BOOK: RACK - REVIEWS - SERIES - 2 FILM
FEATURED AUTHOR -
Elmore Leonard – Valdez Is Coming (1970) "Elmore Leonard began his career writing westerns. It was near the end of the film version of ‘Out of Sight’ that I realised he has been writing them ever since. Western plots, that is, he just varies the location and the age in which it is set. ‘Valdez is Coming’ is both a worthy book and a great read, bristling with the rightly acclaimed Leonard dialogue. His social conscience encourages him to take on risky subjects and here he tackles racist attitudes. Valdez is an ex army scout adept at tracking Apaches and former leader of the Apache scouts for General Crook in the Geronimo campaign. " ~ Read Review: Chris Smallbone - nativeamerican.co.uk, Wikipedia, Amazon Books and Website
FEATURED SERIES -
Terry Brooks - Shannara "Shannara is a series of high fantasy novels written by Terry Brooks, beginning with The Sword of Shannara in 1977 and continuing through The Skaar Invasion which was released in June 2018; there is also a prequel, First King of Shannara. The series blends magic and primitive technology and is set in the Four Lands, which are identified as Earth long after civilization was destroyed in a chemical and nuclear holocaust called the Great Wars. By the time of the prequel First King of Shannara, the world had reverted to a pre-industrial state and magic had re-emerged to supplement science." ~ Wikipedia, Books: First King of Shannara, The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, The Wishsong of Shannara, Indomitable. Amazon Books
OTHER SERIES -
Stieg Larsson – Millennium Trilogy (2005~2007) "This trilogy is an absolutely gripping read. Even though crime fiction may not be my first choice, every now and then I stumble upon a book which grabs my attention and these were definitely examples. Larsson writes a very intriguing story set at a fast pace, making you want more as quickly as possible. The fact that the some of the characters are loosely based on his own experience make it even more interesting, and successfully intertwines various different angles into the novel: the sex trade and violence and abuse against women, the abuse of power by those in control, and the cover-up by the government of secrets it doesn’t want anybody to know. The fact that the novel is based in Sweden and also well away from what we might imagine to be a stereotypical setting for a crime novel, also makes quite a difference to the books. If you are looking for a new, thrilling read, then I definitely recommend the Millenium trilogy." Emma Brooks - The Vibe. Links: Wikipedia, Books: Girl Wiltlh the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Amazon Books and Website
Kim Harrison - Hollows "The Hollows series (also called the Rachel Morgan series) is a series of seventeen mystery novels, eight short stories, two graphic novels, and one compendium resource by Kim Harrison, published by HarperCollins Publishers, in an urban fantasy alternate history universe and set primarily in the city of Cincinnati and its suburbs. The alternate history is built upon two premises: the recent open existence of magical and supernatural species, primarily witches, vampires, and werewolves, with the human population; and the historical investment of Cold War military spending in genetic engineering as opposed to the Space Race, which resulted in the accidental release of a genetically modified tomato in the 1960s that killed a significant portion of the human population. The series is set approximately forty years after this plague, referred to as 'The Turn' within the series. " ~ Wikipedia. Books: Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, The Undead Pool, The Witch With No Name, Sudden Backtrack, Waylaid, The Turn Amazon Books
Ursula K. Le Guin – The Earthsea Cycle "Earthsea, also known as The Earthsea Cycle, is a series of fantasy books written by the American writer Ursula K. Le Guin and the name of their setting, a dense archipelago surrounded by an uncharted ocean. There are six Earthsea books written between 1968 and 2001, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind." ~ Wikipedia and Amazon Books
James Clavell - Asian Saga "So said James Clavell, an Australian immigrant to America who learned the fundamentals of the American outlook on life in a horrific Japanese prisoner of war camp. In over four decades as a novelist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, director, and producer, Clavell added one lushly romantic, gripping story after another to his accomplishments. What’s even more surprising in this day and age, his heroes were often businessmen. An English-educated Aussie, Clavell was born in 1924 as Charles Edmund DuMaresq de Clavelle. He became a captain with the British Royal Artillery in Southeast Asia during World War II. This position landed Clavell at the infamous Changi Japanese prisoner of war camp near Singapore for half of World War II, where he “collected material” for what would become his first novel, King Rat (1962)." ~ Marsha Enright - Atlas Society, Books: King Rat (1962), Tai-Pan (1966), Shogun (1975), Noble House (1981), Whirlwind (1986), Gai-Jin (1993) Amazon Books
