Max Gladstone

Review: Four Roads Cross

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Review: Four Roads Cross

The fifth book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series came out months ago, and I read it immediately, and then put off writing the review so long I felt I had to re-read it to remember everything I wanted to say. And I didn’t mind one bit. See below for a review of Four Roads Cross.

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Binary System #50 – Fifty Episodes. Still no plan.

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Binary System #50 – Fifty Episodes. Still no plan.

It’s the 50th episode of Binary System Podcast! What do we have planned? Absolutely nothing! Seriously, are you surprised? After 50 episodes if you think we’ve got a game plan we’d like to talk to you about this section of prime real estate in the Everglades, lovely spot, we’ll just need your credit card number…

Seriously though, we tackled this episode with all the randomness we could put behind it, and jumped from Penny Dreadful to Stranger Things, Mr. Robot, the Foreigner Series, Game of Thrones, the Craft Sequence, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, prom night, Civil War 2, time travel, the Thessaliad, Sins of the Wreckers, Transformers that break, and being surprisingly girly about it. Don’t judge.

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The Best Books of 2015

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The Best Books of 2015

Whelp, it’s that time of year again. Time to look back on fifty-two weeks of book reviews and decide which ones were our favorites. Not gonna lie here, this was a tough decision. Even when ruling out anything that was published before 2015, there were still more than a dozen books that fell into the “best” category, and picking just three apiece feels unfair to the ones that didn’t make it into the top three. The solution? A ton of honorable mentions and, wherever possible, cheat.

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Review – Last First Snow

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Review – Last First Snow

She was only a passing student of golemetrics, which required more dealing with demons than she liked. Not that Elayne had anything against demons per se – but her conversations with them often reminded her of a vicious joke in which she herself might well be the punchline. Perhaps the demons felt the same.

It’s hard to describe Max Goldberg’s book Last First Snow and really do it justice. I’ve said before that in his Craft Sequence books the whole economy is run on pieces of souls, so magicians have to be really good accountants, and that makes it sound so boring. In realty the world he’s created keeps getting weirder and more disturbing (in a good way) with each book. Yes it has lawyers and banks and insurance plans, but the lawyers practice black magic, the banks can process pieces of your soul through an ATM, and the insurance plans cover zombie apocalypse damages, so don’t be worried when I say this book centers around a real estate deal; it’s a really weird real estate deal.

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The Best Books of 2014

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The Best Books of 2014

Happy New Year, book readers! As you probably already know, there’s not nearly enough time to read all the amazing books that came out last year. Between the two of us, though, we tried to get as big a sampling as we could. Here’s each of our picks for our three favorite science-fiction/fantasy books of 2014.

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Review: Full Fathom Five

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Review: Full Fathom Five

By 1:00 A.M. her work was done: three chickens sacrificed, one each on altars of silver, iron, and stone; a stack of profit and loss statements dispatched by nightmare telegraph; a prayer litany chanted balancing on one foot; a proposal drafted, suggesting an Iskari family shift their faith from the high-risk personal resurrection market to dependable grain-focused fertility.

Ever since I read Max Gladstone’s first book Three Parts Dead I wanted to hear everything I could about the world he’s created, where gargoyles and vampires are part of everyday life, deathless skeleton sorcerers walk down the street for a cup of coffee, incredibly powerful magic is managed with paperwork, and magicians and priests have to be good at economics.

Gladstone’s second book, Two Serpents Rise, was fun, but somehow the ending didn’t thrill me as much as the first.

He’s more than made up for it with Full Fathom Five.

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Elizabeth’s Top Five Books of 2013

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Elizabeth’s Top Five Books of 2013

When I look at all the science-fiction/fantasy books published in 2013, I tend to shake my fist at the bookshelves: there’s not enough hours in the day! I want to read all the books! I barely scratched the surface!

Out of all the books I did read that were published in 2013, the following five stood out in my mind as the best.

(If you’re wondering why your favorite’s not on the list, it’s most likely because I didn’t get a chance to read it. It’s also possible that I read it and didn’t like it, but that doesn’t sound nearly so nice. We’ll go with the first explanation.)

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The Twelve Days (Years?) of Books

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The Twelve Days (Years?) of Books

This got started when I wondered if you could do a “Twelve Days of Christmas” list with books and graphic novels. Turns out you can, if you play a little fast and loose with the rules.

Here then is a list of some of my favorite books and series, in case you were looking for a reading list for next year. And the year after that. And…well, as near as my limited math can figure, if you read six of these a year, you’re good for the next twelve years. You’re welcome.

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Ten Books, a Thousand Pages: Part One

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Ten Books, a Thousand Pages: Part One

Over at the pixelatedgeek.com offices, there’s been a lot of talk about Holiday Gift Guides and presenting a list for every category of entertainment. As one of the book reviewers, I couldn’t make up my mind: do I list a bunch of great books I’ve already read, or do I review the new books that have everybody excited? I figured the second would be more fun, except for the fact that there’s no way I can finish reading enough books between now and Christmas to make a worthwhile list.

I read pretty fast, but I can’t read that many books in time. But I can certainly read parts of many books.

On that note I bring you “Ten Books, a Thousand Pages.” I’ve picked ten books and read the first hundred pages of each title. Some might argue that a hundred pages isn’t a fair assessment of a book (what if it’s a terrible book with a great ending?) but I think that far into a book, you’ll either love it enough to continue or quietly put it down and go find something you like better.

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