Earlier this month I asked the author about what he was reading. Cole's reply:
I'm currently reading Naomi Novik's latest installment to her fabulous Temeraire series, Blood of Tyrants. The series reimagines the Napoleonic Wars with dragon mounted aerial corps on both sides of the conflict. Novik is a bona fide Jane Austen scholar, and her knowledge of the period shines through in the incredibly detailed authenticity of the pieces.Visit Myke Cole's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
But the greatest strength of the series are the dragons, whose character is so compelling that it absolutely carries the story. Novik develops her dragons with every bit as much care as her humans, and it is in the intersection between the two that we see her writing at its best. She takes the existence of highly intelligent, morally developed, giant fighting reptiles and extrapolates to conclusions that are at once shocking and completely logical.
She begins the series with the dragons of the main belligerents (France and England), and examines country after country in each successive volume (and dragons society, like that of humans, is different in every one!). Blood of Tyrants introduces us to dragons in Japan and Russia, with delightful results.
I've just finished Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet. This is a stunning work, and an important one, and I don't doubt it will find a place in literary canon over time. I've always said that plot is secondary to character, and that novels with invisible plots and amazing characters are the best kind.
Save Yourself is this in spades. It's simply a collection of incredibly well realized characters put under pressure and bumping into one another. It's an examination of adolescence, identity, grief, and the lengths to which we will go when we feel trapped. It unfolds organically and utterly believably, and Braffet's intensely honest and sympathetic grasp of what it's like to move from your teens to early twenties will resonate with any audience.
Save Yourself is absolutely amazing. Read it. You'll thank me.
My Book, The Movie: Control Point.