23 days until Ernest Cline’s Armada comes out… read the opening at io9

Here’s the sample of Armada @ io9. The full book comes out on Tuesday, July 14.

Armada seems to be exactly the kind of story I want to read in the middle of the summer. I’m still debating whether I want to read the sample or wait until I have the actual book in hand. I probably will read the sample before the night’s through, but I’m sure it’ll make the wait feel even longer.

I had thought Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels was exactly what I wanted to read this season (to be fair, the first half of it is pretty damn entertaining—I read it nonstop until Barker concocts a very flimsy reason to send Harry D’Amour into hell), but it’s just not what I expected from the guy who wrote the Books of Blood and The Hellbound Heart. I said some time ago I was going to properly review Gospels here, but I just don’t have the energy for a full review.

I do want to say there’s some really good stuff in Barker’s latest book, but there’s a lot of mediocre stuff, too. It feels like Barker is getting kind of sick of Pinhead, but that doesn’t make sense as he’s trying to reboot the Hellraiser films himself. What really surprised me is D’Amour and Pinhead don’t seem like themselves (can’t quite put my finger on it, but I suppose the movies could be influencing my opinion a bit). I’m also perplexed whenever Barker seems to bake elements from some of the lesser sequels into the definitive canon.

I’d be lying if I said the second half of the book wasn’t a chore for me at points. If I came face to face with Pinhead, I’m not sure I would stand around so much, waiting for what happened next. And I’m entirely sure I wouldn’t take my jacket off and attempt to use it as a weapon on the famous hell priest… yeah, that actually kind of happens in The Scarlet Gospels.

It’s safe to say only hardcore Barker fans should attempt to read it.

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