Wednesday, July 16, 2014

COYER Book Reviews: Degrees of Delusion, and Desolace

Couple of quick reviews today for the Clean Out Your eReader Summer Vacation challenge. (see my main COYER post for reading list and links to other reviews.)
Degrees of Delusion, by Lindsay Buroker

I really enjoyed Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge series and have a lot of her other work on my Kindle waiting to be read. This is an old longish short story unrelated to any of her other work, but I was happy to snap it up when she put it up for sale.

Fortis is a mercenary kicked out of the Imperial army, who finds his unit hired by powerful wizards who want them to take out an Imperial military installation. Faced with the presence of the former lover who betrayed him, whose motivations strike a little too close to home for Fortis, and a sudden crisis of conscience when it comes to killing his countrymen and former comrades, Fortis comes up with an ingenious solution to take control of the base.

Like all of Ms. Buroker's work that I've read so far, this is witty and fast-moving, with well-drawn, vivid characters in an interesting world. Little information is given about the world of this story, but the presence of expansionist wizards makes me want to read more.

Desolace, by Lucian Barnes

Sadly, I had to DNF this. The premise is really interesting: A serial killer catches the attention of an evil power from a world parallel to our Earth, and he and the teenage girl who is hunting him (after he kidnaps her best friend) get caught up into the battle between good and evil in this other world. Unfortunately, I found the book very difficult to get into. The style alternates between a very light YA feel and extremely graphic depictions of torture and rape. Neither of those styles is to my taste, and I found the contrast between them especially jarring. So, not my thing.

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