I’m joining in with The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday, though this week I’ve only got two recommended reads on “Books That Surprised Me.”
First up is Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.
This is a stunning fantasy set in a country struggling to be free of the dark curse placed on it by the tyrant king Brandin – a curse which means the country’s name cannot be spoken or even remembered.
The story is told from several points of view, including that of Brandin himself, and as it progresses the reader learns of the wrongs done to Brandin and which have led him to take such revenge.
Used to the good vs evil of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, Tigana made me realise that life is never so black-and-white, and that every “bad guy” is the hero of his own story.
My second choice is Clean by Alex Hughes, an urban fantasy novel.
Set in a somewhat dystopian version of Atlanta, Clean is a dark and gritty novel with a landscape shaped by a Tech War which has left the US paranoid and afraid of technology. Add to this the fact that some people have “Ability” – or telepathic powers.
It’s quite hard to talk about what surprised me with this book, as doing so would be a massive spoiler for anyone who’s not read the story, but the book itself is tremendously well-written and the world that Hughes builds is very believable.
The hero is a consultant with the police and he is beyond screwed up after getting himself addicted to a narcotic called Satin. His determination to remain clean (see what I did there?) is threatened when a face from his past starts killing people by telekinesis.
All he knows is that he has a vision of death that he has to prevent – not easy when no one in the police department trusts him enough to believe him.
Have you ever read a book that’s surprised you?