James Grady - Condor series "The novel that inspired the Robert Redford film Three Days of the Condor. Sandwiches save Ronald Malcolm’s life. On the day that gunmen pay a visit to the American Literary Historical Society, he’s out at lunch. The Society is actually a backwater of the Central Intelligence Agency, where Malcolm and a few other bookworms comb mystery novels for clues that might unlock real life diplomatic questions. One of his colleagues has learned something he wasn’t meant to know. A sinister conspiracy has penetrated the CIA, and the gunmen are its representatives. They massacre the office, and only learn later of Malcolm—a loose end that needs to be dealt with." ~ mysteriouspress.com. Books: Six Days of the Condor, Shadow of the Condor, condor.net, Next Day of the Condor, Last Days of the Condor Kindle Books
ROGER ZELAZNY - Chronicles of Amber "The Chronicles of Amber is a series of fantasy novels by American writer Roger Zelazny. The main series consists of two story arcs, each five novels in length. Additionally, there are a number of Amber short stories and other works. Four additional prequel books, authorized by the Zelazny estate following his death, were authored by John Gregory Betancourt. " Wikipedia, Books: Nine Princes in Amber, The Guns of Avalon, The Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, The Courts of Chaos, Trumps of Doom, Blood of Amber, Sign of Chaos, Knight of Shadows, Prince of Chaos. Amazon Books
Jack Townsend – Tales from the Gas Station Series "Written with a keen self-awareness and realistic dialogue Townsend caught me off-guard with honesty and apathy. Jack is faced with the harsh reality that the universe is a pretty messed up place, and it’s really none of his business what the universe chooses to do anyway. Along the way the gas station hires a few solid employees, among them Marlboro/Jerry is not quite one, despite practically living out of their storage closet. The employees are odd, but the local and patrons are otherworldly. Everyone in the small town has a vaguely threatening aura coupled with the inane mediocrity you’d expect to find at a high school reunion. " ~ maverickmom.blog and About and Amazon Books
R.A. Salvatore - Cleric Quintet "The Cleric Quintet is a series of five fantasy novels by American writer R. A. Salvatore, set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. They follow the story of Cadderly Bonaduce, a scholar-cleric, as he attempts to stop the "Chaos Curse" unleashed upon the world. It is also a spiritual journey for Cadderly, where he begins to see things in a new light and becomes closer to his god. Recurring characters in this series include Cadderly Bonaduce, Danica Maupoissant, the dwarven brothers Ivan and Pikel Bouldershoulder and Shayleigh, an elf maiden of Shilmista Forest." ~ Wikipedia, Books: Canticle, In Sylvan Shadows, Night Masks, The Fallen Fortress, The Chaos Curse. Amazon Books
John Le Carre - The George Smiley Novels "George Smiley OBE is a fictional character created by John le Carré. Smiley is a career intelligence officer with "The Circus", the British overseas intelligence agency. He is a central character in the novels Call for the Dead, A Murder of Quality, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, and Smiley's People, and a supporting character in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Looking Glass War, The Secret Pilgrim and A Legacy of Spies. The character has also appeared in a number of film, television, and radio adaptations of le Carré's books. " ~ Wikipedia and Amazon Books
Laura Joh Rowland – Sano Ichiro Books " The novels deal with the experiences of Sano Ichiro, a samurai and minor official who, by the end of the first novel, became the trusted chief investigator for the fifth Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, and by the tenth novel, was promoted to a very high office. Throughout the stories, Sano constantly had to deal with his problems following the code of bushido while serving both justice and his master, the Shogun; and with his wife, Ueda Reiko (?? ??), who frequently involves herself in Sano's investigations. Sano experiences great pressure as he is faced with death if he does not fulfill his obligations to the shogun as well. Rowland takes some literary license with known figures, creating fictionalized versions of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Emperor Higashiyama in The Samurai's Wife, and Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu. Objective historical details, however, are credibly accurate. " ~ Wikipedia, Books: Shinju, Bundori, The Way of the Traitor, The Concubine's Tattoo, The Samurai's Wife, Black Lotus, The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria, The Dragon King's Palace, The Perfumed Sleeve, The Assassin's Touch, The Red Chrysanthemum, The Snow Empress, The Fire Kimono, The Cloud Pavilion, The Ronin's Mistress, The Incense Game, The Shogun's Daughter, The Iris Fan. Goodreads and Website
