Archive for 2015

peregrineJacob’s grandfather was kind of an odd guy. When Jacob was a kid, his grandfather would tell him all sorts of stories about the kids in the Welsh children’s home he lived in after escaping pre-war Europe. Then he would show Jacob all sorts of strange photographs (see cover picture of levitating girl) of the other peculiar children he lived with. As Jacob grew older he began to realize that these stories couldn’t have been memories, but were tall tales to entertain an imaginative grandson.

Or were they?

After witnessing his grandfather’s death, Jacob’s parents are convinced that it was so traumatic that he hallucinated the monster-like creature Jacob saw. Jacob is able follow the clues of his grandfather’s last words, and convinces his father to take him to the island where Miss Peregrine’s home for children resides. Instead of answers, Jacob instead finds an abandoned relic from 60 years before. While there he meets someone from his grandfather’s past, and Jacob begins to realize that maybe his grandfather wasn’t completely bonkers after all. (more…)


The City Stained Red

Posted: January 22, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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citystainedredThere’s something wrong with the world. Don’t you think? There’s so much garbage out there that could just be better. Like more sword fights would be nice. And massive dragonmen with bad tempers. And belly-grown demons that rip their way up through your gullet and out your mouth. And…and…and… ah, who am I kidding? What would a world like that be like? Mass chaos, I tell you. Mass chaos. And I know it all too well. For I have read it, and that world is the brilliance of Sam Sykes.


Interview: Stephen Blackmoore

Posted: January 26, 2015 by criticaluniverse in Review
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stepehnblackmooreStephen Blackmoore is a pulp writer of little to no renown who once thought lighting things on fire was one of the best things a kid could do with his time. Until he discovered that eyebrows don’t grow back very quickly.

He is the author of the urban fantasy novels CITY OF THE LOST, DEAD THINGS and the upcoming BROKEN SOULS. His short stories and poetry have appeared in Plots With Guns, Needle, Spinetingler, Thrilling Detective, Shots, Demolition, Clean Sheets , Flashing In The Gutters and a couple of anthologies with authors far better than he is.

I loved CITY OF THE LOST and just knew I had to get an interview with Stephen for Elitist Book Reviews. This is that interview. (more…)

Trial by Fire

Posted: January 29, 2015 by criticaluniverse in Books We Love
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trialbyfire copyChuck Gannon’s FIRE WITH FIRE was easily the best science fiction novel I read in 2013. The first book in the Tales of the Terran Republic series would be right at home on a shelf amongst the hallowed Golden Age classics. FIRE WITH FIRE is a cerebral thriller – Caine makes his fair share of thrilling escapes – but the real draw to the story is the depth and intellectual complexity that Gannon brings to a First Contact scenario. As a follow-up TRIAL BY FIRE is no disappointment. (more…)

Best of 2014

Posted: February 3, 2015 by Steven Diamond in *Best of 2014

Alrighty. 2014 somehow vanished. It was a wild year for all of us here at EBR, both professionally and personally. We’ll get into some of that down below, and in a separate post. Anywho! The Best of 2014! Yowsa, we had some killer novels this year. As usual, we don’t present the books in any order. And there are gonna be some books here that we haven’t even reviewed yet (again, this year was a bit crazy). And we didn’t even come close to reading everything…so feel free to poke and prod us in the comments about stuff you don’t see on this list!


THE THICKET by Joe Lansdale (EBR review)
THE WIDOW’S HOUSE by Daniel Abraham
THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks (EBR review)
SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher (EBR review)
DUST AND LIGHT by Carol Berg (EBR review)
THE RIVER OF SOULS by Robert McCammon (EBR review)
STELES OF THE SKY by Elizabeth Bear (EBR review)
WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson (EBR review)
PRINCE OF FOOLS by Mark Lawrence (EBR review)
FEAR CITY by F Paul Wilson
CODE ZERO by Jonathan Maberry
VEIL OF THE DESERTERS by Jeff Salyards (EBR review)
GRUNT LIFE by Weston Ochse (EBR review)
TRIAL BY FIRE by Chuck Gannon (EBR Review)
RED RISING by Pierce Brown


THE LIAR’S KEY by Mark Lawrence
THE MECHANICAL by Ian Tregillis
MURDER by Sarah Pinborough
THE BORDER by Robert McCammon
PARADISE SKY by Joe Lansdale
THE SPIDER’S WAR by Daniel Abraham
NEMESIS GAMES by James S.A. Corey
FALL OF LIGHT by Steven Erikson
THE LAST RITE by Jasper Kent
GRUNT TRAITOR by Weston Ochse
RESIDUE by Steven Diamond (What?! Why, that’s ME!)
GOLDEN SON by Pierce Brown
THE RED by Linda Nagata
THE FOLD by Peter Clines

Yeah. 2015 is gonna be fantastic. What do you think?

awakeningMcKayla’s aunt Avril has always been a little odd. She travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, to the chagrin of McKayla’s mother, who doesn’t like it when she talks magic with her daughters. Now, Avril is visiting Sun Valley in small town Idaho where McKayla and her family live in order to investigate a serial killer who – it appears – possesses her victims. McKayla goes with her aunt during a case to interview the widow of a murder victim. There she discovers that maybe Aunt Avril’s psychic abilities are magic and run in the family because McKayla can feel the window’s emotions–she’s empathic.

But that’s not even the strangest thing, because despite outward tears the widow’s inside emotions are not what McKayla expects a widow to be experiencing: she’s not sad, she’s angry.


Fear City

Posted: February 9, 2015 by Steven Diamond in Review
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peregrineNow that it’s all done, I’m going to share a little secret. When it was announced that F. Paul Wilson was going to do a prequel trilogy for his Repairman Jack series, I was super excited. More Jack is always awesome. But I was also a bit nervous. Prequels are tricky. They have a bad habit of diminishing the overall series. Thankfully, all that worry that I kept hidden inside was all rendered pointless. FEAR CITY, the final novel in the Repairman Jack: The Early Years Trilogy, is terrific.