Saturday, August 27, 2016

#33: For All the Gold in the World by Massimo Carlotto

An armed robbery spirals into a heinous crime and orphans a young boy, sending The Alligator and his friends seeking revenge in For All the Gold in the World by Massimo Carlotto.

Carlotto's Alligator is a semi-reformed, largely philosophical criminal who roams Italy looking to right wrongs set aside by the machinery of justice.  The Alligator's world is one where various strains of criminals have a more intricate code of honor and respect than law enforcement or any of the "civilians" that might wander into their path.

I have read several of Carlotto's tough-minded, sardonic crime stories and find them to be enjoyable, quick reads.  Good for fans of international noir.

This was sent to me by World Noir and I read it quickly.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

#32: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

In a star-spanning future, a young soldier is given the seemingly suicidal mission of re-taking a fortress captured by heretics, only to find navigating galactic politics is even harder in Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit.

This is as dense and intricate a bit of world-building that I've seen in a science fiction novel; so much so that it took about thirty or forty pages before I had the slightest notion of what was going on.  But once I got into the novel's baroque rhythms I really enjoyed it. 

The storytelling is great on the intimate level--as our protagonist struggles with being mind-melded to a genocidal general kept around as a ghost--up to the epic sweep of world-breaking battles and empire-cracking machinations.

A unique setting and plenty of unusual ideas makes Ninefox Gambit recommended for sci-fi fans.

I bought this from Amazon and read it quickly.

Friday, August 5, 2016

#31: The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin

A seemingly unstoppable alien armada is a few hundred years away from arriving from deep space and conquering Earth, sending humanity through various highs and lows as the day approaches in Liu Cixin's epic The Dark Forest.

The Dark Forest is the sequel to one of my favorite reads of the year, The Three-Body Problem.  This one is less action-oriented, which is hard to say about a novel which had long stretches of math, but The Dark Forest is more philosophical in its plotting but still full of interesting ideas.

The decade-spanning and galaxy-stretching storyline features Earth's desperate plan to anoint several "Wallfacers" to develop secret strategies to defeat the invasion--and the confusion that arises when the aliens and their human henchmen seem intent on killing just one lowly, underachieving scientist. 

A really worthwhile read for fans looking for a fresh voice in science fiction.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana, and had to renew this behemoth several times to finish it.