Sorry I haven't been posting much. Twice next week, I promise.
Recently, I've been listening to podiobooks, and I'm really enjoying J. C. Hutchins's 7th Son trilogy. If you haven't heard it, check it out. The first book is scheduled for print release, so if you prefer the printed word, you won't have too long to wait. One of the really cool things about this trilogy is that he starts with eight men all named John Michael Smith. That's right -- he totally shatters the rule about not having characters with similar names by giving them all the same name. They all go by different versions of the name -- John, Jack, Jonathan, Mike, Michael, and so forth -- but the similarity is there, along with the potential for confusion. Hutchins does a very good job of delineating the differences between the men, though, and it makes for a terrific listen.
Another pair of books with similar character names is Marie Brennan's Doppelganger duology. I've only gotten partway through the first book so far, but I have to say that she does an excellent job of distinguishing Mirage from Miryo.
Some readers might have more trouble with these names. Losing such readers is a risk. But these books show that the rule can be broken.