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]: 2005.02


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Kitty Goes to Washington: A fun “popcorn novel”

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Goes to Washington, by Carrie Vaughn, is the second book in the long-running Kitty Norville series. I enjoyed the first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, enough that I read the second at the first opportunity. Kitty Goes to Washington picks up immediately after the events of book 1, when Kitty gets a subpoena to appear before a congressional committee that is investigating a government program for paranormal research.


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The Burning Bridge: A little derivative, but I didn’t care

The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan

This review will contain minor spoilers for the previous book, The Ruins of Gorlan.

The Burning Bridge is the second book in John Flanagan’s RANGER’S APPRENTICE series for middle grade readers. In the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan, we met Will, an orphaned boy who grew up as a ward of a baron in the country of Araluen. Thinking that his dead father was a warrior,


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Palace of Stone: Not your typical princess tale

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Palace of Stone is a sequel to Shannon Hale’s excellent Newbery Honor-winning Middle Grade novel Princess Academy. You’ll definitely want to read Princess Academy first, and to avoid spoilers, you should read it before you read this review. So, if you haven’t read Princess Academy yet, go away and read it now. (Then come back, please.)

In Princess Academy,


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Sepulchre: Different opinions

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse‘s Sepulchre is a historical fantasy — historical fiction with fantastic elements. I enjoy both genres, and this novel features a female graduate student (somebody I can relate to) as one of the main characters, and it’s available for download at Audible, so I thought it would be good entertainment on my commute. I got about ten chapters in before quitting.

The book seems well-researched, is competently written, the tone switches easily from past to present and back,


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Grandville, Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Mon Amour is the second in Bryan Talbot’s steampunk graphic novel series with highly evolved animals, in a world where Napoleon conquered all of Europe and Britain has only been an independent country for twenty-three years. British badger Detective-Inspector Archie LeBrock and his partner Ratzi, a rat, are back on a case that will take them back to Paris, also called Grandville. As Ratzi puts it, “We’re like a pair of bloomin’ boomerangs.”

In the opening,


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Axis: Obsessed with the transcendent forces of the universe

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson

Earth has now been surrounded by the mysterious spin barrier that slows time relative to the rest of the universe for decades. Extra-terrestrial forces have also built the Arch that connects Earth to a series of unknown and increasingly environmentally hostile worlds. Humanity is now colonizing the first new world, but they still wonder about what beings — the Hypotheticals — could have created the spin barriers around these planets, not to mention the arches that connect them.

There are intergalactic forces at work in Axis,


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The Ghost Brigades: Old Man’s War continues…

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades is the second novel in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR saga. It focuses on the Ghost Brigades — the Special Forces soldiers that the Colonial Union (CU) creates by genetic engineering and who have special powers because of the BrainPal computers in their heads. They’re born in adult bodies and are rapidly assimilated into the Special Forces, though they are a little immature because of their mental age and they lack some of the personality and social skills that come from interaction with “real-born” people in a normal environment.


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The Stone Light: All exposition

The Stone Light by Kai Meyer

Fleeing from a fictitious Renaissance Venice on the back of the flying lion Vermithrax, the orphaned Merle is persuaded by the Flowing Queen, the mysterious entity that had for so long protected Venice from the besieging Egyptian armies but now inhabits Merle’s body, to seek help from Lord Light, the ruler of Hell. Back in Venice, a small rebel army is gathering under the guidance of another mysterious power who is determined to protect the city against the Egyptian army whatever the cost. The pharaoh is also beset by treachery from within his own forces.


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Evil for Evil: Complex and profound

Evil for Evil by K.J. Parker

Evil for Evil is the second book in K.J. Parker’s Engineer Trilogy and it is probably one of the strongest “middle books” I’ve read. Evil for Evil hits the road running and not once does the plot slow down or ease up. Parker’s writing is, as always, rich, detailed, evocative and dry. The theme is the same: the importance, and ultimately destructiveness, of love as well as the importance of creation and desire. While these themes may seem rather mundane and arbitrary,


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Doppelgangster: A great mix of urban fantasy, humor, mystery, chicklit

Doppelgangster by Laura Resnick

Esther Diamond is between acting jobs. To make ends meet, she takes a job waiting tables at Bella Stella. Connor Lopez, the cop who may or may not be Esther’s boyfriend, is concerned because Bella Stella is frequented by the Gambello crime family, but hey, a girl’s gotta make a living!

Before long, though, Esther lands in deep trouble. One of Bella Stella’s regulars, Chubby Charlie, sees a perfect double of himself and then is murdered right in front of her. She’s traumatized by the event,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Maybe in the next couple months I'll get the DVDs of the two "Dune" SyFy productions from 2000 and 2003.…

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