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]: 2005.01


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All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, Vol.1

All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, Vol.1 by Frank Miller (author) & Jim Lee (illustrator)

All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, Vol. 1 is the re-telling of how the legendary Dynamic Duo came to be as only Frank Miller has the cahoonas to do it.

About a year before Alan Moore started exploring a realistic approach to superheroes in his famous WATCHMEN series, Frank Miller was delving into the twisted psyche that would drive a playboy millionaire to become a vigilante with his highly acclaimed The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.


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The Heretic: Manly men stoically getting the job done

The Heretic by Joseph Nassise

Joseph Nassise’s THE TEMPLAR CHRONICLES series features a modern-day Knights Templar organization that battles the supernatural bad guys of the world. Its hero, Cade Williams, is a member of the Templars but has an uncanny reputation among the order for his psychic abilities. The Heretic is the first in the series and revolves around a cabal of sorcerers who is attacking Templar commanderies, slaughtering the members, and desecrating the cemeteries in search of a holy relic. Cade and his unit are assigned to the problem.


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Wolf Brother: A gripping story about love, loyalty, and courage

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

Torak and his father have been living alone, away from their clan, for as long as Torak can remember. When a demon-possessed bear attacks them one night, Torak’s father is mortally wounded. Before he dies, he makes Torak promise to seek the Mountain of the World Spirit. On his journey to the mountain, Torak meets a recently orphaned wolf cub who becomes his guide, and then the boy and his wolf are captured by a tribe who wonder if Torak will fulfill their prophecy and save them from the demon-bear.


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Old Man’s War: In this universe, experience counts

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

In this universe, experience counts.

John Perry is 75 years old, his wife is dead, and he has nothing left to live for. It’s a perfect time to join the army, and the Colonial Defense Force is recruiting. They need a lot of loyal human bodies to maintain the universe colonization project, so their preference is to recruit old people, rejuvenate their bodies (nobody on Earth knows exactly how this happens), and train them to fight for the human race. Most of them will be dead within a few years,


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Princess Academy: Deserves its Newbery Honor

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The people who live on Mount Eskel mine linder, the marble-like substance that’s highly prized by those who live in the lowlands. Even though they’ve always supplied the linder for the King’s palace and other important buildings, the mountain folk have their own culture and know very little about what happens beneath their mountain. Therefore, they’re just as surprised as the lowlanders are when the priests ordain that the prince’s bride will come from Mount Eskel. Since the mountain girls are uneducated, a temporary school will be established so they can be brought up to snuff before they meet the prince.


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The Door Within: Well-done Christian allegory

The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson

The Door Within grabbed my attention immediately. While I read fantasy novels continuously, I don’t always indulge in the young adult action-adventure flavor of fantasy.

Aidan Thomas faces his rite-of-passage on two fronts. His parents relocate to care for Aidan’s grandfather, depriving Aidan of his friends and familiar environs. He discovers and reads some scrolls that transport him to The Realm, where he trains rigorously to become an elite warrior of King Eliam and join the fight for the hearts and minds of the people of Mithgarde.


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Cast in Shadow: Inadequate world-building and poor writing

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara is a book about outgrowing a victim mentality, finding your strength and embracing your purpose. It would be a nice book to give to a 12- or 13-year-old girl, especially one who may be struggling with identity or self-esteem issues. Two things would stop me from sharing it: inadequate world-building and poor writing.

Cast in Shadow’s Kaylin is a “Grounded Hawk,” a human in a law enforcement / espionage unit controlled by the winged race called the Ariens,


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Devices and Desires: Parker has a unique cynical voice

Devices and Desires by K.J. Parker

How could I not automatically love a book where the first line is: The quickest way to a man’s heart,’ said the instructor, ‘is proverbially through his stomach. But if you want to get into his brain, I recommend the eye-socket.” It was love at first sight. K.J. Parker’s Devices and Desires is a complex, quickly moving book that is filled with what I am quickly discovering to be Parker’s unique, cynical voice (and I do love dry cynicism).


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Game Review: Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box by Marjorie M. Liu

Download Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

I recently had the opportunity to try out Tiger Eye Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box, a casual game released in April 2010 by PassionFruit Games. The game is based on the first half of the novel Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu.

A disclaimer: I’m not as well-versed in casual games and hidden-object games as some other players might be;


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Tiger Eye: A great deal of depth and emotion

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

Having enjoyed Marjorie M. Liu’s Hunter Kiss urban fantasy series, I decided to look into her paranormal romance series, Dirk & Steele.

Tiger Eye is the first novel in the Dirk & Steele sequence. The heroine, Dela Reese, is a sculptor with a psychic affinity for metal. On a trip to China, she buys a mysterious riddle box and finds herself bound to Hari, an immortal shapeshifter, by magical forces beyond their control.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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