Books Read in 2009 – Good but not Great

These are books I considered well worth the price. Books I liked. Most have a flaw of some sort, but it doesn’t prevent them from succeeding.

  • Lords Temporall, Joseph H. Delaney. Straight up classic space opera. Good stuff.
  • The Cipher, Diana Pharaoh Francis. I liked this a fair amount, but it was somehow less thant the sum of its parts. I have the sequel, but haven’t read it yet.
  • Spook Country, William Gibson. Lesser of the two Gibson books I read this year, this was still textbook Gibson, full of fun and wild ideas. A bit plodding.
  • Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy was my favorite from 2008, and Warbreaker is pretty damned good. It is not quite as good as his debut novel, Elantris, but it is a fun read. They way it set up, I suspect a sequel will be more fun. The world-building is so complex that it needs more than one novel to get comfortable. Although now that Sanderson has stepped in to finish (ha! hahahahaha!) Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, we may never get one.
  • Storm from the Shadows, David Weber. Pretty good novel, with the good decision to focus on a side character primarily. When a series is a long as this one, you need to branch out. I think it happened a book late, but still. Good solid, entertaining space opera.
  • Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind. This is an odd one. I liked the book ok, as somewhat deriviative fantasy. Standard quest stuff. But it led me to the TV show Legend of the Seeker, which I like a lot.
  • Winter Study, Nevada Barr. Series book from the always reliable Nevada Barr. Anna continues to be an every-character who is easy to identify with, and Barr is great at putting the reader in wonderful natural places. No surprises here.
  • Whisper to the Blood, Dana Stabenow. Another mystery novel, another series, andother great outing with Kate Shugak.
  • The Afghan, Frederick Forsyth. My wife bought this when she was in India on business. Good solid thriller yarn, predictable ending.
  • Kitty and The Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn. Whoa, way better than expected. Really fun. Thought it would be chikc-lit werewolf stuff, but managed to climb higher.
  • Peacekeeper/Vigilante, Laura E. Reeve. Two books, pretty good, interesting world building, good characters. Hefty enough.
  • Bitter Angels, C.L. Anderson. Ambitious, and only missed a little. Really good tech/noir/thiriller. Recommended.
  • “Seaborn”, Chris Howard. This was an odd book; I wanted to enjoy it, but it took forever for me to finish, and along the way I read like ten other books. Leads me to think it was more potential than actual. Some really good ideas in there though.
  • A Darkness Forged in Fire, Chris Evans. I really liked this, but the climax was not up to the rest of the book. The sequel may rectify this, so we’ll see.

Next up, my Best of 2009.

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