Fall’s cooler weather always has me searching for great reads, and I’m thrilled to have stumbled on a few. These are the best I came across.
The Way of Kings
A few years back, I picked up Words of Radiance, the second in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight series. I was so taken with the world Sanderson created, I was able to enjoy the book without knowing what happened in the first one.
I finally got around to reading the first in the series, The Way of Kings. And I’m sorry I waited so long.
Sanderson’s world building is unrivalled, and I count Tolkien in that assessment. From little cultural details (like women in one culture always having to have their left hands covered), to histories that span centuries, I can almost believe that Roshar really exists.
And that’s before the story really gets going. It shifts between Kaladin, a slave, Shallan, a high-born girl seeking to save her family’s fortunes, and Brightlord Dalinar, who’s trying to save the kingdom from falling apart.
This is the kind of book for those who love to get lost in another world and the adventures of characters who come to life. Sometimes I can hardly bear to read more, because I want the pain to stop for the heroes of the story I’ve come to care about so much.
Incarceron is an immense prison of ruined cities and metal forests. Supposedly only one man has ever escaped. Finn has only memories of living in Incarceron, but he somehow is convinced he’s from the Outside. Claudia, the warden’s daughter, is trying to escape an arranged marriage. She and Finn connect, and try to help each other. But their foe, the prison itself, is alive.
The concept is fascinating, and the characters believable and engaging. Several twists took me by surprise, making this a thrilling read.
Night War Saga
Allie is a college student just trying to get by. Then four gorgeous guys show up and claim to be her protectors, sent to defend her from the Goddess of Night. Allie doesn’t buy their story of an evil goddess out to destroy the world, until she is attacked.
The Saga takes place through three books: Protector, Defender, and Redeemer. They were fun, enjoyable reads, well worth the time. What made them fresh was the Nordic mythology that was worked through the novels.
All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries
All Systems Red won the Hugo award this year for Best Novella, and having read most of the finalists, I totally agree. The hero of the story is a security android, charged with protecting the humans on a mission to another planet. Things turn ugly when it’s clear someone it out to kill them all. What’s unique in this novella is the exploration of consciousness in an artificial intelligence. It’s one of those rare thought-provoking reads that delivers a great story.