Review: The Nine and The Fall

Tracy Townsend crafted a rich mythology that is among the coolest concepts of anything I’ve ever come across, and there’s no way that I’ll do it justice. In the world of The Nine, there are nine people whose lives are being documented by some divine power who is running an experiment on humanity and using these nine as their sample. What happens when those experiment notes get discovered? (/terribly inadequate pitch)

The world is a vivid and complex vaguely steampunkish cityscape with weird and complicated societies, sentient plants, and a put-upon underclass of “monsters.” It all comes together in a satisfying and fantastic way.

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

The Nine (Thieves of Fate Book 1)

The Fall (Thieves of Fate Book 2)

Amazon:

The Nine (Thieves of Fate Book 1)

The Fall (Thieves of Fate Book 2)

Review – Big Damn Hero, The Magnificent Nine, The Ghost Machine, Generations, and Life Signs

Firefly needs no introduction, but my recomendation of these books relies almost entirely on the way it affects me. I discovered the show and fell in love with the characters, their chemistry, their banter, their hijinks, the whole bit. When I saw that novels were coming out in the Firefly Verse, I was excited, to put it mildly.

The books are fairly short, and give the feeling of being a series of long-ish episodes. Are they incredible, groundbreaking, life-changing stuff? No. But they gave me a chance to spend time with some old friends I’d never thought I’d get to see again. For that bit of escapism alone, they were worth the price of admission to me.

For what it’s worth, of the four that are out now THE MAGNIFICENT NINE felt the most like an episode of Firefly to me and GENERATIONS felt like the one that expanded the Verse the most (note: I’ve only watched the show and Serenity, so maybe the graphic novels and such might color your experience of the novels, sorry).

There are, at present, four novels in this extend Verse. James Lovegrove wrote the first three (but the “original story concept for BIG DAMN HERO was by Nancy Holder), and Tim Lebbon wrote the fourth. Lovegrove also wrote (is writing?) LIFE SIGNS, which has a release date set for Spring, 2021.

I’m just going to link to them all in one big linkfest here.

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (preorder)

Powell’s:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (currently listed as “out of stock”)

Amazon:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (preorder)

Book Recommendation-Palooza

This idea came to me (read: I stole it) because of something I saw on Twitter from author Tim Akers. Essentially, he noted that publishing is getting hit hard by the pandemic, authors are getting hit hard by the pandemic, debuts are getting lost in the noise, series are struggling to maintain momentum, and this is having (or will have) a big knock-on effect in an industry that makes decisions today about what books will be on the shelves in two or three years.

To that end, he suggested recommending books, boosting authors, and shouting from the hilltops about stuff we liked. I’m going to join in with brief recommendations and a bunch of purchase links. Some of what I write about probably won’t be books that “need” my tiny voice (I mean, if it won a Hugo, you probably don’t need me to tell you that it was good), but if one person sees it and thinks it might be worth checking out, that’s good for the industry as a whole.

***IF YOU HAVE A LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER, PLEASE BUY FROM THEM***

Amazon will survive you buying a few books locally. Seattle will be okay, and Jeff Bezos will still get to launch himself to Europa, or whatever his longterm plan is, I promise.

I’m still going to include Amazon links, because for some people it really is the best way to get books. There’s a pandemic on, and I’d rather people buy books from Amazon than not buy them at all.