Recent Posts: Page 3
Review

Children of Blood and Bone

Posted: August 20, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Tomi Adeyemi, Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy
Children of Blood and Bone

I think there are a lot of readers these days that are “coming to an awareness” of the fact that there are considerably more books written by people that belong to neither the male half nor the white portion of the world’s population. Whether they’ve come to that realization by dint of the more vocal portion of the reader/authorship populace, or just because of their own level of self-awareness, I think that it’s by-and-large a good thing. At least, if they decide to do anything about it. I’ve always been one to share my opinion that I’m a staunch supporter of this widening of our story-source base. At the same time, however, I do my best to never pull any punches expressly because of who the author of a book is or what they’ve decided to write about. If a story is good, I’ll crow about it. If I feel like it let me down, I’m going to say so. And why. I am trying to review these things, after all, right?

This book is the first of my concerted efforts to make sure that the books I choose to read are “diverse” enough. Prior to this point, I just plainly never paid attention. I read what I was given. Granted, there were definitely times when I steered away from cliched-sounding YA or those that looked like they were going to be primarily romantic in nature, but that was about the extent of my filtering. The decision to diversify my reading choices will by no means keep me from passing by a book that just doesn’t sound interesting, regardless of who wrote the thing. It will, however, encourage me to make sure that I’m looking for options that will widen my view of what is currently being written in today’s publication sphere. I know there are going to be some of our readers that will groan at this, and some that crow. I hope to be able to both disappoint and please all of you in turns and become better overall as a result. Wish me luck.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir

Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir

I am generally indifferent to superheroes. I actively dislike noir. Based purely on the title, this is a book I normally would have browsed past faster than a speeding bullet. It seems like a mash-up of superheroes and noir has the potential to be one big, self-important cliche.
Luckily, the EBR Fairy who sends you the books you’ve requested always includes a few surprises. And PINNACLE CITY:A SUPERHERO NOIR was a smart, entertaining surprise.
Edgar (Eddie) Enriquez is the epitome of a noir detective: addicted, cynical, and from the wrong side of the tracks. Despite all this, he’s still got a strong sense of right and wrong. Recruited by a supervillain at a young age, Eddie served time in prison and then tried to redeem himself by joining the army. He got out with a wounded shoulder and an implant that makes his super power even more useful. Eddie can see the history of anything he touches. Where the object was, who had it, what was happening nearby–and now […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Last Astronaut

The Last Astronaut

First contact is the kind of experience that’s ripe for miscommunications and misinterpretations that can literally reshape the world.
From more traditional hard sci-fi stuff, like Clarke to Reynolds, to the more literary offerings of LeGuin or Russell (she wrote THE SPARROW), first contact is a recurring theme in speculative fiction.
While there’s a million different ways to parse and taxonomize this (sub) genre, you can trace a big divide between texts that explore first contact with aliens who share fundamental premises of existence with humans (in psychology, if not in size or number of eyes) and texts in which the aliens are really, really… alien (think “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, which is portrayed in the movie Arrival).
David Wellington’s THE LAST ASTRONAUT belongs to the latter category. Let’s just say that there are no little green moon men here.
Sunny Stevens knows something that no one else does. There’s an object heading […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

Meet Me in the Future

Meet Me in the Future

Kameron Hurley owns weird.

Since her first novel, GOD’S WAR, she’s developed a motif. All writers have them. All writers hone them. And in the near decade since she crawled out from a dead man’s corpse with her first novel, she’s consistently gutted it toward nasty perfection. I’d be biased to say I don’t love her disgusting motif.

She’s New Weird with her body-hoppers, mind-wipers, and amoral assassins. Also, she had a literal bee gun that eats the flesh of its victim in last year’s APOCALYPSE NYX (EBR Review), so there’s darkly creepy done sinister. But with her latest book, MEET ME IN THE FUTURE, a short story collection, Hurley turns to a different theme.
Read the rest of this review »

Happy Birthday to Us!

Posted: August 1, 2019 in News
Happy Birthday to Us!

Yes, it seems a little funny to us too. Ten years? Yeah, right! But no, it’s the truth. You can even see the proof of it right here:
Read the rest of this post »

Review

Reincarnation Blues

Posted: July 23, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Michael Poore, Fantasy
Reincarnation Blues

Had this one sitting on my shelf at home for quite a while. Picked it up to try and read a few times, and ended up putting it back down again. I finally decided that I was going to punch this one out though, as there were so many great reviews for it on Amazon. Wish I’d just listened to my first impressions of the opening sequence and forgotten the whole thing. Realistically, I should have been put off by the fact that the title includes the moniker: A novel. That’s pretty much always a dead giveaway that a book’s going to be exactly the kind of item to disappoint me.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Jade War

Posted: July 22, 2019 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Fonda Lee, Fantasy
Jade War

The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master.

That’s right folks. We’re back in the land of jade and honor and… business meetings!
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Permafrost

Permafrost

I have to admit, I was really holding out for this story being a good one. After being supremely disappointed with what I found in the previous two (unrelated) hardback novellas that I read, I just wasn’t ready to find out that one of my favorite Science Fiction authors had written a dud as well. I should have taken a clue from the publication gods though when I saw that this one had not been put into a hardback. So obviously it was going to be different than the other two, right? After this whole hurrah of novellas from various authors, it really surprises me that those that were hardbacks really didn’t cut the mustard, and the one that probably deserved to be a hardback… didn’t get it. Man, the world’s funny sometimes, isn’t it?
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Artificial Condition

Artificial Condition

If you read my previous review, you’ll know that I recently ran through a few novellas. This is the second of those shorties that I read. I was actually pretty excited to get to it. Although out of the bunch, it definitely sat near the bottom. I mean, the competition was Robert Jackson Bennett (EBR Archive) and Alastair Reynolds (EBR Archive), which both sit pretty high on my scale of READ-THESE-AUTHORS-NOW. I had recently read the first in the Murderbot series (Vanessa’s EBR Review) and liked it quite a bit. So this step was kind of the next natural one to take, yeah?
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Vigilance

Vigilance

I recently found a rash of novellas at my local library from authors that I enjoy reading, and I picked up a few of them. This is the first of those, and was likely the one I was second most excited about to read. Robert Jackson Bennett has been a favorite of mine ever since I stumbled across his Divine Cities series (EBR Archive), and so picking this one up was a no-brainer.
Read the rest of this review »