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Review: The Modern World – Steph Swainston

The Modern World

The Modern World

To say that this is a surprising, excellent book that plays with expectations and tropes is an understatement! This is easily one of the best new (well, new in my case) fantasy books I’ve read in a while and I’ll definitely be catching up on Steph Swainston’s work! 🙂

Catching up? Yup, you read correctly – The Modern World is book 3 in the series, but let me tell you, I was sucked in from the first word!

That brings up my first point about the book – you don’t have to have read the two previous books in the series to enjoy and understand this book! Steph has written it in such a way so that you don’t get confused or lost, and previous events are explained well without taking up two or three paragraphs. While the previous events are important, especially with regard to character introduction and development, what takes place in The Modern World can stand on its own, too – this is definitely not a filler-volume!

Now, this book also has one of the most terrifying beginnings I’ve ever read – trust me, it’s an absolute beauty! The prologue is so full of tension that you’ll find you’re done with it and breathing like a marathon-runner before you’re actually aware that you’ve finished the prologue! 🙂 Steph writes the kind of battle scenes that not many working in the genre at the moment can equal!

Another thing that stood out for me about the book was the way Steph uses everyday things that we know – like denim, sunglasses, drugs, etc and weaves them into this fantastical world; it’s definitely fantasy, but a bit stranger than what we know, and also better for it! 🙂

Steph’s characters are also awesome – they’re utterly alive, with their own unique mannerisms, way of speaking, complex history and psyches… I really enjoyed the characters, especially Comet and Lightning. 🙂

Wait until you get to the Shift and the sentient worms – trust me, you’ll really enjoy those parts of the book! 🙂

This is a must-read for fans and followers of Steph Swainston – it’s a great, strong addition to the series that raises the stakes even more for the characters and their world! But like I said, even if you haven’t read the first two books, you’ll still enjoy this!

8/10!

For more info on Steph, check out her website here;

Book 1, The Year of Our War, can be ordered here,

Book 2, No Present Like Time, can be ordered here,

and Book 3, The Modern World, can be ordered here. 🙂

Be Fantastic!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 4, 2009 in Reviews

 

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Interesting Tidbits from SFX!

I came across this a few minutes ago and thought I’d spread the news. 🙂 Have any of you checked out SFX’s site? If not, go ahead; it’s a really top-class place for news in SF and Fantasy, mostly TV- and Film-oriented, but worth a daily visit and a place in your RSS feed. 🙂

Firstly: I found out there that Dan Simmons’ masterpieces centering on Hyperion are going to be made into a movie!?

Secondly: there’s a piece with Jerry Bruckheimer talking about (among other projects) the Prince of Persia movie,

Lastly: news about a (hopefully-better-than-AVP1&2) reboot of the infinitely cool Predator film-franchise! Could be something to keep an eye on… 🙂 But I’ll force you too look for that one… 🙂

Other updates: I should have the Gardens of the Moon audio up for you on either Monday the 2nd or Tuesday the 3rd (just trying to get this widgit to work properly), and I should have a review for you of Steph Swainston’s The Modern World in about a week. 🙂 Also reading A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin (one of 2009’s books to watch out for, it’s excellent so far!) and James Barclay’s Dawnthief (damn cool heroic fantasy!), with reviews coming as I finish them. 🙂

Be Fantastic!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 30, 2009 in Announcements

 

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Updates and a discovery

Hey Guys and Girls, here’s my discovery: Steph Swainston. Okay, I know that many of you will have heard of her and will have read her novels, but I received a copy of The Modern World in the post last week and have been reading it ever since! I’ve never been clouted over the head with such a tense opening chapter, and even though this is the third book in her series, I’m not finding it difficult to get into. So, if you see the unassuming paperback of The Modern World on a shelf, buy it, because it’s been waiting for you to discover it, too. 🙂

Okay, onto other updates:

The Fan-Made Malazan Audio Book; as I said in a previous post, I’ve gotten permission from Transworld to record and publish a ten-minute excerpt of Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon. I’ve finished the recording, and my friend, Remy, had also finished his recording. I’m going to be waiting until early next year to post it, though, because I’ve gone over the ten-minute limit by a minute and a half, and since normal people (;-)) get to have a break over the holidays, I’ll need to wait until Jan to find out if I can go ahead and post the longer excerpt or if I have to cut it down – or record a different section. Remy and I are in contact and sharing thoughts about it, so we’ll have a back-up ready if Transworld says that he have to stick to the ten-minute excerpt. But as soon as I get any news, I’ll let you all know. 🙂

What else I’m reading; other than The Modern World, I’m also reading The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan, and Graywalker by Bruce Skye (who are also both on Wonderlands). And I’m making my way through C.C.
Humphreys’ Vlad: The Last Confession, which will be available in Feb ’09. After reading Twelve, I was in the mood for more vampires! 🙂 And last but not least, I’m reading the short story ‘Challenging Lessons’ by Tracy Falbe. I’ll have those reviews for you soon. 🙂

I’ve also read something else that I can’t talk about yet – sworn to secrecy and all that, but I might just drop a few hints in future posts. 🙂 Suffice it to say that what I’ve read will definitely be one of the top Fantasy titles of 2009! 🙂

Also, head on over to Robert V.S. Redick’s site and download the first chapter of The Red Wolf Conspiracy – trust me, after reading that except, you’ll want the whole book! 🙂

I’ve also received more books from Jonathan Ball Publishers (a local South African publisher), and I’ll be posting the photos of the books they sent to me later today (my ‘this evening’).

Okay, that’s about it! 🙂

Be Fantastic!

**UPDATE:

Forgot to mention that I’ve hit 12500 words on the first draft of my Epic Fantasy novel – will be blasting past 13000 words tonight! 🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 15, 2008 in Announcements

 

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