Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: 2.5

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Mystic and Rider: A mystified, riderless horse…

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn

Like a mystified and riderless horse, Sharon Shinn’s fantasy novel Mystic & Rider gallops to the point of fatigue and frustration. This conclusion is especially unfortunate in light of the excellent opening chapter. But buyer beware: the tension and excitement rarely increase from that point, and the last of the 440 pages brings us little closer to some kind of resolution or revelation than the first. Rather, the entire novel is simply a prologue for the rest of the series.

The novel’s plot is perfectly plain.


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Midnight for Charlie Bone: Solidly interesting, not particularly compelling

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

Any book nowadays that has its main character be a young boy who suddenly discovers he has magical talent is, fair or not, going to be compared to the Harry Potter series. Add in a school for geniuses and those “endowed” with magical talents, a small cadre of mixed (talented and not-talented) friends to aid the main character, suspicious professors, and a missing presumed dead father and you’re almost asking for it. It might not be right, but at least so many people have read Harry Potter that it gives us all a solid baseline standard.


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Gardens of the Moon: Erikson displays a prodigious imagination

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

It’s always a question for fantasy fans: do I really want to read a first book in yet another long series? Remember when we moaned about when everything was a trilogy — now I’ll be happy to take a simple three-book series. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell ahead of time if the trip will be worth it? Well, thanks to the quirks of international publication, you can with the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Gardens of the Moon,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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