Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 2001.02


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The Novice: Too little action to be anything but a bridge novel

The Novice by Trudi Canavan

The sequel to The Magicians’ Guild, Trudi Canavan’s The Novice is book two in her THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy. After being mentored by the kindly Lord Rothen for a number of weeks, Sonea meets the rest of her class at the Guild as the term officially begins. Although she attempts to be friendly with them, all of her class eventually turns against her for being a lower class slum girl rather than members of the nobility like them.


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Animal Man: Origin of the Species and Deus Ex Machina

Animal Man, Volume 2: Origin of the Species & Animal Man, Volume 3: Deus Ex Machina by Grant Morrison (writer) & Chas Truog (artist) issues 10-26

These two volumes of Animal ManOrigin of the Species and Deus Ex Machina — complete the collection of Grant Morrison’s run on this once-minor DC character. This 26-issue run marks Morrison’s entry into American comics. The Scottish Morrison, along with Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore,


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The Arctic Incident: It’s got the requisite number of fart jokes

The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

The first installment in the ARTEMIS FOWL series ended with a dire note from a fairy psychologist, explaining that Fowl would go on to become “the People’s most feared enemy” over the course of “decades.” However, already foreseeing the sequel (if conspicuously not planning for the legion of follow-up novels past that point in which Artemis is about as villainous and feared as Minnie Mouse), author Eoin Colfer also slipped in a little tease about a certain occasion in which all the favorite protagonists and antagonists from book one were forced to work together.


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Hidden Warrior: Continues to entertain

Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling

Hidden Warrior is the second installment in Lynn Flewelling’s TAMIR TRIAD about Tobin, the rightful heir to the throne of Skala who is being magically hidden as a girl until it’s time for her to challenge the king. As this book begins, Tobin has just discovered the horrifying truth about himself, but he must still stay hidden until it’s time for the big reveal. He’s now living at the castle as a Companion to the prince. He’s nervous about the future because he genuinely likes his cousin,


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The Phoenix Exultant: Disappointing sequel

The Phoenix Exultant by John C. Wright

I was really disappointed with The Phoenix Exultant, the second novel in John C. Wright’s THE GOLDEN AGE series, especially considering how much I had enjoyed its predecessor, The Golden Age. In many ways The Phoenix Exultant just did not feel like a true continuation of the first book.

One of the major stumbling blocks for me was that I just couldn’t believe the way Wright handled the voices he used for the characters in this volume.


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Icefire: Older, darker, more complicated

Icefire by Chris d’Lacey

Icefire is Chris d’Lacey’s second book in the Last Dragon Chronicles, following up on The Fire Within and continuing the story of David, the Pennykettles (Liz and Lucy), and the clay dragons that are much more than they appear. The Fire Within seems a wholly different construct from the succeeding novels — simpler, lighter in tone, feeling a bit younger in terms of target audience. Icefire begins the shift toward older,


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Lionclaw: Robin Hood for youngsters

Lionclaw by Nancy Springer

The Rowan Hood series consists of five books that pertain to the four members of a young outlaw gang. Each of the first four books centers on one of these characters, with the fifth book focusing on all five. These are brave, spunky Rowan, the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood; Lionel, an overgrown cowardly minstrel; Rook the wild boy; and Ettarde, a runaway princess. Also with them is Tykell, a wolf-dog hybrid that can catch arrows out of the air. Lionclaw,


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Choice of the Cat: All out of bubble gum

Choice of the Cat by E.E. Knight

David Valentine returns home for a break in Choice of the Cat, but his rest is short-lived, as he quickly becomes the victim of military bureaucracy and is given a special assignment: he is to partner with a special agent who goes by the code name Smoke. Smoke, a small, attractive female killer with mild psychotic tendencies, is a specialized soldier called a Cat. While we learned a little about Cats in Way of the Wolf,


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All Night Awake: Not as good as Ill Met

All Night Awake by Sarah A. Hoyt

I wasn’t expecting a sequel to Ill Met by Moonlight. That novel was complete and satisfactory in itself, so the appearance of a sequel came as a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like All Night Awake quite as much as Ill Met by Moonlight, for several reasons. First, the metaphysics were more confusing than in the first book. Second, the constant use of Shakespearean quotes gets a little heavy-handed from time to time.


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Predator’s Gold: The action keeps rolling

Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve

We Will Unleash a Storm that will Scour the Earth.

It had been a while since I’d read Philip Reeve’s first installment in the Hungry City quartet, and so my memories of the events that happened in Mortal Engines were a little hazy. However, nothing could make me forget the imaginative post-apocalyptic world that Reeve had created, in which massive Traction-Cities trundled across the wastelands according to the laws of Municipal Darwinism; eating any smaller city that crossed their paths.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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