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: The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter
Reviews / December 14, 2016

They don’t give up, those Martians. Both in fiction and in our cultural consciousness, HG Wells’ invaders from Mars are persistent. Stephen Baxter now carries the torch in The Massacre of Mankind; the official sequel to The War of the Worlds, some 119 years later. Wells’ novel, published in 1898 was actually set in 1907. Baxter brings us at first to 1920. The Martians are long gone, but there are some familiar green flares seen coming from Mars… Meet Julie Elphinstone. A suffragette and journalist who is the sister-in-law to the original novel’s narrator. The story is told from a number of different perspectives, as reported to Julie at some time later than the events of the plot. England has moved on from the original attack, and is almost a dictatorship. The Great War hasn’t happened. The left Martian technology has changed the world. But now, the Martians are coming back and not just 10 cylinders this time. And they’ve learned their lessons about earthly bacteria. Again, the first wave lands in England; north west of London this time. They aren’t here to destroy, but to farm. They bring with them humanoid Martians and also semi-aquatic Venetians (who, I wonder,…

Review: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Reviews / June 28, 2016

13 minutes s a psychological thriller that looks at life through the eyes of a bunch of 16 year olds. It’s one of those books that, reading as an adult, makes me simultaneously almost giddy with relief that I’m no longer at high school followed by this horrible prickly sensation about maybe never truly knowing another person. As you can gather from the book jacket the story starts with 16 year old Natasha Howland (Tasha) being pulled from a freezing cold river. For a few minutes, in fact 13 to be precise, Tasha actually died before she was revived and taken to hospital. When she eventually awakens she has no memory of the events that led to her near drowning experience but given that she was in the local woods in the early hours of the morning, with a text from an unknown number luring her to the spot the police are a little suspicious of events. What really worked for me with this book is the deceptively simple writing and the easy way that the characters and their histories are so easily brought to life on the page. This is truly a mean girls story where the popularity stakes…

Review: Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd
Reviews / May 17, 2016

I spotted Stranger of Tempest a while ago when the stunning cover was running amok on the internet and was immediately keen to pick up a copy as it looked and sounded great.  Does the book live up to the promise?  Yes, I’m happy to say it does.  I found this a really intriguing story and a great set up for the rest of the series.  It’s a great blend of fantasy and action set predominantly in dark tunnels and a ruined city that are riddled with scary creatures, unusual dwellers and something even darker that stalks the night At the start of the story we witness a man called Lynx as he searches for his latest meal ticket.  He reluctantly finds work with a band of mercenaries known as The Cards who are about to head out on their latest mission.  Lynx is answerable to nobody, he doesn’t seek much in life above a full stomach and is content to take on any number of small jobs usually trying to avoid bands of mercenaries and other conflicts.  However, when he’s approached by a group of hardened mercs who are about to take on the rescue of a kidnapped young…

Upcoming Releases: May 15 – 21, 2016
Upcoming Releases / May 14, 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           HORROR   FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR       FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Ten Jonathan Strahan 5/16/2016 Solaris The Tower of Swallows Andrzej Sapkowski 5/17/2016 Orbit Company Town Ashby, Madeline 5/17/2016 Tor Books Freeze/Thaw Chris Bucholz 5/17/2016 Apex My Best Friend’s Exorcism Grady Hendrix 5/17/2016 Quirk The Summon Stone Ian Irvine 5/17/2016 Orbit The Fireman Joe Hill 5/17/2016 William Morrow Roses and Rot Kat Howard 5/17/2016 Saga The God Wave Patrick Hemstreet 5/17/2016 Harper Voyager Runtime S.B. Divya 5/17/2016 Stranger of the Tempest Tom Lloyd 5/19/2016 Gollancz

Upcoming Releases: October 4 – 10, 2015
Upcoming Releases / October 3, 2015

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