Finished Reading “Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy”, by Pierce Brown. **SPOILERS**

Preface: If you haven’t read Red Rising, which is book #1 in the Red Rising trilogy, stop reading this review right now–as it will contain light spoilers for you–and go read Red Rising. You will not be disappointed.

I’m reading the audiobooks of this series–so can I call it reading? Is it listening? *shrugs*–and of all the audiobooks I’ve read this one stands out. Exemplary, really. The writing, and story, and all that book-review stuff are absolutely top notch, but the performance delivered by Tim Gerald Reynolds, the narrator, is spectacular. He narrated the first book, and did an excellent job, but he found his stride with Golden Son and frankly, I think his performance takes the book to a level it might not have achieved for me by eyeball reading. If you haven’t truly experienced an audiobook yet, I strongly encourage it. Even if the purist in you thinks that reading must be done with your eyeballs, trust me. This is next-level shit right here.

Did you think Red Rising was a little too derivative, too young adult, too Matrix/Hunger Games/Modern YA Dystopia for ya? Any dust motes of that type of thinking are quickly swept away as soon as you open the door to Golden Son. This entry in the trilogy takes you way, way beyond book #1, and doesn’t just break the chains, but breaks the mold (bahahaha! See what I did there?).

Read the rest of this post …

Finished reading “Red Rising”, by Pierce Brown — Spoiler Free Review

I had heard of “Red Rising” from a few different angles–a life-long friend, a sneak peak at the end of an audiobook (I think it was one of the Shattered Sea books)–and when you hear the elevator pitch, it really just doesn’t do the book justice. The pitch: in the distant future, society is broken down into a color-coded caste system. The Golds rule, all the other colors are slaves with designated tasks. A Red named Darrow–red being the lowliest of colors–rises from his mining colony on Mars to embark on a rebellion. Sounds so boilerplate, and basic … and then I read the book, and holy shit, it’s awesome. It’s much better than it sounds.

Read the rest of this post …

All of the Stories in Rogues – Skip and Don’t Skip Summary

I listened to every story in the Rogues anthology, edited by George R. R. Martin, and composed a snippet-review for each one here on my site. I thought it might be useful if there were a quick consumable that gave a blip about each one, to help people decide whether to read or skip a story. I imagine most are like me and get an anthology like this because of a couple or three authors (or maybe even one!) and don’t necessarily want to read the whole thing.

A bit about the format:

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “The Rogue Prince, or, a King’s Brother” by George R. R. Martin

Okay, George R. R., with you and your silly name–”Mr. Martin” as you might have it–you wouldn’t be trying to pass off a history textbook as a short story now would you? Would you?! Actually, I don’t even need to ask the question. That’s exactly what this story is. But, it’s in Westeros, and it deals with Targaryens. So I’m in. Mmmmm … Targaryens …

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “The Lightning Tree” by Patrick Rothfuss

There is something to be said about being the lead-in entry for George R.R.’s story in this anthology, which of course, is exactly where Rothfuss’ “The Lightning Tree” is located. And can I mention Rothfuss, a newcomer, without also mentioning the other powerhouse newcomer in this collection, Joe Abercrombie? I think not. And in that note, there is something to be said about being the lead story, which Abercrombie was.

But Abercrombie fell a little flat, unfortunately–which is insane to say, really–and Rothfuss absolutely did not. But what was it about? Bast? Was Kvothe in it? The Waystone in? TELL ME!

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “Now Showing” by Connie Willis

If you knew me personally, and had to guess whether or not I would enjoy a story about a college-age girl going to the movies, in the future, with her girlfriends–and the primary goal of the main being not to keep her friends from being sidetracked by scorching guys–you’d probably give that one a quick no. But what do you think happened?

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back” by Neil Gaiman

You may have read the title and wondered, hmm, what is a Marquis? And what is so special about this coat? Well, normally I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you–and I guess I won’t–so let’s dig a little deeper and see what this tale is all about, and more importantly, whether or not you should be reading it.

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives” by Lisa Tuttle

Ready for a 19th century Sherlock-Holmes esque mystery-solving dynamic duo set in England? Then let’s dive into this story about a start-up P.I. team taking on a ghost story … but it ends up not being ghosts. Something worse. A monster.

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “The Caravan to Nowhere” by Phyllis Eisenstein

Author Phyllis Eisenstein comes out of a semi-retirement, and takes a beloved character out of a similar retirement to tell us this curious story set in the desert on some fantasy world. Our main character is a bard with the ability to teleport. This ends up being important to the story, but not the reason for the story. The reason for the story feels deeper, in a sad way.

Read the rest of this post …

Stories in Rogues – “Diamonds From Tequila” by Walter Jon Williams

You’d expect this one to be a little foggy for me, since it has been almost two weeks since I finished it, but oh no. You don’t forget a story like this. Forget the title. It’s nonsense, and essentially an in-story quip. This story is told in the first person by a hilariously self-absorbed and weird-looking actor looking to break his career wide open with a feature. And once again, I find that the stories set in the modern world are much more enjoyable for me in this short-form anthology (which is continuing to surprise me!).

Read the rest of this post …