RT Book Review: Malfi’s latest is a brilliantly weird, haunting blend of folklore, murder-mystery, and gothic terror that draws readers into an unsettling world filled with the kind of detail and insight that evoke early Stephen King. There is plenty of material here to prey on the most basic of human terrors, beneath the fear and the eeriness is an understated but no less effective story about the hollowing effect of loss on those left behind. The result is an elegant, twisted, gripping slow-burn of a novel that burrows under the skin and nestles deep.
Hugo and John W. Campbell Award Finalist and Compton Crook Award Winner Ada Palmer’s TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING, plus three sequels in her Terra Ignota quartet, about the collapse of a utopian society set 500 years in the future and narrated by the world’s most notorious criminal, to Nicolas Cheetham at Head of Zeus, by Harry Illingworth at DHH Literary on behalf of Cameron McClure.
UK rights to Emily Winslow’s LOOK FOR HER (previously titled STILL LIFE), her fourth Keene and Frohmann mystery novel set in Cambridge, a tightly wound story of psychological suspense about three woman whose lives collide when new evidence on a 40-year-old cold case comes to light, to Susie Dunlop at Allison and Busby for publication in fall 2017, by Cameron McClure.
Locus: What Bennett [has] delivered here is something along the lines of Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE: a brainy political thriller with non-mimetic trappings, an unnatural engine at its heart.
B&N SFF Blog: The sheer amount of work packed into in these books is staggering; in the two earlier novels, Bennet balanced frankly huge amounts of worldbuilding with intensely deep character studies, interrogated political, social, and economic effects between national powers on a global and divine scale, and puzzled together plots both micro and macro with what seems like relative ease. His novels are never anything less than perfectly oiled machines, moving between layers and levels of narrative with elegance and precision. Impossibly, the sheer weight on these books has increased with each new installment—and I’m not talking about page count. They just keep getting better as they go: their politics murkier, their plots more labyrinthine and compelling. This is epic fantasy on a whole new level.
City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)
The Family Plot, Cherie Priest (Tor)
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (Tor.com Publishing)
“Foxfire, Foxfire,” Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/03/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Afrofuturist 419,” Nnedi Okorafor (Clarkesworld 11/16)
NPR: [Bennett’s] universe is one of brilliant juxtaposition . . . a place where a god, a gun, a telephone and a plow horse can all exist comfortably on the same page, in the same sentence. It is this world that has driven the action in this trilogy, the push and pull of spies and generals and gods and bureaucrats all dancing because the intrinsic entropy of Bennett’s universe demands it.
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer–a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.
And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…
So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do—and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.
Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And—perhaps most daunting of all—finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.