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]: 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 on the doorstep, panting for more.


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The Fall: Worthy sequel delivers on dark and weighty promise of The Strain

The Fall by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Authors Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan move the world of their apocalyptic vampire saga to a darker place in the second of their STRAIN trilogy, The Fall. This second volume is short, at less than 300 pages, and makes for a satisfying companion when read back-to-back with the first in the trilogy, The Strain. I will reference some spoilers to The Strain below,


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Princess of Glass: The twelve dancing princesses tangle with Cinderella

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Three years after they have solved the problem of the evil underground King of Stone and his twelve sons in Princess of the Midnight Ball (or have they?), the king of Westfalin and his twelve daughters are still dealing with the aftermath. Some of the girls are suffering from PTSD, and the rulers of neighboring kingdoms are still bitter about the loss of their princes and other young men who died while trying to figure out the mystery of the dancing princesses in the first book.


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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 the same time as developing relationships and characters rooted in these cultures. Most of the narrative is set in the Northlands,


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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 an interesting plot, I could have happily gone along for the ride.

I only decided to pick up Barely Bewitched because Tantor Audio sent me a review copy of the audiobook.


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The Scorch Trials: A weak follow-up to a not-so-strong first book

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

I wasn’t a huge fan of The Maze Runner by James Dashner, thinking its frenetic pace was as much weakness as strength and that its characterization was pretty thin (plus there was the whole “let’s not have anyone talk to each other or explain things” pet peeve of mine). I admit, however, that it probably would meet the needs of a particular reader — one who likes fast paced action that blows by any annoying plot holes and who isn’t particularly looking for a lot of in-depth characterization.


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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 for old clothes — she can feel the previous owner’s past emotions in them — so she opened a vintage clothing store which is becoming successful because she has a talent for pairing her customers with the exactly the right items.


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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 queen while Leander Montmarte, an old and powerful vampire, pursues princess Solange.

Meanwhile, a woman named Isabeau St. Croix, who we met briefly in the first novel,


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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 Creaturesso if you have not yet read this first book of the CASTER CHRONICLESyou may want to read it before reading further about Beautiful Darkness)

The latest adolescent fiction to become a popular film, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl,


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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 it’s a challenge. His dark side — Mr. Monster, he calls it — wants out, and it especially wants to kill Brooke, the beautiful girl he drives to school every day.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8263 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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