Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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The Two Towers: Exploring Middle-Earth

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers is the second third of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, and begins right where the previous book left off: the Fellowship has been sundered, with the death of Boromir, the escape of Frodo and Sam, the capture of Merry and Pippen, and the chase that ensues on the part of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Like the other two installments in the series, The Two Towers is split into two books,


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The Good, The Bad, and the Undead: Good stuff

The Good, The Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

This is the second book in the series by Kim Harrison about Rachel Morgan, ex-IS runner, white witch, and now paranormal investigator. Dead Witch Walking, while being nothing spectacular, was a solid enough read which introduced the relationship between humans and Inderlanders and the characters which inhabit the Hollows. The Good, the Bad and the Undead ramps up the action, suspense, excitement, eroticism, and terror — it is a whirlwind of a story that doesn’t let you breathe until the last page has been turned.


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The Children of Green Knowe: A hidden gem in children’s literature

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

Reading this book was a strange experience for me, as even though I had never read it before in my life, it evoked a strange sense of familiarity that only the very best books, movies and music are able to achieve. Usually these are reserved for the ones that are experienced in childhood and carried through into adulthood, but every now and then one arrives that touch one on so deep a level that one feels they’ve always known them. The Children of Green Knowe is one such book.


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Mistborn: The Final Empire: So much to like!

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I was a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s first novel, Elantris, though the novel had some pretty clear flaws. I’m an even bigger fan of his follow-up, Mistborn, a book that has all the plusses of Elantris without the problems.

Mistborn takes places in an ashen, devastated world where the “Skaa” are a brutally downtrodden majority who do all the work for the aristocratic minority of the Great Houses,


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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The best one yet!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I don’t want to spoil the plot, as there are many twists lurking within this book, so I’ll just say this:
This is the best one yet.

Books 1 and 2 were occasionally intense, but mostly I liked them because they were hilarious. Book 3 was the one that really sucked me in, with its tightly woven, ever-twisting plot. Book 4 sprawled a bit too much but brought lots of romance and character development. Book 5, too, meandered far too much and lacked the comic relief that lightened earlier books,


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The Golden Compass: Extraordinary, controversial, fascinating, infuriating

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass (or, if you follow the British print-run, Northern Lights) is the first book of Philip Pullman‘s extraordinary, controversial, thought-provoking, fascinating, infuriating, allegorical trilogy His Dark Materials. Followed by The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the books have a huge range of ideas and meanings; from exploring the bond between the body and soul, to denouncing modern religious practices, to retelling Milton’s Paradise Lost from a completely different point of view.


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The Fellowship of the Ring: Magnificent work of fantasy

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Even today, almost six decades since its first publication, J.R R. Tolkien’s magnificent work of fantasy is still attracting readers and scholars — more so now due to the publicity surrounding Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Perhaps for the first time ever, the movie release of a book adaptation has actually boosted sales of the book involved. And this can only be considered a good thing, as one cannot claim to be a literary reader without exploring Tolkien’s Middle-Earth at least once in their lives.


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The Black Cauldron: Mystery, suspense, adventure, and intrigue

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander

The Black Cauldron is the second in Lloyd Alexander’s five-part Chronicles of Prydain, and possibly the most well known. When discussing these books with other people, you’ll usually get a blank look if you say “the Prydain books” or The Book of Three, but if you mention The Black Cauldron, you’ll probably get a vague sense of recognition. It is a Newbery Honor book and was made into a Disney film,


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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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