Publisher: Broadway Books

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Ex-Heroes

Ex-Heroes

Ex-Heroes is an interesting mashup of two very different book sub-genre’s, super-hero action and the zombie apocalypse.  What is even more surprising than the mashup even existing is that it actually works. It seems the difficulty level of this is pretty high, but Clines pulls it off. The story is set after the apocalypse has already happened, so naturally Cline has to spend a lot of time in flashback explaining what happened.  Thankfully this doesn’t break up the pacing and works in the narrative fairly well.  Most of the books I have read that relied on flashbacks for exposition it did hurt the pacing, so the fact that this book still flows well is a credit to the writer. I found the use of heroes particularly interesting in Ex-Heroes.  First is the fact that, even with all their superpowers, they were unable to stop the apocalypse from happening.  Superheroes in… Read more »

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The Martian

The Martian

This is the obvious analogy, but The Martian by Andy Weir is Robin Caruso in space, on steroids and jacked up on laughing gas.  This book sits in a weird place between straight fiction and science fiction.  Or rather it is science fiction but much closer to the science end then fiction end. This book doesn’t follow the standard narrative structure, and that really works for it.  Three fourths of the story is told through journal entries by the protagonist because, with the exception of a few portions of the book, he has no contacts with anyone else.  Most of the story happens through Watney’s inner monologue which sounds like a bad thing but really works.   When the story does switch to other characters and a more normal story structure all I wanted was for it to get back to Watney and his journal. The character of Mark Watney is… Read more »

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I Shall Be Near To You

I Shall Be Near To You

I Shall Be Near To You brings historical fiction to an interesting yet not often talked about occurrence from the 19th Century, women pretending to be men in order to enlist.  Erin Lindsay McCabe manages to make the subject both historically interesting while presenting a story that was interesting and moving. Something many may not know is that woman masquerading as men to enlist was a real event.  In the Civil War alone there are many recorded cases of it happening, and almost certainly many more that were never recorded.  It is clear that McCabe did solid research not just of Civil War battles but of the home life of the time.  Everything beat felt historically right, which is something I often feel is missing from much of the historical fiction I read.  This book also manages, with one exception, to avoid the trap of having the book involve major… Read more »

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