The Stone in the Skull kicks off strong with a unique and visual scene of a group of mercenaries featuring two of the main characters. Gage is an automaton and the other one? He is called The Dead Man. OK, it got my attention! Then when the setting changes, I honestly became more invested and quickly preferred the perspectives of Sayeh and Mrithuri, two powerful women who are each ruling their own kingdoms. Gotta love a book that features not ...

2 Comments Lisa Taylor Read More

The year is 1939, and aboard a ship bound for North America on the eve of World War Two, a young Oxford student named Cade Martin watches in horror as a sea monster drags his parents to their watery grave right before his eyes. Alone and stranded at sea, Cade is eventually rescued by a mysterious cabal of sorcerers led by a charming old Scotsman named Adair MacRae. With the Soviets on the Eastern Front and England on the Western Front, Adair c...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

The Hazel Wood is a book that is a combination of quest, redemption and dark fairy tale all rolled into one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The writing was really good but more than that the book actually spoke to me, and I realise that probably sounds a little bit sentimental but this was about change, coming of age, discovering who you are and having the courage to alter those things that seem set in stone.  It also gave me a serious case of the ...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

In 2017 I placed the first volume of this trilogy, Age of Assassins, among the best debuts of the year and also my favorite reads, so I had great expectations for this follow-up novel: let me say up front that those expectations were more than exceeded by Blood of Assassins, that is not only a worthy sequel but also an amazing story on its own. Five years have elapsed since the end of the first book, and they have not been easy years either fo...

When I read the first book in this series, I had no expectations, just thought it sounded like a great concept and so picked it up. It pretty much blew me away. I loved the entire concept of the the Library being evil, controlling (and often destroying) knowledge. It set a ridiculously high bar for the series, but even though next in the series (Paper and Fire) did not have quite that same level of magical reading experience, there was still p...

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Now that the Invisible Library series has become firmly established, the storylines are just getting better and better. Thematically, The Lost Plot is more mysterious and adventurous, drawing heavily from Dragon vs. Fae politics, and there are also strong attempts to involve as many world-building elements as possible. That said though, I do feel this installment takes a step away from series arc that has been developing for the last three boo...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

I’ll be honest, I read The Valiant by Lesley Livingston pretty much on a whim last year. It wasn’t a book that was on my radar until after it was released, which is unusual. I read a couple of glowing reviews for it for that essentially made me set my review books to the side because it sounded so good. I was glad I did because it just happened to have everything I love and in just the right amounts. I am very happy to tell you tha...

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For a debut novel Nick Clark Windo has come up with an impressive and thought provoking story with a post-apocalyptic world that comes scarily close to believable. Set in a possible near future Windo brings to us a world where people are so obsessed with their ‘feeds’ that they’re practically incapable of functioning when everything comes crashing down. Many of us live our lives pretty much glued to the internet with mobile p...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning is not a book for the squeamish! The body count rises at an astronimical rate, and details are not spared. I enjoyed it, and have to admit, parts were certainly unexpected, always a good thing. It takes place on a remote island that is currently home to an adventure group that does team building exercises. The current group of coworkers on a retreat to the island find themselves trapped there as their ferry ho...

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It’s rare that I find myself at a loss for words about a book, and while I’m sure I can come up with any number of adjectives to describe Chandler Klang Smith’s The Sky Is Yours, I doubt even that would be sufficient to give the full picture of the novel. This is just one of those once-in-a-lifetime books with a story that is much bigger than the sum of its parts, and can’t be easily summarized or placed neatly into any one category. Here’s to...

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8/10
Review: Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner
Reviews / February 9, 2016

If you were a fan of When the Heavens Fall, then be prepared for an abrupt change with Dragon Hunters.  For the second book of The Chronicle of the Exile, Marc Turner shifts location, characters, and story line. It’s still the same recognizable narrative voice, and the mythology ties the two books together, but it makes for a very different read . . . one that takes on a entirely new flavor. Having said that, if you’ve ye...

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6/10
Review: The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin
Reviews / February 8, 2016

The Brimstone Deception is the third installment of Lisa Shearin’s paranormal urban fantasy series SPI Files. For a while I’ve been comparing these books to a jauntier version of the X-Files when it suddenly hit me–the relationship between the main characters reminds me more of Brennan and Booth from Bones, except in this series Makenna is the cheerful half of the partnership while Ian is the down-to-business one. Either way, I love ...

Upcoming Releases: February 7 – 13, 2016
Upcoming Releases / February 6, 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         ...

2
9/10
Review: This Census-Taker by China Miéville
Reviews / February 4, 2016

This Census-Taker, in its novella length, provides the reader with a glorious and powerful enigma of a story. It is haunting, chilling, disturbing and touching and mesmerizing and absolutely beautiful. I could not stop reading this as I just craved to understand what was going on. It starts with a young boy running faster than he has ever run. Running from some unimaginable horror, and then we find out it involves his parents. The bo...

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7/10
Review: The Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal
Reviews / February 3, 2016

The Guns of Ivrea was a very entertaining swashbuckling adventure that contained a number of genuinely unexpected surprises. The main story is primarily one of treachery and deceit which I would say follows three main strands. Captain Danamis enjoys the status of pirate princeling and King’s Admiral with stewardship of the port at Palestro. Years ago a unique deal was struck with the pirates and the, then, new King, Sempronius ...

0
8/10
Review: Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
Reviews / February 2, 2016

Last year I read a wonderful novel called The Golden City, the first of a fantasy trilogy set in an alternate early 1900s Portugal featuring sirens and selkies. This was how I first came to discover the work of J. Kathleen Cheney. As you can imagine, I got pretty excited when I found out she was writing a new book! And this time, she’s transporting readers to a whole new world full of magic and amazing things to discover. Indeed, Dre...

1
4/10
Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Reviews / February 1, 2016

Sophie Jordan’s Reign of Shadows is a riff on a familiar story: a young Princess spirited away to live in a tower encounters a bad boy with a heart of gold who spurs her on a quest to save herself and take back her Kingdom. But the Kingdom of Relhok is plagued by the Blackness, a mysterious eternal darkness that covers the land. And under the cover of this darkness, foul things like the dwellers have been unearthed. The dwellers are ...

Upcoming Releases: Jan 31 – February 6, 2016
Upcoming Releases / January 30, 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           HORROR     FANTASY             &nbs...

2
8/10
Review: A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
Reviews / January 28, 2016

The moment I saw the cover for this book, I knew I had to read it. This is going to be one of my favorite covers of the year, no doubt. And even better, the story inside is just as magical and exciting. Lee Kelly brings something new to the table in the urban fantasy genre, making her an author to keep an eye on. I loved the blend of magic, action and romance, and I was swept away with Kelly’s irresistible world-building. Set i...

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8/10
Review: Alchemy of Chaos by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Reviews / January 27, 2016

Alchemy of Chaos is another great installment in the Maradaine world. It continues to carry forward the excitement of magic, gangs we met in The Thorn of Dentonhill and even introduces some deadly female assassins into the mix. Veranix, known as The Thorn on the street, has become a notorious vigilante in Maradaine. His presence and interference has caused disruption and concern not just amongst his target, the effite trade and Fenme...