Note: This summer was crazy. I posted next to nothing here on the site and we had several long gaps between IrrConPod episodes. The good news is I've got several things in the pipeline for the blog. I just need to find time to get them written...

I finished 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, and started Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey. One of them I really can't recommend and one of them I definitely do recommend, but you'll have to read four other books first.

1Q84 is a strange book. I'm not sure if it's just the author's style or how it was translated from Japanese, but it's strange. It's very readable – if you don't count the references to Japanese culture that I don't get – but it is extremely long and there really isn't that much that happens. The plot, even when it seems like it should be very exciting, is subdued and predictable. And my biggest questions were either answered in a really boring way or just not answered at all. I can't really say it's a bad book but it's not a great story and you could probably spend that time with much more entertaining books.

Nemesis Games, on the other hand is really entertaining. It is book five of the excellent Expanse series of books. They all revolve around the same core characters with many other characters coming in and out of the story from book to book. I really love everything about these books from the awesome, retro-sci fi cover art to the thoughtful and realistic way space travel works in this universe. They're all great and Nemesis Games may be the most interesting one yet. I've heard it described as the Expanse's Empire Strikes Back. I haven't finished it yet, but it seems like an apt description so far.

If you want to get started with the Expanse books, which I highly recommend you do, the first book is Leviathan Wakes and all of the first five books are available in paperback.