Are you like me, always looking for a good book to read? I’m constantly on the lookout for reading recommendations. So, if you like speculative fiction, here are a few “I’ve-read-lately’s”:
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
Science Fiction / Comedy / Romance
I’ve been a big fan of Willis since I read Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. Crosswalk, set in the not-to-distant future, tackles the question, “What if a person and his or her significant other could constantly be in touch with each other’s emotions? Nora Ephron, a hard-working young woman, has snagged the guy at work every other woman wants. When Nora agrees to have a device implanted in her brain that would supposedly allow her and her fiance to feel each other’s emotions, she gets a few surprises. While I enjoyed the book overall for its humor and commentary on technology and social media, I felt Willis could have shortened by a third. If you’re in the mood for a fun read, however, I do recommend it.
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Science Fiction / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Romance
It’s magic verses machinery in this epic. As children, Patricia and Lawrence each discover special abilities: she controls magic; he masters technology. Throughout their lives, their paths keep crossing and then one day they find themselves fighting in a war they have no control over. Or do they? If you are into hipsters with superpowers, you’ll like this story. Anders does a great job of creating flawed characters who the reader still roots for I have to admit, this was one of those books I enjoyed so much, I was sad when it was over.
Babylon’s Ashes by James S. A. Corey
Science Fiction / Space Opera / Military SF
The Expanse is one of my favorite space opera series. However, I won’t lie to you: this latest volume seemed to drag a little. The previous volume of this series, Nemesis Games, was fantastic and maybe spoiled me. While some major events happened in Babyon’s Ashes, it felt like a placeholder until the next book in the series. But, because this series is so good, I can forgive one clunker, with the hopes the next will will pick up the pace.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Science Fiction / Military SF / Fantasy
What a great debut for Neuvel. This is one of those books I couldn’t put down and I read it in almost one sitting. A group of rogue scientists and military personnel put together–both literally and figuratively –a mystery of gargantuan proportions. Warning: this is just the first part of the story. The sequel, Waking Giants, comes out in a few weeks and I’ve already got mine on order.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Science Fiction /Alternative Realities
This was another novel I couldn’t put down. Jason Dessen is living his live as he’s known it one day, and then finds himself living someone’s else life. Or is it someone else’s? Alternate reality stories, like time travel stories, can easily become confusing, but Crouch does a great job of keeping everything in line. And that ending is a killer.
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron
Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Dragons / Romance
This is the third part of Aaron’s Heartstriker series. Julius is a young man who’s also a dragon. Unfortunately, for him he’s the only nice guy in his whole human/dragon family. Everyone is killing off everyone else to rule the Dragon community. I can’t wait for the next installment. I loved Aaron’s Eli Monpress series, and Heartstriker is just as fantastic.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel
Science Fiction / Apocalyptic Thiller
I thought I was tired of end-of -the-world stories, but Station Eleven puts a whole new spin on the genre. A group of seemingly unrelated characters survive an epidemic that wipes out most of humanity. Mendel does a great job of tying everything together in the end. Great quick read–and it’s a stand-alone story.
Find my latest book on Amazon as Andrew M. Rector: Christ Simply, A Chronological Self-Guided Study through the Life of Christ.