Sunday, December 31, 2017

Favorite Books of 2017

A new year, a new set of books to read. This past year, I read 12 books, consistent with the prior year, though I managed longer books. In total, Goodreads claims I read 7400 pages. As usual, I like to point out what the best books I read in 2017 are. Note however, that these are books I *read* in 2017, not necessarily that were *published* in 2017. So, without further ado, here are my top 3 books this year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

The highly anticipated continuation of The Stormlight Archive is here with Oathbringer. As a fan of Sanderson and his Stormlight series, I've been re-reading the prior books and came to this one with anticipation and high hopes.

As the third in a series, I consider the prior books to be fair-game, but avoid spoilers for the current one.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Review: Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson

In preparation for the imminent release of Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive series, I've been re-reading the prior books. I had first read The Way of Kings before staring my blog, so I don't have a full review of the first book, but you can read my review of Words of Radiance here. I've been a huge fan of Sanderson since Mistborn and consider The Stormlight Archive series to be some of his best work. While reading the second book, I heard that there was a short novella as well- Edgedancer, featuring one of the characters in the interludes. Here I review that novella.

Minor spoilers for Words of Radiance follow.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Review: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky is the third and final book of The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. It follows after Hugo award-winning The Obelisk Gate, which itself follows Hugo award-winning The Fifth Season. Could The Stone Sky be three times in a row for Jemisin? Very much so as this book surpasses the prior two books in practically every way possible.

Read on for my spoiler-free review, though minor points of the prior two books are fair game.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay

Several years ago, Guy Gavriel Kay published Under Heaven, a book inspired by the Tang dynasty of China. I believe it was my first time reading Kay's work and it was impressive. With River of Stars, Kay returns to the same setting, but now several hundred years later to a Kitai reminiscent of the Song dynasty. My understanding of Chinese history may be limited, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this haunting tale of the fall of an empire.

Read on for my full review.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Review: Rune of the Apprentice by Jamison Stone

I met Jamison Stone at Balticon a few months ago. He was selling his book, Rune of the Apprentice, and describing the world and behind it. He also gave me an early version of one of the maps in exchange for a book review. Now, I always review books I read (see: the rest of this blog), so I pretty much got the map for free and that's nice. Stone did warn me this was his first book, so I kept that in mind. While it's clearly not a Sanderson or Rothfuss bestseller and it has some flaws, the book is nevertheless surprisingly good for a first-time author.

Read on for my full, spoiler-free review.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

I'd been meaning to read the 1968 Hugo-award-winning novel Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny for several years now. However, since it wasn't available on the Kindle store and I lived abroad, I relied instead on checking bookstores whenever I traveled. Unfortunately, as an old book, it was never to be found. Now that I'm a bit more settled down, I just took the plunge and ordered it online. The blurb alone should be enough to interest avid readers:

Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rule their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons, Lord of Light.

Keep reading for my full review.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Moving to Baltimore

A few months ago, I wrote about leaving the BDNYC research group and moving out of New York. However, I haven't talked about the other end of the trip: moving into Baltimore and starting my work at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). I've now been here since April so it's well past time I write about this, particularly since I feel that I've settled down nicely and have had several opportunities to see what Baltimore is all about.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi is his latest space opera in a brand new universe. Scalzi is probably best known for Old Man's War, and the accompanying books. I've read some of his work before and keep coming back whenever I want some light-hearted, funny books in a science fiction setting. I was very excited by the premise of this new book and gave it a shot.

You can find my spoiler-free review after the jump.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Iron Council by China Mieville

Iron Council is the third novel set in China Mieville's Bas-Lag universe. It's a curious world with both magic and technology, and lots of odd peoples in it. In the first book, Perdido Street Station, we got to see the city of New Crobuzon as it falls to chaos. In the second book, The Scar, we follow a young woman fleeing New Crobuzon only to end up in the pirate city of Armada. Here, on the third novel, we switch back and forth between New Crobuzon at the edge of civil war and the ever-running train of Iron Council.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

BDNYC and Beyond

For the past year and a half I’ve been working in New York City as part of the Brown Dwarfs in New York City (BDNYC) research group at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). In this blog post I’ll describe my experiences in that time and how I went about getting my new job at Space Telescope.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin is the second book in The Broken Earth series. It follows directly after The Fifth Season, which was an incredible book on its own. N.K. Jemisin continues the tradition of excellence with The Obelisk Gate, an exciting story that sheds light on a lot of the mysteries of the various characters and the world itself.

Read on for my full spoiler-free review.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Review: Caliban's War by James S. A. Corey

I follow several authors on Twitter and Daniel Abraham, one half of James S. A. Corey, is one of them (the other half being Ty Frank). As such, I've been hearing a lot of news from him (and other sources) about the second season of The Expanse on SyFy. This book series was converted to a television show and has done very well. I saw a few episodes and hope to catch up this year; as such, I decided to continue reading the series to make sure I've read it before watching it. And so, here's my review of Caliban's War, the second book in the series.

Read on for my spoiler-free review.