Recent Posts: Page 2
Review

Weave a Circle Round

Posted: May 8, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Tags: Fantasy, Young Adult
Weave a Circle Round

I hate to start a review by saying that a book was good because of what it did NOT contain, but when a YA novel does NOT contain handsome supernatural beings, sorting, life-or-death romantic longing, cancer, or shockingly young children being pressed into military service, I feel like that bears mentioning. In fact, I’m not sure I can remember the last time I read a YA novel in which not a single character was sorted into a color-coded societal group. ‘Sorting’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing; like any trope, the success depends on the author’s skill. Still, reading WEAVE A CIRCLE ROUND and not having to remember which ‘team’ anyone was on was… genuinely refreshing. Read the rest of this review »

Review

Seventh Decimate

Posted: May 2, 2018 by Vanessa in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Fantasy, Stephen R. Donaldson

It’s probably been fifteen years since I last read any Stephen Donaldson. It started with LORD FOUL’S BANE then the two sequels in that trilogy (which ultimately became 10 books) and, honestly, they weren’t my favorite. The main character was more anti-hero than I’d encountered before, and any reader could see that Tolkien had an influence on Donaldson’s worldbuilding. But Donaldson has a following, so I thought I’d try again with his most recent offering, SEVENTH DECIMATE, which as far as I could tell would be different than the series that introduced me to the author.

Turns out, my first impressions of Donaldson were only reinforced. Read the rest of this review »

Review

Tomorrow’s Kin

Posted: April 26, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Tags: Nancy Kress, Science Fiction
Tomorrow’s Kin

A while ago, I had a dearth of books sitting on my shelf for which I was foaming at the mouth to read. Several times I walked by the stacks and asked myself which of those various offerings I would dive into next. After several attempts, I just started grabbing books at random, and decided to choose the one that I thought had the best potential based on the first two pages of story. This is usually about all it takes for me to decide whether I’m going to be able to like a book or not. Like there’s a base-minimum amount of goodness that my inner reader is willing to accept, and after about two pages I can just tell. After parsing through a dozen or so of the possibilities, I whittled my choices down to this single book. It was even science fiction, which is always a good thing in my opinion because I feel like I need to read more science fiction. Problem is, I need to read science fiction that’s better than this.
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Interview with Steven Brust

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Interview Tags: Steven Brust
Interview with Steven Brust

EBR: Who is Steven Brust, in that “Inside the Actors’ Studio” way, and tell us a little bit about yourself? What would people enjoy about your novels, besides the true crime story in an epic fantasy novel series you’ve had running for a few decades?

Steven Brust: You ask hard questions for someone raised to believe that one doesn’t talk about one’s self. I do need to rewatch some “Inside the Actors’ Studio” though, thanks for reminding me. In the meantime, I’m not sure how to answer that. Born in Minnesota, I’ve lived here most of my life. I was raised by proletarian revolutionists, and still consider myself Trotskyist sympathizer. I also consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love, not just in the sense of writing fantastical fiction, but that (so far) I’ve been able to survive writing the next book I want to read. The next book I want to read usually has a fair bit of wit, some action, characters that I want to follow around to see what they do next, and enough “chewy bits” ((tm) Emma Bull) to reward rereading.
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Review

Good Guys

Posted: April 20, 2018 by Allan Bishop in Books We Like Tags: Steven Brust, Supernatural Thriller
Good Guys

Sometimes I wonder if Urban Fantasy is stuck in the year 2005. Vampires. Werewolves. Angels. The Fae. And then once in a while, lo and behold, I find a novel that fulfills a certain niche: mages versus mages. Except this isn’t Hogwarts, or Harry Dresden walking into yet another CSI murder scene that turns into the Fae having a turf war. No. It’s Steven Brust, author of the acclaimed Vlad Taltos series, returning with his first standalone in twenty plus years. And it has all the trademarks of Brust’s usual style: dry wit, working-class grit, and a whole lot of talking. GOOD GUYS asks a simple question: Is it good to be working for a shady organization who pays you peanuts for a wage? Maybe.
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Review

Sorcery for Beginners

Posted: April 18, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Sorcery for Beginners

Owen is your average Middle Schooler: he’s ok at sports, he passes his classes, and he has a couple friends. But when his mom leaves to work in Sumatra and dad takes him to live in Las Vegas, Owen is sure life will never be the same.

Even then, he didn’t account for finding the Codex Arcanum bookstore and buying SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS. Now his life is *really* going to change.

SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS claims it’s what the title says: that this book will teach you, via story and real-life examples, how to become a sorcerer. You’ll follow Owen’s story as he buys the book after being promised the “Spell to Rewrite History” which Owen plans to use to revert to the time before his mom left.
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And we’re back!

Posted: April 17, 2018 in News

Okay, well…kind of. Like we mentioned in our initial announcement, this incarnation of the site is a bare-minimum effort to just get us up and populating with good SEO site-value as soon as possible. Dan is still working on making sure that everything’s working right (social media posting might take a bit…), and we have a METRIC TON of old posts to go back through and update so that everything looks and works beautifully. But the first step has been taken.
Thanks for being patient with Dan while he figured out all the details of the move this last week. He’s ridiculously excited to get into further development, and the rest of us can’t wait to see how everything develops with the new site as well.
As an aside, if any of you have suggestions for Dan’s further development efforts, or if […]Read the rest of this post »

Website Under Construction

Posted: April 10, 2018 in News

And we’re off! Yeah, okay, so this is likely going to take a while. I’m hoping not more than the week, but I don’t do this book-review stuff full time (no one here does) and so it’s going to come as it comes because I only have so much free time and my heart needs its beauty sleep these days.
Once the whole transition to the new site is complete, We will post an official announcement of it. Until that point, you may find yourself at either site version, somewhere in-between, or even at a page that says “This website is insecure!”. Just know that I’m busy getting everything to work out completely, and we won’t need any feedback about stuff that “looks or acts broken” until after that official post. Also, any comments you may try to make could potentially be lost in the […]Read the rest of this post »

New Website Coming

Posted: April 5, 2018 in News

A little while ago, Dan was wandering around on our site and made a horrifying discovery: our site has no SEO value whatsoever. Yeah. Blame the theme developers for this bungle, if you must, but we were the ones that set the dang thing up without realizing that. So…
For those of you unfamiliar with what SEO is, it’s the stuff that happens in the background of a site that makes it show up in Google search results.
Yeah. Not good.
As soon as we figured this out, we were on the lookout for another option. To make a long story short, we decided that the best option for us was so strike out on our own, so to speak.
Dan’s day job is as a web developer. So, he’s put together a new website and we’ll be changing over to that one in the very near future. In all honesty, it’s going to be a bare minimum […]Read the rest of this post »

Review

Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon

As with my previous review, the decision to finally read this novel came as a result of consuming media outside of the book realm. Prior to now, I hadn’t picked this book up because of the complete underwhelming Richard K. Morgan had given me in previous books. Granted, most of his stuff that I’d read was in the fantasy genre. Although I have also read Thirteen, but that didn’t really ruffle my feathers either. Still, the trailer for the series that Netflix recently did just looked AMAZING. Grabbed me and would not let go. And wouldn’t you know it, about that same time the book came up in my audiobook queue at the library as available and I just couldn’t help myself. Turns out, I probably should have listened to myself and/or watched the show instead.
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