Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Sarah Chorn


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Mars, Inc.: The business of space

Mars, Inc. by Ben Bova

Mars, Inc. (2013), by Ben Bova, is an interesting exploration of how to get to Mars, not by way of NASA or the government, but by privatizing the space industry and using big business, investors, and the like to get there. While you might expect some trips into space in this book, most of the novel takes place on solid ground, watching Art Thrasher gather his investors, headhunt for scientists, and test out his program.

That’s both the strength and the weakness of the novel.


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The Boost: The premise is fascinating

The Boost by Stephen Baker

I’m a sucker for social science fiction. I love the stuff. I really think it is interesting to see how authors visualize technology and society progressing, the relationship between the two, and how they will influence each other. Our world is such a dynamic place, and the future is full of possibilities. I love authors who aren’t afraid to toy with what is over the horizon.

The Boost (2014) takes place in a fairly near future where everyone has computers (known as “Boosts”) in their heads.


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Wraeththu: Lyrically written dark fantasy

Wraeththu by Storm Constantine

Oddly enough, I started reading Wraeththu because I happened upon it randomly in the bookstore and I was absolutely entranced by the fact that I didn’t like the cover art at all. That’s the opposite response I usually have toward cover art. I’m not sure why this is the one book that I looked at and thought, “Wow, that’s pretty terrible cover art. I better read the book.” Whatever the reason, I’m glad I did.

This was my first experience with any of Storm Constantine’s work,


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Head Rush: Short and sweet

Head Rush by Carolyn Crane

Head Rush (2012) is a perfect finale for THE DISILLUSIONISTS TRILOGY. The thing about Head Rush is that readers won’t read it to be surprised. You know how it’s going to end; you just don’t know the details. Carolyn Crane makes those details fun, and keeps Head Rush rather short and sweet, which is perfect for the series as a whole.

In fact, Crane seems to know exactly how long each book should be,


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The Last Days of Jack Sparks: Part horror, part cerebral, and a whole lot of thriller

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

The Last Days of Jack Sparks (2016) is a unique contemporary thriller. The protagonist, Jack Sparks, was a controversial journalist, now dead. The premise of the novel is that you’re reading notes from the book Jack was writing before he kicked it, released as-is by his brother, along with notes for his agents and editor.

Jack Sparks is an interesting character. At first blush he seems similar to some real-life culture journalists. He’s a man with a unique,


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Hot Blooded: More worldbuilding and character development

Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Hot Blooded (2013) is the sequel to Full Blooded and the second in Amanda Carlson’s JESSICA MCCLAIN series. This review will contain some spoilers for the previous book.

Jessica’s mate has been stolen, and her goal is to get him back. Readers who are really hell-bent on the romance aspect of the series will find this rather frustrating. There are quite a few (logical) detours Jessica must make before she can get her man back.


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Double Cross: Characters evolve and develop

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

If Mind Games is where Carolyn Crane sets up her world, Double Cross (2010) is where she hits her stride. The world has been built and Crane can really take her time to enjoy the plot and flesh out her characters. Usually the second book in a trilogy suffers a bit, but this one doesn’t. Characters evolve and develop. Crane turns flaws into impressive strengths and the twist at the end rather surprised me and added a nice tragic note to everything.


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Servants of the Storm: Hurricanes and demons in Savannah

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

I spent a few months on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The disaster I saw was staggering, and the soul of the area was absolutely clear. There were a lot of frayed and frazzled, dark emotions, but there was also a lot of hope.

Because of that experience, Servants of the Storm (2014) has been on my radar for a while. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was interested in seeing how a talented author could take a natural disaster and turn it into a young adult novel.


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Mystic: Enchanting

Mystic by Jason Denzel

I almost didn’t read Mystic (2015). I got through about three pages, and I was 90% sure I would put it down. However, I pulled through, and in the end I’m glad I did. This book enchanted me, and once I got used to the thing that bothered me at first (which I will expand on below), it was easy to ignore because there was so much else for me to enjoy.

So what bothered me so much at the start? Honestly,


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Owl and the Japanese Circus: A homage to Indiana Jones

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Owl and the Japanese Circus (2015), by Kristi Charish, is an urban fantasy that exceeded my expectations. “Owl” is a nickname given to our protagonist, who is delightfully different from most protagonists in this subgenre. She’s got a real Indiana Jones vibe, and her history with archeology and her obvious knowledge regarding ancient artifacts backs it up. She can hold her own, and has an obsession with online RPGs that plenty of people will relate to. Furthermore,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8302 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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