Book cover: Tarnished City - Vic James (a chained hand points down, a Scottish castle in the background)
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8/10
Review: Tarnished City by Vic James
Reviews / November 8, 2017

Tarnished City picks up from the point Gilded Cage left off with barely a backward glance – this isn’t a sequel that makes for a good entry point to Vic James dystopian alternative Britain (or one that can be discussed without raging spoilers for the first book). Luke is in the hands of the sadistic Lord Crovan – and finds that the games the Equal plays with his prisoners are subtler than mere torture in the dungeons of Eilean Dòchais. Greeted by Coira, the untouchable mistress of below-stairs, he finds himself assigned rooms that would do an Equal proud and a smart if ill-fitting suit for dinner. It soon becomes apparent that house guests and servants alike are fellow Condemned, with Crovan running a sort of Stanford prison experiment: the golden collars around each prisoner’s throat prevent servants harming house guests and anyone harming Crovan himself, but the servants are fair game. Luke’s illusions about his fellow humans are quickly dashed, although he persists in a youthful naïveté about just what crimes they previously committed. As with any prison drama, the inmates have alternative facts about how they ended up there, which Luke largely accepts – in spite of the evidence…

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8/10
Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Reviews / July 17, 2017

The Waking Land is a gorgeous new fantasy novel from debut author Callie Bates, and it was on my wishlist long before I had the opportunity to read it. There are just certain types of stories, while not entirely groundbreaking or new to the genre, that are just irresistible to me, and this is one of them. The book encompasses a lot of the elements I love, including a courageous heroine, an evocative magic system tied to the living earth, and a complex world built upon the political alliances and animosities between various kingdoms. Things get off to a rather intense start, with the prologue opening on the scene of an interrupted dinner party. Our protagonist Elanna Valtai, five years old at this point, watches as her nurse is murdered in front of her eyes. Meanwhile, King Antoine and the rest of his royal guards are storming the house downstairs, putting an end to her father’s rebellion. To ensure no more attempted uprisings, Elanna’s parents are banished back to their ancestral home of Caeris, while Elanna herself is seized as a hostage, to be raised in the king’s household in Eren. Fourteen years pass. For all that she is an…

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8/10
Review: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Reviews / April 11, 2017

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 able to locate all the pieces of Themis, which just happen to be scattered all over the world, and put them back together again. Once that’s accomplished, the characters try to figure out the purpose of Themis—why she’s here and what she does. Now in the second book of the series, Neuvel takes the exciting premise of the first book and injects it with a shot of adrenaline, raises the stakes and gives us a terrifying look at what an alien invasion might be like. If I was intrigued by all the science and alien engineering in the first book, I was scared out of my mind this time around. This is no E.T., it’s more like War of the Worlds,…

Upcoming Releases: April 9 – 15, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 8, 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.     SCIENCE FICTION           SCIENCE FICTION     

Upcoming Releases: February 19 – 25, 2017
Upcoming Releases / February 18, 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    FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION       FANTASY        SCIENCE FICTION     

Upcoming Releases: February 12 – 18, 2017
Upcoming Releases / February 11, 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          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY   URBAN FANTASY   SCIENCE FICTION   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION In Calabria Beagle, Peter S. 2/14/2017 Winter of the Gods Brodsky, Jordanna Max 2/14/2017 Miranda and Caliban Carey, Jacqueline 2/14/2017 Portal of a Thousand Worlds Duncan, Dave 2/14/2017 Gilded Cage James, Vic 2/14/2017 Lincoln in the Bardo Saunders, George 2/14/2017 Ubo Tem, Steve Rasnic 2/14/2017

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6/10
Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James
Reviews / January 24, 2017

In an atmosphere somewhat reminiscent of  Hunger Games and Red Rising (and many other dystopian novels), the world we encounter has a stark division between the classes. There are the elite Skilled, who though fewer in numbers, control Britain. The Skilled, as you may guess, have magical skills that allow them to do extraordinary things, such as heal themselves, repair broken objects and enforce the Silence (which ultimately means, messing with peoples brains to prevent them from speaking about things that the Skilled person does not want to be discussed). The general masses of normal people usually have little or no contact with Skilled, who are perceived as untouchable, unknowable things. People are not real sure how much of their fabled powers are truth versus exaggeration. I found in this book neither side sees a humanity in the other group.  Through one POV we get an inside look at Millmoor, a slavetown. We also get to see that some slaves are able to find ways to rebel, and I found this to be exciting and fun. These sections were hands down my favorite within the book. We also get perspectives from a family living within a Skilled household, serving their…

Upcoming Releases: November 13 – 19, 2016
Upcoming Releases / November 12, 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          SCIENCE FICTION   FANTASY   SCIENCE FICTION           FANTASY         SCIENCE FICTION    Catalyst (Star Wars) Luceno, James 11/15/2016 Del Rey Extreme Makeover Wells, Dan 11/15/2016 Tor Books Pirate Utopia Sterling, Bruce 11/15/2016 Tachyon Publications StarCraft: Evolution Zahn, Timothy 11/15/2016 Del Rey The Gates of Hell Livingston, Michael 11/15/2016 Tor Books