Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nanoreviews: Vallista, Penric's Mission, Beyond the Empire

Brust, Steven. Vallista [Tor, 2017]
Vallista is something of a locked room mystery where the rules of the room keep changing because of magic and time travel. This is the fifteenth volume in the long running Vlad Taltos series of novels and Steven Brust's wit and charm are on full display here. I laughed. I had emotions. I was confused. I loved it. Steven Brust is spectacular. “Reader, I murdered him” was one of many lines I read aloud to my wife, and it's one that I'm going to leave here without context.
Score: 9/10

Bujold, Lois McMaster. Penric's Mission [Spectrum Literary Agency, 2016]
I'm left wondering quite what happens in the next chapter of Penric's Mission.  I would say that the ending is a touch abrupt, but the story of Penric's Mission is complete. It's just that Bujold begins another storyline late in the novella that is, presumably, going to be continued in a later book.  The Penric & Desdemona novellas are a continuing delight
Score: 8/10 

Wagers, K.B. Beyond the Empire [Orbit, 2017]
Let's not bury the lede here, Wagers stuck the landing with Beyond the Empire. Everything that you loved about Behind the Throne and After the Crown is in full force here, from the wit to the action to Hail questioning that she's the best choice to lead the empire but willing to do it anyways. There's scheming, plotting, murder, betrayal, and a whole lot of ass kicking. Beyond the Empire is a frigging delight and somebody should make a movie of these books. 
Score: 8/10

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.