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Words about words (Part 1)

Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of reading. I’ve almost always got three books going at any given time and I keep an iPod of audiobooks in my car for any time that I’m in the car alone. If you are on Goodreads, saddle up and say hi. Without it, my TBR list would be a horrible mess and I would probably be years behind on releases.

Soo, here’s where I inundate you with what I’ve thought is really awesome lately (and by “lately,” I mean the last five years).

First and foremost, I cannot say enough amazing things about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series. The first book sucks you in and then takes you on an insane roller-coaster for the next — as of this writing — three books. I’d say the genre falls squarely in the distopian “space opera” realm, but there is loads of political intrigue, class war, subterfuge and a dash of Hunger Games/Lord of the Flies youth rebellion. I’m sure 90% of the visitors to my site are already well aware of the series and are also probably members of the fanatical fandom group of Facebook: Hic Sunt Leones. If you are a fan, and you aren’t in HSL, you might want to rectify that.

The next author I’d like to gush about is the gigantic Jay Kristoff (he’s 6’7). I started out with Nevernight, the first book in the Nevernight Chronicle series and totally fell in love with Jay’s style. Jay can write a damn good fight. There are plenty in the Nevernight series, a fair share of intense ones in the Illuminae Files books, and some really cringe-worthy ones in his latest tome: Lifel1k3. I’m in the middle of The Lotus Wars series right now, but I’ll be honest and tell you that I’m struggling with it a little. I’ll grind through it, though.

Next on the list is Leigh Bardugo. Leigh is the proud mother of the Grishaverse: home to some of the most interesting characters and class situations I’ve read about in a long time. My introduction to Ms. Bardugo was the Six of Crows series which stands well on its own, but comes after The Grisha Trilogy. The storytelling creates very rich pictures and draws on a variety of cultural lores and weaves that all together in some serious page-turners.

Lastly for this post (or I will keep going on and on and on and on) is Laini Taylor. My introduction to Ms. Taylor’s works was Strange the Dreamer: probably my favorite read of 2017. Having gotten sucked into the world of Weep and the strangeness that abound therein, I moved on to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and was, once again, rewarded with characters I just didn’t want to get away from. I am overjoyed that a sequel to Strange the Dreamer is very close at hand.

So there’s my first four recommended authors for you. As you might have noticed, a goodly chunk of the stuff in my Etsy shop is influenced by them. I’ve got stacks and stacks of authors I love, so expect a new post about them soon.



Justin Bowers

Justin Bowers

Justin is a purveyor of fine code, a collector of many many things, and a sympathetic reader. Aside from here, you can find his inane rantings on Twitter at @aquaphase or on Goodreads.

Justin can be reached here.