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  • Reading List For 2013

    Posted on January 17th, 2014 Andy Parkes No comments

    This will be last post about stuff from last year…honest…maybe.

    It’s safe to say i was very happy with trying to hit my target of trying to read at least one book a month for 2013.

    According to GoodReads I’ve read 44 “things” in 2013.

    I’ve recommended quite a few of these to various friends and family so thought I’d do some mini-reviews of the books I’ve particularly enjoyed. I’ve read quite a few series so will group them together where appropriate.

    In no particular order;

    Ex-Heroes Series by Peter Cline (comprising Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriot and Ex-Communication)

    Love superhero stories? Love Zombie stories? If so this is most defiantly your sort of thing!

    Set in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse in a world where people with super powers is normal this book follows a group of survivors (normal and supers) as they try to carve out an existence where they don’t get eaten! As the series progresses zombies aren’t the only things they need to be wary of. This series really had me hooked. I finished the three that are available in a very short space of time. Book four (Ex-Purgatory) has just been released and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into it. No pun intended.

    Wool Series by Hugh Howey (comprising Wool, Shift and Dust)

    It’s very tough to put into words how much I loved this series and to how many people I’ve recommended it to. The story is set in the near feature where a major world catastrophe has forced survivors to live underground in a huge silo. Enough time has passed for it to become the new normal and talk of the outside world is forgotten (more like forbidden). The main character is unwittingly thrust into the spotlight and before long it turns out not all is as it would appear.

    The second book goes to cover how they all ended up in the silo and the final book wraps the whole thing together. I’m trying to keep this brief as I’d hate to spoil it!

    World War Z by Max Brooks

    Genius. Very different to any other zombie fiction book you’ve read. Written in the style of a series of interviews with the people involved it explores how the zombie apocalypse came about and how the world dealt with it. Also nothing like the film that shares it’s name. I enjoyed the film but I’ve very glad I read the book first.

     

     

    Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die (by Ryan North and various!)

    Imagine if there was a machine that could predict the manner of your death? Would it change how you lived your life? This collection of stories explores just that. A fascinating concept and each author put’s their own unique spin on it that makes it a real page turner.

     

     

    Spin series by Robert Charles Wilson (comprising Spin, Axis and Vortex)

    Another enjoyable series but it was the first book that I enjoyed the most. One night the stars disappear. After some investigation it turns out a “shield” has been placed around the earth. Further investigation shows that time on Earth has been considerably slowed. Every second on Earth is years in outer space. As well as all the question about why and how this has happened it also throws up interesting concepts into space exploration. A probe to Mars would in theory take a few minutes to arrive. The the events of the first book are continued in the other books but I can’t say anything about them without totally ruining the first!

     

    Doctor Who: Shada Gareth Roberts (and Douglas Adams!)

    I originally got into Doctor Who not through the TV series but through the books. As a youngster I read just about every Doctor Who book that was in our local library! Considering that I read so little Doctor Who nowadays it’s something that will certainly change after this one caught my attention. Douglas Adams of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy fame wrote several scripts for Doctor Who. Something I didn’t know until I found this book. On reflection though it makes perfect sense! This particular script was never filmed so Gareth Roberts has adapted it as a standalone novel. The Douglas Adams style really does come through and it was a really enjoyable read.

     

    Story Time by Linell Jeppsen

    A book about the end of the world, literally and what happens to the people in it. It’s written in a similar vein to World War Z coming from the angle of a journalist going back and covering the events after they have happened. It does get a bit weird half way through but it sort of has to really if Earth is…broken.

     

    End of the News Flesh Series and the first book in the Parasite series

    (Comprising DeadLine, Blackout, Countdown, How Green This Land How Blue This Sea,San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box and Parasite)

    Basically everything Mira Grant has written! I’ve written posts about the first Newsflesh book in the past and how I happened to stumble across it. I’m glad I did!

    I love the characters and the world she’s created and I was gutted once I’d finished the main books in the series. It then turned out she’d written various short stories that happen in the same universe. Including a prequel that explains how the whole thing started.

    Mira then moved onto a new series called Parasite. While I didn’t quite connect with the characters in the same way as with Newsflesh I did enjoy it and I’m just disappointed I’ve got to wait so long for book two!

    If you want to see the rest of the list for 2013 it’s on GoodReads here.

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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