James Patterson – Alex Cross series (1993 - 2021) "With thirty page-turners to fuel your inevitable addiction, there’s never been a better time to get hooked on James Patterson’s Alex Cross books. Set on the dangerous streets of Washington DC, the thrilling crime series follows a psychologist-turned-homicide detective who tracks down killers while keeping his family safe from threats. The first book was released in 1993, and has since spawned a series of novels that have consistently topped bestseller lists — as well as a couple of critically acclaimed movies starring Morgan Freeman as Cross. Since Patterson fans insist that you read the Alex Cross books in order, we’re going to start this list by throwing it way back to ’93, then we'll give you a run down of every book in chronological order. So fasten your seatbelts!" ~ Discovery and Amazon.com
Joab Stieglitz – The Utgarda Series "Resonants the writing of H. P. Lovecraft and other Weird Fiction of the 1920’s and 1930’s, of that hopeful yet subconsciously disillusioned era between “the War to end all Wars” and the next, possibly even worse, World War, colours this series. For a lover of History and of Weird Fiction, this is a total delight. The characters are well-delineated, the plot is simultaneously exciting and adventurous. Novels: First trilogy, The Old Man's Request, The Missing Medium and The Other Realm." Joab's second Utgarda trilogy, The Hunters in the Shadows, The Worlds I Know and Reversing the Cataclysm is complete, and available. ~ Reviews and Books and DC Bebop page.
Piers Anthony - Cluster "Cluster is a series of science fiction novels by Piers Anthony. Anthony originally conceived of and wrote the series as a trilogy but later added two additional volumes... As the series opens, humanity has colonized an area of the galaxy roughly 100 light years in diameter. This area is called Sphere Sol, as it is the sphere of influence of the race from the star Sol, that is, the sun. Sphere Sol's "neighborhood" is also home to other spheres, each centered around a particular star: Spheres Polaris, Canopus, Spica, Nath, Mirzam, and Bellatrix as well as the huge, decadent Spheres Sador and Mintaka." ~ Wikipedia, Books: Vicinity Cluster, Chaining the Lady, Kirlian Quest, Thousandstar, Viscous Circle. Amazon Books
John Twelve Hawks - Fourth Realm trilogy "The Fourth Realm Trilogy refers to the trilogy of books written by pseudonymous author John Twelve Hawks and published between 2004 (in the UK, 2005 in the US) and 2009. The trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 1.5 million books. The three novels describe parallel universes, including one controlled by a shadow group called The Brethren using the Vast Machine. The Traveler was a critical success and international bestseller - with the intriguing life of the elusive author increasing reader interest in the books. As of February 2010, the identity of John Twelve Hawks has yet to be confirmed.  Stand-ins represent Twelve Hawks on book tours, some declaring "I am John Twelve Hawks". " ~ Wikipedia Books: The Traveller, The Dark River, The Golden City. Amazon Books
C. J. Cherryh – The Morgaine Saga (1976, 78 & 79) "The first books in the series were published in the late 1970s, and later packaged into one large volume, but the adventures of Vanye and Morgaine were left unfinished. A few more works followed in the same series, two graphic novels and an ‘interactive’ novel, but none were able to match the effect of the originals and have largely been forgotten. For many, myself included, that is a good thing for it is the original three novels (and the associated omnibus) that stand the test of time. They are without doubt some of the best Science-Fantasy works ever produced and can be compared to the greatest books in either genre. The reader is treated like an intelligent, thinking, feeling human being and is given a story with that in mind." ~ Read Review: An Sionnach Fionn - http://ansionnachfionn.com, Wikipedia, Books: Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, Fires of Azeroth, Exile's Gate. Amazon Books and Website
JRR Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings (1954) "There is no denying the fact that the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a timeless classic and paved the way for fantasy in literature and film. The sheer scope of the world J.R.R Tolkien created is phenomenal. With characters of all over middle-earth uniting to fulfil this quest, we are treated to an adventure that explores the strength of hope and how the courage of unconventional heroes shaped the future of Middle-Earth. " ~ ~ My Midnight Musing Books: The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, The Return of the King. Amazon Books
