Novel Musings |

opinionated reviews of fictional literature
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Brandon Sanderson
Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of those authors that a lot of readers only know as the writer completing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time Series. What most readers don’t know is that Sanderson is an accomplished writer in his own right and one that every reader who enjoys science fiction / fantasy should give a […]

Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama by Arhur C. Clarke

This novel concerns humanity over 120 years in the future. A massive cylindrical has been detected, rocketing toward the center of the solar system. As it becomes apparent that the form is not just an asteroid or comet plans are made to investigate the object further. Commander Norton and the crew of the Endeavour are tasked with making a “rendezvous” with the body, now named, Rama. With more exploration the mission begins looking like it may become a “first contact” operation, and this has unknown implications for the crew of the Endeavour, as well as the order of the inhabited solar system.

Margaret Ronald
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue #34

A Serpent in the Gears is one of those rare short stories that manages to tell a quick top notch plot while also building a rich world full of history and political intrigue. Readers will find themselves mesmerized by the clockwork land of Aaris and the surrounding countries hinted at during the story. This brief glimpse satisfies the imagination to be sure but leaves a deep yearning to know what drove the Aaris people to build the Sterling Pass in the first place and to become who they are now.

Christopher Pike
The Secret Path - Book 1 of Spooksville by Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is one of those authors that all teenagers should be familiar with. As he wrote the series Chain Letter, The last Vampire, and Remember Me in addition to a multitude of Teen Classics. In my opinion some of his best work is the lesser known children’s horror series Spooksville. These short imaginative stories can be read as stand alone novels to the readers immense enjoyment, but when you read the story from start to finish you are totally immersed in a fun but scary world full of magic and unknown that every child dreams of.

H.P. Lovecraft ed. S.T. Joshi
The Dreams in the Witch House And Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft

For me, a lack of development can be excused in shorter pieces where getting the readers skin crawling is more important, but from “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath” onward the stories go on and on, feeling more like an encyclopedia; fact after fact. This attention to detail could be good for creating a new world for a novel, but the longer stories fall short. I did enjoy the earlier stories, but on the whole, I need much more character in the longer pieces to justify their length, or I would have liked to see them hacked down to a more manageable length.