious amounts of violence and depravity. However, I came across another review that mentioned the world of Prince of Thorns, revealing a minor spoiler, that rocketed Lawrence’s debut to the top of my read pile. Those initial reviews that discussed the novel were absolutely correct Prince of Thorns is an often shockingly violent novel with a protagonist about as far from being a hero as a person can get. At the same time the violence is not aggrandized in any way and the acts of the titular Prince Jorg and his band of outlaws is never painted in a welcome light.

Prince Jorg Ancrath witnesses, at a young age, the murder of his mother and younger brother. Surviving only because he escaped the carriage his family was riding in and fell into a thorn bush. The pain, both physical and emotional, of this event radically change Jorg whose cool analytical and highly intelligent mind hide a near bottomless well of icy rage. Towards the end of his convalescence Jorg frees several bandit’s from his father’s dungeons and escapes joining with them on a quest for revenge. Four years later, at age fourteen, Jorg is still on his quest now leading those same bandits pillaging the countryside and harassing the people who serve, and live, under the rule of the man had his mother and brother killed.

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Review: The Wolf Star by R. M. Meluch

The Wolf Star by R M Meluch
The Wolf Star by R M Meluch

The Wolf Star
R. M. Meluch
DAW, 2007

The Wolf Star, the second book in the, Tour of the Merrimackpicks up right after The Myriad. If you haven’t read The Myriad I honestly suggest that you stop reading this review now as any information about The Wolf Star will spoil the major twist towards the close of The Myriad. Consider this ample forwarning of major spoilers from the first book.

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A look at John C. Wright’s Count to Trillion

Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright
Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright

Count to a Trillion
John C. Wright
Tor, 2011

Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright is the first in a new transhumanist space opera series. The novel follows Menelaus Montrose, resident of the war ravaged Texus and a lawyer (disputes are arbited via pistol duels so there is very little traditional law infvolved) as well as a math genius. Montrose is recurited for a space mission to investigate a mysterious alien monolith. It is on this mission that Montrose believing that only a scientifically accelerated mind, a posthuman mind, can decipher the artifact injects himself with a specially developed serum designed to unlock his mind’s true potential. Driven mad by the process Montrose awakens almost two centuries later to a world vastly different from the one he knew.

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Review: Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover

Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover

Heroes Die
Matthew Woodring Stover
Del Rey, 1998

Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover is one of those often overlooked novels important to both science fiction and fantasy. Hari Michaelson is better known as Caine, the Blade of Tyshelle, a brutal assassin on the world called Overworld. His adventures are experienced by millions of people back home where his many assassinations and staggering body count have made him a superstar. When Hari/Caine’s wife goes missing in Overworld he is sent against the world’s newest dictator in a mission with little hope for survival. Heroes Die bridges the gap between science fiction and fantasy. It is most definitely science fiction taking place in a future dominated by a rigid caste based system and a population kept docile through adventures in Overworld. At the same time Hari’s adventures as Caine follow occur in a traditional fantasy world. It is a smooth blending of two genres that makes for some great reading.

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Review: Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole
Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole

Shadow Ops: Control Point
Myke Cole
Recorded Books, 2012 (PB: Ace, 2012)

Shadow Ops: Control Pointby Myke Cole has been something of a critical darling amongst online reviewers. The premise absolutely sounds amazing: people have begun manifesting magical abilitys and in response the US government takes control of the individuals lives, they are after all essentially lethal weapons, and more or less press gangs them into the military service (or forces them to liven in what sounds an awful lot like a breeding experiment). The story follows Oscar Britton a military man intially tasked with bringing down “selfers,” people who go on the run after manifesting magical abilities, but who finds himself on the run after he himself manifests a rare, powerful and highly prohibited magical ability. Forced to join the Supernatural Operations Corps Britton must struggle with guilt of his own actions and with trying to find a place to fit in.

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Review: A Rising Thunder by David Weber

A Rising Thunder by David Weber
A Rising Thunder by David Weber

A Rising Thunder (Honor Harrington #13)
David Weber
Baen, 2012

The library was sent a copy of David Weber’s A Rising Thunder via the fine folks at Baker and Taylor and snagged it the second I saw it. I’ve spoken of the Honorverse before and my love of Weber’s magnificent space opera series. Along with Campbell’s Lost Fleet series the Honor Harrington novels are ranked at the top of my sci-fi series list and I’m always excited when a new books comes out. That was made all the worse this time out thanks to Weber’s frustrating cliffhanger at the end of Mission of Honor. Thankfully A Rising Thunder takes all the awesome and amazing moments built upon in the previous book and really rolls things forward.

Some spoilers ahead from Mission of Honor so if you have yet to read that book stop here.

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