Review: Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Reviews / May 9, 2018

I’m going to start this review with a little story of my own.  About six and a half/seven years ago I picked up a book called Prince of Thorns.  This book was different than anything I’d read before in fantasy terms.  I absolutely loved it and pretty much devoured the series in short order.  The main protagonist, Jorg, is not for everyone.  The Broken Empire series is awash with blood and Jorg, although he will grow on you if you give him a chance (imho), is somebody you don’t want to cross, not if you like breathing.  This was my first, but not last, foray into grimdark and I was absolutely sold.  Obviously I couldn’t wait to read the Red Queen’s War.  What a difference.  I expected more of the same, and I certainly got that in terms of good writing, but the story was so different, still bloody, still brimming with fantastic characters and Jalan was just a blast to read.  I seriously think The Wheel of Osheim is one of my favourite books ever.  Then Lawrence comes along with a magic/school for assassins story, his main protagonist a female.  So, colour me intrigued but maybe a little bit…

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
Reviews / March 19, 2018

Lake Silence is the first book of a new spin-off series set in world of The Others by Anne Bishop, therefore making a great place to jump on board if you’ve ever played with the idea of checking these novels out. While the story takes place in a different town following a group of new people, it still shares many traits with the original series such as Bishop’s incredible world-building as well as her flair for creating compelling and dynamic character relationships. This novel opens on the small village of Sproing (is that not just the cutest name ever?) where a rustic little property called the Jumble sits beside the calm shores of Lake Silence. Our protagonist Vicki DeVine is the proprietor, having turned it into a cozy resort after receiving it in a divorce settlement. There’s a catch though; the land it is built on actually belongs to the Others, also known as the terra indigene—powerful, paranormal creatures that have called Earth home long before humans came into the picture. Territory controlled by the Others are often governed by strict rules, but as long you are willing to abide by them, most of the terra indigene are content to…

Review: The Infernal Battalion by Django Wexler
Reviews / January 15, 2018

Often it is said that the final book that can either make or break a series, but I’m thrilled to report that The Infernal Battalion is a finale that exceeded my expectations, bringing about a stunning conclusion to The Shadow Campaigns. As this is a review for the fifth and final installment of the series, the usual caveats apply: beware of possible spoilers for the previous books, if you are not already caught up. A great deal has happened to bring us to this point, including the escape of the Beast—the demon of all demons, and a force of unspeakable evil—from its ancient prison beneath Elysium. Its influence spreads the way it feeds, absorbing the minds and controlling the bodies of all those it infects. Now it has amassed an unstoppable army of these drone-like soldiers, and at the head of this infernal host is none other than General Janus bet Vhalnich, whose faculties the Beast had stolen at the end of The Guns of Empire. But to those who are unaware of Janus’s possession, his actions seemed like the worst kind of betrayal. Vordan has only just emerged from a bloody war, and Queen Raesinia had been looking forward…

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…

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    

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,…

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…