Posts tagged with fantasy

Jan 14 2015

Autumn Falls, by Bella Thorne (and Elise Allen)

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I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm giving Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne's debut novel Autumn Falls a glowing “Nowhere near as terrible as I thought it would be”. I'm not saying it's actually good, mind you, but I've read way worse...

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Jan 7 2015

Anata ni Hana o Sasagemasho, by Tomu Ohmi

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I have a soft spot for Tomu Ohmi's 1970s-Harlequin-novel-meets-Twilight manga Midnight Secretary, so I was happy to hear a rumor that another of Ohmi's works, Anata ni Hana o Sasagemashō, will soon be licensed. Nobody seems to have confirmed this, but I decided to read and review the series anyway, just in case...

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Dec 22 2014

Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse...

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Dec 22 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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This week we're giving away a copy of Lauren Kate's Waterfall, the sequel to last year's Teardrop, which we complained about at length here. A full review will follow later today, but (SPOILER) we didn't like Waterfall, either, so we strongly encourage our readers to enter this drawing and pick up this book for the only worthwhile price: free...

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Dec 15 2014

Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

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Stacey Jay's first two novels had plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and my hopes for her future efforts were not high. Her third book—a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast—was much more successful, and her latest effort...

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Nov 3 2014

Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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After last week's horror-story marathon, I've been looking forward to exploring different genres, and Sandra Waugh's Lark Rising totally fits the bill—it's classic high fantasy, complete with glowing orbs, prophetic poetry, and a hand-drawn map featuring names like "The Myr Mountains" and "The Dark Wood"...

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Nov 3 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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I could wish for a less moldy-looking cover, but I'm pretty excited about this novel: our current Book Giveaway is Lark Rising, the first installment in Sandra Waugh's Guardians of Tarnec series. I've heard good things about this story, and will post our take later this afternoon...

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Oct 6 2014

The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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I have strong feelings about romance novels. I like stories that don't expect me to buy that the hero and heroine have fallen into deep, everlasting love in a matter of days, stories where the sexual relationship isn't forced or coerced, and, above all, stories set after 1800, where I feel like all the characters are more likely to routinely bathe. Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief is none of these things, so I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it...

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Oct 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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This week's Book Giveaway is Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief. It's the first of her bestselling Drakon books, a series of historical fantasy/romance novels about characters that shift between human, dragon, and, uh, smoke monster forms (but not in a Lost kind of way)...

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Sep 24 2014

Unmade: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken was one of the most promising teen romances I've read in the past decade, with an absolutely phenomenal premise. The sequel, alas, took several steps down in quality, and I'm sad to report that the final book in the trilogy is dumber still...

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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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