Monday, January 14, 2008

Reading Report

Started the weekend by finishing up James Patterson's Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever. Had a lot of fun with it and I'll get the third volume in the series when it comes out in paperback later this month. My only complaint with the book is that it's essentially plotless. It's exciting and entertaining but basically one long series of chases, captures, escapes, and fights.
Then I re-read Robert E. Howard's Conan story 'Iron Shadows in the Moon', which I've already mentioned below, followed by Fritz Leiber's 'The Lords of Quarmal'.
After that I read most of an issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and a bunch of Robin solo stories from the DC Showcase volume of Robin's sans Batman adventures. Most of these were pulled from the 70s and 80s when Dick Grayson was a college student at Hudson University and he and Batman were no longer partners, though there are a few stories from the 1950s and 60s. Not a stellar Showcase volume but some fun reading.
Sunday I switched over to some of the Norse sagas before moving on to the first volume in Simon R. Green's Nightside series, 'Something From the Nightside." Sort of a cross between Glen Cook's Garrett series and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere with Green's private eye hero John Taylor doing the hard boiled thing in creepy pocket universe of London called the Nightside where it's always 3:00 am and all things dark and dangerous live. I enjoyed the book, though like many writers working the hardboiled PI turf, Green relies a little heavily on the Raymond Chandler style wisecracks and similes, so that at times he comes dangerously close to parody. This isn't Green's first time combining the fantasy and mystery fields. A decade or so back he chronicled the adventures of Hawk and Fisher, a husband an wife team of guards in the watch of the city of Haven. These stories mixed sword & sorcery with police procedure. Recently reprinted in two trade paperbacks as Swords of Haven and Guards of Haven. Well worth tracking down. Hawk and Fisher have a connection to a couple of Green's other books which I won't explain here, since discovering it is kind of fun.

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