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]: 2008.04


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Abe Sapien (Volume 4): The Shape of Things to Come: Abe Sapien continues his journey across the United States

Abe Sapien (volume 4): The Shape of Things to Come by Mike Mignola (writer), Scott Allie (writer), Sebastian Fiumara (art), and Max Fiumara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)

This volume consists of two stories: “The Shape of Things to Come” and “To the Last Man.” In the first story, we find ourselves in Arizona, outside of a militia-run Phoenix. Abe meets another group of people and is surprised to find himself welcomed and fed by them. They discuss old stories and myths and contemplate what role Abe may play in the continuing apocalyptic events.


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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The genesis of the Hunger Games

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I loved Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games, thought Catching Fire was quite good if not as great as the first one, and was only so-so on Mockingjay. Also, it’s an uphill battle to write a good, enjoyable prequel if the reader already knows what’s going to happen to the main character in the later books and (spoiler) it’s highly unpleasant.


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Winterkeep: Return to a favorite series not fully successful

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

Winterkeep (2021) is the fourth book set in Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING REALM fantasy world, the prior novels being Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue. The first was a five-star, best-of-the-year choice for me, and Fire was nearly as good. The third book was a bit of a drop-off, though not far. Unfortunately though, Winterkeep continues that downward trend,


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Salute the Dark: A total and utter world war

Salute the Dark by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Salute the Dark is the fourth book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s SHADOWS OF THE APT series. At this point, the world of the Apt and Inapt is in total war. The expansionist Wasp Empire is sweeping across the Lowlands and any outlying city that sparks a glint in Emperor Alvdan II’s eye. War Master Stenwold Maker’s agents are scattered everywhere in attempt to give the Lowlands any sort of advantage against the encroaching horde. Cities like Sarn and Myna are in open rebellion.


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The Crown Tower: Fast-paced sword-wielding fun

The Crown Tower by Michael J Sullivan

The Crown Tower is the first book in Michael J. Sullivan’s RIYRIA CHRONICLES series. This series starts before the existing novels, THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS, and it lets us see how Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn first meet.

Since I haven’t read any of Sullivan’s other books, in a way I was the perfect reader for this one. I didn’t have expectations. The Crown Tower is full of fast-paced sword-wielding fun from the first chapter.


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AMULET: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

Prince of the Elves is the fifth book in Kazu Kibuishi’s AMULET series. The war with the Elf King has heated up, and in this book Emily, the newest Stonekeeper, learns more about the true nature of the enemy they all face.

Prince of the Elves provides the back-story for two major characters; Trellis, the prince of the elves and Max, the mysterious boy Emily met in Cieilis. We discover that Max is much older than we originally thought.


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Distant Thunders: Fans will be pleased

Distant Thunders by Taylor Anderson

The 100 remaining American destroyermen have now been in their strange new world for 16 months. They’ve just had a major victory against the evil Grik, but they know their respite will be short, for the Grik seem to have an unending supply of soldiers.

There’s a lot to get done before they face their enemies again, so the destroyermen are spread out thin. They’re building ships, planes, weapons (but not gas weapons), and a dry dock. They’re refining fuel and recycling metal scrap. They’re training their Lemurian allies to do all these jobs and to be sailors,


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Fair Game: Tense and emotional

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Werewolves have recently come out of the closet, sparking prejudice among their human neighbors. Bran, leader of all North American werewolves, is cracking down on anyone who breaks Pack law, as these transgressions engender more bad feeling between humans and werewolves. Thus, the use of capital punishment has increased. Bran’s son, Charles, is the designated executioner, and his grim task (and his guilt about it) is battering his psyche and driving a wedge between him and his wife, Anna.

So, to help Charles’s mental health by giving him something more heroic to do,


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Killing Rites: Full of action and ideas

Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

M.L.N. Hanover’s series, THE BLACK SUN’S DAUGHTER, gets better with every book. The latest, Killing Rites, advances the story of Jayné Heller’s growth, but it also continues to build the world in which she operates. Metaphysical questions about the existence of God and the nature of the demons start to become integral to Heller’s life. Furthermore, Hanover refuses to ever take the easy way out, always choosing the most difficult — and most interesting — plot twists over the development that a reader in the urban fantasy genre would expect.


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With Fate Conspire: Heartrending

With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan

The Onyx Court is crumbling. The gradual demolition of the London Wall dealt the first blow to the faerie palace beneath the city. Now the Underground is hammering in the coffin nails, its iron rails ripping through the fabric of the palace. Queen Lune has not been seen in years. The elegant court is no more, and ruthless mob bosses rule in the sinister Goblin Market. Now, the Underground’s Inner Circle is nearing completion and may destroy what’s left of the Onyx Court forever.


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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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