Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quick Picks: Eric's Shelf

Darkly Dreaming Dexter
by Jeff Lindsay

I first got into Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series when I saw the Showtime tv series "Dexter". Dexter is a mild-mannered guy working for the forensics united of the Miami-Dade police force. But lurking beneath his hawaiian shirt and donuts in the morning is the heart of a cold blooded serial killer. Dexter, though has an ethic, he only kills other serial killers. Darkly is the first book in the series, and this audio edition from recorded books is AWESOME.

The Penultimate Truth
by Philip K. Dick

War has ravaged the entire world, and all of humanity has been driven underground. People have all been pressed into service building robots to fight in the war on the surface. The only problem is that it's all a lie. The wealthy and the elite have built vast mansions tended and guarded by their robot armies. Once the truth starts leaking out, and people start to realize what's going on at the surface everything is about to change.

Mushishi vol. 1
by Yuki Urushibara

Mushi, 蟲, are primordial creatures who can have strange effects on human kind. The Mushishi (mushi master) has been trained in the ways of the mushi. Using his skill and occasional herbs from his travelling cabinet, Ginko, the Mushishi, cures people of these strange illnesses. This is a beautifully drawn graphic novel series, and each story has its own unique problems. It's one of my favorite stories from Japan.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
By Susanna Clarke

Yes, this is a large book, but I blazed through this in a matter of days it was so good (and I'm a slow reader). Magic, as the gentlemen in this book know it, is something that has been relegated to musty old books, and scholarship. It has not been a practice for ages hence. That is, until, a man by the name of Norrell came along with his personal fortune and bought up nearly every book on magic that ever existed and forced all other gentleman practitioners of magic out of the field. Jonathan Strange, however, is a different case entirely. He began performing magical feats based on the theories, rather than spells and conjurations as they were originally written in the famous texts that Mr. Norrell has so carefully hidden from sight. Together they become a powerhouse of magic serving the British Empire in the fight against Napoleon. But there is a dark secret behind all this magic. The power of Faerie is something that is raw, unusual, and easily twisted against the humans who make deals with them. I know I've rambled on about this, but this story is just absolutely epic and wonderful. It's one of the most engrossing fantasy strories I've ever read. If you're a fan of victorian fiction or fairy tale fantasy stories, this is the perfect book.

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