Apr 252017

Tor.com: Brimstone is a haunting and surprisingly funny book – at turns raising the hair on your arms, and a laugh from your belly. Cassadaga is a delight, and being able to experience its intricacies and eccentricities through a newcomer’s eyes, reminded me of exploring Hogsmeade from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or Hopewell, Illinois from Terry Brooks’s criminally underrated Running with the Demon.

Priest has laid enough groundwork that a sequel seems inevitable, but also wraps things up nicely enough for the experience to feel whole and complete. With its unique mix of Americana, post-war themes, likeable characters, and swift plot, Brimstone is easy to recommend.

Apr 242017

Library Journal: This exciting conclusion to Bennett’s trilogy is just as fantastic as the earlier volumes…. Bennett explores the fascinatingly complex gods of the Continent and the magic they left in the world, bringing the series to a satisfying close.

Apr 212017

Publishers Weekly: In this genre-bending debut novel, a science fantasy set in 2064, newly awakened demigods and artificial intelligences battle for the fate of South Africa. As a new drug spreads through the population, it unlocks long-hidden abilities and animal affinities, remnants of a mythological time when humans and nature intermingled. While an ancient demigoddess schemes to regain her full powers by causing terror, other people are swept up in the tide of events, including a politician who dreams of embracing his female side as a stage performer, a pop diva, a gay teen in love with his best friend, and an AI collective unsure of its role in the world. Drayden uses numerous perspectives to weave an engaging story that’s populated by a diverse cast and enhanced by fascinating concepts. There’s a lot to take in as the various plot threads interweave and converge toward a surprising climax, but Drayden balances the genre elements skillfully, creating a world where genetic manipulation, sentient robots, and folkloric origin stories can coexist plausibly, if not peacefully.

Apr 202017

Publishers Weekly: A tensely written, shocking book that will hold readers on the edge of their seats to the very last page.

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Apr 192017

NPR: Brimstone is a deeply loving book. Cassadaga is a real place, with a real lineage of devastating fires, and the respect and affection for its history and residents glows from each page.

Full of charm and care, with light-hearted fun woven gently into compassionate renderings of sorrow and loss, Brimstone is equal parts affectionate romp and affecting story ­ not least because, given the state of the world, it’s good to read books in which hate is scarier than ghosts, love is stronger than hate, and witches simply refuse to burn.

Apr 182017

Booklist: Fans of the series will continue to delight in the story and characters….Bennett’s spot-on world building aids the new and old reader alike as they plunge into a world where dieties exert force on characters and events and a revenge plot involving a super-assassin is normal.

Apr 172017

Kirkus: Readers of City of Stairs (2014) and City of Blades (2016) know the story: in a world that’s part Frank Herbert and part Tamerlaine by way of Conan the Barbarian, the old gods have fallen to iconoclasts and assassins and new deities, as the states of Bulikov and Saypur struggle back and forth for supremacy. Now Ashara, having long ago proven her worth as secret agent and intercontinental mischief-maker, has risen in the world, putting her, in turn, squarely in the cross hairs.

Dark and violent, but a tale well spun and with a most satisfying conclusion.

Apr 122017

RT Book Reviews: Priest has a knack for writing likable, well-rounded characters and putting them through some unpleasant, creepy events. The bourbon-loving, easily flustered psychic Alice might be the author’s most purely endearing protagonist yet, and Tomas, the stricken but resolute tailor, is tremendously easy to root for as well. The depictions of the various fires and some other events are vivid and at times wince-inducing. While the immediate narrative here is wrapped up nicely by the end, readers may wish for some return trips to this version of Cassadaga, Fla.

Alice Dartle is able to talk to the deceased, read the future … and has zero interest in settling down. When she moves to the clairvoyant community of Cassadaga, Fla., to learn more and be among like-minded others, she begins to dream of a man ­ and fire. Tomás Cordero came home from the Great War hoping to return to his beloved wife. Now he is haunted by her memory, and an entity that is leaving him messages through fire. He is sure it’s his wife, but as the flames begin taking their toll and driving him toward Alice, it becomes increasingly likely that there’s something darker and much more dangerous at work.

Apr 062017

Locus: A remarkable transformation of horror into something like fantasy with close links to nature, set in a universe as wonderful as it is strange.

Winter Tide is part mystery and party story about the importance of kindness and love and human-scale morality in the face of the vast sweep of an uncaring universe…. It is a generous novel, a kind one, and an exceptionally accomplished debut.

Apr 052017

Barnes and Noble: In BRIMSTONE, award-winning author Cherie Priest, a mistress of many genres­horror, southern gothic, science fiction, and steampunk ­melds historical fiction with the fantastical, and makes magic.

Cherie Priest is a deft storyteller in any genre, and history really does come alive when she puts pen to paper. BRIMSTONE, in particular, will appeal to those who enjoy a bit of strange history to go along with their magic.

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