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Review

Freedom of the Mask

Freedom of the Mask

Matthew Corbett is missing. Following the events in the 5th Matthew Corbett novel, THE RIVER OF SOULS (EBR Review), our favorite problem-solver finds himself without memories of who he really is. So begins the 6th Matthew Corbett novel, FREEDOM OF THE MASK (Amazon).

Robert McCammon is in top form in this meaty novel. Yes, you heard that right. Meaty. As much as I loved the prior novel in the series, I felt like it was a quick adventure meant to set up the next several books in the series. A transitional novel. It was an excellent read, but with this 6th novel I hoped we would get something closer in scope to SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD (EBR Review) and THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM (Amazon). Turns out, this is exactly what we got.
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Review

The Shards of Heaven

The Shards of Heaven

Cleopatra and Antony rule Egypt via Alexandria. Octavian rules Rome. THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN follows the real people and events that lead to the Roman conquest of Alexandria and the end of the Ptolemic line.  But according to Michael Livingston, there’s more to the story.

And it involves magic.

Enter Juba, the orphaned prince of Numidia and adopted son of Julius Ceasar. Desperate to find vengeance for the death of his father, he seeks magical objects so he can have enough power to bring down Rome. At the start of SHARDS he finds what he believes to be the trident of Poseidon and discovers it’s as powerful as he hoped. But Juba is a mere teenager to Octavian’s experienced ambition and soon discovers he’s in over his head.
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Review

Speaks the Nightbird

Speaks the Nightbird

I recently went back to do a re-read of Robert McCammon’s SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD (Amazon). Though, I suppose, a “re-listen” is more accurate as I bought the audiobook. It’s been a long time since I read this novel, and with the sixth Matthew Corbett novel, FREEDOM OF THE MASK coming in just a few short months, I wanted to go back to Matthew’s origins as a refresher.

It is incredible how well this novel stands up to multiple reads.

SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD follows a young Matthew Corbett as he participates in the trial of Rachel Howarth, who is accused of murder and witchcraft. Th novel channels the fear, suspicion, and paranoia of the Salem witch trials which occurred just six years before the events of this novel. This is before Matthew’s days as a “problem-solver” that we see in QUEEN OF BEDLAM (Amazon) and beyond, and seeing the near-innocent (in adult matters) attitude and world-view Matthew has in NIGHTBIRD is so interesting.
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Review

The Rising

Posted: December 24, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Ian Tregillis, Alternate Historical Fiction
The Rising

At the time I had no idea how it might be possible, but when I got the email saying that this book was headed my way I was totally taken by surprise. As soon as I got it, I barreled through its pages, loving every minute and was completely impressed when I got to the end. Then, as I sat down to write this review, I casually glanced at the publication date of the first book in this series, THE MECHANICAL, and realized why the follow-up hadn’t even been on my radar: the first book was published in March of this year. Whoa. Then I got to be super impressed because not only had this book really entertained me, but it had been released a paltry nine months after its predecessor.
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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

Dead Man’s Reach

Dead Man’s Reach

EBR: Everyone welcome our newest reviewer, mtbikemom, a long-time reader and friend who’s agreed to help us work through the pile of books stacking up at EBR headquarters. We’re sure you’ll love her as much as we do.

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If a reader is looking for better-than-average female characters in a magically enhanced historical fiction novel with some ripping action scenes, D.B. Jackson’s DEAD MAN’S REACH (Amazon) will satisfy.

I need a bit more in a story than that, however.
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Review

The Mechanical

The Mechanical

Ian Tregillis is a name that has been on the watch-list of EBR for quite some time now. The Milkweed Triptych was an amazing and impressive ride, especially for having been his first published works. Pretty much solidified his place in our hearts. And so when I saw the arc for this book in my most recent box of goodness, I pretty much wanted to sit down and ignore everyone and everything else for the next several days. Didn’t quite work out that way, but I did end up putting in a couple extra hours each day toward reading it because, honestly, I just couldn’t put the dang thing down. Seriously good stuff.
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Review

The Doctor and the Dinosaurs

The Doctor and the Dinosaurs

Mike Resnick has had a pretty good deal going here with these Weird West tales. Short books released once a year and bought like clockwork by Pyr. From what I understand, he’s moved on from this series to another Science Fiction-based one now, but still has the team from Pyr standing at the front of the queue for the next story he pumps out. In a way, I’m glad to see Resnick move on from this series; it hasn’t been my favorite, to say the least. And yet there’s a part of me that wishes that since this was possibly the last tale torn from the might-have-been lifebook of the man Doc Holliday, that it had gone out with more of a bang.
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Review

Things Half In Shadow

Posted: February 25, 2015 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Alan Finn, Alternate Historical Fiction
Things Half In Shadow

Adding supernatural elements to Historical Fiction is one of my favorite things. I’m already a lover of history, and I can’t get enough supernatural stuff. For me, it’s a match made in heaven. From Jasper Kent to Sarah Pinborough to Robert McCammon… I love it. Alan Finn’s novel, THINGS HALF IN SHADOW (Amazon), scratches that itch nicely.
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Review

The Return of the Discontinued Man

Posted: December 30, 2014 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Mark Hodder, Alternate Historical Fiction
The Return of the Discontinued Man

Burton and Swinburne, huzzah! Can I tell you how excited I was to read this novel? Ridiculously. These novels have been part of my staple, my core, my life-blood’s source for brilliant storytelling. Each time I return to them, they never fail to impress and entertain me. Hilarity, imagination, and excitement all wrapped up with a neat little bow.
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