Books Read in August, 2017
Crashland by Sean Williams
Camino Island by John Grisham
TORG: The Possibility Chalice by Douglas Kaufman (RPG) (r)
July/August, 2017 Reader's Digest
The Tinker King by Tiffany Trent
Lexicon by Max Barry
The Nile Empire Sourcebook by Ray Winninger (RPG) (r)
Hothouse by Brian Aldiss (r)
The Sisters by Claire Douglas
TORG: The Forever City by C.J. Tramontana (RPG) (r)
And those were my reads in the month of August. This was another of the slow months of reading, to be honest, as I didn't read during GenCon Indy at all, but I'm not really sure what accounts for it. Part of it was the shoulder problems I'm (still) having, as I've not been able to really hold books, especially hardcovers, at the moment, but still...
The books I enjoyed the most were:
Crashland by Sean Williams - Sean Williams's sequel to Twinmaker, this is the middle book in the trilogy. While I thought the first book could have served as a stand-alone work and worried that this book would be a let-down, it was anything but. I'm not going to go into the plot here, as that would involve a ton of spoilers, but I will say that Crashland kept me tense and on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The world that Williams has created is very complex, though at times it can be difficult to understand, but we're nicely guided with relative ease through the various groups of people that emerge politically in this sequel. The novel isn't about politics at all, there's a small twinkle here and there that raises interesting points about governance and how society would work under one government. Like the first novel, Crashland raises a lot of interesting philosophical questions, building on ones previously raised. The protagonist, Clair, grows as a character, as she observes herself. Highly recommended.
Lexicon by Max Barry - Oh, dear, where to start? This is one of the most brilliant books I've ever read, to be honest, but the story can be somewhat overwhelming for the reader in its complexities but... The central premise of Lexicon is that words are not simply signs for communication; they are containers of meaning that have a neurological effect on people's brains. Gifted and specially-trained individuals, called "poets", learn to size people up psychologically and then utter the specific "words" that cause an individual to drop all defenses and become utterly persuadable and manipulable. Great power can be derived from this ability, and power corrupts... The book's story unfolds in a dual narrative fashion. One thread follows Wil and Tom as they are chased by an unknown organization bent on destroying Wil (the pun on "free will-y" is there, right?) because of his peculiar immunity to the poets' powers. The second follows a 16-year-old runaway girl named Emily who is recruited and sent to a special school to train to become a poet (and has elements of both the Harry Potter stories and Lev Grossman's The Magicians). Of course, the two threads intertwine and collide, in a hard, bad way, but this is handled in a very clever and satisfying way. I was quite taken by this book, but perhaps am biased due to my love of languages and linguistics. Still, I recommend this novel.
Anyway, those were the highlight book reads of August for me, though I did enjoy the other books that I read this past month as well.
Overall, I managed to read 6 novels, 3 RPGs and RPG products, 1 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in August. This brings the year total for 2017 to a set of numbers that look like this: 67 books, 13 RPGs and RPG products, 14 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels.
Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)