Robert Batten

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author

Tag: recommendations

Recommendation: Sync City

Time and space are connected — they're one big hypersphere of quirky goodness, so it stands to reason if we can break our physical world, we can probably break time. In Sync City, we did. Big time. This isn't your typical time-travel caper where the hero bounces through time trying to prevent history being rewritten. Time has shattered, making life... complicated. Imagine sitting in your comfortable suburban bungalow when a mongol raiding party materialises on your doorstep. That's the reality in Sync City, anyone, anywhere, could be catapulted through time and space without warning. Entire communities are picked up and dropped at random, left to fend for themselves until nature gets bored and (hopefully) takes them home.
This is the most radical time travel setting I've read, possibly forging its very own sub-genre — Time Travel Apocalypse. In such a dangerous future ah... past err... In such a world, people stranded out of time need help. They need the Keepers. Equipped with the greatest tech from any of the timelines, riding kick-ass bikes and keeping the timelines pure, they come to the rescue. Well. They come. If it's Jack who arrives, he's more likely there to blow shit up, but he'll try to help you while he's at it.
Sync City is exactly the book I needed. It's chock-full of action, funky concepts, and a nice dash of humour. Jack is a great protagonist who's well realised through a strong voice and bad-ass bike. He had me chuckling throughout while dragging me backwards and forwards (and sideways) through a future/past/present trying to stop things from getting worse (and hunting for his next drink). An unashamed prick, you can't help but join his cheer squad. Do yourself a favour and go for a ride with Jack.
Sync City was written by Peter Ryan and is available from a bunch of places, including:

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Recommendation: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the name of an urban fantasy series by Laini Taylor, as well as the title of the first book. This series hit me hard, captivating my attention from beginning to end. Indeed, it was a series that left me devasted once over, desperate for one more word.
The series opens in modern-day prague, following Karou; a young arts student with distinctive blue hair. Along with her friends, she's a typical, irreverent, joyous woman soaking up the rich history of her city. Unfortunately, the secret she carries with her, and the past she can't remember, will tear her world apart.
Early on this series serves us a star-crossed lovers theme, one it executes flawlessly. However, staged across multiple worlds, in the midst of an unimaginable war, don't mistake it for derivative or confined to the romance genre. This series is easily on if the best urban fantasies I've read. Taylor's universe is one I yearn to discover actually exists (although I'd likely not survive). Her characters are incredible, shining stars you will fall in love with, and her prose entrancing.
I anticipate returning to these treasured new friends repeatedly over the coming years.
You can find Daughter of Smoke and Bone on Amazon here and Book Depository here.

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Recommendation: Throne of Glass Series

My “WIR” posts are not reviews, but rather short recommendations for books I love.
I’m writing this post having just finished Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. Empire is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, the five books being:

  1. Throne of Glass
  2. Crown of Midnight
  3. Heir of Fire
  4. Queen of Shadows
  5. Empire of Storms

Sarah J Maas has two fantasy series which I have been reading, and both have proven to be tales told with a sure, deft hand. If you enjoy fantasy and haven’t yet picked up one of her books, I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of either Throne of Glass or A Court of Thorns and Roses (first book in her other series).
The Throne of Glass series is set in the fantasy world of Erilea and follows the heart-wrenching adventures of Calaena Sardothien, the most renown assassin in the realm. I want to be careful not to give away too many spoilers, but from the start these books grab you by the scruff and drag you along behind wild horses. The pacing is fast, the dangers grand, and the myriad of schemes and plans intricate. I have yet to find fault with any of the books and am now destitute waiting for the next as the primary story ramps up to a climax of world-shattering proportions.
What type of fantasy are we talking? Humans (as you would expect), fae, witches (these are not the bubbling cauldron type), wyverns, shape shifters, daemons, and more.
You can find more info on the series on goodreads here, or pick up the first book on Amazon.

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Recommendation: Asteroid Made of Dragons

Asteroid Made of Dragons is actually the third book in the Spell/Sword series by G. Derek Adams. I didn’t realise I was jumping in part-way through a series when I picked it up, but thankfully it didn’t matter. There are references to events in the previous books, but there was enough in the books that I could pick up what I needed to and still enjoy the book.
What is Asteroid Made of Dragons? A sci-fi / fantasy mashup with a delightful sense of humour. The book kept me excited and engaged from cover to cover. It is set in a complex world and spins an epic tale with characters you can’t help but love. This is a world that is screaming out for more stories. I sincerely hope Adams grants us passage back sometime soon. In the meantime, I will be going back to read the first two books set in the world; Spell/Sword and The Riddle Box.
You can find Asteroid Made of Dragons on Inkshares here, Goodreads or Amazon.

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Recommendation: The Life Engineered

My “what I read” posts are self-explanatory – they are short posts highlighting books I have read recently and enjoyed. I have deliberately not called these posts “reviews.” The reason is simple – I don’t enjoy writing in-depth reviews. Each of these posts will be short, calling out a book I enjoyed and want to recommend, with a brief summary of why. Nothing more, nothing less. (more…)

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