Walker of Worlds | The End of the Journey

They say that all good things come to an end. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but it's often a true statement, and it's one that can now apply to Walker of Worlds. Of course, that's assuming that what I've been doing here for the past six years can be classed as good. I'm not so sure myself. I've loved running this site, but the past couple of years have made it clear to me that it's had its day, that I should bow out.

I've made many false starts on trying to get things moving again, but that's just what they have been. I can't stick to any sort of regular posting, and reviewing every book I read has long since had its day. I love reading, I can't stress that enough, but recently I've found so much more pleasure in simply enjoying the stories, in being just an average reader again - not all the time, but enough to make a difference.

Is this the last you'll see of me? Hopefully not. I still want to talk about the books that get me excited, the ones that aren't discussed nearly enough, but I want to do it in moderation, with perhaps a bit more structure to my process. I have some ideas in mind of what I'd like to do, how I'd like to continue talking the talk, but that's all for another day, and another place. And truth be told, none of it may lead anywhere at all.


I'd really just like to say thank you to anyone and everyone - be you a fan, publisher, or author - that has taken the time to stop by here over the years. Every page view, every comment, every email - they've meant a great deal more than I can put into words.

You've been fantastic.


Review | The Serene Invasion by Eric Brown (Solaris)

The Serene Invasion by Eric Brown (Solaris, Amazon UK, Amazon US) is the author's return to the topic of first contact, much like his linked Kethani stories. The arrival of the Serene brings about a quick and decisive end to violence on Earth, with humans no longer able to commit any acts of aggresion towards each other. With this stark forced change in behaviour, many of the human race praise the intervention, while others simply cannot accept such a massive and unwelcome intrusion. What follows is a look at the changes wrought on humanity, how the representatives of the Serene help guide those around them, and how some simply cannot accept the gift they have given.

Brown manages to tell a gripping and very detailed account of such a change. Not only does he look at the immediate effects fo such an act, but he also shows the longer term effects of the coming of the Serene. While the transition is not entirely without problems, Brown is able to present both sides through various characters, their personal attachements, and just what they want for the future. The Serene Invasion is a quick and compelling read with big ideas and comments on societal change that will stay with you past the story's conclusion. Recommended.


Cover Art and Synopsis | Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot)

Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.

When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter.

Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…

Due for release in May 2014, Peacemaker is the first novel in Marianne de Pierres' new series of the same name coming from Angry Robot Books. Partly inspired by her graphic novel, and with artwork by Joey Hi-Fi, this here looks like something special. I've always enjoyed Marianne's work, from her Parrish Plessis novels to the Sentients of Orion series, and her short collection, Glitter Rose, was a joy to read. To say I'm looking forward to this would be an understatement!


SFF Releases | My December Picks

Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills.
When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually-advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego . . . and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her.
But there’s little time for romance: Nova’s in danger and someone will do anything—even destroying planets—to get their hands on her!
I've had this on my to-read list for a while, and so far reviews have been positive, so it's definitely one that I'd like to move up the stack and get to soon. I like the sound of Ascension, right up my street!

A conflict lasting thousands of years and spanning millions of light years comes to its shattering conclusion in the final book of the Ragnarok trilogy, perfect for fans of Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds.
From the leader of a Norse raiding party in 7th-century England to a young symbiotically bonded Pilot-and-Ship in the far future. From a female German scientist during the Second World War to a member of an alien race who communicates by smell. From the past to the future, war is coming. And only a few can see the darkness.
Hidden at the centre of the Universe, the darkness spreads its tendrils throughout space and time. Those it touches become puppets, dedicated to slowing down the improvement of the human race and preventing it from reaching its true potential. For the darkness knows that when it makes its final invasion of our space, humanity will stand against it.
And in the far far future, knowing that they are the last hope for the galaxy, the Ragnarok council is forming...
I've had my eye on the Ragnarok series for a while, and now with the release of the concluding volume I'm hoping to finally get around to them. Christmas reading perhaps?!

Just like on Earth, the Galaxy can sometimes seem to be a boring place. But then things start happening, problems get larger, life gets interesting, and you wonder when you'll get to relax again.
In The Broken Fleet, Earth becomes the refuge of a strange race of humans fleeing their enemies. They recruit warriors from Earth, and in return bring Earth abruptly in to the affairs of the galaxy.
If you like science in your science-fiction, characters you can care about, and entertaining things to happen to them, enjoy this new flavor of classic adventure writing in The Broken Fleet.
This is another novel that I found by browsing online and swiftly added to my-to-buy list (which seems to be way too big at the moment!). It sounds good and I'm hoping it can deliver.


Review | Grave Descend by Michael Crichton (Hard Case Crime)

Grave Descend by Michael Crichton (Hard Case Crime, Amazon UK, Amazon US) was originally written and released under his pen name of John Lange, though is now back on the shelves from Hard Case Crime under his real name. Telling a tale of mystery on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, McGregor is hired to salvage and lift a sunken yacht, with details presented to him that are all too tidy for his liking. Not one to simply do as he's told, McGregor starts to look into the account of the sinking, and the stories he hears don't match up. With questions at every turn, McGregor knows that there is much more to the apparent sinking than he's being told.

What Grave Descend does is deliver a quick, highly readable, and thoroughly light mystery where the reader is merely along for the ride. Other than McGregor most characters are there to serve a purpose rather than let us get to know them, and they suit the style and story well. Speaking of which, the story is interesting and very much has that 'one-more-chapter' feel, begging you to rush on to the ending. You won't find a deep and meaningful story here, but for a short and entertaining read you could do a lot worse.


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