Posts from 2015

Review

Airships of Camelot

Posted: November 13, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Robison Wells, Steampunk, Young Adult
Airships of Camelot

The title AIRSHIPS OF CAMELOT (Amazon) pretty much gives away what this book is: a King Arthur and steampunk mashup. Usually I’d hesitate reading something like this, but since it was written by Robison Wells of VARIANT (EBR Review) fame, I was actually excited.

Turns out it’s a really fun read.
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Review

The Last Witness

Posted: November 6, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: K.J. Parker, Fantasy, Short Fiction
The Last Witness

Yet another story that comes at a time just rife with new offerings from the fantasy author after a short hiatus. SAVAGES (EBR Review) and the serial novel THE TWO OF SWORDS (Amazon), are two full novels that were released just a few months apart from one another. This one is something more along the lines of a novella, but it’s also one that I didn’t expect given the recent outpouring of new material. Can’t say that I’m disappointed though. In fact, I was far from it.
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Review

The Hero and the Crown

The Hero and the Crown

With all the popular YA novels out there sporting wishy-washy teenage ‘heroines’, it’s time to introduce you to a classic that does it right. For the kids of my generation there was Robin McKinley’s THE HERO AND THE CROWN (Amazon), the winner of the 1985 Newbery Medal Award.

Aerin is the only child of the king. The problem? She’s a girl. Since her deceased mother was a foreigner (and it’s whispered she was a witch), and Aerin has inherited her pale skin and red hair, she’s snubbed and ignored. She discovers a book about the dragons that used to threaten Damar, and on her own learns how to make kenet, an ointment that protects the wearer from the effects of fire, and trains herself to fight dragons. When word comes that a local village is being terrorized by a small dragon, Aerin with the kenet and her father’s old war horse, goes to fight it. Unfortunately, it’s not only the smaller dragons who begin to return.
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Review

Half-Resurrection Blues

Posted: October 27, 2015 by mtbikemom in Books We Like Meta: Daniel José Older, Urban Fantasy
Half-Resurrection Blues

Me to Vanessa: “I can’t wait to find a real gem, a diamond in the rough, some unknown phenom.” Ding, ding, ding! I’ve think I’ve found one in HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES (Amazon), Daniel José Older’s first in a new series of dark urban crime fantasy, Bone Street Rumba. This ghost story diamond has plenty of polish, its facets expertly cut within the dirt and grit of its setting.
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Review

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

It was with a high level of excitement and healthy dose of trepidation that I dove into this book. Another Burton and Swinburne novel for me! But alas, it was the last of its kind. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read that this would be the end of this amazing series. I’ve had so much fun reading this one, with each story building upon the previous one, and taking me further into the brilliantly detailed chaos of Hodder’s genius. The back of the book promised an explosive conclusion to the Spring-Heeled Jack series, and although I only wanted more! more! more! I still found myself curious how the tale I began a scant five years ago would resolve itself in the end.
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Review

An Apprentice to Elves

Posted: October 20, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Elizabeth Bear, Sara Monette, Fantasy
An Apprentice to Elves

When AN APPRENTICE TO ELVES showed up in my mailbox and I saw Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s names on the cover I totally squeed.

Until I discovered it was book 3 in the Iskryne series–how had I not heard of Bear’s new stuff? I loved her Eternal Sky series–start with RANGE OF GHOSTS (EBR Review); I read Monette’s MELUSINE and was meh about the story but not her writing craft, which is pretty amazing. I stomped around grumpily for a bit, but decided to dig in anyway without even looking up the first two books. Turns out you can read this book on its own.

Set in an alternate Norse/Germanic wintery island in the north, the men of Iskryne can bond with the local telepathic wolves, with whom they defend the populace from trolls and wyverns. But a new threat is creeping its way into the land: the Rheans (alternate Romans) are intent on conquest, and have the resources to do it.
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Review

The Leopard

Posted: October 16, 2015 by mtbikemom in Books We Don't Like Meta: K.V. Johansen, Fantasy
The Leopard

I wanted to like this book, was ready to love it after reading the intriguing prologue, but the rest of THE LEOPARD (Amazon) did not hold up to its early, fleeting promise. What a mess.
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Review

Voyage of the Basilisk

Posted: October 13, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Marie Brennan, Fantasy
Voyage of the Basilisk

This series keeps getting better and better.

Here we are in book 3 of Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent Memoirs with VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK (Amazon) and our heroine, Isabella Camherst, is sent on an expedition to research dragons on sea and on land. Along for the ride is her young son Jacob; Jacob’s nanny Abigail; and Tom, Isabella’s research partner.

With Isabella on board, they are bound for an adventure.
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Review

City of Burning Shadows

City of Burning Shadows

For those of you who have been following the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Mark Lawrence has been running for the last six months, you’ll know that we’re into the final round where, theoretically, the ten best novels of the approximately 275 that were submitted are now in our hands. For those of you who weren’t aware of this… you now are. The reading process has moved along smashingly well for me. In fact, significantly better than it should be. As of this moment, I’ve placed my completion mark on all of the stories I’ve been given thus far and only completely finished reading two of them: the one that we submitted to the pool from the first round, THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE’S BRAIDS (EBR Review), and this one. Unlike any of the other stories in the finalists’ pool, this one immediately grabbed me, immediately impressed me, and immediately impressed upon me that it was going to be a brilliant read.
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Review

Game Art

Posted: October 6, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Matt Sainsbury, Non-Fiction
Game Art

The book which has occupied the coffee table at my house for the last few years is one that’s grown to be a favorite: THE ELEMENTS (Amazon). It’s beautifully photographed, the entries for each is only a few pages long, with Theodore Grey writing about the elements as though they have their own personalities. You could spend five minutes or five hours reading it or simply looking at the pictures. It is this book with which I compare all other coffee table books.

GAME ART (Amazon) was sent to me in September when it was released. I hardly got to look at it at first because my children, lovers of all things games, had stolen it and hidden it in their rooms to read at their leisure. When I finally got to look at it myself it’s easy to see why they love this book.

If you’ve always considered games an art form of their own, then this is a book for you.
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