And they’re good reads, too!

Here are we are, dear readers. The part of the month where I tell you about the books I’ve read of late, and which ones you need to acquire post haste. (Hint: Most of them.) My thanks to Tor Books for giving most of this list to me. (Thanks!) As per usual, my list consists primarily of speculative fiction–by which I mean fantasy and sci-fi. I say “speculative fiction” because sometimes the line can blur a bit. (For example, wizards are fantasy and spaceships are sci-fi, but what if you had wizards ON spaceships? What kind of story would that be considered?) Mull over this distinction, fellow geeks–and be sure to hit me up in the comments below or on Twitter @ColinOBoyle to start a conversation on genre lines and where we draw them.

In the meantime, to the books!


5) He Drank, and Saw the Spider — Alex Bledsoe


This book (like all of the books on this list, funnily enough) is part of a series. In this case, He Drank, and Saw the Spider is the 5th book in the Eddie LaCrosse series by Alex Bledsoe. I have never read any of the other books in this series (which is also true for the other books on this list), but I didn’t feel like I really needed to in order to understand what was happening in this book, which is a gold star for Mr. Bledsoe, as far as I’m concerned.  That’s the mark of a good author, isn’t it? When you can pick up a book like this and immediately get taken in by the story, even if you’re not already familiar with the world.

In this case, the character’s life lends itself well to an episodic structure, since he’s what he calls a “sword jockey,” AKA a problem solver, a gumshoe, a private detective (with a sword). The front cover says this book should be recommended to anyone who enjoys Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files books, and I’d say it’s an apt comparison. Eddie LaCrosse is a guy who knows what he’s doing detective-wise; he’s good in a fight, but he doesn’t go looking for them; he’s got a soft spot for kids and ladies; and he’s pretty snarky.

I enjoyed the language of this book, because it feels really modern (if I remember correctly, Eddie calls someone “dude” at one point), even though it’s set in the standard semi-feudal, quasi-Medieval times of fantasy novels. Eddie’s attitudes towards situations and people jives well with my 21st Century American ones, which is cool, and the story has enough magic to keep me engaged. (I’m not big into fantasy stories that don’t have magic. I mean…what’s the point?)

There’s also a giant, a witch, a mad king, a glowing young woman, and all kinds of stuff to keep you interested.