"look, mommy- there's an airplane up in the sky!"
In this Bill Bryson-esque history of pub culture and drinking in England, author Pete Brown carbonates the proceedings with just the right amount of humor and trivia (from "taking you down a peg" to Crocodile Dundee) to make it all go down smoothly.
This hugely-successful comic/graphic novel combines humor, darkness, distinct characters, cartoonish and not-so-cartoonish artwork with a great story to make something that is both appropriate and fun for young adults but engaging and clever enough for adult readers, as well.
Honestly, the first book isn't the greatest mystery I've ever read, but as a story about a man obsessed with maintaining his principles in a world that literally has an expiration date, this series is pretty special- I'm thinking about the ending as I type this and am literally getting goosebumps.
An excellent follow-up to the outstanding Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword continues to plow a delibrate furrow, focusing more on character- and world-building than action setpieces (although there might be one or two of those, as well). I'm very much looking forward to the next installment.
It's a review cliche to talk about an author taking a bunch of classic elements and making something new, but this is certainly the case with Naomi Novik's fusion of European folktales with a modern take on fantasy, the result of which is both familiar and engagingly fresh.
A nice change of pace- literally and figuratively- from Wheel of Time-style doorstoppers and the relentless grimdark of A Song of Ice and Fire, this is a fairly snappy outing full of colorful characters, gender-bending, drug abuse, and even a decent religious angle!
This is not the most action-packed science-fiction novel I've read, but a totally unique point-of-view and excllent world-building make it one of the best I've read in a number of years. I'd say more, but I think one should experience the narrator's perspective cold (as I did). If you like thoughtful sci-fi and don't require constant gunbattles, I think you'll come out of this one happy. Speaking of which, the sequel is great, too!