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]: 2002.02


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The B.P.R.D (Vol. 2).: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories: Great stories without Hellboy

The B.P.R.D.(Vol. 2): The Soul of Venice and Other Stories by Mike Mignola (writer) & various writers and artists

The B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories opens with the title story, a tale about the four main B.P.R.D. agents without Hellboy: Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, Roger, and Johann Kraus, who are overseen by direction Kate Corrigan. They are called in to solve the problem when pipes start exploding in Venice and domestic disturbances spike in occurrence. They are drawn to paranormal activity in a house of ill-repute back in the thirteenth century,


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The Death of Kings: Julius comes into power and loss

The Death of Kings by Conn Iggulden

Julius is a young soldier. He fights in northern Africa, but he is not in command. Still, he is very well trained, is charismatic and trusts his instincts, and he is beginning to learn what it means to command and why he loves everything Rome stands for. He is confident, idealistic, and capable, a potent combination that leads to many victories. By the end of the novel, he will deal with Spartacus and Sulla, pirates, and senators who wish him ill. He will taste true power,


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The Lost City of Faar: An underwater adventure for Bobby Pendragon

The Lost City of Faar by D.J. MacHale

Note: The first paragraph of this review contains minor spoilers for The Merchant of Death.

The Lost City of Faar is the second novel in D.J. MacHale’s popular 10-book PENDRAGON series for teens. In the first book, The Merchant of Death, 14-year old Bobby Pendragon discovered that he is a Traveler — a person who represents a planet and is able to travel through space and time to visit other worlds.


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Grass for His Pillow: It’s impossible not to get swept up by the characters’ plights

Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn

We saw myth, legend, folklore and tradition of feudal Japan seamlessly woven in Across the Nightingale Floor, and Grass for His Pillow offers equal richness and storytelling depth. In what marks the second book in the trilogy, Lian Hearn returns to the stories of Takeo and Kaede as they choose their alliances amidst increasing unrest between the clans.

Grass for His Pillow opens with Shirakawa Kaede lying in the temple;


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Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham

Fables (Vol. 2): Animal Farm by Bill Willingham (author) and Mark Buckingham (artist)

Willingham further develops his world.

Animal Farm is the second volume in Fables, a comic book series that presents characters from various “make-believe” lands living the immigrant life in the USA. In Volume One, we met Snow White, the capable vice-mayor of Fabletown, and her rebellious sister Rose Red. In Animal Farm, Willingham pulls back the curtain to show us a few of the problems lurking just out of sight.


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Undead and Unemployed: Doesn’t take itself too seriously

Undead and Unemployed by MaryJanice Davidson

“Oh. This sucks. This totally and completely sucks. The vampires all hate me and everyone’s trying to kill me!” ~Queen Betsy

Undead and Unemployed is the second book in MaryJanice Davidson’s QUEEN BETSY series. In the previous book, shallow and too fashionably-conscious Betsy died, came back as a vampire, and managed to kill the vampire queen, which makes Betsy the new queen. Her roommates and friends are determined to make sure Betsy gets the kind of royal treatment she deserves,


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City of Stars: The Duke is in a Dangerous Mood…

City of Stars by Mary Hoffman

The Duke is in a Dangerous Mood…

City of Stars is the second in Mary Hoffman‘s Stravaganza series (of which there are currently five installments), following on from City of Masks. The basic premise of the story is based on people known as the Stravagante: a select group of individuals from our world who can transport in their sleep to the country of Talia, an alternative version of Italy in the sixteenth century.


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Broken Angels: Good noir science fiction

Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan

Three weeks ago I finished Broken Angels, the second book in Richard K. Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs trilogy. I’ve been struggling with this review ever since. Broken Angels is good noir science fiction. It is well-written. I just didn’t like it.

In some places in the book the timbers of the plot show through the flash-and-dazzle, but that is no more than a nuisance. Kovacs is a believable character in a complicated and exciting situation.


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Beauty Sleep: Short and sweet

Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey

The Once Upon a Time books are short but sweet retellings of old fairytales, written with the general plot of the original story in mind, but in such a way that there are a few surprises along the way (often the story is told in a contemporary setting that has no magical elements, or contains a twist on who the heroine eventually falls in love with). For their target audience they are a treat, and for everyone else, they are a pleasant way to kill a couple of hours.


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The Queen of Sinister: Falls flat after promising start

The Queen of Sinister by Mark Chadbourn

The Queen of Sinister, the middle book in Mark Chadbourn‘s DARK AGE trilogy, introduces a different set of characters from book 1, The Devil in Green. This is a bit surprising, because the author’s earlier AGE OF MISRULE trilogy, which describes the events leading up to the start of the DARK AGE books, focuses on the same characters throughout all three books. So, rather than offering a continuing story,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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