No. of Recommendations: 11
I went on something of a binge of reading as of late:

Hyperion - Dan Simmons - Listened to it in audiobook. Really enjoyed it. Simmons is a great worldbuilder, and this book has different narrators, all using the flashback/storytelling device, some in first person, some in third, inside of a larger narrative. I was pretty captivated, and will be listening/reading to Fall of Hyperion soon.

Frankenstein/Dracula - the originals by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. I went back for a re-read of these classics and listened to both of them on audiobook. I liked Frankenstein, but not as much as I remembered, it's something I really need to think through and analyze if the underlying messages still apply to me. Dracula, to my surprise (as I remember being bored silly by it first time through) is really gripping and engaging. The audiobook is rather helped by the quality of its narrators, including Alan Cumming and Tim Curry.

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon - came recommended. More YA/dystopian, less sci-fi, more fantasy, but with elements of both. Enjoyable, but clearly a set-up for a trilogy or series. Can see this one being set up as a movie quite easily, but I enjoyed it.

Divergent - Veronica Roth - also YA/Dystopian/Future, but I actually liked it very much. It's a little transparent and clearly meant for YA, but I am interested enough to see how it turns out that I'll commit to the next two books.

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson - Because I'll read ANYTHING that man writes. It's a YA, but extremely different than his Alcatraz series. Much more comic book/superhero with an extreme twist. My 13-year-old DEVOURED it and I read it so I could keep up with his constant stream of updates on the character's progress. Obviously doesn't have quite the depth of some of his other work, as it is indeed YA and it's less than a billion pages, but it's high quality and my son is DYING for the next installment.

Legion - Brandon Sanderson - a novella at best. I picked up the audiobook for $1.99. Absolutely fascinating premise, drew me in completely and I'm hoping he puts out more in this universe. Just fascinating, and kind of indescribable. I was extremely impressed, though.

World War Z - Max Brooks - haven't seen the movie, but the book was a really interesting look at the world and its response to the zombie threat. I liked it.

John Dies at the End - David Wong - I cannot even begin to describe this book. Sci-fi? Horror? Slasher comic? Comedy? It was utterly bizarre, and completely captivating. It is nothing like anything I've ever read - the horror was horrifying, the humor was actually funny, the world-building was decent, the characters were both caricatures and not, and it was just... unique. Really liked this one, but can't tell you why.

Perdido Street Station - China Mieville - Like many readers of this book, the end was less-than-satisfying for me. But the prose of this book was worth the read. The world and character building is really good, and the threads of the stories that all come together (perhaps a bit too neatly, but still) is well done. I loved the creatures and cultures and the world that this book is set in, it was very real and the words used to describe it were fantastic. You can tell how deeply each word is considered and thought about, and the end result shows it. Also did this one on audiobook, narrated by John Lee, which means it's going to be good, the man is a master narrator!

Jack Nightingale Series (Nightfall, Midnight, Nightmare) - Stephen Leather. Magic in the UK, set in present day, a cop-turned-private-eye gets tangled up with demons through a devil-bargain made by his father before he was born. I honestly didn't enjoy it, the characters seemed one-dimensional and wooden, and while I'm all for flaws to make characters human, I found these difficult to like and root for, even against demons. I read them in various waiting rooms on my phone, because they were clear-cut and the plot easy to follow, so you didn't have to sit and absorb yourself in the world to follow them. Not necessarily high on my recommendation list.

NOS4A2 - Joe Hill - you can tell he is Stephen King's son. If you like King, this is worth a read.

The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker - I liked this more than I should have. Set at the very beginning of 1900s New York, a female golem crosses paths with a recently-semi-freed Jinni, and they form an unlikely friendship, and then they find out their situations are far more entangled than they knew. I read this one, not listened, and really enjoyed it.

The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes - a serial killer gains the power of time travel and uses it to stalk his victims. The premise was good, the characters were also good, but there was something about this book that didn't completely draw me in, though it was well-crafted and worth reading.

Reading Scent of Shadows (Zodiac series) by Vicki Pettersson right now, I have the first five books of the series but it's been SO long since I read them that I have to start over to catch up! I remember liking them - urban fantasy, set strongly in Las Vegas (Vegas is almost a character in the book) and dark-vs-light superhero standoff. Somewhat "fluffier" than the stuff above but well-written, with the romance angle that I like in some of the women's fiction and I'm enjoying the less-demanding read (I don't have to be in another world entirely, this is present day and in America).

And a plug for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I recommend this book to EVERYONE now. Re-read it again recently and it still has the same hold over me. Magic, early 1900s middle America, and just gorgeous writing. Utterly beautiful in both story and description.

Happy reading, always looking for recommendations!!!

GSF
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