New Poll: What should I read next???

I've already finished Jasper Kent's Thirteen Years Later (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks), an excellent sequel to what I consider the 2009 speculative fiction debut of the year, Twelve (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks). Expect a book review in the near future.

I'm now in the middle of David J. Williams' The Machinery of Light (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks), last volume in The Autumn Rain trilogy and sequel to both The Mirrored Heavens (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks) and The Burning Skies (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks). It's another balls-to-the-wall blend of military science fiction and cyberthriller, and I'm definitely loving it!

I bought Dan Simmons' Hyperion omnibus while in Dubrovnik, Croatia, when I thought that I would run out of stuff to read. The partying in Belgrade, Serbia, prevented such a turn of events, so I'm keen to read it now. So I'll likely give Hyperion (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks) a shot when I'm done with the Williams.

Unfortunately, my pile of books to read isn't getting any smaller. So let's see which novel you guys would like to see reviewed in a not so distant future. . .

The nominees are:



- Justin Cronin's The Passage (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks)

'It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.'

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear - of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.



- Robin Hobb's Dragon Haven (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks)

The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons are forging a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River. They are in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra, and are accompanied by the liveship Tarman, its captain, Leftrin, and a group of hunters who must search the forests for game with which to keep the dragons fed. With them are Alise, who has escaped her cold marriage to the cruel libertine Hest Finbok in order to continue her study of dragons, and Hest's amanuensis, Bingtown dandy, Sedric. Rivalries and romances are already threatening to disrupt the band of explorers: but external forces may prove to be even more dangerous. Chalcedean merchants are keen to lay hands on dragon blood and organs to turn them to medicines and profit. Their traitor has infiltrated the expeditionand will stop at nothing to obtain the coveted body parts. And then there are the Rain Wilds themselves: mysterious, unstable and ever perilous, its mighty river running with acid, its jungle impenetrable and its waterways uncharted. Will the expedition reach their destination unscathed? Does the city of Kelsingra even exist? Only one thing is certain: the journey will leave none of the dragons nor their human companions unchanged by the experience.



- Mark Charan Newton's City of Ruin (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks)

Viliren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets. Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Adaol, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Viliren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire's people. When a Night Guard soldier goes missing, Brynd requests help from the recently arrived Inquisitor Jeryd. He discovers this is not the only disappearance the streets of Viliren. It seems that a serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human. The entire population of Viliren must unite to face an impossible surge of violent and unnatural enemies or the city will fall. But how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?



- Tad Williams' Shadowrise (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks)

With King Olin imprisoned and Prince Kendrick slain, the royal twins Barrick and Briony have been forced to flee their homeland. But both families and nations can hide dark and terrible secrets, and even if Barrick and Briony survive learning the astonishing truths at the heart of their own family and of Southmarch itself, they must still find a way to reclaim their kingdom and rescue their home- from traitors, tyrants, a god-king, and even the angry gods themselves.



- China Miéville's Kraken (Canada, USA, Europe, AbeBooks)

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.

In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.

There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity—and beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC—the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit—a branch of London’s finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city’s entrails. There is Grisamentum, London’s greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying—yet darkly charismatic—demonic duo.

All of them—and others—are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.

28 commentaires:

Blodeuedd said...

Hobb, Hobb :D

ssgorik said...

Awhile back 'Kafka on the Shore' got second place in one of these polls and I think you should read that.

Nightflier said...

Well, I'm writing a review of The Passage for my own blog - in Serbian, of course. And it's a great book. So, my vote goes to The Passage. (But it is a HUGE book, be warned.)

~Stardust~ said...

My vote goes for "The Passage" (although "Dragon Haven" runs a close second). I just finished "The Passage" and thoroughly enjoyed it...it caused me several very late nights in a row. I loved it, and am anxious to be reading about what others think of it.

Some call me Tim said...

Kraken, Kraken, Kraken!

Miéville has yet to disappoint and after The City & The City!?! I can't wait to see what he will come up with next.

