Friday Reads – 2nd Jan 2015

Whatcha reading?

Because it’s Friday and I’m too lazy to make a video about it I thought I’d share my current reading here on the blog.

City of Stairs
First up is City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. Part murder-mystery, part fantasy, this is pure fun. It’s set in the city of Bulikov, previously the centre of magic and divine powers, now a wrecked shell of a land. When the mysterious divinities that ruled Bulikov and the surround provinces were destroyed large parts of it disappeared with them and the city folded in itself.

Now staircases to nowhere and strange merged buildings linger and the once powerful land is ruled by its former empire. We’re following a spy sent to investigate a murder who finds herself stumbling into far more secrets about the past of this divine city than might be healthy. Oh and there’s an old love interest, a naked Norse bodyguards wrestling with a giant squid, and enough tea to float a small navy. Loving it.

Stranger in Olondria
My current audiobook of choice is A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar. This won the John W. Campbell award for Best New SFF Writer last year (it’s the NotAHugoAward, Hugo Award) and I’ve been listening to this on and off for most of the month. Pretty sure this was a bad pick for audiobook because the book is so descriptive and based around the cleverness of language, especially that of writing in books, that it can feel kind of long and flowery when read out loud.

However, I’ve been soldiering on and I really do think it’s an amazingly beautiful book. It reminds me of medieval texts somehow, the way they have a tendency to wander off and tell stories within stories, and also just how very real it feels. Honestly, there are huge chunks of time when I completely forget that this isn’t an actual history or diary. It’s fairly epic.

So now I’m off to read a bit more of City of Stairs, drink tea, and maybe watch a bit of My Five Wives. It’s a glamorous life, I know. What are you reading this weekend?


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