Recent fiction — Glass Room, Kellerman, and some throwaways

  • “Black Blade Blues”:amazon by J. A. Pitts. Yawn. A young woman in Seattle stumbles onto the fantastic world around her. Not new ideas and thin characters. Amazon says 4 stars, Goodreads says 3.3, I give it a 1, couldn’t finish.
  • “Chronicles of the Black Company”:amazon by Glen Cook. Mercenary company in a fantasy world. Somewhat interesting atmosphere but choppy writing, weak plotting. Gave up quickly. Amazon says 4 stars, Goodreads 4.23, I didn’t get it. 1 star.
  • “The Genius”:amazon by Jesse Kellerman. Good but not great. A young art dealer comes across a trove of drawings of mysterious origin. Unravelling the mystery of their origin uncovers his own family’s secrets and deep disfunction. Thankfully didn’t devolve into a pedestrian thriller or DaVinciCode-esque puzzler. Focused more on the family disfunction, and there was probably even more ground to cover in this direction. Amazon says 4 stars, Goodreads 3.5. I’d say 3.
  • “The Glass Room”:amazon by Simon Mawer. Translated from the German, this is apparently a very popular recent novel in Germany. Tells the story of a pre-WW2 Czech family and the house they build, and then the trials and tribulations of the family and the house thru the rest of the century. Starts a little slowly but becomes very compelling as the events of the century sweep thru. Yes the coincidences that drive the plot are unlikely, but still makes for a good tale. Amazon says 4 stars, Goodreads says 3.9, I give it 3.5 stars.