Mother Nature can be a scary bitch. Forget horror movies; if you ever want to see some truly messed up, freaky bone-chilling stuff, look no further than your BBC nature documentary. Case in point: the “Jungles” episode of Planet Earth. After so many years, that infamous scene of the killer parasitic fungus bursting forth from the back of a dead ant’s head like some kind of grotesque alien worm still gives me the heebie-jeebies—and clearly, I’m...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

The Tethered Mage was a very enjoyable read with an interesting magic system. Individuals in this world develop a tell tale mage-mark (a ring on their iris) as they develop their magical ability. There are different types of abilities that may manifest and some display at a younger age than others. But regardless of ability, if a child displays the mage-mark, they must be enlisted as a Falcon. A “jess” is put on their arm to contro...

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While it may be a little bloated at times, which unfortunately weighs the story down in its later sections, overall I have to say Blackwing is a pretty solid debut. Writing vividly and originally, Ed McDonald has managed to pull off something few authors have been able to do in recent years—open my eyes to a new way of doing grimdark. In this novel we follow our protagonist Ryhalt Galharrow, who is a bounty hunter and captain for the Blackwing...

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A solid 3.5 star read. Kat Howard enchanted me with her debut Roses and Rot last year, so I was excited to check out An Unkindness of Magicians, her sophomore novel about a hidden world of magic and power. In this “Unseen World”, members of elite magical houses come together every few years to duke it out in a tournament called the Turning, with each family represented by their chosen champion. Ostensibly held to place each house in a hierarch...

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Imposters of Aventil carries forward with the fun and excitement I’ve come to expect from the Maradaine series. The Thorn has a habit of getting himself in compromising positions sometimes, and bending (OK, maybe breaking) the law to suit his end purpose fighting the drug trade. But in this, he finds himself the suspect in cases he has nothing to do with. There is an imposter who is using the guise of the Thorn while stirring up trouble with b...

No Comments Lisa Taylor Read More

Magicians Impossible is a fun and exciting adventure that introduces magic to our world. I think this book should do well with readers that are fans of The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It features an older protagonist than a typical coming into powers or magic school book, and with just one or two exceptions, he has been a loner for most of his life. After the death of his estranged father, Jason’s world turns upside down and he finds hims...

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One of the largest holes in my fantasy reading repertoire is older works. I’ve been reading the genre for only about 5 years, so I missing practically a lifetime of reading, and I have to confess to being easily distracted by all the new and shiny books as they are released. So when people talk about classics of fantasy, I’m ashamed to admit that I usually don’t have much to contribute. When Tachyon offered a copy of this for...

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Hannah’s world is turned upside down when her parents split up. But when the Devil wakens from a long nap to discover someone is stealing the evil deeds of humanity, Hannah and her family will be central to putting this right. For various shades of right. He is the Devil, after all. I’ve been a big fan of Michael Marshall Smith for years, and his books are few and far enough between that a new one is always a celebration (yes, ther...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

Soul of the World is a good debut that sets the stage for an epic, world spanning series featuring magic, fantastical creatures and beasts. Three very different perspectives are used to give us the world view, which features a new and old world, and while there are different names, it feels much like England, France and the Americas. Aruk’Jar gives insights into the wilds and tribal life and customs. There is a strong tradition of gender...

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In Raid, Merbeth takes us back to the wastes where we can see all the violence and messiness that comes with it. If you haven’t read Bite, I can sum it up as a post-apocalyptic type, mad max type of world. With cannibals (or sharks as they are called in the books). It can be an isolating world, and the perspective of Clementine really highlights this. She hunts raiders, who destroy and endanger towns, but it also actually feeds her isola...

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8/10
Review: Steal the Sky by Megan E O’Keefe
Reviews / January 11, 2016

I’m going to be totally honest here and just come out and say that Steal the Sky was a book that I very nearly decided to skip.  I don’t know why. On the face of it this book has everything that I would normally jump at so I guess at the time I was maybe just having a ‘moment’.  I’m so glad it was a fleeting moment because I did pick up a copy (clearly) and it was a really enjoyable read. At the start of...

Upcoming Releases: January 10 – 16, 2016
Upcoming Releases / January 9, 2016

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          SCIENCE FICTION      FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           ...

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8/10
Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur
Reviews / January 7, 2016

This was my first book by Keri Arthur, and I was completely unprepared for how good it was. I don’t even know why I was caught so flat-footed! After all, I know friends who have been fans of the author’s for years and they all absolutely adore her work, which is what convinced me to give City of Light a try in the first place. I’ve been curious about her books for a long time, and this being the first book of a new series seemed like...

0
10/10
Review: The Just City by Jo Walton
Reviews / January 6, 2016

A very thought provoking and insightful book that makes you question the way things are in the world, as well as how they could be (and if that “other way” would really be better or worse). The Just City is an experiment carried out with by a Goddess. Her goal was to create perfectly balanced society where its citizens are judged solely on their own merits and abilities. There is to be no preferential treatment, people there should w...

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8/10
Review: The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
Reviews / January 4, 2016

I was immediately drawn to this novella by the cover: a beautiful and fierce-looking woman in the middle of a stormy sea. What was happening to her? It is book covers like this that make me want to read a book, and I dove in, hoping to find adventure, danger and an answer to my question. And I was not disappointed. The Drowning Eyes packs a lot of story into such a small page count, and introduces readers to some very unique characte...

Upcoming Releases: January 3 – 9, 2016
Upcoming Releases / January 2, 2016

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION      FANTASY       URBAN FANTASY       SCIENC...

0
9/10
Review: Skyborn by David Dalglish
Reviews / December 31, 2015

Look at me. This is my stunned face. As in, I could not believe how good this book turned out. Granted, the story was a little slow to take off (sorry, unavoidable pun), but the momentum gradually built up so that everything culminated into one of the most incredible and jaw-droppingly explosive endings I’ve ever read. In fact, if I had to rate this book based on just its second half alone, it would have been an easy 5 stars. But the...

0
8/10
Review: Drake by Peter McLean
Reviews / December 30, 2015

Just finished reading Drake, a new urban fantasy written by Peter McLean and set in a gritty London underground where gambling and gangsters, demons and other ancient creatures stalk the shadows.   Don Drake is essentially a hitman, he calls himself a ‘Hieromancer’ but basically, in his own words, he ‘summons and sends’ demons and other nasties to do the dirty work he’s been contracted to do by the local mob. He has a little hel...

Under Appreciated Books of 2015
Book List / December 29, 2015

So amidst all the lists at the end of the year, we wanted to focus on some of the books we’ve read that we really think need a bit more love and attention. I asked each of our contributors to highlight a few of their favorite reads of the year that they feel fell under the radar. Some of these rated high enough to make our Best of 2015 list, and some of them were nominated/ranked in the list we used for the Best Of list, but ju...

1
8/10
Review: Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen
Reviews / December 28, 2015

We’re just about nearing the end of the year, but apparently 2015 had one last big surprise for me. It came in the form of Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen. I confess, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I started this book because I dove in blind, and that’s actually the way I wanted it. When I first looked upon this novel in my hands, I was struck by this feeling that the less I knew about it, the more...