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Review

The Hod King

Posted: January 22, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Josiah Bancroft, Fantasy
The Hod King

It certainly seems like it’s been a considerable period of time since I read the first two Books of Babel. Thanks to the words of Mark Lawrence during the 2016-round of his Self-Published Fantasy Blog-off, I was made aware of this brilliant series that had yet to be picked up by a traditional publication house. In point of fact, it’s been a little less than 18 months since I closed the pages of THE ARM OF THE SPHINX (EBR Review) and began my wait for this next book. Would it be the last? Or just the next? Would it be as good? Bah, how could it not be? Tom finally knows where his wife is, and he’s bound to get to her! I had a difficult time believing that anyone that had read the previous two books (that you? hmmmmm?) wouldn’t be just as ecstatic to get into this story as I.
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Review

Shadow Captain

Posted: January 15, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction
Shadow Captain

It’s always an interesting ride, I think, when an author that typically writes for readers within a particular age range ventures outside their normal boundaries. Age ranges being groups like Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, blah, blah, blah. In this, I’m thinking Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea (EBR Archive) or Rowling’s Casual Vacancy are decent examples of this jump in readership. Sometimes they work; other times, not so much. I’ve never tried any of Rowling’s non-Potter books, but of the three YA books that Abercrombie gave us, I thought the first and third not quite as good as what I was used to getting from him, but the second, in my estimation, was possibly the best book he’s ever written. And while Revenger wasn’t necessarily my favorite book from Mr. Reynolds, and I’d likely be more interested in getting another in the Prefect Dreyfus series, I was still super excited to get another anything from him, as he’s easily one of my favorite science fiction authors these days.
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Review

The Consuming Fire

Posted: November 29, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: John Scalzi, Science Fiction
The Consuming Fire

Tell you what, the more I read of this guy’s stuff, the more I like him. Still haven’t gotten to the Old Man’s War books, but the LOCK IN series (EBR Archive) has been really good, and this one is also shaping up to be some serious goodness. When I got this one in the mail, I failed to realize though that we had already reviewed the first book, THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE (EBR Review, thanks be to Shawn), so I tackled that one first. Was awesome. In fact, I think I liked that one considerably more than he did. Likely would have read it anyways, as I have issues with reading middle-series books without first reading those that have come before. This can sometimes cause headaches for my EBR TBR pile, but as Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam.” I was also extremely happy to find that this book absolutely doesn’t fall into anything like second-book syndrome and was oodles of good fun.
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Review

The Empty Grave

Posted: November 22, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Johnathan Stroud, Horror, Middle Grade
The Empty Grave

Arriving at the final book of the Lockwood & Co series, THE EMPTY GRAVE, leaves me with mixed emotions: so happy to see our gang of heroes find the answers they’re looking for, but also sad to see this fantastic series come to an end. Over this series we’ve watched as Lockwood, Lucy, and George have navigated the dangerous and mystifying world of ghosts and ghost hunting. They may only be kids, but this small and independent company has uncovered secrets small and large, fought dangerous ghosts, and dealt with the frustrating politics of being the little guy in a big industry.

Now we get to see the fruition of all their hard work. THE EMPTY GRAVE ends the series in a way that won’t let you down.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

Posted: November 13, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Brandon Sanderson, Fantasy
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

Stephen Leeds is not your average hero. He’d consider himself an normal enough guy, nothing really special to look at or know. At least until he starts talking to people no one else can see.
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Review

Foundryside

Posted: October 18, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Robert Jackson Bennett, Epic Fantasy
Foundryside

So my first whiff of this book came last February while I was sitting in a group of friends at LTUE, which is a writer’s conference that meets in Utah every year, and Brian McClellan (EBR Archive) casually said that he was reading Robert Jackson Bennett’s new book and that it was really good. I was immediately jealous and began wondering how I might be able to find my way into Mr. Bennett’s in-group. To say the least, I was excited to hear that the next book from this great author was coming along smashingly. After sailing my way through his Divine Cities series (EBR Archive), I was really looking forward to some more goodness from his direction.
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Review

Brief Cases

Brief Cases

I was a late comer to this series, and I have to thank my boss Steve for pushing me to read past the second book in this series much like he pushed me to read past the second Malazan Book of the Fallen novel. So it was, that I found little moments, mostly nights and weekends (whenever I found a spare “extra” reading opportunity) to creep through the main sequence of books as quickly as I could. Jim Butcher has done an amazing job of this series. Guy knows his stuff. Thus it was, about six months ago, that I finally finished reading Skin Game and went looking for the next entry of one of my favorite addictions: Harry Dresden stories. At last update, Jim is still working on “Peace Talks” (Book 16), but until we get that one (can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait) there is some new short fiction to be had, and it is absolutely brilliant.
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Review

Purple and Black

Posted: August 4, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: K.J. Parker, Fantasy
Purple and Black

So I’m in the middle of updating all of our old reviews and disentangling the hard-coded links to the old blog. Not particularly a lot of fun. But it has been cool to be reminded of all those old reviews, and see how far the site has come since the early days. While doing so, I realized something that really bothered me: we didn’t have a review up for this book.

And I just couldn’t let that pass.
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Review

Mockingbird

Posted: July 26, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Chuck Wendig, Horror
Mockingbird

I’ve been waffling for a long time over whether to read these books or not. I don’t know why. You see, there’s this moment when you’re reading a review–even when it’s a review from the very site that you write for–that you just know you’re going to read the book. That happened to me when our illustrious reviewer, Nickolas, reviewed BLACKBIRDS by Chuck Wendig (EBR Review). Because, you see, I go in pretty hard for a good character. Especially a good tortured character, and once you’ve read Nick’s review and the actual book, you can almost see the torture spread across that skein of words. They rend you and twist you, and after you leave those pages behind, they haunt you with the understanding that not only is Ms. Miriam Black a real person under all of that grime and grit, but she also might as well be you, or me, or anyone else for all the good it does her. Because Miriam’s life is like none you’ve ever seen, and anyone, given her life, might have understandably made the same choices as she.
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Review

Carbide Tipped Pens

Carbide Tipped Pens

Hard Science Fiction, huh? Sounds cerebral, nerdy, probably unsentimental, maybe a bit dry… but could be good. Or really boring. I have had good fortune reading and reviewing anthologies so far for EBR. (Let the streak continue!)

My sincerest apologies to the publishers of this mostly excellent anthology. This is possibly the most beat-up paperback I have ever carried around and carried around and…which I cannot explain because I enjoyed it very much. There was one story that stopped me cold, though so, in good conscience, I could not write this review until I had read every SINGLE word. That wasn’t easy.
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