4raser said...

Kraken, please.

Roland said...

What? You haven't read Hyperion?! But that's one of the most defining works in the genre, among the very best of the very best. I mean, why do you even ask people to vote (and for OTHER books at that) when you have such a huge gap to fill? I mean, just go read Hyperion.

http://rolandscodex.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I am reading the passage right now. I would love your take on it.

Saladin said...

Can I vote *against* something? The Passage is obscenely overhyped as it is. Give another book the exposure...

Brian Fitzpatrick said...

I'm halfway through Kraken right now - and though it's not an easy read, it has some truly original thoughts on urban fantasy that have me thoroughly entertained. :)

Wise Bass said...

I vote for The Passage.

valerie said...

I'm also shocked that you haven't read Hyperion. Have you read Illium/Olympos?

Anonymous said...

Mark Newton's City of Ruin

Droidprogrammer said...

I may be the outsider, I only got 60 pages into The Passage before I gave up. It didn't even come close to hooking me. Perhaps I will give it another go when I am desperate for a read.

Peter said...

I vote for Kraken.

Gaarheid said...

Hmmm
Tad Williams!

illunse said...

I vote for Kraken.

Also do prioritize reading Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I hope you have both books. The Fall of Hyperion concludes the story begun in Hyperion.

Anonymous said...

go for either KRAKEN or CITY OF RUIN. justin cronin cant even write a two fucks worth to save his overated mess of a book. sorry but you wont see me kissing his ass any time soon!!! the only stuff i liked from robin was her soldier son and liveship traders trilogies. everything else is CRAP. and dont even get me started on tad williams.

so yeah those two books (start with city of ruin first).

Esther said...

For my I would like you to read and review Mark Charan Newton's City of Ruin.

Everyone seems to be doing The Passage and Kraken and although they seem to be good I really don't need to read another review.

Jennifer said...

I've already read The Passage (couldn't put it down) so your take on the book wouldn't be that interesting to me. As for Hobb, no way, all her series end in downer ways. So my vote is for Tad Williams. I've never read anything by him and I'd love to hear your view on what sounds like an exciting book.

Anonymous said...

I read The Passage (amazing). No Hobb, please, I can't handle another one of her downer endings.

I'd love to know what you think of the Tad Williams book. I've never read Williams and wondered what his style was (GRRM, Jordan, etc.).

ediFanoB said...

Pat, you are not the only one who haven't read HYPERION.

From the five books on your list I

- I read City of Ruin
- Kraken is on my TBR pile
- I will read the Shadowmarch series as soon as I own copies of the whole series
- I ordered a paperback copy of The Passage in advance

I think you should go either for Hyperion (which is not part of the list) or City of Ruin.

I decided for myself to read Hyperion soon which means probably August.

Patrick said...

I've been meaning to read HYPERION and countless other books for years. Then I created this blog that took on a life of its own; I now receive over 500 books a year; and I'm buried under tons of novels I WANT to read. Sadly, the vagaries of life force me to have a job and maintain a social life. Which means that the time I can spend reading books is rather limited.

Which, in turn, explains why I have so many "must read" titles awaiting me on various piles and shelves.

Fear not, I'll get around to it! Someday... =)

Roland said...

Well, it's just that not having read Hyperion is like not having read Dune or 1984 for example. I mean, there hasn't been a book of its quality in SF for at least ten years now.

http://rolandscodex.blogspot.com/

ediFanoB said...

I Know the problem even I do not receive 500 books per year and my blog is a lot smaller one than yours. I have a family, a social life and a job which is not a simple nine to five one.

Anyway reading is a passion for a lot of people and a passion should make fun.

ENJOY READING!

Dovile said...

I haven't read any of the books but city of Ruin and Shadowrise sounds the most interesting.

Anonymous said...

wait. about robin hobb...did her tawny man trilogy have a downer ending (i know her assasin trilogy does).

vaibhav said...

The kraken....what a bore. just read it and not worth the midnight oil.
the premise sounded better then what the book is.