Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writen Word Wednesday - A Few Reviews

A few quick reviews

Midnight Tides: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 5 by Steven Erikson: The fifth book in the projected 10-book series introduces the final of the three major storylines Erikson has planned for the series, which results in a book populated by a cast of almost entirely new characters. Having to plunge in and learn about all of the new characters and cultures and pantheons and mythologies and such had the potential to be off-putting, but Erikson's skills as a writer made sure that I wasn't feeling disconnected from the book for long. Following the brief stumble of the second book (which was probably only a stumble because the character of Felisin annoyed the heck out of me through most of the book), I feel like each subsequent volume has been an improvement over its predecessor. I'm definitely looking forward to book 6, The Bonehunters.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King: Very quick read (got it done in about an hour and a half) that was marketed as part of a hard boiled detective line, but which really doesn't fit the bill at all. Won't say this is my least favorite of King's books, but will say that it's probably there towards the bottom of the (really massive) pile -- the character's never really gelled with me, and for a book that's primarily three talking heads sitting around discussing an old unsolvable mystery, not being able to identify with the talking heads is a bad thing. King himself admits that this is one of those "love it or hate it" books, although I'd have to say that I didn't feel that strongly about it, and was in more of a "meh" mood towards it.

The God of the Razor by Joe R. Lansdale: Collection of horror stories by Lansdale (probably best known as the author of Bubba Ho-Tep) which were either inspired by or cribbed from his early novel The Nightrunners, which is also included. Since so many of the stories here were pieces taken from The Nightrunners while he was waiting for it to be published there's a large feeling of "been there done that" at times. Still, I enjoyed The Nightrunners --which introduced the concept of "The God of the Razor" -- quite a bit, as well as the two stories which were the least cribbed from it, "King of Shadows" and "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road," the latter of which I was first introduced to when it was made into one of the better episodes of Showtime's Masters of Horror series. I enjoyed it enough to start trying to track down the other God of the Razor related works, including Lord of the Razor, an anthology with stories from several different authors using the character; Blood and Shadows, a mini-series from DC Comics; and, perhaps the most odd choice, Tales of the Batman, another anthology, this one of Batman-related short stories, one of which is Lansdale's "Subway Jack" which pits the Dark Knight Detective against a minion of the God of the Razor.