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]: 2004.03


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Night of the Soul Stealer: For kids who like being scared

Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney

Night of the Soul Stealer, the third book in Joseph Delaney’s LAST APPRENTICE (or WARDSTONE CHRONICLES) series is another intense scary story for children. Fans of the first two books, Revenge of the Witch and Curse of the Bane, which readers should finish first, will be pleased. I’m listening to Christopher Evan narrate HarperAudio’s version of the series.

The weather is getting colder,


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The Fuller Memorandum: I can’t get enough of THE LAUNDRY FILES

The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross

I just can’t get enough of THE LAUNDRY FILES. This series has almost everything I want in an urban SFF adventure — an intelligent hero with a wry sense of humor and a great voice; an eclectic supporting cast; a fast pace with lots of action and plot twists; a cool mix of fantasy and science fiction; occasionally odd (and interesting) structural choices; a reverence for geek culture; and a smattering of computer science, mathematics, quantum physics and neuroscience. And Lovecraft.


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Cursor’s Fury: Sloppy plot, uninspired prose, exciting story

Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher

After having dealt with the Vord horde in Academ’s Fury, there are new worries in Cursor’s Fury, the third novel in Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA saga. The rebel uprising has gained strength and the aging and heirless First Lord of Alera is in danger of being overthrown. Those who are loyal, including Tavi and his friends and relatives, are targets. While Bernard, Amara, and Isana make some dubious alliances to try to counter the rebels,


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The Empire of Gut and Bone: Hard to recommend

The Empire of Gut and Bone by M.T. Anderson

The Empire of Gut and Bone is the third book of the Norumbegan Quartet by M.T. Anderson, coming after The Game of Sunken Places and its sequel The Suburb Beyond the Stars. Unfortunately, it has many of the same problems as those first two books, which led to my ranking them relatively poorly. Which is a shame, because there are some good ideas at the core of this series,


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Stonewielder: Esslemont’s best book so far

Stonewielder by Ian C. Esslemont

Stonewielder is Ian C. Esslemont’s third book in the Malazan series co-created with Steven Erikson, and which Erikson has been exploring for years with his own series. If you look over my reviews for Esslemont’s first two Malazan books, Night of Knives and Return of the Crimson Guard, you’ll see I’ve given them mixed reviews, though I thought Return of the Crimson Guard was an improvement on Night of Knives and boded well for the next book in the series.


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Shadowrise: A strong continuation of this series

Shadowrise by Tad Williams

Shadowrise is Tad Williams’ third and thus concluding novel of the Shadowmarch trilogy, begun in Shadowmarch and continued in Shadowplay. So in this final volume… wait, hold on… I’m now being told that Williams, clearly feeling a sense of fantasy author peer pressure, has decided that, yes, while this is the “concluding volume,” it has in fact been split into two (hmmm, where have I heard that before), making this trilogy,


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Shadows Past: Has its ups and downs

Shadows Past by Lorna Freeman

Lorna Freeman’s Borderlands series has seen its ups and downs for me. Shadows Past is cut from the same cloth; I just felt like it took a long time to tell next to no story, and then all the good parts were crammed into the end.

The main character, Rabbit, has been constantly changing throughout this series. His story is very interesting, between his upbringing in a wild and magical part of the world and his ties to the royalty of a nearby nation.


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Every Which Way But Dead: Still on the journey

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

I sped from The Good, the Bad and the Undead (which I thoroughly enjoyed) straight into Every Which Way But Dead, and was a little disappointed. I genuinely loved the second book in the Hollows series — it had a tight plot, a spicing of sex, plenty of danger, and I just could not stop turning pages.

Every Which Way But Dead was a little different. Many of the good qualities of the second book remained.


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ArchEnemy: Exciting finish to one of the best current YA series

ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor

PLOT SUMMARY: The power of Imagination has been lost! Now it’s all about the artillery as AD52’s, crystal shooters, spikejack tumblers and orb cannons are unleashed in a war of weapons and brute force.

As Alyss searches wildly for the solution to the disaster that has engulfed her Queendom, Arch declares himself King of Wonderland. Meanwhile, deep within the Valley of Mushrooms, the Caterpillar Oracles issue this prophecy: “Action shall be taken to ensure the safety of the Heart Crystal. For Everqueen.” But who is Everqueen?


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Goblin War: Humorous adventure fantasy for kids and adults

Goblin War by Jim Hines

Goblin War is a completely different novel from the first two novels in this series. Those two books were constrained by the small world of the lair and its surrounding caves. The goblins never left the caves under their mountain, for all the adventures that they had. This meant that the second novel, while having a different set of circumstances, was much like the first in plot and style, and didn’t add too much that was new to Jig the Goblin’s story. But in Goblin War,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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