Search Results for: fantastic quotes

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Dark Companion: Respectable spooky-boarding-school story

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Jane grew up as an unloved foster child in a rough neighborhood full of gangsters and pimps. Inspired by a friend’s death to excel in school, Jane has earned a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy for Girls. She sees this as a ticket out of the violence and exploitation she sees all around her, but instead she finds that there are predators among the rich as well…

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta fits comfortably in with the “dark supernatural secret at a girls’ boarding school” subgenre of novels — though the main secret isn’t technically supernatural,


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Throne of the Crescent Moon: Stronger when it sidesteps genre conventions

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon might well remind readers of the Arabian Nights, given that it’s the first thing mentioned by the publishers when advertising Ahmed’s debut fantasy novel. They could also mention that it offers almost everything readers tend to expect from the genre.

Dr. Adoulla Makhslood is a ghul hunter, one of the last of his kind. The magic system he employs relies on vials that he throws at ghuls,


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All Men of Genius: Light-hearted good fun

All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen

All Men of Genius
 (2011) by Lev AC Rosen takes Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and, um, “twins” them with the steampunk genre to offer up a mostly entertaining tale of dual identities, proto-feminism, the art of invention, and the complexities of love. It’s light-hearted good fun and generally succeeds.

If you know the above plays, the plot and the names will be mostly familiar, though they’ve obviously been tweaked to varying amounts: Viola from Twelfth Night becomes Violet here,


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The New Weird: As terrifying as Kafka on LSD

The New Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

It’s easy to imagine two different readers reacting in opposite ways to The New Weird. One might find it delightfully odd; the other might find it as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. And a third might find it delightfully odd because it’s as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. Certainly, no one is likely to find it boring.

The New Weird is a well-organized anthology, with a short, useful introduction; a section entitled “Stimuli,” containing older selections (though not very old;


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Thoughtful Thursday: Best of 2010

Yesterday we released our Best of 2010 list. It’s always an interesting process generating a list like this with a dozen people or so. We read broadly and there’s not a lot of overlap, so what I’m going to do today is just quote some of our reviewers on why they chose the books for the list that they did. I’m including links to the author pages so you can see the reviews in full, and I’ll include some of the better cover art to help break up the wall o’ text.

Kelly said:

One of my favorite books this year was In Dreams Begin by Skyler White.


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All Night Awake: Not as good as Ill Met

All Night Awake by Sarah A. Hoyt

I wasn’t expecting a sequel to Ill Met by Moonlight. That novel was complete and satisfactory in itself, so the appearance of a sequel came as a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like All Night Awake quite as much as Ill Met by Moonlight, for several reasons. First, the metaphysics were more confusing than in the first book. Second, the constant use of Shakespearean quotes gets a little heavy-handed from time to time.


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