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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Disappearing Nightly: Some fluffy urban-fantasy fun

Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

Funny fact: This book got lost in the mail on its way to me and took almost a month to arrive. I started wondering if it was a bad idea to order a book with “Disappearing” in the title! It turned up in the end, though, and I’m glad. Disappearing Nightly is a lot of fun. It was just what I needed after reading a couple of really dark novels.

Both the heroine and the plot are highly original in the urban fantasy subgenre.


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Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe: Just plain fun!

Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe by James Ward

I first encountered James Ward when he wrote the best-selling Pools books for the FORGOTTEN REALMS shared world. When I came across Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe, I just had to pick it up. I didn’t regret the decision.

The story is about young Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe, a sixteen year old boy, late to his magical powers, who must learn to serve his country on a dragonship of the line. Much of the story is reminiscent of the Horatio Hornblower stories by C.S.


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Flight of the Nighthawks: An evil mad sorcerer in Midkemia!

Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond E. Feist

Flight of the Nighthawks is another installment in the seemingly never-ending chronicle of the world of Midkemia. Raymond Feist continues to tell his story of a world that is plagued by repeated incursions of evil forces who seek to conquer the world. It’s standard fantasy and Flight of the Nighthawks is simply another novel in another trilogy that is linked with everything all the way back to Magician,


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Witch Way to Murder: Cute, fun

Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard

I like mysteries, and I like fantasy, and so I’m always in the market for a mystery with fantasy elements! Shirley Damsgaard’s Witch Way to Murder is a cute, fun addition to this hybrid subgenre. It has a few flaws, but I liked it enough that I plan to read the next Ophelia and Abby novel as soon as I get my hands on it.

Witch Way to Murder is set in the small town of Summerset, Iowa. Damsgaard sets a great scene;


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Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo: Both flaws and great moments

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye

Leven Thumps has some major problems. Its main character, Leven, is too shallowly drawn and far too passive throughout the novel — more acted upon than acting. The book is overlong by about 50-70 pages with some repetitive parts. Its villain isn’t sharply drawn enough and not quite villainous enough. There seems to be a disappointing pattern of equating moderate mundane villainy with being overweight or homely. And far too often Skye tells the reader what is happening rather than showing it.


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The Decoy Princess: Slowly drew me in

The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook

Princess Contessa of Constantinopolie has a pretty good life. She’s an expert shopper, has parents who love her and are good rulers, and is looking forward to her upcoming engagement to Prince Garett of Misdev. So what if a few pesky assassins try to get in her way? She’s been well trained to ward them off — she’s not worried.

Oh, but she should be. Prince Garett, not taking the advice of his father, arrives in Constantinopolie early, almost six full months before the formal engagement is announced.


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The Lightning Thief: Surprisingly complex

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I had been hearing good things about Rick Riordan’s young adult fantasy series, but it wasn’t until a half-price sale at the bookstore and the release of the movie (which I still haven’t seen) that I finally decided to catch up with the bandwagon. I knew that it followed the basic premise of the typical coming-of-age drama in a fantasy setting, in which a troubled youngster discovers that he has innate power and a lot of trouble to go with it. To harness his power,


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Twilight: 98% brain candy

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

It begins with the cover, the perfect red apple — forbidden fruit! — offered to the reader by perfect, pale hands. (Note the epigraph from Genesis: “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it… “) It continues, and continues, with the blossoming relationship between the narrator, Bella Swan, and the physically perfect and mysterious Edward Cullen — who, as the back cover states, is a vampire.

The popularity of this book, and the upcoming movie release, have probably broadcast the basic plot: Bella,


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Warprize: Beware the heart with the arrow through it

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan

Scenario: I’m in the library. It’s 5 minutes until closing. I’ve got to find a book fast. My library is a small neighborhood branch and there’s not a huge selection. There are plenty of fantasy books, but it’s hard to find one I haven’t read that’s not a sequel to something I haven’t read. I’m starting to panic as I’ve got only one minute left. I grab a book that has the little “fantasy” sticker on it (black unicorn with glowing horn dancing on a purple background) and it’s something I’ve never heard of before: Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan.


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The Eldarn Sequence: A good story told poorly

THE ELDARN SEQUENCE by Robert Scott & Jay Gordon

THE ELDARN SEQUENCE is a good story told poorly.

This review was difficult for me to do. Partly because I’m writing it on a day off work while home sick and partly because there are characteristics of these books that really annoy me, but reflect some real-world political and cultural positions and I want to review the book without offending anyone inadvertently. If you are offended by anything here, just assume that you’ve read it incorrectly and that I am really the most tolerant and inoffensive person anywhere in the world,


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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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