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 ...

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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 ...

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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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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...