Posts tagged with fantasy

Sep 8 2014

Gameboard of the Gods, by Richelle Mead

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To do her justice, Richelle Mead is not lazy. Her Vampire Academy series is successful enough that many authors would have settled for simply producing more of the same, but she has chosen instead to return to her adult paranormal-fiction roots, creating the sci-fi/fantasy series Age of X...

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Sep 8 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Gameboard of the Gods, by Richelle Mead

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This week's Book Giveaway is Richelle Mead's Gameboard of the Gods. I've found Richelle Mead's adult novels to be even more hit-or-miss than her Vampire Academy books (and let's face it: those are pretty spotty, too), so here's hoping this is one for the "hit" column...

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Sep 4 2014

Visions, by Kelley Armstrong

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The second book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series has recently been released, and it has the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor: I continue to find the heroine about as emotionally engaging as a roll of paper towels, but I am 100% invested in figuring out the whys and wherefores of the world Armstrong has created...

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Aug 25 2014

Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner

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Inspired by Robert Lynn Asprin's long-running Thieves' World series, editor and author Terri Windling created the shared-world Borderland series in 1985. Borderland was followed by 1986's Bordertown and 1991's Life on the Border, and in 2011, twelve years after the publication of The Essential Bordertown, the series was revived by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner, with Windling's blessing and participation...

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Aug 25 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black

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This week we're giving away a copy of Welcome to Bordertown, a collection of short stories and poetry set in Terri Windling's "Bordertown" Universe and edited by Holly Black. The anthology includes some big names (Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, etc.), but I'm most excited about the short story by Annette Curtis Klause, whose book releases are way too few and far between...

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Aug 11 2014

Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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While I doubt Lou Anders's Thrones & Bones: Frostborn will attract much of an adult audience, it's the kind of novel parents will love to read out loud to their kids. Anders divides his story between Karn, a human boy destined to inherit his father's farm (and the countless mind-numbing responsibilities that come with it), and Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who feels like she'll never fit in anywhere...

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Aug 11 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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This week we're giving away Lou Anders's debut novel Frostborn, the first installment of his "Thrones and Bones" series. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far it seems like a brisk, enjoyable read, carefully constructed to appeal to young readers of both genders. It definitely feels like a kid-specific story (unlike, say, Jonathan Stroud's Heroes of the Valley), but budding fantasy fans...

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Jul 28 2014

The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove

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Several people have compared S. E. Grove's debut novel The Glass Sentence to Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. I understand the comparison, but, uh, like hell: Grove is a promising writer, but she doesn't have Pullman's skill (at least, not yet). Instead, I was put in mind of a child-friendly version of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell—a truly impressive effort, but...

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Jul 28 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove

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This week we're giving away a copy of S.E. Grove's The Glass Sentence. I know nothing about this book except for the fact that the back cover has a quote from Megan Whalen Turner comparing it to Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. That's some seriously impressive praise from an impeccable source, so my expectations are very, very high...

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Jul 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I have no idea if the story's any good, but I'm pleased to see an Arabian Nights-inspired teen fantasy novel (and a little surprised I haven't been sent more of them, frankly). You'd think the gorgeous clothes alone would have been enough to attract more YA authors' interest...

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Jul 14 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire

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We've expressed mixed (but mostly positive!) feelings about Seanan McGuire's writing in the past, but we're pretty excited about this week's Book Giveaway pick, Sparrow Hill Road. It appears to be a classic ghost story told from the ghost's point of view, and what could be more summertime campfire-friendly...

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Jul 9 2014

Mortal Danger, by Ann Aguirre

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I have trouble imagining the pitch for Ann Aguirre's new novel Mortal Danger. ”It's like a supernatural Revenge, but in high school, and the heroine is suicidal... but there's a really hot guy in it! And a makeover scene! But also tons of people die.” The end result melds together better than I expected, but there's no denying that some of those elements work better than others...

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Jul 7 2014

Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

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Still riding high from the resounding success of his Scott Pilgrim series, Bryan Lee O'Malley's new standalone graphic novel Seconds is a fantasy/horror/humor hybrid about Katie Clay, a young, talented chef at a popular restaurant. Katie is trying to open a new restaurant (one that she will co-own), but the process is slow, so she's stuck in limbo, hanging around her former kitchen and pestering her ex-employees. When a moment of inattention leads to a waitress being injured...

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Jun 30 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan

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This week we're giving away Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan. I haven't read it yet, but I have wasted far too much time puzzling over those... things on the heroine's arms. What are those? Gloves? Part of her shirt? The review will follow later this afternoon; hopefully the book includes a detailed explanation of the protagonist's wardrobe choices...

