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]: 2009.02

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The White Luck Warrior: Heightens the stakes

The White Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker If you’re reading this review, then there’s no need to go into any rigamarole about THE PRINCE OF NOTHING or THE ASPECT-EMPEROR series by R. Scott Bakker. Point blank: The White Luck Warrior (2011) superbly escalates the story begun in The Judging Eye, and indirectly so the THE PRINCE OF NOTHING series, to leave the reader […]

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An Apprentice to Elves: A primer in in-depth worldbuilding

An Apprentice to Elves by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette An Apprentice to Elves, the third installment of the ISKRYNE series, is a book that depends on its thick world-building. Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette have created realistic cultures that take some cues from Norse and Roman history and dramatized a cultural conflict between them, at […]

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Barely Bewitched: I’m done with Tammy Jo

Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost Barely Bewitched is the second novel in Kimberly Frost’s SOUTHERN WITCH series. I recently reviewed the first novel, Would-Be Witch, and wasn’t too impressed with Frost’s ditzy heroine and her aggressive alpha male lovers. If the book had had some redeeming qualities such as beautiful prose, appealing humor, or even […]

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A Cast-Off Coven: Try this series on audio

A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell A Cast-Off Coven is the second book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series. In the first book, Secondhand Spirits, we met Lily Ivory, a witch who recently moved to San Francisco after being run out of her hometown in Texas (we don’t know why yet). She has an affinity […]

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Blood Feud: Thin characters, dull romance

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey Blood Feud is the second of Alyxandra Harvey’s DRAKE CHRONICLES. The first book, Hearts at Stake, told how Solange Drake survived the Bloodchange on her sixteenth birthday and became the first female vampire to do so in centuries. Her mother Helena is about to take the throne as the vampire […]

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Beautiful Darkness: Engages on an entertainment level as well as an intellectual one

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Note: The second half of this review contains spoilers for the plot of the previous book, Beautiful Creatures, so if you have not yet read this first book of the CASTER CHRONICLES, you may want to read it before reading further about Beautiful Darkness) The latest adolescent fiction to become […]

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Mr. Monster: Cleaver is a hero unlike any other

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells John Wayne Cleaver’s journey started in I Am Not a Serial Killer, but his problems get more severe in the second book in Dan Wells’s trilogy, Mr. Monster. The teenage sociopath is very determined not to become the serial killer he longs to be in his heart of hearts, but […]

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The Wild Ways: Did Not Finish

The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff is the second book in THE GALE WOMEN series. While I enjoyed the first book, The Enchantment Emporium, even though it had serious flaws, The Wild Ways was not good. I got to about halfway through and didn’t care about the characters. In fact, […]

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Jade Man’s Skin: Not as enjoyable as first book

Jade Man’s Skin by Daniel Fox Why are the second books of trilogies so difficult? Jade Man’s Skin is the second book of MOSHUI: THE BOOKS OF STONE AND WATER, a series set in an alternate China where dragons are real and jade has the power to make an emperor nearly invincible. I greatly enjoyed […]

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The Broken Universe: Solid but uninspiring

The Broken Universe by Paul Melko In The Broken Universe, Paul Melko returns to the world of his Walls of the Universe, expanding on both the universe count and the character count as well as greatly raising the stakes. While doing so, unfortunately, he also carries over some of the first book’s flaws, making the […]

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Blue Magic: A mixed bag

Blue Magic by A.M. Dellamonica Blue Magic is the second book in a duology by A.M. Dellamonica that began with Indigo Springs. I gave the first book three stars and while Blue Magic improves on book one in several ways, it also takes some steps back as well. The first book introduces us to Astrid, […]

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The Magician King: Postmodernism meets Narnia

The Magician King by Lev Grossman In Lev Grossman’s novel The Magicians, Quentin Coldwater — a geeky fantasy-loving high school senior — has his life turned upside down when he is invited to take an entrance exam for Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. After spending years learning the craft, and some time outside of school […]

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The Stranger’s Woes: Exactly what I was craving

The Stranger’s Woes by Max Frei ABOUT THE STRANGER’S WOES: The Stranger’s Woes continues the story of twenty-something loser Max Frei. A loafer who sleeps all day, Max one night finds himself transported to the magical world of Echo, where he possesses magical abilities and becomes the Nocturnal Representative of the Most Venerable Head of […]

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Friday Night Bites: Better than the first book

Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill In Friday Night Bites (2009), the second in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series, Cadogan House is in trouble again. The villain of Some Girls Bite has gotten off with a slap on the wrist, and now there’s a journalist threatening to expose some of vampire-kind’s less savory secrets to the […]

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Perilous Prophecy: Had me reaching for the Kleenex

The Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber Editor’s Note: This book was originally published as The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess. In The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, we met Beatrice Smith, a member of the Guard that preceded Alexi Rychman’s circle. The Perilous Prophecy is a prequel, focusing on Beatrice’s time in […]

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May: A sweet tale for preteen girls

May by Kathryn Lasky May is the second in Kathryn Lasky’s Daughters of the Sea series, which tells the story of three orphaned sisters, separated as infants, who discover they are mermaids. In the previous book we met Hannah, who found her true nature while working as a maid to a wealthy family. Here we […]

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The Midnight Mayor: Merely enjoyable

The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin I loved Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels. I merely enjoyed the sequel, The Midnight Mayor. This is not an uncommon experience to have with a sequel. I think part of the problem comes from the amount of time devoted to the first novel, when the writer had years […]

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