The Peshawar Lancers

December 16, 2008

Author: S. M. Stirling
Copyright: 2002
Publisher: ROC

Started: 12/16/08
Completed: 12/25/08

My brother Matt loaned me this book. It is an alternative-history novel based on the premise that a natural disaster in the latter half of the 19th Century interrupted history. The novel is set in a 21st century that is still using steam-based technology. It is a good adventure story and an interesting sorta-science-fiction story.

Throne of Jade

November 28, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Harper

Started: 11/28/08
Completed: 12/4/08

My brother Matt loaned me this book. It is the second in the Tremeraire series, which he suggested to me in the first place. I’ve now read the third book, and the first (out of order) and the fourth is on my “to-read” shelf. This series assumes that there were dragons in the military arsenals of the combatant nations in the Napoleonic wars. Tremeraire is a dragon; a sentient creature who carries a captain and crew into battle. The series follows their story and examines the relationships among the crew and with the dragon.

His Majesty’s Dragon

October 30, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Started: 10/30/08
Completed: 11/3/08

This is the first in the Tremeraire Series that my brother Matt pointed me toward. I started the series by reading the third in the series; I found that at the bookstore before finding this one at the library.

This is a great book. Probably better than the third, to be honest. But in any case, I’m on the lookout for the second book.

Black Powder War

October 20, 2008

Author: Naomi Novik
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Started: 10/20/08
Completed: 10/27/08

This is part of a series of novels recommended to me by my brother Matt, who shares some of my tastes in reading. The series assumes that the British military had access to dragons (flying dragons) duirng the Napoleonic wars. Matt is not normally a fan of fantasy, but has a keen eye for a well crafted historical or military novel and enjoys a good series as much as I do. This is the third in the series. I couldn’t find books one and two. But I wanted to give it a try.

And it turns out to be worth it. I will look forward to finding, and reading, the rest of this series.

Author: Michael Drinkard
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.

Started: 8/5/08
Completed: 8/9/08

I spotted this one in the bookstore on the discount table. The cover has a picture of an old tall-ship on it and the lettering is in a colonial/pirate style font. And, a glance at the cover blurb suggests this is about a dope-smoking character during the American revolution.

Seemed worth a $6.98 gamble. I think it would have been a waste of much more, though. It’s not a bad book, but not a great one either.

The Thirteen-Gun Salute

August 3, 2008

Author: Patrick O’Brian
Copyright: 1981
Publisher: Norton

Started: 7/26/08
Completed: 8/5/08

I’ve read this book a few times now. I grabbed it off my shelf when I finished On Stranger Tides and didn’t have a chance to get back to the library. I’m a huge Patrick O’Brian fan and this is one of my favorites. It finds Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin sailing to the South China Sea and an island nation where Stephen climbs a volcano to visit an ancient Buddhist monastery.

I started it and read it a few days but left it for a few days at the Beach house. So, I read Coyote Blue for a few days and then picked this one up where I had left off.

The Far Reaches

May 8, 2008

Author: Homer Hickam
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Started: 5/8/08
Completed: 5/11/08

This novel is set in the war in the Pacific in 1943. It seems a bit of a throw-back to an older style of war fiction. It starts with the invasion of Tarawa and continues on other Islands. I used to read lots of WWII war novels, as a kid. I thought it would be interesting to see how they are these days.

I didn’t read the book flap completely enough to spot that this is one in a series about a character named Josh Thurlow. The others in the series might also be worth a look.