Archive for 2017

Babylon’s Ashes

Posted: January 12, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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ba-ebrIf you haven’t at least heard about this series by now, it’s likely that you’re not a fan of science fiction. If you’re looking to be a fan, this is a great series to start with as it is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the best Science Fiction series being written today. The writing duo of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck have been doing a bang up job of it, and this book has FINALLY arrived. I include the emphasis here only because it feels like I’ve been waiting for this book for so long, and nothing to do with the book being delayed. The authors have been doing a great job of keeping these books coming on a regular schedule, and I can do nothing but applaud the work they’ve done so far. That being said, it did feel like a long time since book five, and I know that has to be because of the zinger of a hit the story took, when the Free Navy finally brought their war from out of the shadows.
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Asho was born into a race of slaves, but by sheer force of will has become the squire of the warrior Lord Kyferin, and in the opening pages of THE PATH OF FLAMES by Phil Tucker, our young hero finds himself on the field of battle. Unfortunately, his side loses, his lord is killed, and he must return home to face Lady Kyferin.

Kethe Kyferin, the daughter of the now-dead lord, wants more than anything to be a knight, even going so far as to make her own chain mail and take secret lessons from one of the castle guards. But she’s only a teenage girl, and there’s no guarantee that even though her mother is desperate for more knights, the question is if a girl will be accepted as one of them.

Tharok, a highland kragh (kinda like an orc), is on the run from the clan that wiped out his clan and killed his father. He heads deep into the mountains to make a last stand. He unexpectedly survives, and stumbles onto the remains of a kragh legend that will give him the means for his revenge.

Their worlds are about to change completely.

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Are you in the mood for a breezy, uncomplicated read? Would you like to capture a bit of summer as winter digs its angry claws in for another bite? Did you love the movie Splash? Do you or would you like to speak “surf?”  (It’s an identifying language, just like all other sub-cultures possess.) Good news: I have a sweet, entertaining story for you! Turn off your analytical brain and enjoy.
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martiansTo Polly’s dismay, her mother–the administrator of Mars Colony–has signed up Polly and her brother Charles to the earth school Galileo Academy where the teens will rub shoulders with the progeny of the solar system’s elite. Polly and Charles were born on Mars and have lived there all their lives; but while Charles considers schooling on Earth as useful, Polly knows she’ll miss Mars and doesn’t want to give up her own plans.

Here at EBR we love us some Carrie Vaughn. We’ve reviewed several of her Kitty Norville books as well as a couple of her standalones, DISCORD’S APPLE (EBR Review) and AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE (EBR Review). Now her newest book, MARTIANS ABROAD is another standalone in the vein of Heinlein’s Young Adult books (such as CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY–EBR review) mixed with a little STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND–only our protagonist is a teenage girl.

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tl_ebrEndings are always tough when it comes to book series. For readers, for authors, and quite usually for the characters as well. They’re the showdown, the climax of everything written thus far, the point where we as readers have to say goodbye. For many, the ending is the part of the book, or series, that will determine whether you like or hate it, despite everything that has led you as a reader to the point. I’m more in the camp of “joy in the journey” than “how-does-it-end”. So, a great read that has a decent ending gets higher marks than a ho-hum read with a brilliant ending. It’s really nice though when I don’t have to make that distinction; when I get to read something that was a great series, had a great last book, and a great ending.
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Best of 2016

Posted: February 1, 2017 by Vanessa in *Best of 2016

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2016 was a solid year for us speculative fiction book lovers (and movie-goers and TV bingers…ah, what a wonderful world we live in), which means that the Best of 2016 has some seriously excellent volumes of sheer awesomeness. And here at EBR we should know, because we participated in Mark Lawrence’s Blog-Off and read some of the worst the self-pubbed world has to offer–the following are golden in comparison. Plus we have a list of what we’re looking forward to this year so you can be ready to pre-order. Here you’re sure to find many hours of reading bliss.

Best Books of 2016:

The Mortal Tally by Sam Sykes – EBR Review
The Spider’s War – EBR Review
Babylon’s Ashes – EBR Review
The Liberation – EBR Review
Poseidon’s Wake – EBR Review
Borderline by Mishell Baker – EBR Review
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Astor by Scott Wilibanks – EBR Review
Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon – EBR Review
The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
Fall of Light by Steven Erikson – EBR Review
Last Train From Perdition by Robert McCammon
Paradise Sky by Joe Lansdale
Nemesis Games by James SA Corey – EBR Review
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin- EBR Review
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan – EBR Review
Morning Star by Pierce Brown – EBR Review

Worst Book of 2016: The Rule of Luck by Catherine Cerveney – EBR Review

What We’re Looking Forward to in 2017:

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Monster Hunter Siege by Larry Correia
Six Feet Over by Max Gladstone
Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
God’s Last Breath by Sam Sykes
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan
Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
Mystic Dragon by Jason Denzel

lyre-theifHer Serene Highness Rakaia, Princess of Fardohnya, is off to Hythria to marry a brute of a Hythrun Warlord she’s never met and escape the inevitable bloodbath in the harem when her brother takes the throne. She is not interested in marrying anyone and has a plan to save herself if she can just convince her baseborn sister, Charisee, to play along. These two best friends/sisters, though one has been a princess and the other her handmaiden, embark on an adventure of switched identities complete with love triangles and meddlesome gods. Rakaia is rescued by none other than the demon child, R’shiel, who is on her own quest to free her beloved, Brak. Charisee first acts the part, then truly becomes the princess she was never meant to be, which draws the attention of the God of Liars, who is rightly impressed and even helpful.

…And in far off Medalon, someone has stolen the music.

Their quest for the tiny stolen lyre containing the essence of the God of Music will eventually touch all their lives, threaten everything they hold dear, and prove to be far more personal than any of them can imagine. (more…)