Bookpage: Wibberley and Siegemund-Broka’s punchy prose and deft (mis)handling of Shakespeare make for an entertaining read. . . While most of these characters aren’t exactly likable, they are all so complex and thoroughly developed that we can’t help but root for them—and see ourselves in them.
Library Journal: Meg knows her therapist means well, but any scrutiny is hard to handle when coping with overwhelming anxiety. Even driving a car or going out in public too often is stressful. Luckily, her boyfriend Austin is a help, even though he wears his scars on the outside, owing to the car accident they were both in three years ago. Facing a long teaching semester, Meg takes the chance of befriending guest university instructor Haley. Haley is bright, beautiful, and charismatic, everything Meg wants to be. As Meg warms up to her new friend, finally breaking out of the shell of her anxiety, Austin senses Meg is changing fast and not necessarily for the better. She’s looking for a life of perfection, and it might exist—just not in our reality. The story proceeds at a quick clip, with a huge amount of action in a short time frame and a narrator whom readers will feel for.
VERDICT Harrison (“Hollows” series) presents a twisty blend of psychological suspense and fantasy, blurring the edges of what is real, and to whom.
School Library Journal: The dialogue is funny and effortless, and the other characters are quirky and believable…. Expect demand.
Library Journal: Haimey Dz is an engineer who, along with pilot Connla Kurucz and the sentient ship Singer, are just-barely-lawful salvagers looking for that one big haul that will make their fortunes. When searching one derelict ship, Haimey becomes infected by something that gives her knowledge about the construction of the universe itself, making her a prize for not only the interstellar government Synarche but also the space pirates determined to use her for their own nefarious plans. On the run across the galaxy, Haimey and others discover that in the black hole at the center of the galaxy is a hidden alien spaceship, and that revealing lost secrets of both the universe and Haimey’s own past, neither of which she will wish to be uncovered, is the only way to save everything.
VERDICT Hugo Award winner Bear’s (Karen Memory) foray back into space introduces an immersive setting and characters. Readers will be captivated by the creative prose.
Publishers Weekly: Hogan writes with tangible energy, capturing the trials of divided loyalties in the midst of global war…. Fans of military SF will enjoy Hogan’s fresh take on the genre.
B&N: Bestselling urban fantasy author Kim Harrison (the Hallows series) has been experimenting with sci-fi of late in novels like The Drafter and The Operator; her latest is more difficult to classify, but filled with the danger, romance, and readability that has attracted her a legion of devoted readers. Artist Meg is on the brink of breakout success, but held back by the anxiety triggered by her boyfriend’s recent serious car accident. At her therapist’s urging, she connects with a woman named Haley, a guest professor at her university who is living a life Meg dreams of. But when Haley’s influence seems to be changing Meg too much, and too fast, her boyfriend Austin attempts to intervene, she attempts to cut him out of her life – but he resists. This thriller is set in a world not quite our own, and asks compelling questions about the effects of trauma on our perception of reality.
Publishers Weekly: In this satisfyingly complex sequel to The Stone in the Skull, the descendants of the Alchemical Emperor vie for dominion over the remnants of his empire, or for simple survival for themselves and their people. In the city of Sarathai-tia, the young rajni, Mrithuri, faces a siege by the power-hungry raja Anuraja. She is supported by her own court and by new arrivalsincluding Serhan, the Dead Man, a former bodyguard and her new loverbut one of her inner circle may be a traitor. Anuraja holds hostage Sayeh Rajni, the trans or “third-sex” ruler of Ansh-Sahal, whose realm was destroyed by a volcanic eruption caused by Anuraja’s wizard accomplice, Ravani. Sayeh’s son, Drupada, has been kidnapped by a fourth royal, raja Himadra, who hopes to assume guardianship over the boy and thus control the refugees and army of Ansh-Sahal. And Serhan’s friend the Gage, a brass automaton with a human soul, continues his journey through a poisonous landscape in search of the Singing City of the dragons and possible allies there. Sorcery and scheming successfully propel the characters and plot lines of this rich and lovely India-tinged fantasy.
Publishers Weekly: Priest (The Family Plot) spins a small, swampy urban legend into a riveting, swelteringly atmospheric story that questions just how far the residents of a Southern town will go to forget, or appease, a past they cannot bear to confront. Cameron Spratford has lived with his elderly cousins Claire and Daisy in Staywater, Ga., since his parents abandoned him there as a toddler. Although everyone in Staywater encourages Cam to leave, he is content to remainuntil Titus Bell arrives. Titus and his wife, Melanie, are traveling through the Okefenokee Swamp when they arrive at a strange, one-lane bridge. Sometime later, Titus wakes up in the middle of the road, alone. He makes his way to Staywater and, while awaiting news of Melanie, begins to shake the secrets of the town loose. Cameron gradually discovers the truth about the bridge outside Staywater, the role Claire and Daisy played in bringing peace there once, and what they are willing to do to keep Cameron safe. Priest keeps the supernatural elements grounded by developing nuanced characters who feel as though they could walk off the page. Moody and mysterious, this gothic tale touches the heart even as it wraps chilly fingers around the spine.
Publishers Weekly: Gomillion debuts with a gut-punch Afrofuturist novel that examines the incalculable damage systemic racism wreaks on individuals and societies, and the many forms liberation can take. Sometime in the future, in the aftermath of WWIII, societies enforce peace through rigidly controlled racial hierarchies. That control includes using medication to erase the memories of the less privileged. Born in the remnants of America, Arika Cobane inhabits the upper echelons of the race of dark-skinned laborers known as the Kongo, trained by her white teachers to be a record keeper and write false histories that reinforce social norms. As rumors spread of rebels challenging the state’s authority, a new Kongo student, Hosea Khan, enters Arika’s class, shocking her by openly questioning the violence committed against the Kongo people on the pretext of upholding peace. Arika helps Hosea nurse injured laborers, confronts her complicity in the structures of power that perpetuate the Kongo’s enslavement, and devotes herself to tearing those structures apart, starting by leading an uprising against the school’s teachers and administrators. This intellectually rich, emotional, and ruthlessly honest confrontation of racism proves Gomillion is a critically important new voice.
Publishers Weekly: Queer necromancers vie for power, solve ancient puzzles, and cross rapiers while exploring haunted deep-space ruins in this madcap science fantasy romp that manages to be both riotously funny and heartbreaking. Eighteen-year-old orphan Gideon Nav has spent her life devising ways to escape indentured servitude to the Ninth House. When Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the sole daughter and heir to the Ninth, sees a chance to become a Lyctor, right hand to the Necromancer Divine, she needs a cavalier by her side if she hopes to beat out the candidates of the other eight Houses—and only Gideon will do. Much as her necromancers do with human remains, Muir effortlessly compiles macabre humor, body horror, secrets, and tenderness into the stitched-together corpse of a dark universe, then brings it to life with a delightfully chaotic, crackling cast of characters and the connective tissue of their relationships. From the mad science joys of necromantic theory to the deliciously ever-evolving tension between Gideon and Harrow, this adventurous novel not only embraces its strangeness but wrings delight from it. The result is an addictive, genre-bending book that will wow readers with its vibrant energy, endearing cast, and emotional gut-punch of a finale.