Recent fiction – Williams, Reich, Shevdon, Troy, Stark, Shriver

* “Sixty-one Nails”:amazon by Mike Shevdon. Entertaining fantasy set in modern London, a whole variety of magic bubbling under the surface. Potteresque but more adult. Would i read more in the series? OK, i wouldn’t run to get one, but it was moderately entertaining. Amazon says 4 stars, Goodreads 3.82, I’d say a solid 3.
* “Denial of Sunlight”:amazon by Robert Troy. 4.5 stars on Amazon, 3.5 on Goodreads. Supposed to be an awesome thriller, I think someone must be gaming Amazon because this is scattered crap. Gave up fast. Unreadable. 0 stars.
* “Rules of Deception”:amazon by Christopher Reich. Starts out nicely with personal loss and deception, but devolves into standard spy chase thriller with megalomaniac trying to bring about armageddon. Had great promise but lost its way. Amazon says 3.5, Goodreads 3.35, I’d say 2.5.
* “This is Not a Game”:amazon by Walter Jon WIlliams. Reality, alternate reality gaming, online gaming all collide in a thriller. Good tale but a little predictable toward the end. The beginning started much more sharply. Still quite engaging. 3.5 stars on Amazon, 3.7 on Goodreads, 4 for me.
* “The Hunter”:amazon by Richard Stark. Great hard-bitten noir adventure. Parker is an awesome character. 4 stars on Amazon, 4.2 on Goodreads, 4 for me
* “The Post-Birthday World”:amazon by Lionel Shriver. OK I read fiction to either a) entertain, usually via escapist fare (witness all the preceding books) or interesting story structure, or b) gain greater insight into human behaviour, including my own behaviour. This book certainly does not entertain via escapism, you are thrust into the midst of broken relationships and poor decisions. It promises an interesting story structure but takes way too long to get there. It might give me greater insight into human behaviour, but it seems to just be another treatment of depressing mistakes in people’s lives. So I gave up. Amazon says 4 stars and this thing got some good reviews at release time, but Goodreads is at 3.4 and I am at like 1 star.