Review: "Green" by Jay Lake

Jay Lake is best known for his steampunk series of novels, and yet by weird coincidence (for I am a steampunk myself), the first book of his that I’ve read is Green, which is a standalone fantasy. I cannot judge how this novel ranks against those others.

Green seems to me to be very much a blending of two books: Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart and Karen Miller’s Empress.   [Read more...]

Review: "The Magicians and Mrs. Quent" by Galen Beckett

I began reading this book with a question of my own: would infusing magic into a novel of manners produce a book that I would enjoy reading? Because in all honesty, although I have read Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, I didn’t enjoy either.   [Read more...]

Review: "Love in the Time of Fridges" by Tim Scott

When I reviewed Outrageous Fortune earlier in the year, I referred to it as absurd . . . in a good way. Absurdist science fiction. Because it wasn't laugh out loud comedy, it wasn't The Hitchhiker's Guide, but it sure wasn't taking itself too seriously either.   [Read more...]

Review: "Ysabel" by Guy Gavriel Kay

Ysabel is my first Guy Gavriel Kay book. He's one of those authors that I’ve always heard about. Maybe it's the memorable name, I don’t know. But he was always just kind of out there as one of those authors that I knew I was supposed to read and simply hadn't.

In case I was wondering, I guess, if he was worth the hype, Kay opens Ysabel with a 3-page prologue that was, simply, stunning.   [Read more...]

Review: "Empress" by Karen Miller

Hekat is touched by the god. She is not inventing this. She really does have her deity on her side, protecting her as she slaughters the people who get in her way. Everything she does is fated. But I cannot get beyond how completely cold and ruthless she is to everyone around her.   [Read more...]

Review: "Fire Study" by Maria V. Snyder

Oh, Yelena. You crazy, headstrong, impulsive, bleeding heart, acrobatic trickster, I have missed you. I hope Ms. Synder takes it as a compliment that I have read each of her books in no more than two days. For all the work that goes into them, part of me feels that I should somehow be savoring them more. But if I did, then I wouldn’t find out what happens next as quickly as I need to.   [Read more...]

Review: "Whitechapel Gods" by S. M. Peters

Up until now, steampunk has been, for me, an aesthetic. It makes the great heroes of my childhood even cooler. And it makes for computers that are beyond sexy. Something in the synthesis of technology and analog mechanisms strikes just the right chord with me. It’s like the most elegant Rube Goldberg imaginable, with style. And yet, I had never read anything from the genre that inspires these creative works of fabrication fancy.

Until now.   [Read more...]

Review: "A Companion to Wolves" by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

Now this was a surprise. Here is one of those rare books not produced as a precursor to a series.

This is not to say that the land Monette and Bear have created couldn't support multiple visits. It is merely to say that they have constructed a tale that is complete and unconcerned with possibilities and marketing strategies beyond its own ken.   [Read more...]

Review: "Awakened Mage" by Karen Miller

Okay, okay, so Asher really is the Innocent Mage. No devastating, unexpected twists, despite the possibility. But just because Asher is the mage of prophecy, the Olken who can wield his own magic as well as Doranen magic, does not mean he has to like it. And it does not mean that he has to answer the call that prophecy has made.   [Read more...]

Review: "Innocent Mage" by Karen Miller

The quick summary to The Innocent Mage sounds shockingly cookie-cutter. A farmer fisherman of low birth, from a rural part of Middle Earth the kingdom of Lur has a destiny. And his destiny is to save the kingdom and all its inhabitants from the Great and Looming Evil that no one knows is coming, save a chosen few who have seen the signs. How this is going to happen no one, least of all the hero, has any idea.   [Read more...]

Review:"Swimming Without a Net" by MaryJanice Davidson

My initial attraction to this book was simply this: human male and mermaid female? How is that going to work? From a biological perspective, you see. Not just the scales, but, you know. How?   [Read more...]

Review: "Magic Study" by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study was the first book in a long time that I read in a single sitting. Magic Study is the second. It was everything I wanted from a sequel.   [Read more...]

Review: "Poison Study" by Maria V. Snyder

Enraptured. I cannot remember the last time I read an entire book in one sitting. I could not, did not, put it down.

Yelena is everything you could ask for in a heroine: courageous, clever, resourceful, vulnerable, and strong. From the outset, her situation is dire.   [Read more...]

Review: "The Carpet Makers" by Andreas Eschbach

For those who believe that The Great Masters of sci-fi are necessarily long gone, that the depth of their insight was greater due to a proximity to some essential force that we, as descendants, find always already out of our touch, that singular genius is all but evaporated from the modern writer, to you, I submit The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach for consideration.   [Read more...]

Review: "Outrageous Fortune" by Tim Scott

Outrageous Fortune is absurd -- not comedic in a way that will necessarily make you laugh out loud, not constructed of jokes and punch-lines. It's absurd in the vein of Dali, which I think becomes quite apparent in Tim Scott's prose.   [Read more...]

Review: "The Mirador" by Sarah Monette

The single most impressive aspect of Sarah Monette's writing is her strong sense of voice. The stories are told in first-person with the perspective alternating between Felix and Mildmay throughout the chapters.   [Read more...]