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of six books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams' radio series of the same name. The novel was first published in London on 12 October 1979. It sold 250,000 copies in the first three months. The namesake of the novel is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a fictional guide book for hitchhikers (inspired by the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe) written in the form of an encyclopedia. " ~ prettybooks.com. Books: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Mostly Harmless, And Another Thing... Amazon Books
Richard K. Morgan -Tekeshi Kovacs series "Mixing classic noir sensibilities with a searing futuristic vision of an age when death is nearly meaningless, Richard K. Morgan returns to his saga of betrayal, mystery, and revenge, as Takeshi Kovacs, in one fatal moment, joins forces with a mysterious woman who may have the power to shatter Harlan’s World forever." ~Penguin Random House Books: Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, Woken Furies. Amazon Books
Niven - Ringworld"Ringworld is a 1970 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, set in his Known Space universe and considered a classic of science fiction literature. Ringworld tells the story of Louis Wu and his companions on a mission to the Ringworld, a rotating wheel artificial world, an alien construct in space 186 million miles (299 million kilometres) in diameter. Niven later added three sequel novels and then cowrote, with Edward M. Lerner, four prequels and a final sequel; the five latter novels constitute the Fleet of Worlds series. All the Ringworld novels tie into numerous other books set in Known Space. Ringworld won the Nebula Award in 1970, as well as both the Hugo Award and Locus Award in 1971. " "
~ Wikipedia, Amazon Books .
Frank Herbert - Dune"The political, scientific, and social fictional setting of Herbert's novels and derivative works is known as the Dune universe, or Duniverse.  Set tens of thousands of years in the future, the saga chronicles a civilization which has banned all forms of computers, or "thinking machines", but has also developed advanced technology and mental and physical abilities. Vital to this empire is the harsh desert planet Arrakis, only known source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe. " "
~ Wikipedia, Books: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse: Dune, Hunters of Dune, Sandworms of Dune. Amazon Books .
Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files "The Dresden Files is a series of contemporary fantasy/mystery novels written by American author Jim Butcher. The first novel, Storm Front, was published in 2000 by Roc Books. The books are written as a first-person narrative from the perspective of the main character, private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago. Butcher's original proposed title for the first novel was Semiautomagic, which sums up the series' balance of fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction. " "
~ Wikipedia, Books: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks, Blood Rites, Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, White Night, Small Favor, Turn Coat, Changes, Ghost Story, Cold Days, Skin Game, Peace Talk. Amazon Books & Website
Meagan Spooner – Sherwood (2019) "Marian puts on Robin’s green cloak, having snuck into his old room to feel close to him one last time, and is wearing it when she sets out to find and save Will before the Sheriff’s men do. Being tall, strong, and a powerful rider–not to mention a better archer than Robin ever was–she is mistaken for a man. Not just any man–but Robin himself, back from the grave. Marian allows her legend to grow. Rob from the rich, give to the poor–and above all, never, ever let anyone guess the truth of her identity. Not even the new friends and allies–John, Alain, Will–because who would ever follow her? " ~ thebooksmugglers.com and Amazon Books
Jo Nesbø – Harry Hole series - "Harry Hole is the main character in a series of crime novels written by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. Hole is a brilliant and driven detective with unorthodox methods, a classic loose cannon in the police force. Critics link the personality of Harry Hole to those of the famous literary detectives: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Jules Maigret, and Nero Wolfe, but in the word of Jo Nesbo himself it is to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, that he refers as a tribute more than a simple inspiration." ~ Wikipedia, Books: The Bat, Cockroaches, The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star, The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard, Phantom, Police, The Thirst, Knife. Amazon Books and Website
