Saturday, October 19, 2013

Best of September / October

Some recent reads:


The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - A dark and twisty novel that has been compared to the first Harry Potter books, this is one of the most intriguing series debuts in a long while.  Shannon has created a rich and horrifying world that is complex and deep.  Her main character is a powerful young woman who drifts through the world, and in many cases more than one.  To say more would be spoilerish, but the main issue with this novel is I struggled to see where it was going.  There was a lot of world building without a lot of plot (at least until the propulsive ending).  The rest of the Seven book series bears watching and reading.

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey - Ironically similar to the Shannon book, the main premise of Sakey's brilliant novel is that in the 1980's people began being born "brilliant" (or with intellect and the ability to see patterns far beyond that of normal human intelligence).  Humanity, obviously, panics and begins "acadamies" to deal with the brilliant children.  Nick Cooper is an agent of DAR, an organization which hunts down suspected Brilliant terrorists (led by a shadowy figure named John Smith) and then kills them.  Sakey has created a frighteningly real world amidst the shadows of our own, and allegories that touch on everything from today's War on terror to the civil rights movement and the holocaust.  The result is one of the best novels I have read this year - the only conceit: at the end, it seemed as if there were too many balls in the air.  Then it ended and there was a preview for "Book 2".  While the main plot was resolved, much of the world was left up in the air - and the reader is hungry for more.


The System by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian - An amazing, insightful book into the world around college football, the authors have written an investigative report that shows all aspects of the sport.  Fantastic, well written and completely immersive this is an important and landmark book that needs to be read to understand a complex game. 

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