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Jun 25 2014

Bad Luck Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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I was thrilled to receive my review copy of Sarah Zettel's Bad Luck Girl, the final book in her American Fairy Trilogy. Zettel had already produced two exceptionally creative, intelligent installments for this series (Dust Girl and Golden Girl), so I was crossing my fingers for a truly spectacular finish...

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Jun 2 2014

Hexed, by Michelle Krys

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The publisher's introduction for Michelle Krys's debut novel Hexed describes the story as “Bring it On meets The Craft”, and they're not lying: this book is uncannily like a late-90s teen movie—snarky, satisfying, and (it must be said) frequently totally ridiculous...

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Jun 2 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Hexed, by Michelle Krys

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Michelle Krys's novel Hexed. The publisher describes it as "Bring it On meets The Craft", which (in my eyes, at least) answers the question of what age group YA fiction is actually written for, because those movies are fourteen and eighteen years old, respectively. Clearly "Young Adult" fiction is squarely aimed at 32-year-olds...

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May 27 2014

Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong

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According to the author's note at the end of her new book Sea of Shadows, Kelley Armstrong has always wanted to write a full-blown epic fantasy, complete with “swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead.” I'm a big fan of epic fantasy, zombie stories, and Armstrong's writing, so I figured the resulting novel would be a surefire win...

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May 27 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Kelley Armstrong's Sea of Shadows, the first installment in her "Age of Legends" series. The title and cover art are a bit of a letdown (read: so generic my eyes glaze over when I look at them), but the story's pretty fun, even if it's not quite as intriguing as Armstrong's recent novel Omens...

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May 14 2014

Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Bestselling YA author Rachel Hawkins has a new iron in the fire. Her latest book Rebel Belle is the first installment in a projected trilogy, and thus far I'm pretty excited about it. It's action-packed, wryly funny, and romantic, and as long as it ends on a less irritating note than her Hex Hall series did, Ms. Hawkins should have an enormous hit on her hands...

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May 12 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Our current Book Giveaway pick is Rebel Belle, the latest book from YA paranormal romance author Rachel Hawkins. In addition to writing solid action sequences, Ms. Hawkins has a gift for creating dialogue that manages to feel deliciously snappy, rather than annoyingly contrived (ahem, Sarah Rees Brennan), so I'm really looking forward to reading her book...

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Apr 23 2014
Mar 31 2014

Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

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I admit I'm a little behind the times when it comes to Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, seeing as, uh, the final book was released in 2009. But you know what that means? No waiting, not even for public library editions! And if you want to buy your own copies, everything's in paperback now! You can probably even find used versions. Why, it's almost like I put off reading these stories for almost a decade... for you.

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Mar 31 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

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This week's Book Giveaway is the first book in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, Furies of Calderon. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far this appears to be straight fantasy, not the more tongue-in-cheek style featured in his Harry Dresden books. Who knows, though? Maybe he's just holding off on introducing a perverted, hard-to-shut-up skull sidekick until a later chapter...

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Mar 7 2014

Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, and Half-Off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire

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The third book in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series hit bookstores last week, making it officially Way Past Time for me to feature this fantastic (in all senses of the word) urban fantasy series on the site. Do your best to ignore the cover art—I promise this isn't a R-rated story about an anime schoolgirl gone rogue—and believe me when I say this series is wildly fun...

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Feb 24 2014

The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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The first two books in Mark Frost's Paladin Prophecy series go for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling, mashing together fantasy (angels and demons!), science fiction (evil geneticists!), and action/suspense (martial arts smackdowns!) into a frenetic but entertaining literary roller-coaster ride...

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Feb 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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We're offering two books for this week's Book Giveaway: Mark Frost's The Paladin Prophecy and its sequel, The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance. Our full review will go up later today, but here's a mini-take: Anthony Horowitz and Richard Paul Evans should watch their backs, but Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins...

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Feb 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Glass Casket, by McCormick Templeman

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is McCormick Templeman's The Glass Casket. We wrote a positive review of Ms. Templeman's first book The Little Woods a few years ago—we described it as "sufficiently entertaining to read in a single sitting," but complained about its weak love triangle and the implausible number of SAT words the author sprinkled throughout the text—so my expectations are high...

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Feb 10 2014

Fates, by Lanie Bross

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Lanie Bross's debut novel Fates aims to be an operatic YA paranormal romance, a wild fantasy adventure, and a compelling coming-of-age story, all at the same time and in less than 350 pages. None of it quite succeeds, but props to the author for making the attempt...

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Jan 27 2014

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong

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Omens, the first book in Kelley Armstrong's new Cainsville series, perfectly encapsulates my feelings about her writing as a whole: her plots are solid and her mysteries intriguing, but her characters lack charm. I get ridiculously invested in finding out what happens to Armstrong's protagonists, but rarely do I care about the protagonists themselves...

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