What I Read… um… Whenever, Part Two

If you take a look at the precursor to this post, you will see that it ends with the adorably hopeful words

More to follow in a few days’ time…

which I guess is fine if you’re happy to accept “well over a month” as within the set of time intervals defined by “a few days”.

So what happened? Well, a book happened, basically. Or, rather, the last frantic few weeks finishing writing a book plus the inevitable knock-on effects on other stuff happened. Still, the book went off to the publisher almost on schedule and life is slowly returning to normal. If they ever let me do another one, I promise I will pace myself better next time.

As if I’ll do that.

Anyway, here we go with the second half of what I read… whenever. Then, there’s just August to do (which is actually just one book – yes, it got that bad) and I can start blogging about other stuff.

To remind ourselves, here’s the picture from last time.

Fleet Of Knives by Gareth Powell. This is the middle book in the Embers of War trilogy, and it’s an excellent read. There’s plenty of exciting action and some terrific world-building as well as some interesting and uncomfortable moral dilemmas that I’ll be fascinated to see resolved in Book Three.

Beneath The Streets by Adam MacQueen. An alternative history thriller set in the early seventies of the Jeremy Thorpe scandal. Great fun spotting the bits that are real and the ones that are made up, and a delicious twist at the end. Apparently there’s a sequel in the works and I’m looking forward to it already.

Please Do Not Ask For Mercy As A Refusal Often Offends by Paul Bassett Davies. Very entertaining science fiction caper, set in a dystopian future where the world is run by a strange, mad religious cult. If Kafka and Chandler had teamed up to write sci-fi, they’d probably have come up with something like this.

Galactic Keegan by Scott Innes. I’m not a great footie fan, but I still somehow got sucked into following the wonderful @GalacticKeegan twitter stream to the extent that I supported its publication via Unbound. There’s something quite irresistible about the idea of an earnest, permed, eighties football hero being thrust into the middle of a pan-galactic war. The question is, though: does it work over an entire book? The answer is, yes it does… just.

Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards. I’ve followed Paddy’s career with interest since we were both on the Bath Spa CWMA. Last year’s excellent Ruin’s Wake was very familiar to me from the MA, but this one was entirely new to me, so it was something of a relief to find that I enjoyed it just as much. Echo Cycle is a time-slip novel, split between ancient and near-future Rome. I particularly enjoyed the grimly believable vision of post-Brexit Britain and its relationship with Europe.

Finally, three chapbooks from Nightjar Press: Jutland by Lucie McKnight Hardy, The Message by Philippa Holloway and Le détective by HP Tinker. As to be expected, these were a bit of a mixed bag. The only one I didn’t really get on with was Le détective, but that may have been my fault and not the author’s. I particularly enjoyed Jutland and I’ll definitely be looking out for more of LMH’s work.

See you next week for what I read in August. Maybe.

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