I’m trying some new things this year. One of those is to not review every book that I read (I just don’t have the time). Unfortunately I feel almost guilty when I don’t write a review for a book, almost like I didn’t give it a fair shot. So I decided that each month I will do a recap of the books I read that month with short, one paragraph, reviews.
In January I read a lot of books that were mostly just good times and a lot of fun.
Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson departs from his usually very serious and grown up voice to write a comic fantasy for young adults. This proves to be more successful than I would have imagined. His writing style is inherently readable and the humor is shockingly well-played. If you took Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchet and P. G. Wodehouse and poured them into a blender then ran the result through a strainer made of non sequiturs you would probably get something similar to this book. It is hilarious and entertaining and exciting and easy to read. Plus it has another one of Brandon Sanderson’s trademark unique magic systems. Some people have Talents, like breaking things, or showing up late, or speaking complete nonsense, that they must learn to use to fight off the Evil Librarians who are trying to take over the world.
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson
COMPLETE Calvin and Hobbes. Need I say any more?
The Areas of My Expertise: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge by Jon Hodgman
This is an almanac of hilarious, completely made up, ‘facts.’ It is mind-numbingly ludicrous that it even exists, yet also fascinating in that stare-at-a-car-wreck kind of way that makes you keep reading it to see what kind of insanity will be on the next page.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Holmes is a genius and, despite popular theatrical portrayals to the contrary, so is Watson. Watson is also in great physical shape and together they must uncover the mystery of a demon dog sent to hunt down the heirs of Baskerville hall. Doyle is a great writer and he practically invented the genius detective genre that ten thousand television shows are trying to copy today.
Star Wars: Order 66 by Karen Traviss
I’ve reviewed this in more detail here.
Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
Moon’s first book ever. Slow in places, brilliant in others. At times it is easy to tell that this is her first book. She is never a bad writer, just sometimes not as smooth as she is now. This is a seemingly standard fantasy with pleasantly subtle magic and all but absent mystical creatures. I like that the magic is not flashy but instead makes people duck to avoid arrows or breaks an enemies sword in battle. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.
Dragon and Judge by Timothy Zahn
Zahn never really gets better which would be disappointing if he wasn’t so good to begin with. He’s never going to change your life with brilliant writing but he will keep you turning pages with brilliant story telling. Jack Morgan and Draycos continue their quest to save Draycos’s people from extinction and get trapped on the planet where Jack’s parents died – or were murdered. Great adventure. I would recommend this series to anybody especially young adults and children.