Posts Tagged: Debut 2012

Another reading log. . .

In an effort to “catch up”, I’ve compressed several books into a single post. I hope this will be the last of my omnibus reviewing. Enjoy!   The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck — Held back by an ending that doesn’t quite capitalize on the exceptional beginnings, Kassa Gambit remains a very entertaining debut effort. It works best as… Read more »

A recent reading log. . .

I write this post with trepidation  It’s a gross departure from what Staffer’s Book Review has been about since day one. Nevertheless, the new job, the death of my father-in-law, Christmas, an increasingly needy three year old, and my general slacking of my duties as a blogger, has found me desperately far behind in my reviewing…. Read more »

Three Short Reviews of Recently Read Books (October)

I’ve fallen behind a bit in my reviewing, with some ten books read as yet unreviewed. In an effort to catch up, I’m going to do write three short reviews here. It isn’t just a matter of catching up, the truth is books don’t always have a thousand word review in them, and who would… Read more »

Mage’s Blood by David Hair

David Hair’s first adult novel, Mage’s Blood, does a bit of hand waving. I’ll go into detail about it later, but suffice to say that he doesn’t think very far beyond the snapshot in time that contains his narrative. I’m also a little tired of the female character who sleeps around to gain an illusion… Read more »

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

How much of a novel’s success or failure is predicated on its voice? I would argue there’s a compelling case to be made that it’s a primary one. The problem is that voice is an extremely subjective measurement defined in semantics. I ask the question because Cassandra Rose Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse is written in… Read more »

Interview with Max Gladstone author of Three Parts Dead

Tomorrow is a Tuesday, which means new releases. One of those new releases will be Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead. How convenient you might say, that Staffer’s Book Review is releasing an interview with Max Gladstone just at the perfect moment. Yes, too convenient! In any case, after writing my review of Three Parts Dead… Read more »

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer, blurbed by Patrick Rothfuss and heavily marketed by Thomas Dunne Books, is billed as Japanese steampunk. It’s Jay Kristoff’s debut novel and as far as I’m concerned it’s a colossal failure. That is to say, I’m puzzled that anyone bought it, and utterly bamboozled how it went to a three-way auction.

Before I get too far into my critique I should mention that Kristoff writes well enough. His prose is easily digestible and it made reading Stormdancer tolerable. He capably lays out his story, revealing information in a way that makes sense, doesn’t seem dishonest to his reader, and covers his bases. If I was evaluating a home being auctioned off in an estate sale whose previous owner had fourteen cats and no litter boxes, I would say, “it has good bones.” Unfortunately, once you own the home it still smells like cat piss and one man can only carry so many bottles of bleach.

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.’ Bertrand Russell – Marriage and Morals (1929) That use of the word parts in that Bertrand Russell quote should be read as quarters. Fearing life is to be three quarters dead already. Undoubtedly the source of the title… Read more »

The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Tom Pollock writes beautiful prose. It’s the first thing I noticed about his debut novel, The City’s Son. So good in fact, that it buoys a straight forward young adult urban fantasy to new heights. It’s a rare novel of that ilk that’s able to hook me enough to give it a full run. I… Read more »

Year Zero – Rob Reid

In 1999, I was a freshman in college at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We Gauchos have a bit of reputation, but I think that first year more students spent time indoors that ever before. We were in the midst of the file sharing revolution and I was at ground zero. A lot of… Read more »