Crucible of Gold: Dragons in an alternate Napoleonic-era history

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik

As soon as I discovered the Temeraire series by Namoi Novik, I read all the books that were then available, so I was delighted to see a new volume after a gap of several years. The seventh book, Crucible of Gold, suffers from the problem of many long-running series that there is now a lot of backstory, and with the gap aforementioned, I spent the first three chapters trying to remember who all these people were and why they were arguing. It's a tribute to the author that I remembered most of them, and a good many of the key preceding events, by the end of the book. A quick "the story so far" and/or a list of characters would make it easier to get back in, though.

Breaking down my rating, since different books are good for different reasons:

Language/prose style: 4 stars. T... Read More

Dreadnaught: Nothing new

Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell

Warning: Contains spoilers for Jack Campbell’s original LOST FLEET series.

Dreadnaught is the first book in Jack Campbell’s LOST FLEET: BEYOND THE FRONTIER series which is a spin-off of his LOST FLEET series, but really Dreadnaught is just book seven in the LOST FLEET series. You don’t need to read the previous six books, but it would help. Dreadnaught follows the same characters and begins shortly after the events of Victorious, book six in the original series.

Admiral Black Jack Geary and Captain Tanya Desjani are now married. Thanks to their actions during the war, the Alliance and Syndic Worlds have finally come to a peace agreement, but things are still tense and Geary is seen as a threat to many of the Alliance politicians. And so they send him away again, this time to gather information about the unknown... Read More

Frost Burned: Mercy’s growing up

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs 

Slipping back into the world of Mercy Thompson comes so easily for me. I don’t struggle with a huge readjustment because everything feels so familiar and Patricia Briggs has such an easy style to enjoy. Tragically, this at times means that I am not as engrossed in the story as I expect to be, because it feels much like more of the same thing over again.

Frost Burned is the seventh novel in the MERCY THOMPSON series. Mercy has gone through a lot in past editions, so when she is caught up in a relatively mundane car accident I almost had to chuckle because it’s just her luck. The fact that she and her stepdaughter are not seriously injured in the crash is about par for the course, but when she starts to make calls back to her husband and his werewolf pack, things begin to fall apart.


In many... Read More

Seawitch: Trouble by land and sea for Harper Blaine

Seawitch by Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson’s GREYWALKER series perfectly unites the classic private investigator mystery with the paranormal fantasy. The mysteries are rigorous within the rules of the paranormal realm Richardson has invented; her background research is broad and utilized well; and her characters become deeper and more interesting with every new novel. The latest in the series, Seawitch, gives us insight into the character of Detective Rey Solis of the Seattle Police Department, who has been a pain in the side for PI Harper Blaine in the past, but who becomes more of an ally and even a friend.

Seawitch begins with Harper receiving an assignment from an insurance company: why has the yacht Seawitch returned to its home port 27 years after it went missing, presumably taking all of its passengers to a watery grave? The insurance company has... Read More

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume Six: Multiples 1983-1987

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume Six: Multiples 1983-1987 by Robert Silverberg

Since 2006 Subterranean Press has been publishing all of the SFF stories that Robert Silverberg wants in his “definitive” collection in chronological order. I’m a fan of Silverberg’s stories, so I think this series is wonderful — it’s a sure way to get one copy of each of his most important stories in eight tidy volumes. Volume six, titled Multiples, contains fourteen stories and novellas published in the mid-1980s.

In a general introduction to Multiples, Silverberg talks about the state of the short story market in the mid 1980s — how most of the pulps had gone under and been replaced by original anthologies in the 1970s and then by slick magazines in the 1980s. The biggest and best-... Read More

Bone Magic: Galenorn’s hitting her stride

Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn

Bone Magic is the seventh book in Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld (Sisters of the Moon) series. A self-described paranormal romance, Bone Magic continues to follow the adventures of the D'Artigo sisters as they fight the impending invasion of the normal world by the Underworld Demons. The sisters are part-Fae and have special powers that may enable them to save the world.

Galenorn knows her way around the paranormal romance genre and with her seventh Otherworld novel, she is clearly hitting her stride. Camille, the protagonist of Bone Magic, is a pretty classic example of the paranormal heroine, except without the self-esteem issues (she knows that she's powerful a... Read More