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...

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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...

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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...

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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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9/10
The Geomancer by Clay and Susan Griffith
Reviews / October 29, 2015

The Geomancer by Clay and Susan Griffith is a further instalment that brings to us the strange and very readable world of The Greyfriar (Gareth) and the Empress of Equatoria.  This is the fourth story set in this unusual alternate world and whilst I will try to avoid spoilers for this particular novel this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.  To be honest – I wouldn’t advise reading this as a standalone.  ...

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7/10
Review: The Builders by Daniel Polansky
Reviews / October 28, 2015

Funny how I’m generally not big on anthropomorphism but at the same time I do seem to love a lot of books featuring fluffy, furry adorable sentient animals (Redwall, Watership Down, Mouse Guard, etc.) Thus the draw of Daniel Polansky’s The Builders won out, and it was also perfect because I’ve been meaning to check out his work for a long time. The animals in this book are far from soft and cuddly, though. A mouse, a stoat, an opossu...

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8/10
Review: Mystic by Jason Denzel
Reviews / October 27, 2015

Mystic is very much a coming of age, perhaps somewhat standard fare for a young adult novel. And maybe you could say the story, in some ways, was predictable. But you know what? I don’t care. I found the characters refreshing, I wanted to read their experiences as they venture through this story. So, regardless of anything that felt familiar, I still really enjoyed it (remember, sometimes familiar is fun when the story is told ...

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8/10
Review: A Knight of Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin
Reviews / October 26, 2015

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a compilation of the first three Dunk and Egg short stories by George R. R. Martin that have previously been available in separate anthologies. I have been wanting to read these for years, and have just not hunted down copies of the separate anthologies yet. Now that they are conveniently packaged together, I figured there was no excuse. And as an added bonus, the art work in it makes getting the phy...

Upcoming Releases: October 25 – 31, 2015
Upcoming Releases / October 24, 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               SCIENCE FICTION     FANTASY                        ...

Short Story and Giveaway: The Ark by Patrick S. Tomlinson
Giveaway / October 23, 2015

Today, we am very excited to share Last Launch, a prequel short story for The Ark by Patrick S. Tomlinson. The Ark releases November 3rd in US/Can and November 5th Nov UK/RoW. And, we also have a Worldwide giveaway! Be sure to enter below to win one of 5 copies!   GIVEAWAY   Patrick S. Tomlinson   Patrick S. Tomlinson is the son of an ex-hippie psychologist and an ex-cowboy electrician. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin...

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7/10
Review: After Alice by Gregory Maguire
Reviews / October 22, 2015

Alice in Wonderland retellings seem to be everywhere these days, and they’re all over the map in terms of style and plot. This latest from Wicked author Gregory Maguire is something quite different from other Alice books I’ve read, and I quite enjoyed it. Would I recommend it to my readers, though? That’s the question. If you’ve read Maguire before—and seeing Wicked on Broadway doesn’t count!—then you will appreciate the author’s dis...

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6/10
Review: Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia
Reviews / October 21, 2015

Larry Correia is an author best known for his guns-and-monsters, no-holds barred, testosterone-soaked urban fantasy sagas, Monster Hunter International and the Grimnoir Chronicles. For those who were curious as to how he’d make the transition from guns to swords, Son of the Black Sword is pretty much everything you’d expect, with his macho sense of almost superhuman bravado slipping well into a pulpy heroic fantasy world....

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8/10
Review: Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Reviews / October 20, 2015

Last year, I became a big fan of Cassandra Rose Clarke after reading her adult novel debut The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, an emotional tale about love, loss and androids that shattered my heart to pieces and left me pining for more. So ever since I learned about her new book Our Lady of the Ice, I have been counting the days. Its premise sounded captivating too, a mystery drama unfolding inside a city encapsulated by a glass dome, the...

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8/10
Review: Planetfall by Emma Newman
Reviews / October 19, 2015

Planetfall is tense and addictive. It is the story of a colony of humans who fled earth in pursuit of God’s city on a faraway planet. This was supposed to be an answer for humans from earth, where things are not going so well. Since this is not simply the exploration of a new planet, but also a pilgrimage, religion and faith both factor heavily into this society. For me it was an interesting dynamic to have a people so technolo...