A timeless classic is a term that should be uttered rarely. Timeless implies you could pick it up today, read it in ten years, and still come away with a new perspective, a new rage at a book that challenges you politically, socially, and spiritually. DUNE, the grandfather of modern science-fantasy, in my opinion, of course, is the black sheep of the pulp Science Fiction family that ran away from a raygun shooting, fish bowl shaped, space helmet wearing universe of tomorrow. Instead, it is a morality play in line with Shakespeare, a political examination of tyranny, prophecy, good intentions, and how a tiny, insignificant planet holds the real-politik resource to create or destroy galactic dynasties with a simple drop of an atomic bomb. Even if its vision of the future is a wrong-way mirror compared to the projections of today, it cannot be overstated how vital, how genre-changing it was to the language, the imagery, and the soul of Science Fiction. DUNE deserves all its accolades both in terms of story, theme, character, and its sprawling, fully realized false future that never came to be.

DUNE, the first in a long series of novels by Frank Herbert, tells the story of humanity millennia in the future. Certain technology is suspect, due to dark atrocities brought about by atomics (atomic bombs and other atomic-powered technology) and robotic uprisings, in the vein of contemporaries like Arthur C. Clarke. The universe is ruled by a galactic emperor who divides planets into the stewardship of noble houses. Within this viper’s nest of nobles clashing against each other, there are monastic orders like the Bene Gesserit, an all female order of psionically gifted matrons manipulating a genetic conspiracy for millennia, who vie for influence and control within the Galactic Padishah Empire. Read the rest of this entry »


Giveaway: Iron Gold

Posted: March 22, 2018 by Vanessa in Giveaways

EBR has a spare copy of IRON GOLD by Pierce Brown to send to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway:

1. Email us at elitistbookreviews@gmail.com

2. Include the following on the subject line: IRON GOLD GIVEAWAY

3. In the body of the email include your name and mailing address. This giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

Giveaway rules can be found here. Entries will be accepted until midnight of March 29 and the winner will be posted on March 30. Good luck!

See Dan’s review here: IRON GOLD

Iron Gold

Posted: March 22, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
Tags: , ,

I remember picking up Golden Son for the first time and being surprised at where the author started the story. Red Rising had finished in such a way that, given the thousands of other books I’d read, I fully expected Golden Son to be about Battle School. If any other author had written it, that book just might have been about Battle School instead of starting at the end of those two vicious years of Darrow’s training. And that single fact made not only that book, but the entire series, rise up above so many of those others and give a mighty shout that it would be heard. Thus, it was no surprise to me to learn that after writing three solid books about Darrow’s rise to power, that Mr. Brown should choose to begin the next book in his series after ten years of hard-fought war later. Ten. Years. From what I can tell, Pierce Brown is not only asking himself “What is the next story in this world that I could tell?” when he sits down to write the next book, but “What is the most brilliant next story in this world that I could tell?”. And people, when an author does that for their readers — when he goes all out to deliver a knockout punch every single time — THAT is the kind of author that you want to pay attention to. THAT is the kind of author that you want to give you money to. Because THAT author deserves his coveted title. The title of “Favorite Author”.
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I first learned the term “bottle episode” while watching “Community” (thank you, Abed). One episode of Season 2 takes place entirely in a locked room as the characters search for a missing pen. While the premise is absurd, trapping everyone in the same room allows for hilarity, as well as serious revelations about their relationships, to ensue. Not only are ‘bottle episodes’ cheap to shoot, relying on one set instead of several, they are also light on plot, allowing writers to spend more time focusing on character development. In his newest addition to the Enderverse, CHILDREN OF THE FLEET, Card immerses his readers once again in a world of precocious children, absent but watchful adults, and a life or death mission. While it’s not exactly a bottle episode, Card’s narrative shares a similar intense focus on depth, not breadth. By limiting himself to a relatively simple plot and using the already familiar setting of Battle Fleet School, Card can fully explore the emotional journey of Dabeet Ochoa.

Set in the aftermath of Ender’s victory in the Third Formic war, CHILDREN OF THE FLEET begins after Battle School has been converted to Fleet School, a place to train future leaders for humanity’s colonization efforts. Dabeet Ochoa is a preternaturally intelligent child who is convinced that he belongs in Fleet School, not stuck on Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

I really like the trend I’m seeing of speculative fiction comprising a larger portion of the movies and tv (streaming?) shows in production today. In fact, the whole reason I picked this book up was because someone was making a movie out of it, and the trailer totally pulled me in. Got another book in my stack right now with a review waiting to be posted, that I picked up because of the same kind of media inspiration. Netflix has just been upping the game. If I’m honest with myself, most of the new movie/tv speculative goodness seems to be coming from, or associated with, them. Granted, not everything. But lots of it, yeah? Have you been keeping up on your “Coming Soon” trailers and news buzz? Might just be time that you did that. After you read this, of course. What were you thinking?
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Contest Reboot: Yay Results!

Posted: March 15, 2018 by Vanessa in News

First off we’d like to thank all those who entered our contest to become the next EBR reviewer. All sorts of people entered. It’s really fascinating to us how different reviews can be–even on the same book. We appreciate the time and effort y’all spent and it gives us warm fuzzies to know you guys like us enough to become one of us. We chose books that were written by well-known authors but that also weren’t perfect, because we wanted to make sure incoming reviewers could see flaws and analyze the stories and characters in a way that our EBR readers would appreciate.

The submissions were great, but there were two “winners” who really impressed us:

Jane Funk – She sent us two reviews, one for ELANTRIS and one for CHILDREN OF THE FLEET, and both were great (I quote Dan, “serious writing chops, actually two chops because she sent two, and that’s more chops than usual”). She has great style and understands what it means to help readers figure out if they want to read a book or not. We can’t wait for y’all to read her reviews and see more from her in the future.

Allan Bishop – He sent us a review of DUNE, which was not only a thorough exploration of its story, characters, and themes, but also its relevance in the current climate of genre literature. He already has a blog where he’s published book reviews as well as author interviews. I have a feeling his insights on speculative fiction will encourage some interesting discussions in the near future.

We picked people who wrote well and agreed with us but who would also be a good addition to our blog. We hope it’s obvious that’s what EBR needs. Other contestants who didn’t win had problems usually associated with rehashing the plot or talking about their reaction without really explaining why the book was good or bad, had stuff in their reviews that was incorrect or we didn’t agree with, or it just wasn’t written how we liked. Because this is our website and we want reviewers who fit in with our little crew of speculative-fiction-loving readers. Ultimately our goal is to make this site better for all of YOU readers who want to know what’s the best of the best.

We’ll be posting their reviews over the next few weeks. Look for ’em to show up soon. We’re sure you’ll enjoy reading their stuff. Because we did. 🙂

Cam is your typical teenager. She’s got friends, wonders how her awesome boyfriend could like such an awkward girl as her, and is frantically studying for her American History test. The only exception is that she’s a witch. However, it’s that extra complication that makes her high school years less than typical.

For example, most teenagers don’t have to deal with their mother disappearing during a coven meeting. Read the rest of this entry »