Nov 162017
 

Congratulations to the DMLA clients who made Amazon’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017!

  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells
  • Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee
  • City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

 

Nov 152017
 

Cover photo of Look For Her by Emily Winslow.Kirkus: Annalise Williams, 24, is obsessed with an unsolved crime: the disappearance and presumed murder years earlier of a 16-year-old girl with the same first name: Annalise Wood—”the kind of girl you look at and think, of course someone would want to take her.”

An intriguing, suspenseful, and briskly paced story with complex characters, evocative descriptions of England’s Cambridgeshire, plenty of clever misdirection, and a satisfying ending.

Nov 102017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Locus Magazine: With Elizabeth Bear’s previous novels in the same world: the Eternal Sky trilogy of Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars, and Steles of the Sky. That trilogy is one of the best – most deeply thought, carefully structured, and elegantly finished – epic fantasies of the last decades.

Bear’s worldbuilding is, as ever, a richly detailed delight, rendered tangible in cut-glass prose. The precision and care with which she employs language make the landscapes through which her characters move come powerfully to life – and gives those characters, too, powerful presence and compelling life.

It’s an enormously rich and textured novel, magnificently compelling – and really easy to read. Despite its sprawling, epic canvas, its pace is tight, and Bear cuts between plotlines with an adroit eye for tension. The Stone in the Skull is an astonishing delight of a book.

Nov 092017
 

Cover of The New Annotated Frankenstein edited by Leslie S. Klinger.Washington Post: With over 200 color and black-and-white illustrations, six appendixes and nearly 1,000 annotations, this edition of “Frankenstein” is a cornucopia of background information … Klinger’s edition allows readers to understand the complexities of the novel as well as the difficulties endured by its author. Only then can one be truly inspired by Mary Shelley’s genius and her bravery.

Nov 082017
 

Cover of It Should Have Been You by Lynn Slaughter.Publishers Weekly: This solid mystery from Slaughter (While I Danced) opens with the murder of Clara Seibert’s twin sister, Moura, a piano prodigy. Clara’s voice and internal conflict feel authentic, and the contentious relationship between the sisters is equally believable.

Fans of the genre will find much to enjoy in this thriller.

Nov 072017
 

Cover of Windhome by Kristin Landon.Publishers Weekly: After an eight-year hiatus, Landon (The Dark Reaches) returns with a complex fourth novel that combines dystopian and first-contact themes. Vika Jai, a young female xenobiologist, wakes from 40 years of cryogenic sleep to a ravaged ship and crew. Only three humans survive to make landfall on Shothef Erau, an inhabited planet known to have been bombed by an alien force.

This is a quiet, tense book, saturated with dread. Vika, barely out of adolescence, is convincingly depicted as maturing just a hair too slowly in an environment with little room for error.

Nov 062017
 

Photo of author Les KlingerFrom the Edgar Award winning annotator Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes), a volume of five classic crime novels of the 1920’s, with annotations and illustrations in a deluxe edition, to Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus Books, via Donald Maass.

Nov 032017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Tor.com: I want to rave about Elizabeth Bear’s The Stone in the Skull. Actually, it feels like I need to rave about it: a glorious, dramatic, lush and striking fantasy set in the same continuity as the Eternal Sky trilogy (Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars, and The Steles of the Sky), with a brilliant cast of characters and an opening that involves an ice wyrm attacking a caravan on its way up a frozen river. It’s no exaggeration to say I was hooked from the first page.

Add that to Bear’s amazing worldbuilding, gloriously precise prose, and excellent pacing. And a wonderfully human, humane approach to relationships. The Stone in the Skull is not exactly warm and fuzzy fantasy, but it rejects grimness  and spits in the eye of pragmatism as the major criterion of human relationships. It may not take place in a kind world, but its characters move through their world with compassion. It’s hopeful without being naive. And I really love it.

Nov 022017
 

Cover of Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer.Library Journal: The Victorian era setting of Tanzer’s latest (after the marvelous Weird Western Vermillion) adds a formality that contrasts nicely with the dueling and demonic communion. At its center is a difficult sibling relationship and the Gray sisters’ parallel efforts to find somewhere to belong.