Admittedly, I’m not so big a fan of Jane Austen or Austen-inspired fiction that I would normally pick up any book with a title that begins with “Pride and…”, but there was just something irresistible about John Kessel’s novel that called to me. Of course, the added element of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein didn’t hurt. Still, although it may draw inspiration from one of two of the most beloved novels of classic literature, it would be a disservic...

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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 ...

3 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...

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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...

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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...

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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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1
9/10
Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Reviews / December 1, 2015

Ink and Bone is an addictive, intense read that shares a love for books with the reader.  In the world of Ink and Bone, knowledge can sometimes be viewed as a virus, if left to spread, it can cause corruption. So, what do you do with something infectious? You try to contain and control it. That is what The Great Library does. All physical books are possessed and controlled by the Great Library (does that sound “great” to ...

Upcoming Releases: November 29 – December 5, 2015
Upcoming Releases / November 28, 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                       &nb...

0
9/10
Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Reviews / November 26, 2015

Binti is the story of a young Himba woman whose life and clan revolve around math and engineering. Her people never leave their home, so the news of her acceptance into Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy, is bittersweet. Binti loves learning, and the opportunity to participate in a program with such a fabulous reputation is of course very exciting. However, that means leaving her home, her famil...

0
8/10
Review: The Dragon Engine by Andy Remic
Reviews / November 25, 2015

Although it shares the same world as The Iron Wolves and The White Towers, Andy Remic’s first book in The Blood Dragon Empire is an entirely different. While those books were very much high-stakes epic fantasies, complete with massive battles and bloodshed, The Dragon Engine is more of a traditional quest tale – albeit one that subverts the usual tropes. For starters, our heroes seem to be the typical gang of adventurers ...

1
10/10
Review: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
Reviews / November 24, 2015

This compact novella was my first experience reading Catherynne M. Valente, and I was literally blown away (pun intended). Six-Gun Snow White has all the familiar elements from the fairy tale—a young girl abused by her stepmother, a magic mirror, seven dwarves, a poisoned apple, a huntsman—and yet it’s completely new and fresh and unlike any other Snow White story you’re likely to read. Valente arms her Snow White with a revolver cal...

1
10/10
Review: Black Wolves by Kate Elliott
Reviews / November 23, 2015

Black Wolves may be a daunting read as it is a massive book and I know sometimes readers are deterred by that. The thing is, though, it is also a massively impressive book. Scaling it down would be a disservice to the story and quite honestly the story deserves to be read. I have not formulated my ‘best of the year’ list, but I can tell you this book will appear on it as it is easily one of the best epic fantasies I have ...

Upcoming Releases: November 22 – 18, 2015
Upcoming Releases / November 21, 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     SCIENCE FICTION        

0
8/10
Review: City of Wonders by James A Moore
Reviews / November 19, 2015

City of Wonders is book three in James A Moore’s Seven Forges series (Seven Forges being No.1 and The Blasted Lands No.2).  Seven Forges got off to a very intriguing start, The Blasted Lands built strongly on that foundation and left us with a rather jaw dropping finish then City of Wonders came along and left  no doubt that this series is firmly planted in the land of Epic.  Truly this is turning into a series to be reckoned with. I...

4
7/10
Review: Towers Fall by Karina Sumner-Smith
Reviews / November 18, 2015

Karina Sumner-Smith’s genre defying Towers trilogy draws to a close with Towers Fall, a series-ender that successfully lives up to the potential promised by the first two books. I remember being impressed when I first read Radiant, surprised that it was the author’s novel debut. I went on to read Defiant and was again blown away by the story’s premise and world building, and it feels deeply satisfying now to have come this far with o...

1
8/10
Review: The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart
Reviews / November 17, 2015

The Beast of Barcroft went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting, in fact, on reflection, I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but whatever it was this surpassed it in many ways and I hope there will be more instalments in the future. We start the story finding out about the neighbour from hell, Madeleine Roux.  Well, that’s probably a bit of an extreme description but it’s certainly the way her neighbours feel about her.  Madele...