0
10/10
Review: The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
Reviews / October 6, 2016

In my review of Ken Liu’s debut, I said it possessed all the epic grandeur, intelligence, and dignity of a Guy Gavriel Kay novel. Now, having read the follow-up, I am starting to wonder if anybody has ever seen the two of them in the same room together. Okay, so I’m kidding – or, at least, half-kidding – but The Wall of Storms is precisely the kind of sweeping, character-driven epic of cultural mythology that so very few authors could attempt, much less manage so successfully. The first half of the novel (and we’re talking several hundred pages) is largely dedicated to developing a new character who had no role to play in The Grace of Kings. Zomi is a smart, philosophical young woman who thinks and acts in a manner that is disturbingly progressive for an already strained empire. Where her connection to the tale comes in is through Luan Zya, the man who advised the Emperor to betray his best friend for the greater good, and who then walked away from it all. Through alternating chapters we see the progress of the imperial examinations in which Zomi is to take part, and the learnings and journeys she shared with Luan to get there. It makes for an…

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: July 17 – 23, 2016
Upcoming Releases / July 16, 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   Fallout: The Hot War Harry Turtledove 7/19/2016 Del Rey Flying Jones, Carrie 7/19/2016 Tor Teen Imprudence Gail Carriger 7/19/2016 Orbit Life Debt: Aftermath Chuck Wendig 7/19/2016 Del Rey Nightshades Melissa F. Olson 7/19/2016 Tor.com The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold Jon Hollins 7/19/2016 Orbit The Dragon Round Stephen S. Power 7/19/2016 Simon & Schuster The Empty Ones Brockway, Robert 7/19/2016 Tor Books Ghost Run J.L. Bourne 7/19/2016 Gallery The Race Nina Allan 7/19/2016 Titan The Sunlight Pilgrims Jenni Fagan 7/19/2016 Hogarth The…

Upcoming Releases: June 26 – July 2, 2016
Upcoming Releases / June 25, 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   Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator Christian, Claudia 6/28/2016 Tor Books The Seascape Tattoo Niven, Larry 6/28/2016 Tor Books The Dark Side Anthony O’Neill 6/28/2016 Simon & Schuster Wasteland King Lilith Saintcrow 6/28/2016 Orbit Hope & Red Jon Skovron 6/28/2016 Orbit The Perdition Score Richard Kadrey 6/28/2016 Harper Voyager Age of Myth Michael J. Sullivan 6/28/2016 Del Rey Icon Genevieve Valentine 6/28/2016 Saga Tracer Rob Boffard 6/28/2016 Redhook The Big Sheep Robert Kroese 6/28/2016 Thomas Dunne The Binding Nicolas Wolff 6/28/2016 Gallery Down and Out In…

0
8/10
Review: The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill
Reviews / June 22, 2016

If you enjoy gritty and dark, violent futuristic sci-fi mystery thrillers, then The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill will be just the book for you. O’Neill works crime, sex, drugs, and a psychotic murdering android into a full-on non-stop plot, and that’s just to name a handful of the topics covered in this book. In The Dark Side, two key narrative threads can be discerned, but even though they are fundamentally related to each other, the connections won’t become clear until later on. In one storyline, Lieutenant Damien Justus has come to Purgatory, a lunar territory founded by megalomaniac billionaire-in-exile Fletcher Brass. Its capital, appropriately called Sin, has been turned into a haven for fugitives and other undesirables from Earth who have come to the moon to escape their old lives. It is the only place where the shadier your record is, the better the chance you’ll be let in. Even the police here have dodgy backgrounds. Justus, however, is the patently incorruptible good cop who has just arrived from Earth, and he’s just the kind of guy Purgatory needs to clean things up. To him, no one is above the law—and no exceptions. He is immediately given the lead…

0
6/10
Review: The Dragon Round by Stephen S Power
Reviews / June 15, 2016

The Dragon Round is a fantasy adventure with plenty going on and a protagonist hellbent on revenge. At the start of the story we meet Jeryon, Captain of the Comber with plenty of experience under his belt.  He’s a fair man but also a company man through and through and one who believes in acting by the book.  Unfortunately as Jeryon and his crew are making a headland for home the shadow of a dragon appears on the horizon.  The choices are limited.  Hope the beast hasn’t spotted them, hope it’s simply not interested or engage in a fight with very little chances of success.  Jeryon favours the quietly, quietly approach in the hope that the dragon isn’t interested but it seems that certain members of his crew have different ideas and the temptation of a dragon and the wealth that all it’s component parts rendered down would bring seems too great an opportunity to pass on for some of them.  I won’t go into all the detail of what takes place next but the outcome is that Jeryon ends up with a mutinous crew, he’s given the captain’s chance and, accompanied by his apothecary known as Poth (who refused to…

1
9/10
Review: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Reviews / December 21, 2015

The Grace of Kings really is a work of epic proportions.  A story of rebellion and war, victory and defeat, friend and foe and ultimately an incredibly poignant and sometimes sad look at friendships.  The story is dripping with issues of trust, deceit and betrayal whilst also telling some incredibly moving stories of love and loyalty. I’ve only read one of Liu’s short stories before The Grace of Kings and on the strength of that was keen to read this and, yes, it is a book that takes time to read but its also a book that is definitely worth the time. The main thrust of the story revolves around an uprising of the common people, driven to despair by despot rulers and seeking fairer rule.  At least on the face of it that’s what I would say this is about.  Of course, war very often has little to do with the common people and that is certainly the case here – even though very many of them will lose their lives fighting most of them could just as easily be on one side as the other, and, as the book itself acknowledges, perhaps the people with the differences should get together…

The Speculative Herald’s Best of 2015
Book List / December 5, 2015

  One of the perks I’ve found with working with several bloggers is that we can cover more books than we have time to read on our own. So, when it came time to make our Best of 2015 list, I decided to ask each of the contributors to submit a ranked list of their favorite books (yep, I’m mean like that. Choosing favorites can be hard, ranking is even harder). I then used a scaled points system to calculate an over all list. So, the end result features a variety of books that either several of us agreed belong in the top 10, or books that perhaps just one reviewer read, but placed in their high on their ranked choices of the year. With so many great choices we had to expand our collaborative list past just 10 books to 25. Since our blog started late in the year, many of these books do not currently have reviews here. But we do plan on adding them, so keep your eye out. So here it is, Speculative Herald’s list of our absolute favorite books from 2015! And because I like to get straight to the good stuff, I am listing them in order starting with…