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]: 2017.03


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Knock Three Times: Wizards and Warriors join forces

Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell

The third book in Cressida Cowell‘s THE WIZARDS OF ONCE sees our young protagonists on an adventure to collect the rare ingredients needed to banish the terrible Witches that have recently awoken all across Ancient Britain.

As difficult as it may be to find the scales of a Nuckalavee, it’s even stranger to consider the team they’ve assembled to retrieve them. Xar is the youngest son of the Head Wizard Encanzo, while Wish is the daughter of the cold Queen Sychorax,


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The Killing God: Concluding novel is a huge leap up in quality

The Killing God by Stephen R. Donaldson

I was not, to put it mildly, a fan of Seventh Decimate, the opening book of Stephen R. Donaldson’s GREAT GODS WAR trilogy. Book two, The War Within (2022), was an improvement, but marginally. The good news is that book three, The Killing God, is a big jump up, though the obvious bad news is one has to get through the first two to arrive here,


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The Origin of Storms: Wraps up a good trilogy in mostly strong fashion

The Origin of Storms by Elizabeth Bear

The Origin of Storms (2022) is Elizabeth Bear’s mostly satisfying conclusion to her generally excellent LOTUS KINGDOM’s trilogy, continuing the prior books’ strengths of strong characterization and sharp social commentary. Spoilers to follow for books one (The Stone in the Skull)  and two (The Red-Stained Wings).

After the events of the first two books, Rajni Mrithuri is now the Dowager Empress,


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The Queen’s Triumph: A satisfying conclusion to this romantic space opera

The Queen’s Triumph by Jessie Mihalik

The Queen’s Triumph (2020) is the third and final volume of Jessie Mihalik’s ROGUE QUEEN trilogy. I’ve enjoyed this series and recommend it to anyone looking for a short, fun, and sexy space opera with a strong female lead. Tantor Audio’s editions, narrated by Rachel Dulude, are pleasant and worth a try.

It’s been two weeks since the events of the last book, The Queen’s Advantage. Samara Rani, the young and inexperienced queen of her small country,


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Rogue Protocol: Can humans and bots be friends?

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Martha Wells’ endearingly grumpy cyborg Security Unit Murderbot returns with a vengeance in Rogue Protocol (2018), the third novella in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series. In Rogue Protocol, Murderbot heads off to Milu, a deserted terraforming facility in space, to investigate the past of a murky group called GrayCris, which we originally met in the first book in this series, the Nebula award-winning All Systems Red.


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Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 3: The Burning Seas: The Empire tightens its grip

Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 3: The Burning Seas by Charles Soule & Giuseppe Camuncoli

The early years of Darth Vader continue in Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 3: The Burning Seas, in which Charles Soule explores Vader and the Empire in the near-immediate aftermath of The Revenge of the Sith. As the Empire consolidates its rule over the galaxy, Vader is sent on various missions that test his abilities in the Dark Side and allow him to grow more comfortable with his ever more destructive powers.


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The Empire of Gold: Strong conclusion to an equally strong trilogy

The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty

Cutesy tag lines for a review of The Empire of Gold (2020), S. A. Chakraborty’s concluding novel for her DAEVABAD trilogy of humans, djinn, and water elementals, sort of write themselves: “Chakraborty strikes gold with the final novel in … ” “Chakraborty is on fire with her newest … ” “Come on djinn, the water’s fine … ” (sorry). But this series doesn’t do “cute”; it’s multi-layered and, though not without humor, serious in tone and topic.


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Batgirl Vol. 3: Summer of Lies (Rebirth): A collection of Batgirl stories

Batgirl Vol. 3: Summer of Lies (Rebirth) by Hope Larson & Chris Wildgoose

The third volume of Hope Larson’s Batgirl run actually includes three separate stories, though the last is the longest and definitely the best. They’re a nice mix of Barbara Gordon tackling old-school villainy and more contemporary issues, with her usual combination of bright-eyed enthusiasm and cutting-edge technology.

In “Troubled Waters” Barbara is investigating a haunted public swimming pool, in which several swimmers have seen a strange purple energy. Along with the over-enthusiastic host of a ghost hunting reality show.


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Creatures of Charm and Hunger: A slow start ultimately pays off

Creatures of Charm and Hunger by Molly Tanzer

Creatures of Charm and Hunger (2020), the title of the third in Molly Tanzer’s THE DIABOLIST’S LIBRARY series, accurately describes the elemental beings with whom the human diabolists contract in order to do magic. It also accurately describes the two main characters, Miriam and Jane, and Jane’s Aunt Edith, an important secondary character.

These three books are not a trilogy in the conventional sense, since each takes place at a different point of history,


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The Last Emperox: The finale to a compulsively readable SF series

The Last Emperox by John Scalzi

A few thousand years in the future, one branch of humanity, comprised of billions of people, lives on a set of planets called the Interdependency. Their star systems are many hundreds of light years apart but tied together by the Flow, a sort of hyperspace river that connects these planets. The problem is that the Flow is gradually collapsing, one stream at a time, and all of the Interdependency worlds except one (called End) are completely incapable of sustaining human life without the constant importing of food and goods from other worlds — hence the term “Interdependency.” In fact,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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