The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Man in the High Castle CoverThe Man in the High Castle is a 1962 novel by Philip K. Dick. It is an alternate history novel, set in the 1960s in a world where the Axis powers won the Second World War. This novel won the Hugo award when it was released, and is the novel that first made Dick famous, and is considered by many to be his finest work.

This is the first book that I have read from Philip K. Dick, an author whom I have been intending to read for quite some time. He is simply too famous a science fiction autuhor for me to not at least try one of his novels, and I am glad that I finally did. Had the choice been up to me, I might have opted to start with his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, having happened to come across that novel’s title more frequently than this one’s, but as this was the one set on my uni course, this is the one that I read now.

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The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

The Body Snatchers CoverThe Body Snatchers is a 1955 science fiction novel by Jack Finney, that tells the tale of the quiet invasion of a small town in California by an alien race that perfectly mimics and replaces any human that they come in contact with. The novel follows the attempts of four characters, Miles, Becky, Jack, and Theodora, to find out what’s going on in order to resist it.

I hadn’t actually heard about this novel before it was put on the reading list of my university science fiction course. Under a minute into looking at its Wikipedia page let me know that I really should have heard of it: The Body Snatchers seems to have been an instant classic when it was released, it has been adapted successfully to the screen four times, and the author won a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1987.

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Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn Book 1)

The Final Empire CoverMistborn: The Final Empire is the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy series Mistborn. The novel focuses on Kelsier, an escaped slave, who is an uncommonly strong magic user, known as a mistborn, who is able to burn all metals (each with their own unique power, such as strength or telekinesis over metals) rather than just one. In the novel, Kelsier aims to re-unite his old thieving crew in order to set up a plot to overthrow the dominion of the Lord Ruler.

 

This is the second novel that Sanderson ever published (and his first series), and it is perhaps the fantasy series that Sanderson is most well known for. Consequently, it is a series that I have been meaning to read for a very long time. I cannot remember how long I have had the book in my library, but it was about five years ago that I first attempted to read it. I read about one hundred of its pages, and then stopped reading. Not because of any fault in the book necessarily, but just because it was one of those moments in my life when I was reading less. Well, recently, I decided to give it another go, and I read the whole novel in just a couple of days. Given the size of the book, that already goes some ways to indicating the quality of this book, but perhaps I should go more in depth about that.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic Book 1)

A Darker Shade of Magic CoverA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is the first book in the Shades of Magic series, which is set in a world where parallel Londons exist: Grey, White, Red, and the lost Black. A Darker Shade of Magic follows the lives and intersecting adventures of Kell, one of the few magicians still able to travel between these Londons, and Delilah, a cut-purse from Grey London, the London of our world with no magic.

In this review, I have to begin with the world and concept of this book. It was these, along with the high ratings this book has received, that first drew me in to read this book. I find the concept of parallel Londons, each with different amount of magic in it, to be a fantastic one, and the novel does not disappoint in how it develops this world. The Londons feel cohesive, and the system that Kell works is well thought out and feels real.

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