Sci-fi & Fantasy reading list - June 2014

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I love to read science fiction & fantasy novels and the past several years have been fantastic as the industry and I have both shifted to ebook readers.  I always appreciate a good book recommendation, so perhaps other readers will be interested in what I'm reading and I what I like.  The below list is what I read over the month of June.

As a caveat, enjoying the story is my highest order value, above complicated, nuanced storytelling or even the mechanics of writing.  If I am entertained and pulled into the story, I can easily overlook a few grammatical errors.  I do welcome different comments, so if you read one of these and have a different perspective, please share it and we can discuss.

Best regards, Jeff

You may also want to look at my May 2014 Sci-fi & Fantasy reading list.

Shattered (Iron Druid #7)

Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid is my favorite urban fantasy series, having edged out the Dresden Files over the past few books. This series has my favorite fantasy character of all time - Oberon the wolfhound - which is blogworthy, so I'll expand upon that in a new post soon. 4.5 is my top rating for a book upon first reading. If you haven't discovered Kevin Hearne, I strongly recommend you go out and get the first book in the series - Hounded - and make it the next book you read.

Lessons in Etiquette (Schooled in Magic #2)

Christopher Nuttall

Christopher Nuttall is one of my new favorite authors and the good news is that he is prolific. I first discovered him when he self-published The Empire's Corps and I'm now to the point where I'll buy any of his books on faith, even if it is in a new world. I'm going to do a separate post on him soon, but you should give him a try.

Rescue (Ell Donsaii #11)

Laurence E Dahners

This series is one of those that is sort of a secret indulgence. While most heroes struggle against disasters and deal with angst, Ell Donsaii is super smart, billionaire inventor, Olympic athlete who overcomes all obstacles. Start with book one and you'll either hate it or it will become your secret indulgence too.

Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1)

Alex Hughes

This series affirms that the Amazon recommendations does a poor job in that I'm not sure how I've never found this series earlier. It is hard not to compare this series with the Dresden Files, so I won't try. This is Dresden Files, but with telepathy instead of magic. Oh, and instead of Karen, you have Isabella Cherabino. I recommend it.

Payoff (Mindspace Investigations #1.5)

Alex Hughes

A novella in the Mindspace Investigations series which bridges between the 1st and 2nd novels.

Sharp (Mindspace Investigations #2)

Alex Hughes

Second in the Mindspace Investigations series, I immediately got it and read it as a follow up to Clean and Payoff.

Marked (Mindspace Investigations #3)

Alex Hughes

Third in the Mindspace Investigations series, I like how the series is maturing and am looking forward to the next installment. I now have Vacant on my wish list, which is supposed to release in December

The Black Guard

C. R. Daems

I liked this one, but I gave it a 3.5 instead of a 4 because it was a bit straightforward, with the hero easily surpassing each challenge. I like the characters and the universe, though, and would look forward to reading a sequel.

The Final Formula (The Final Formula #1)

Becca Andre

I like this one too, but it took a while to hit its stride. It is an Urban Fantasy with the central character being an Alchemist. One of the early challenges was that I kept forgetting that the setting was an alternate to modern times, rather than (say) the 1700s.

The Element of Death (The Final Formula #1.5)

Becca Andre

This novella focuses on James and Rowen for a bit of male-bonding and ghost busting between books 1 and 2. I enjoyed it, but from a plot point-of-view, it is strictly optional.

The Blood Alchemist (The Final Formula #2)

Becca Andre

Reading The Blood Alchemist, I was already familiar and 'hooked' by the characters in The Final Formula, so I enjoyed the sequel more.

The Sea Without a Shore (Lt Leary #10)

David Drake & Stephen Hickman

The Lt Leary series is a solid space opera and continues to deliver. I recently went back and read #8 and #9 again just to refresh the story in my mind and I enjoyed them the second time as well. As usual Daniel and Adele have related, but different, missions and manage to make it all work out.