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]: 2005.03


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Citadel: A satisfying novel for those familiar with Mosse’s style


Citadel
by Kate Mosse

I have a strange relationship with books by Kate Mosse. On the one hand, I love the atmosphere and descriptive qualities of her work — it transports you to the south of France in vivid prose; filled with the sights, sounds and smells of another time and place. She clearly loves the history and ambience of the Languedoc, and every page is filled with sensory detail.

On the other hand, Mosse’s plots are slow and rambling, packed full of extraneous details and unnecessary subplots.


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The Last Colony: John Perry is back

The Last Colony by John Scalzi

The Last Colony, the third book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, returns us to the perspective of John Perry, the “old man” hero of the first novel in the series, Old Man’s War. John Perry is only mentioned in the second novel, The Ghost Brigades, which told the story of how the cyborg Special Forces soldiers found and defeated the scientist Charles Boutin, a traitor to the Colonial Union.


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The Icebound Land: Just as entertaining as the previous books

The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying John Flanagan’s RANGER’S APPRENTICE series for middle grade / young adult readers. The Icebound Land is the third book and it’s just as charming as the previous books, The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge. You need to read those books before beginning The Icebound Land, so expect spoilers for them in this review.


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The Forgotten Sisters: A wonderful story for girls AND BOYS

The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale

I just adore Shannon Hale’s PRINCESS ACADEMY books for young readers. The Forgotten Sisters, released earlier this week, is the third and final installment. This review will contain spoilers for the previous books.

In book one, Princess Academy, the first school was built in Mount Eskel, an uneducated rural mining community. The purpose of the school was to educate marriageable young ladies so that the prince of their realm could choose a fitting bride.


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Grandville, Bete Noire: Luscious art creates good escapist fun

Grandville, Bete Noire by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Bete Noire, Bryan Talbot’s third steam-punk themed graphic novel, has the same lavish detail and striking use of color as the first two. English Badger D.I. Archie LeBrock is back, as rough-and-tumble as ever, and in this book we spend a bit more time with Quayle or “Q,” a brilliant inventor adept at stealth weapons, like a smoking pipe that is really a bomb. It’s a nice wink in the direction of Ian Fleming.

The plot is slimmer and more predictable than the first two,


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Vortex: Killer butterflies, interplanetary archipelagos, and a satisfying ending

Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson

Turk Findley has been returned to Equatoria ten thousand years after the Hypotheticals took him and Isaac. Things have changed. The Ring of Worlds that was connected by the Arches remains, but the societies that once traveled between these interplanetary portals have died away and been replaced. The Earth, sadly, is a wasteland. Its oceans are too acidic and its air is too poisonous to support life. Unfortunately, when the Hypotheticals connected Earth to other worlds, humanity began importing oil from Equatoria, which boosted the economy but destroyed our planet.


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The Escapement: Fascinating and provocative

The Escapement by K.J. Parker

The Escapement picks up where Evil for Evil left off. It’s shorter than the previous two books in The Engineer Trilogy, but for all its brevity, it’s still packed with surprises. After reading two books without fully knowing what is being manipulated and planned, readers are presented with nearly constant revelations regarding characters and plot points that had only been hinted at and alluded to before.

Up to this point in the trilogy, Parker has indirectly discussed love and the question of the existence of good and evil.


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Surrender to the Will of the Night: Best Instrumentalities novel yet

Surrender to the Will of the Night by Glen Cook

PLOT SUMMARY: Piper Hecht’s first and greatest secret is that he knows how to kill gods. It is knowledge that makes him dangerous, but also puts him in danger — from his enemies, who fear what he might do, or who want revenge for what he has already done; and from his friends, who want to use his knowledge for their own purposes.

For example, Piper’s sister Heris and his living ancestor  Cloven Februaren, the Ninth Unknown, have made Hecht part of their fight against the return of the dark god,


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The Golden City: A disappointing conclusion

The Golden City by John Twelve Hawks

PLOT SUMMARY: The Golden City delivers the climax to the epic FOURTH REALM TRILOGY, a story that began “off the Grid” in Los Angeles and has taken readers on a wild ride from the underground tunnels of New York to the secret ruins buried beneath the streets of Rome and Berlin.
At the heart of the trilogy rages a battle between the Corrigan brothers, two charismatic leaders and Travelers — the name given to certain prophets with the ability to change the course of history,


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The Twilight Lord: Leave it on the shelf!

The Twilight Lord by Bertrice Small

Lara, Domina of Terah has been extremely happy caring for her family and husband. She has been reunited with her other children in Terah and they are learning to love their mother again. Nothing could be better.

But over in the Dark Lands, the Twilight Lord is planning her abduction because he has seen the future and Lara is to be the mother of his heir. After erasing her memory and bringing her to the Dark Lands, the Twilight Lord plans to make Lara his bride.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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