Firefight – Brandon Sanderson

Reckoners #2

David has been very successful in killing Epics, the superpowered humans that appeared after Calamity appeared in the sky. So successful, in fact, that it seems someone is sending Epics to Newcago just to test out him and his crew. On a trip to the likely source, Babylon Restored, they find out more than they anticipated.

3 stars
In brief: Feels like an early draft that still needs considerable polish.

Helliconia Winter – Brian W. Aldiss

Helliconia Trilogy #3

On a planet with a complex orbit the season is again turning toward a centuries-long winter for which humans are ill-suited. The Avernus observation satellite is similarly facing changes it may not survive. As the cold increases, human societies take ever greater precautions against the Fat Death and the changes it brings.

3 stars
In brief: While an improvement on its predecessors, Winter is not a strong book.

Helliconia Summer – Brian W. Aldiss

Helliconia Trilogy #2

On a planet with a complex orbit and centuries-long seasons, humans dominate the warmer times, only in some places living quietly with phagors and other sentient species. Their lives are observed remotely by Earth, via the Avernus, an orbital observation station. On the station, whose occupants have their own fascination with Helliconia’s royal scandals, one resident has just won a lottery, offering him a ticket to the surface, and to certain death.

2.5 stars
In brief: A slow, but still much more intimate and entertaining book than its prequel.

Helliconia Spring – Brian W. Aldiss

Helliconia Trilogy #1

A world in a binary stellar system has a complex orbit with long periods of heat and cold. Inhabited by humans, near-humans, and other species, its population re-discovers science as it emerges from each long ice age – all watched by a human orbital station that shares its findings with distant Earth.

2 stars
In brief: Aldiss' prose is formal, dense, and extremely dry.