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]: 2022.01


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A Marvelous Light: An Edwardian fantasy mystery with a Dorothy Sayers vibe

A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske

What struck me first about A Marvelous Light, (2022), Book One of Freya Marske’s THE LAST BINDING trilogy, was the style and narrative tone. Set in an alternate world in the last decade of the 19th century, A Marvelous Light could have featured Dorothy Sayers’s aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, if Wimsey were a magician and had sex with men. The descriptions and the dialogue sparkle, and the book seems inhabited with real (if, in many cases,


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Living Memory: A fast-paced techno-thriller

Living Memory by David Walton

Living Memory (2022), by David Walton, is a fast-paced techno-thriller that reads with a bit of an echo of Michael Crichton, though with a premise that I’d say is more richly imaginative than at least the several Crichton works I’ve read. The beginning of a new series, this first book will leave many a reader eager for more.

The story’s opening is set in Thailand where an American-funded group of paleontologists, led by American Samira Shannon, are frantically wrapping up a dig site thanks to a just-announced deportation policy following the installation of a new government via a Chinese-backed coup.  


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Rise of the Vicious Princess: A smartly written YA princess novel

Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

I get a big kick out of reading books not specifically for my demographic. Actually, let me rephrase that. I enjoy reading books that I assume are not written for my demographic. I’m a guy, so stories about princesses are off the table. Perhaps you’re a girl and that John Wick in Space book is not supposed to be your cup of tea. I beg to differ, and love to step outside my comfort zone and read material that is not necessarily written with me in mind.


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Ithaca: An engrossing story

Ithaca by Claire North

Ithaca (2022), by Claire North, is another in a recent spate line of Greek myth retellings, with the source material here being The Odyssey and the House of Atreus storyline (Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, Orestes). North greatly narrows the focus here in setting, time, and plot, lasering in what was happening at the periphery or in the gaps of those epic tales, giving voice especially though not solely to the women on the edges of those stories. It’s a wonderfully voiced, thoughtful reimagining story and a strong entry point into a new series.


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Age of Ash: The first in yet another must-read series

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

I have to say, my timing of reading Daniel Abraham’s newest novel, Age of Ash (2022), couldn’t have been better, coming as it did right after I finished the last EXPANSE novel, the series he co-wrote with Ty Franck (as James S.A. Corey). After all, while THE EXPANSE has been my favorite sci-fi series for the past number of years, Abraham was also responsible for two of my favorite fantasy series: THE LONG PRICE QUARTET and THE COIN AND THE DAGGER,


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The Stardust Thief: An impressive debut

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief (2022), by Chelsea Abdullah, is one of the more impressive debut novels I’ve read lately, offering up a bevy of strong narrative elements with barely a weakness to be found and using a well-known tale (1001 Nights) not as a basis for a retelling but as the germ of something that is its own lushly original story. It wasn’t until I neared the end that I had the happy realization this wasn’t a stand-alone novel but would give me two more chances to spend time in this world.


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The Quarter Storm: An engaging hero helms this new contemporary fantasy series

The Quarter Storm by Veronica G. Henry

Mambo Reina Dumond is a Vodou practitioner, a servant of the lwa Erzulie, whose domain comprises river waters, healing and love. Born in Haiti, Reina moved with her family to the USA when she was a child, and now she lives and practices her tradition in New Orleans. Reina’s life is beset by mundane struggles—like getting paid for her sessions or having a bad hair day—until a brutal mutilation-murder in the French Quarter seems to point to a fellow vodouisant, Mambo Salimah. When Reina starts to investigate,


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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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