When Allah created man out of clay, he created djinn out of fire. Ephemeral spirits that tempt us, trick us, and sometimes grant our wishes, these creatures of folklore take centre stage in excellent Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology, The Djinn Falls in Love. With contributors from all around the world, this collection of short stories is as remarkable for its variety as it is for its quality. Murad & Shurin have given their con...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

Game of Shadows is a tale of adventure, a coming of age story that focuses on a teenage boy called Ethan Makkai.  The abridged version of this review is that whilst I don’t think this book worked for me personally, I can certainly see the appeal for the target audience.  This is undoubtedly a fun and fast paced read, maybe a little too young for my tastes but still very easy to read and with plenty of imagination. As the story begins we ...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

Whatever can be said about Avengers of the Moon, Allen Steele has accomplished something rare and remarkable here. In his afterword, he suggests that this novel can be viewed as a reboot of Captain Future—a character I was not initially familiar with, though pulp lovers will no doubt recognize this science fiction hero who appeared primarily in a series of adventure stories written by Edmond Hamilton in the 40s. Steele goes on to explain, howe...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

Any book that has me struggling not to squeak on public transport and then has me nearly miss my bus stop is going to get a big thumbs-up. I loved Aliette de Bodard’s blasted, magic-torn Paris in The House of Shattered Wings and I delighted in the chance to return to it and peer into one of the darker Fallen Houses. This makes it sound vaguely like there’s any such thing as a light Fallen House. There isn’t, which is the firs...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

Honestly, I don’t understand why there aren’t more science fiction writers like John Scalzi. I don’t need all science fiction to be written Scalzi style, but I do need more than we’ve got. Opening a review this way should give you a sense that I very much enjoyed The Collapsing Empire. It is, in many ways, a traditional space opera, full of imaginative technology, vivid world-building, and enormous stakes. On the other ...

I had a blast reading Sleeping Giants last year, and despite some issues with the format, I enjoyed Neuvel’s original take on the alien invasion story. If you haven’t read Sleeping Giants, the story revolves around Dr. Rose Franklin, who finds a giant robot hand as a girl, and later becomes a renowned scientist who discovers that the hand is one piece of a very large alien robot. Sleeping Giants tackles the tale of how Rose and her crew are ab...

No Comments Tammy Sparks Read More

It may have taken a few months, but I am finally ready to hand out my first 5 star rating for 2017. And as much as I loved the Unhewn Throne trilogy, Skullsworn has taken seat for my favorite of Staveley’s book. One thing Staveley did well in Unhewn Throne was create fascinating secondary characters that you wish had more page time, and even without knowing everything about them, you just love them. Well, Staveley has now proven he can t...

No Comments Lisa Taylor Read More

Get ready, because it’s time to enter the arena again. Gauntlet is everything a reader dreams of in a sequel—bigger world, higher stakes, and even more dangerous and violent challenges. I had a really good time with the first book, but at the same time I was also curious to see how this follow-up would build on its potential and whether or not it would improve on a few of the weaknesses. Quite a lot has happened since the end of Arena. With he...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

Red Sister is the first book in the third series written by Mark Lawrence and I’ll start by saying it gets off to an excellent start. I’ll give a brief overview of the plot.  We make the acquaintance of Nona at the start of the story.  She’s about to be fitted for a hangman’s noose for attempting to murder the son of a rather prominent member of society.  Unsurprisingly, and not a spoiler to say, she never makes her fin...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

  I’m embarrassed to tell you that it took me nearly a month to read this book. But wait, before you laugh at me, a book review blogger, for not being able to read a mere 544 pages in a timely fashion, the truth is, I got myself into a scheduling bind and had to abandon Kings of the Wyld and read several books for some scheduled reviews, before I could finally get back to it. And it is perhaps because of the talent of the author that I ha...

