Aug 222017
 

Cover of Swarm and Steel by Michael Fletcher.Zerfall awakens in an alley, wounded and unable to remember her past. Chased by an assassin out into the endless wastes of the desert, she is caught, disfigured, and left for dead. Her scabbard is empty, but the need for answers—and the pull of her sword—will draw her back to the city-states.

When Jateko, a naïve youth, accidentally kills a member of his own tribe, he finds himself outcast and pursued across the desert for his crimes. Crazed from dehydration, dying of thirst and hunger, he stumbles across Zerfall.

Hunted by assassins and bound by mutual need, both Zerfall and Jeteko will confront the Täuschung, an ancient and deranged religion ruled by a broken fragment of Zerfall’s mind. Swarm, the Täuschung hell, seethes with imprisoned souls, but where gods—real or imagined—meddle in the affairs of man, the cost is high.

In Swarm and Steel, the power of belief can manifest and shape reality, and for political and religious leaders, faith becomes a powerful tool. But the insane are capable of twisting reality with their delusions as well, turning increasingly dangerous as their sanity crumbles. It is here that a long prophesied evil will be born, an endless hunger. The All Consuming will rise.

Aug 212017
 

Locus Magazine: A damaged android on an exploratory mission takes center stage in this entertaining SF novella, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series.

There’s some tense action, and a few of the scientists turn out to be more interesting and less helpless than they initially appear, but it’s the character of Murderbot that really makes the story come alive, a mix of flat robot personality with some surprising quirks, serious combat skills, a talent for coming up with effective plans – and a deep need to discover who it really is.

Aug 182017
 

Cover for Jim Butcher's Wild Card, a Dresden Files graphic novel.Congratulations to Jim Butcher, a double-nominee for the Dragon Award!

Best Comic Book:
The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo

Best Graphic Novel:
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez

Aug 172017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Booklist: Readers familiar with Bear’s work will recognize the city of Messaline and the names of the Lotus Kingdoms, but this is the farthest she’s delved into this shattered empire. As usual, the setting is wonderfully realized; the characters are possessed of depth, personality, and individuality; the threads of politics that drive the plot are a fascinating knot to try to unravel. This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic; there are many lines of story left to follow, and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey.

Aug 162017
 

The 37th and 38th titles in the long-running Victorian mystery series THE INSPECTOR AND MRS. JEFFRIES by Emily Brightwell, about a dim-witted Scotland Yard inspector and his much smarter housekeeper, to Kate Seaver at the Berkley Publishing Group, by Donald Maass.

Aug 152017
 

Cover of Kaira Rouda's BEST DAY EVER.Library Journal: This latest psychological thriller from bestselling Rouda is destined to fly off the shelves, enticing readers to ride along as this multifaceted day in the life of the Stroms unfolds.

Aug 142017
 

Cover of The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo.Barnes & Noble SFF Blog: With precise prose and an engaging plot that is lyrical even as it is paced like a thriller, The Five Daughters of the Moon is rich, rewarding tale.

Aug 112017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Kirkus: Hoping to build on the dazzling triumph of her Eternal Sky fantasy trilogy (Steles of the Sky, etc.), Bear embarks on a new trilogy set in the same universe. The opening scene, in which a caravan heaves itself across the icy peaks of the Steles of the Sky, takes the narrative, literally and figuratively, out of familiar territory and into the Lotus Kingdoms, the contentious, broken shards of the once-mighty Alchemical Empire.

A panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 …captivatingly different …vivid, absorbing, and thrilling…stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.

In an overcrowded field, [The Stone in The Skull] stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.

Aug 102017
 

Cover of Swarm and Steel by Michael Fletcher.Booklist: Imagine waking in an alley with no recollection of how you got there—or even who you are. That is how Zerfall’s day starts. Left to die by assassins, she awakens wounded and unable to remember how she got to where she is, let alone where her precious sword has gone.

Fletcher’s latest grim-dark novel will leave readers wanting the story to continue.

Aug 092017
 

Cover of The Gate of Tagmeth by P.C. Hodgell.Publishers Weekly: The enchanting eighth installment of Hodgell’s Chronicles of the Kencyrath (after Sea of Time) continues to follow Jame, who is both sister and heir of Torisen, the Highlord of the Kencyr, and the avatar of the destructive side of the Kencyr’s Three-Faced God. Jame is given command of the fort of Tagmeth as a way to prove herself in lieu of her third year of military school, but her family’s political enemies live between Tagmeth and the Highlord’s forces, making her journey there treacherous-and the ancient evil that the Kencyr’s god has destined them to fight is drawing near from the other direction. The Kencyr live in one of the most deeply realized worlds in fantasy, a rich and complicated space that includes many cultures and riveting, three-dimensional characters.

Full of dark wonder, wry humor, and the quirks of Jame’s inimitable personality, the newest installment in Hodgell’s life’s work demonstrates why it can be worthwhile for a writer to spend 40 years writing the same series.