Book cover: The House of Binding Thorns - Aliette de Bodard (a sword planted in the ground before wrought iron gates, against a blood red city skyline)
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9/10
Review: The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
Reviews / April 13, 2017

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 first reason I love this world: without being grimdark, it has little time for our petty human morality. However, House Hawthorn was firmly established as the home of villains in the first book: now they are the protagonists, but still shown through mistrustful eyes. Alchemist Madeleine was a loyal Hawthorn dependent until Asmodeus seized power, slaughtering the previous Head and his allies. Madeleine barely escaped with her life, seeking refuge in House Silverspires – until her addiction to angel essence got her banished. Now she is back in Hawthorn, where it’s made clear that she must give up angel essence (nobody can give up angel essence) or die. The knowledge that Asmodeus will get to choose the manner of her dying keeps her alive. Fear, perhaps predictably, is a driving force throughout The House of…

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7/10
Review: Gauntlet by Holly Jennings
Reviews / April 3, 2017

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 her RAGE tournament winnings and money she made from her new found fame, our protagonist Kali Ling has returned to buy out Defiance, becoming the captain and owner of her gaming team. When the story begins, Kali is troubled by a new development that has been sweeping the virtual gaming world—a house. Though in truth, this “house” is more of a colossal mansion. Nicknamed “The Wall”, it sits nestled on a sprawling estate sealed away from the public. For weeks, rumors have been flying around that the best gaming teams from around the world have been invited inside, but no one knows what goes on during these visits. Wild parties? Drugs? Not knowing is driving Kali crazy,…

Upcoming Releases: April 1 – 7, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 1, 2017

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           HORROR   FANTASY                       SCIENCE FICTION       HORROR       FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR    

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10/10
Review: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Reviews / March 29, 2017

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 final fitting – that would have been a very short book would it not! Before her execution can be carried out she finds herself rescued, or more succinctly put, stolen away by Abbess Glass of the Sweet Mercy Convent.  Not yet ten years old Nona is different.  The people of her village knew this, and mostly avoided her, until that cruel day on which she was given away to a child collector to be sold in the City.  Abbess Glass recognises this difference and believes that rather than making Nona something to fear it makes her something special. From them on we spend time with Nona as she is initiated into the school and undertakes a number of trials and tribulations,…

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8/10
Review: The Burning Isle by Will Panzo
Reviews / December 13, 2016

The Burning Isle is a book that captivated me from the very beginning. It’s fun, fast paced and I immediately felt connected to the protagonist, Cassius. I  found myself both rooting for him and also growing more curious about him with each page. The story is told from his POV, and has a series of interspersed flash back chapters that help you piece together both his history and his motivation. In the start of the book, Cassius has arrived in the island of Scipio, a place where the dregs of society find themselves when they have no where else to go. Lawless and ruthless, this is not a destination of choice. “Five miles of slum on the edge of fifty miles of jungle” is how it’s described in the blurb. While it may generally be lawless, there are powerful people there that have control. The city/slum is divided, each side being ruled rival leaders with the feel of a mob or gang type atmosphere. You know, that fun criminal underground setting that everyone loves to read. But the ultimate power on the island belongs to an elusive general who lives with his soldiers at a fort in the forest. The atmosphere…

Upcoming Releases: November 27- December 3, 2016
Upcoming Releases / November 26, 2016

re’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           HORROR   FANTASY       SCIENCE FICTION   HORROR       FANTASY          SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   Confluence   S.K. Dunstall   11/29/2016   Ace Gloriana: Or, The Unfulfill’d Queen   Moorcock, Michael  11/29/2016  Saga Press Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis  Anne Rice  11/29/2016  Knopf The Blockade  Jean Johnson  11/29/2016  Ace The Fate of the Tearling  Erika Johansen  11/29/2016  Harper    

GIVEAWAY: The City by Stella Gemmell
Reviews / November 18, 2016

Early next month, The Immortal Throne by Stella Gemmell is releasing (Dec. 6, 2016). If you missed her first book,  The City, it is exciting and fun to read;  a great good versus evil story with lots of grit and a city that takes center stage to the point where it almost feels like another character. I am definitely looking forward to The Immortal Throne, and encourage those that haven’t read her first yet to give it a try. Today we are thrilled to offer the chance to win a copy of her first book, The City. About the Author ABOUT STELLA GEMMELL Stella Gemmell is the author of The City. She has a degree in politics and is a journalist. She was married to the internationally acclaimed and bestselling fantasy novelist David Gemmell and worked with him on his three Troy novels, concluding the final book, Troy: Fall of Kings, following his death in 2006. Stella lives in East Sussex and writes in what was once the dairy of a fifteenth-century farmhouse. Giveaway About the Books In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the “powerful” (Booklist)  conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal…

Upcoming Releases: October 30 – November 5, 2016
Upcoming Releases / October 29, 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   FANTASY               URBAN FANTASY       SCIENCE FICTION               FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION Binary Storm Christopher Hinz 11/1/2016 Angry Robot Christmas Magic Hartwell, David G. 11/1/2016 Tor Books Congress of Secrets Burgis, Stephanie 11/1/2016 Pyr Den of Wolves Marillier, Juliet 11/1/2016 Roc Dominion Peter McLean 11/1/2016 Angry Robot Illicit Clamp, Cathy 11/1/2016 Tor Books Invisible Planets Liu, Ken 11/1/2016 Tor Books Seriously Shifted Connolly, Tina 11/1/2016 Tor Teen Shadowed Souls Butcher, Jim 11/1/2016 Roc The Burning Isle Panzo, Will 11/1/2016 Ace The Burning Light Beaulieu, Bradley P. 11/1/2016 Tor.com The Lost Child of Lychford Cornell, Paul 11/1/2016 Tor.com The Operative Brandt, Gerald 11/1/2016 DAW Unquiet…

Upcoming Releases: October 2 – 8, 2016
Upcoming Releases / October 1, 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           URBAN FANTASY     SCIENCE FICTION       HORROR         FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR     All Your Wishes Adams, Cat 10/4/2016 Tor Books Break the Chains O’Keefe, Megan E. 10/4/2016 Angry Robot Closer to the Chest Lackey, Mercedes 10/4/2016 DAW Feedback Grant, Mira 10/4/2016 Orbit Impersonations Williams, Walter Jon 10/4/2016 Tor.com Into the Guns Dietz, William C. 10/4/2016 Ace Level Grind Bellet, Annie 10/4/2016 Saga Press Stranded MacLeod, Bracken 10/4/2016 Tor Books The Rise of Io Chu, Wesley 10/4/2016 Angry Robot The Wall of Storms Liu, Ken 10/4/2016 Saga Press The White Spell Kurland, Lynn 10/4/2016 Berkley

Upcoming Releases: September 25 – October 1, 2016
Upcoming Releases / September 24, 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   FANTASY           URBAN FANTASY     FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY   The Dreaming Hunt Cindy Dees 9/27/2016 Tor Books The Ferryman Institute Colin Gigl 9/27/2016 Gallery Books The Bloodsworn Erin Lindsey 9/27/2016 Ace Cloudbound Fran Wilde 9/27/2016 Tor Books The Fall of the House of Cabal Jonathan L. Howard 9/27/2016 Thomas Dunne The Purloined Poodle Kevin Hearne 9/30/2016 Subterranean Press