Saturday, 9 January 2010

Best books of the decade

Johnny from the excellent A Song of Ice and Fire website Tower of the Hand kindly asked me if I'd like to contribute to an article he was putting together on the best books of the last decade.

After some brief deliberation I nominated my five best books of the 00s, as did Aidan from A Dribble of Ink, Adam from The Wertzone and Eva from Evagation.

The final article can be found here. It's an interesting read, with some healthy debate already building in the comments section. Do check it out, since you might find some good recommendations.

Thanks to Johnny for the opportunity to get involved, and for his work in pulling it all together.

9 comments:

ThePlasticSword. said...

Hey James,

Great pick with Midnight Falcon. I'm a huge Gemmell fan. The first book of his I ever read was "Sword in The Storm". I read it when I was 11 years old, it was the first time I was really gripped by a book. That was eight years ago, and I fell in love with the Rigante series. The Drenai series, great too. Just that my Gemmell love started with the Rigante.

It was nice to see Midnight Falcon up there.

James said...

Yeah, Midnight Falcon...what a book. Blew me away - and this from someone who knows exactly what to expect from a Gemmell novel. Brilliant stuff.

Sword in the Storm I'm not so hot on - I reviewed it last year, so have a dig for the review if you like. I found it a bit slow, but then I guess he was introducing a new setting, so perhaps that was necessary. A good book, just not great like some of his others.

ThePlasticSword. said...

I agree with you, that the book is slow and not Davids best work. However, I felt that if it was much faster, it would have felt rushed without time develop a new setting/land/world. I loved all the Rigante books, the later ones even more so lately because the swordplay as more of a traditional fencing root. As opposed to medieval fencing (sword/shields etc..). I will look for that review all the same.

I've grown partial to Sword of Night and day. I love the combination of Druss and Skilgannon, I also loved how David brought elements from other Drenai novels/history into both of the Damned books. Anyway, that's enough for now. I only recently found your blog, so I look forward to reading what you post from now on as well so going back into older posts.

David Wagner said...

Not sure I understand the love for Abraham, Bakker and Lynch. That any of those should get mentioned before/instead of Rothfuss and/or Sanderson is odd to me. But, hey, different bait for different fish, eh?

Loved Name of the Wind and the Mistborn trilogy, couldn't get past Book 1 of either Abraham (yawn) or Bakker (self-important, inconsistent) though I did read both of Lynch's books. I think Locke and Jean have tons of untapped (wasted?) potential as characters. I'll read book 3 if only to see if more is revealed about the ancient race that built those cool elderglass cities.

David Wagner said...

Failed to mention Abercrombie. Loved the First Law series. Best Served Cold, not as much...

Jebus said...

Some great choices there. I'm loving the stuff that Lynch, Abercrombie and Bakker are producing. I've started on Abraham just a few days ago and I can tell it's gonna be a stellar series.

And just as I'm writing this my Steven Erikson "Crack'd Pot Trail" arrives from PS Publishing - woo hoo!

I agree that Storm of Swords is probably the best Fantasy book of the decade with Memories of Ice coming in a VERY close second for me.

Jebus said...

Oh an d as for Gemmell (knew I forgot something), I reckon Echoes of the Great Song is his best novel, The Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince is his best series with the various Rigante books coming in third.

Also, I go drunk once with him and Terry Pratchett, I have a photo around here somewhere to prove it...

Aidan Moher said...

You forgot to mention that we're all uninformed, biased and sexist readers because of that list, James. Shame on us!

Seriously, you guys all hit on the books I would've mentioned if I hadn't left it to the last minute. Glad to see some of my favourites on the list.

James said...

David - you're right, different bait, etc. Personally I didn't think much of The Name of the Wind, and for me it was never a contender for one of my five best books of the decade. Doubt it would even make my top 10, or 15. It was reasonably good, but not amazing - though I know there's loads of people who will disagree! Agree with you re BSC though.

Jebus - I'm intending to try Abraham when I get a chance. And I really want to read A Memory of Ice, but am waiting for the series to be finished first.

Aidan - I'm not sexist, since I mentioned J. V. Jones as a close runner up! But you should feel ashamed! :)