No Comments Tammy Sparks Read More

0
8/10
Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish
Reviews / October 5, 2015

Last year’s Owl and the Japanese Circus was a solid 3-star read for me, an entertaining urban fantasy that managed to reignite my excitement for a genre that I felt had become tiresome and repetitive. Granted, the whole “Indiana Jane” aspect was a big part of that – I’m a sucker for any sort of archaeological, tomb-raiding adventure – but Kristi Charish really impressed me. I went into Owl and the City of Ange...

0
8/10
Review: The Bloodforged by Erin Lindsey
Reviews / October 4, 2015

  The Bloodforged carries The Bloodhound series further into conflict and gives the reader another fun and exciting adventure as this series continues to be a captivating and fun page turner that flies by. There are challenges that are physical, political and strategic. There are moments of romance and heartbreak. The whole book almost seems to be an emotional rollercoaster as the characters are desperate and driven to extremes ...

Upcoming Releases: October 4 – 10, 2015
Upcoming Releases / October 3, 2015

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                ...

0
9/10
Review: The Flux by Ferret Steinmetz
Reviews / October 2, 2015

The Flux is a great second book I really enjoyed it and so was even more pleased to find that a third book is planned. Just a quick warning. This review may contain spoilers for Flex so if you’re intending to read that, which I wholeheartedly feel you should, then you should stop reading about now. The Flux starts a short while after the conclusion of book No.2. Aliyah is now 8 years old and her mancy powers make her something ...

6
8/10
Review: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
Reviews / October 1, 2015

A lot of the books that I’m excited for in 2015 are actually releasing quite late this year, so as we sauntered into fall and said good bye to summer, I was getting ready to say hello to a couple of my most anticipated titles. Shadows of Self was most definitely near the top of that list. I’m a big fan of Brandon Sanderson, and I absolutely loved The Alloy of Law – probably more than all three books of the original Mistborn trilogy p...

0
8/10
Review: Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley
Reviews / September 30, 2015

Last year’s The Mirror Empire was one of the most exciting (and sometimes divisive) entries in an already stellar year of fantasy fiction. Kameron Hurley crafted a book that was daring, original, and even challenging. While putting her own spin on the idea of parallel worlds in a post-apocalyptic sort of portal fantasy, she turned gender roles and relationships on their head. It was the most brutally violent female-led fantasy ...

3
9/10
Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
Reviews / September 29, 2015

The Heart Goes Last is a dark and yet humorous vision of a dystopian future where the world has lost social order. Life is hard, money and resources are incredibly scarce and people fear for their safety as there is no longer police or social justice to keep people in line. Charmaine and Stan, a young married couple, are lucky, for while they have lost their home and have little to their name, they have managed to hold on to their ca...

5
8/10
Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Reviews / September 28, 2015

The nitty-gritty: A sprawling adventure story filled with airships, magic crystals, military maneuvers and talking cats. Yes, I said talking cats! Despite the fact that it took me two weeks to read The Aeronaut’s Windlass, I had so much fun. This was my first Jim Butcher book, and I can see why he’s so popular. His storytelling is exciting and his characters practically jump off the page. No doubt my rating would be higher had the bo...

Introduction: Our Most Anticipated Books for Fall 2015
Book List , News / September 27, 2015

Welcome to The Speculative Herald’s inaugural post! As a very quick introduction, The Speculative Herald is a new collaborative blog made of up established bloggers. You can see who we are over on the About Us page. We have come together to create a common site to really highlight the newest and upcoming books in speculative fiction. This will be a great week with reviews for the latest/upcoming releases from Jim Butcher, Marga...

News: The Dragon is Waking
News / August 19, 2015

What is this? A dragon is waking. But don’t be scared. While this dragon is fierce in its own way, it is likely not in the manner you are accustomed. Also, it does not hoard it’s treasure, so when it wakes it’s bounty will be shared with all. Everyone knows all dragons like shiny things, but this one does not go for gold or silver or gems. This dragon obsesses over procuring and learning about the newest, shiniest b...