While I did a lot of reading this summer, I didn't get around to reviewing it all. Fortunately, I tend to take a lot of notes as I'm reading, so even if I'm a bit too removed from the reads to write an in-depth review, I can still share my thoughts.
Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters edited by by Janet E. Morris
This is a book I lingered over for quite some time, reading a few short stories at a time, as the mood grabbed me. Favorites within the collection included Legacy of the Great Dragon by S.E. Lindberg (loved the Egyptian theme), Bring Your Rage by Janet & Chris Morris (interesting use of the Amazons), Aquila of Oyos by Walter Rhein (fantastic clash of dragons), The Rhyme of the Dragon Queen by JP Wilder (great quest adventure), and The Dragon's Horde by Joe Bonadonna (nice slice of pulp fantasy). Maybe I'm a traditionalist, but the more contemporary stories were the weakest of the lot for me.
Checkmate Ever After by Lex Chase
I forget how this one landed in my lap - I think it was a promo stop or guest post that somehow fell through - but it was a fun take on superheroes (with a queer twist). It's campy and comic book inspired, with impossible feats of heroism and ridiculous powers, not to mention plenty of amusing quips and comebacks. The gay romance angle actually worked better than I expected, and was developed well, although there were some scenes that fell flat.
Freeze/Thaw by Chris Bucholz
This is a book that hooked me with a great concept, placing the Earth in peril because of a well-meaning attempt to stop global warning - that has backfired on an apocalyptic scale. It had a great hero, a quadriplegic hiker who is turned computer genius during his recovery. While exasperation with Gabe's superhuman perfection detracted somewhat from the ending (he just became too much), it was still an exciting adventure with some great ideas.
Lost Gods: A Novel by Brom
Maybe it's because Clive Barker, Paul Kane, and Tim Powers already took us there over the past year, but this descent into Hell didn't grab me the way I expected it to. Brom offers up an interesting setting and a remarkable journey, but the storyline itself was all over the place, and the characters were a little too flat to make the action come alive. Despite that, it's a story I kept returning to over the months it lingered on my pile, and one I felt compelled to finish, which definitely says something.