His most inventive City Watch novel! I’m still on a high! Who would’ve thought you could extend a chase scene on the high seas! :D #terrypratchett #discworld #potd #books #bookstagram #instabook #booktag #bookgram #gollancz #jingo #bookporn #bibliophile
I found out yesterday that my cover for Simon Ings’ “Wolves” that will be published by Gollancz in January won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. It is hard to put into words how much this means to me - all I can do is say thank you to Simon for writing such a great book, Simon and Nick at Gollancz for believing in my work, and the Society of Illustrators and the jury for making another of my dreams come true.
With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.
But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds.
From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.
Such a gorgeous cover. One of my most-anticipated novels of the year.
Look what just turned up in our offices? We are beyond excited for the UK publication (19th September) of the New York Times Bestselling, The Bitter Kingdom, the final book in Rae Carson’s trilogy! Check back over the next two weeks as we count down the days till publication with teasers, giveaways and more.
3500 words of semi-coherent meta on the subject of Locke Lamora and Greek Tragedy. At least, it was supposed to be. About half of it is about that. The rest…got away from me somewhat. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
@SamaelTB got married recently and as an extra special wedding gift I gave him a copy of The Iron Jackal to read. Here is his review, I should warn you it would appear that all the love has gone to his head.
I love Chris Wooding. Not in the romantic sense of course. We’ve never met and while I’m sure he’s lovely, I’m already married. You hear me Chris? It’ll never happen!
But I digress. Mr. Wooding is a damned fine writer. My lovely wife told me to read The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray and, while I enjoyed some of it, it didn’t quite work for me. There were elements that were just a little too YA. Fast forward a couple of years and I still hadn’t read Retribution Falls because I assumed it was YA. It isn’t. So I read it. And it was/is awesome. Like really, really good. A brilliant adventure story, that while being a little too long and meandering in places, was still a hugely satisfying read. The sequel, Black Lung Captain, brought more of the same.
When Mr Cheesecake offered me the opportunity to read The Iron Jackal, before it went on sale, I jumped at the chance. It was a bit of a homecoming. I slipped back into the action like I would my slippers.
Mr. Wooding really doesn’t waste any time. We’re straight into the action and unlike the previous two books the action at the start actually has something to do with the overall plot. This series is not for fans of the slow burn. Moments of gentle contemplation don’t come very often and are sandwiched between chunks of grand adventure.
So let’s get the complaints out of the way first. These aren’t long books compared to some in SF/fantasy, but they aren’t short either. The Iron Jackal comes in at 500 pages and I think for a book primarily focused on action this was a bit much. Some of the sub-plots didn’t add a massive amount and new character Ashua Vode wasn’t especially well developed. I suspect it would’ve been a much tighter read at 400 pages. Still, it’s nice to see another girl on the crew who is more than capable of kicking arse.
My only other complaint is all the death. When it comes right down to it, the crew of the Ketty Jay do a whole lot of murdering. Mr. Wooding does attempt to justify this to some degree and I get that these books are effectively Westerns, but it just seems a little unnecessary, especially where Bess is concerned. In the first book, Wooding spent most of the time making his characters likeable. Three books in and what we’ve got is a bunch of very jovial killers.
It’s also worth noting that there seem to be two different blurbs for this book. The one on Goodreads bears no relation whatsoever to what’s actually in the book. In fact it reads more like a possible synopsis of the fourth book. Then you have the blurb on the back of the actual book. It’s reasonably accurate so far as plot goes, but it’s one of those blurbs that spoils way too much.
The crew are all back and in fine form. This book is a lot less emo than the last one and is more fun for it. The resolutions to a couple of characters’ issues in Black Lung Captain make way for development of others and damn are they good. Silo and Malvery just grow and grow, Silo especially. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that Frey is actually the least interesting character. If it wasn’t for his fascinating relationship with Trinica then I’d happily see him step aside in the next book. I also wonder if, by this point, the characters pretty much write themselves.
The adventure is even more traditional this time around, with curses, stolen artefacts and archaeology! We relocate to Samarla which, for Silo, can be best described as “awkward”, and learn a lot about the desert society. The theme this time around seems to be control. What makes us do what we do? Who controls us and how? How does our personal history inform who we are now? These somewhat heavy questions are dealt with in traditional Ketty Jay style, fun, last minute escapes and rather a lot of violence. There’s also a pitch-perfect moment of male-bonding in the face of certain death!
The ending is really solid and actually feels like a proper ending. When I read the final line I knew I was happy with where Mr. Wooding had left things. Of course I’m looking forward to the next one, but it’ll be a gentle wait, without impatience.
If you like action and adventure - perhaps even a combination of the two - mixed in with Whedon-esque dialogue and great characters then you really should read this series.
The Iron Jackal is published by Gollancz on 20th October 2011.
Today’s show is about “Innovative Fiction”: we reviewed “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley; “The Boy with the Porcelain Blade” by Den Patrick; and our interview, which we recorded a couple of week ago, is with inkingideas and boobiesmcfeels from the aoje