George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire saga "The saga ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ begins with the book titled ‘Game of Thrones‘ , the name-sake of the show which brought the books into the lime light. Opening with one of the most gripping, brutal prologues, Martin hooks readers in immediately, curious of the mysterious threat that looms beyond the great wall of ice (which separates the land of Westeros from the threats of the North), in the land of winter. The irony of this scene is that it is the only time the White Walkers (who can be considered to be the main antagonists of the overall plot) are actually seen prior to the third book, A Storm of Swords (which is my personal favorite, much to the disgust of many of my fellow fans)." ~ NerdNexus.com, Wikipedia, Books: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, Fire & Blood. Amazon Books and Website
Richard Castle – Nikki Heat series "Nikki Heat is the lead character in Richard Castle's Nikki Heat book series. First book, Heatwave - A silhouette of Nikki Heat on the cover. Heat is "loosely" based on NYPD detective Kate Beckett, possessing a similar backstory, in that her decision to become a detective was motivated by the death of someone close to her – although Heat has a niece and siblings that Beckett lacks – and the first case she investigates is adapted from several real cases Castle helped Beckett solve. Heat is assisted by sometimes-lover journalist Jameson Rook, and colleagues, Detectives Raley and Ochoa. Beckett discovers Nikki Heat and tries to make Castle change the name in the episode "Hell Hath No Fury," despite Castle's pleas about the potential titles offered by such a name. " ~ Fandom, Wikipedia, Books: Heat Wave, Naked Heat, Heat Rises, Frozen Heat, Deadly Heat, Raging Heat, Driving Heat, High Heat, Heat Storm, Crashing Heat. Amazon Books and Website
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman - Dragon Lance Chronicle "Dragonlance is a shared universe created by Laura and Tracy Hickman, and expanded by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis under the direction of TSR, Inc. into a series of popular fantasy novels. The Hickmans conceived Dragonlance while driving in their car on the way to TSR for a job interview. At TSR Tracy met Margaret Weis, his future writing partner, and they gathered a group of associates to play the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The adventures during that game inspired a series of gaming modules, a series of novels, licensed products such as board games, and lead miniature figures. In 1984, TSR published the first Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. It began the Chronicles trilogy, a core element of the Dragonlance world. While the authoring team of Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote the setting's central books, numerous other authors contributed novels and short stories to the setting. Over 190 novels have used the Dragonlance setting, and have been accompanied by supplemental Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting material for over a decade. In 1997, Wizards of the Coast LLC purchased TSR, and licensed Dragonlance to Sovereign Press, Inc in 2001 to produce game materials; this licensing agreement expired in 2007. " ~ Fandom, Books: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawning, Dragons of Summer Flame. Amazon Books
Jim Butcher - Codex Alera "Codex Alera is a fantasy book series by Jim Butcher. The series chronicles the coming-of-age of a young man named Tavi in the realm of Alera, an empire similar to Rome, on the world of Carna. Every Aleran has some degree of command over elemental forces or spirits called furies, save for Tavi, who is considered unusual for his lack of any. As the aging First Lord struggles to maintain his hold on a realm on the brink of civil war, Tavi must use all of his intelligence to save his family from diverse enemies... The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger's choosing. The "lame" ideas given were "Lost Roman Legion", and "Pokémon". " ~ Wikipedia, Books: Furies of Calderon, Academ's Fury, Cursor's Fury, Captain's Fury, Princeps' Fury, First Lord's Fury.. Amazon Books
Stephen R. Donaldson - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a series of ten high fantasy novels written by American author Stephen R. Donaldson. The series began as a trilogy, entitled The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. This was followed by another trilogy, The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and finally a tetralogy, The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Thomas Covenant, an embittered and cynical writer, afflicted with leprosy and shunned by society, is fated to become the heroic savior of the Land, an alternate world. In ten novels, published between 1977 and 2013, he struggles against Lord Foul, "the Despiser", who intends to escape the bondage of the physical universe and wreak revenge upon his arch-enemy, "the Creator"." ~ Wikipedia, Books: Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, Gilden-Fire, The Power That Preserves, The Wounded Land, The One Tree, White Gold Wielder, The Runes of the Earth, Fatal Revenant, Against All Things Ending, The Last Dark.. Amazon Books
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