** January Challenge – RETURNS and EXCHANGES **

goodreads The Aussie Readers group on Goodreads has the January Challenge – RETURNS and EXCHANGES;

For the start of the new year – (2015! How is it possible??) – we have something different to challenge everyone with:)
RETURNS – Choose a book that you’ve read in the last 12 months that you rated 5 stars. Read another book by the same author.
EXCHANGES – Choose a book that you’ve read in the last 12 months that you rated 5 stars. Select a book from the “Readers Also Enjoyed” selection on that book’s main page and read it.

BookReturn

Lots of 4 stars in 2014, but only one 5 star which was Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam (Discworld #40). This results in;

RETURNS
Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter – The Long Earth (The Long Earth #1)
Long Earth NORMALLY, WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO, HE LISTENED TO THE SILENCE.
The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable…. This was the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chesspiece knight. This wasn’t Joshua’s world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn’t have a world; he had all of them.

(Media: Dead Tree)
VERDICT: ★★★★
Not your standard Pratchett novel. If you wavered at Nation this is even further from the Discworld with a real serving of science fiction.

EXCHANGES
Ogres A. Lee Martinez – In the Company of Ogres
An uproarious new novel in the tradition of Robert Asprin and Terry Pratchett!
For someone who’s immortal, Never Dead Ned manages to die with alarming frequency–he just has the annoying habit of rising from the grave. But this soldier might be better dead than face his latest assignment.
Ogre Company is the legion’s dumping ground–a motley, undisciplined group of monsters whose leaders tend to die under somewhat questionable circumstances. That’s where Ned’s rather unique talents come in. As Ogre Company’s newly appointed commander, Ned finds himself in charge of such fine examples of military prowess as a moonstruck Amazon, a very big (and very polite) two-headed ogre, a seductively scaly siren, a blind oracle who can hear (and smell) the future, a suicidal goblin daredevil pilot, a walking tree with a chip on its shoulder, and a suspiciously goblinesque orc.
Ned has only six months to whip the Ogre Company into shape or face an even more hideous assignment, but that’s not the worst of his problems. Because now that Ned has found out why he keeps returning from dead, he has to do everything he can to stay alive. . . .
In the Company of Ogres does for fantasy, what A. Lee Martinez’s previous novel, Gil’s All Fright Diner, did for horror–and elves and goblins may never be the same!

(Media: eBook)
VERDICT: ★★★.★
While other reviews have classified A. Lee Martinez alongside Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, this felt more like a Terry Brooks Shannara story than Discworld or Hithchikers. A good fun read, recommended.

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