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Monday, January 31, 2022

Book review: Magpie's Song (The IronHeart Chronicles, # 1) by Allison Pang



Book Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Publisher

AUTHOR INFO: Allison Pang is the author of the urban fantasy Abby Sinclair series, as well as the writer for the webcomic Fox & Willow. She likes LEGOS, elves, LEGO elves…and bacon. She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids, her cat, and her obnoxious northern-breed dog, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes…

Publisher: Outland Entertainment (February 1, 2022) Length: 286 pages (paperback) Cover design: Jeremy D. Mohler Cover illustration: germancreative

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Graphic Novel Review: The Bunker by Joshua Hale Fialkov & Joe Infurnari

 


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: Joshua Hale Fialkov is the creator of graphic novels, including the Harvey Nominated Elk’s Run, the Harvey and Eisner nominated Tumor, Punks the Comic, and the Harvey Nominated Echoes. He lives with his wife, Christina, daughter, Gable, and their cats, Smokey and the Bandit. TwitterFacebook

Publisher: ONI Press Number of Issues: 19 collected in four volumes

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Book Review: A Practical Guide to Conquering the World (The Siege # 3) by K. J. Parker

 

Book links: AmazonGoodreads

Series links: 

SIXTEEN WAYS TO DEFEND A WALLED CITY—FBC Review —Amazon 
HOW TO RULE THE EMPIRE AND GET AWAY WITH IT - FBC REVIEW - Amazon


AUTHOR INFO: K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt. According to the biographical notes in some of Parker's books, Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics, and now writes and makes things out of wood and metal. It is also claimed that Parker is married to a solicitor and now lives in southern England. According to an autobiographical note, Parker was raised in rural Vermont, a lifestyle which influenced Parker's work.

Publisher: Orbit (January 11, 2022) Length: 385 pages Cover design: Lauren Panepinto Formats: audiobook, ebook, paperback

Monday, January 24, 2022

Book Review: Obsidian by Sarah J. Daley (reviewed by Lukasz Przywoski)



Official Author Website
Order Obsidian HERE

AUTHOR INFO: Sarah J. Daley is a former chef who lives and writes in the Chicago Metropolitan area with her husband and teenaged son. She earned a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Though she still enjoys the heat and chaos of a professional kitchen, she is now writing full-time. She enjoys traveling, creating costumes for comic con, riding the occasional horse, and streaming old sitcoms for background noise.

Release Date: January 25, 2022 Publisher: Angry Robot Pages: 400 Cover design: Mark Ecob

Thursday, January 20, 2022

"Hotel Iris" by Yoko Ogawa (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)

Yoko Ogawa at Wikipedia
Order Hotel Iris HERE

INTRODUCTION: I have heard of Yoko Ogawa in connection with her most famous novel, translated as The Housekeeper and the Professor. I got a copy of that one a few years ago when it was published here in the US though I have not read it yet, but recently I opened her newest (2010) English translation, Hotel Iris and I was hooked.

Book review: Anatomy of the Heretic by David Mark

 


Author Official Website

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

Author Info: David spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.

Publisher: Head of Zeus (January 21, 2022) Length: 375 Cover art: 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

SPFBO Finalist review: Burn Red Skies by Kerstín Espinosa Rosero


Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Author and artist. Burn Red Skies is her debut novel. Find Kerstin online: InstagramTwitter.

Publication Date: November 12, 2020 Publisher: Kerstín Espinosa Rosero Page Count: 400 Cover design: Franziska Haase
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

SPFBO Finalist Interview: Kerstín Espinosa Rosero




Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Author and artist. Burn Red Skies is her debut novel. Find Kerstin online: InstagramTwitter.

Publication Date: November 12, 2020 Publisher: Kerstín Espinosa Rosero Page Count: 400 Cover design: Franziska Haase

Monday, January 17, 2022

Book review: Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley

 


Book links: AmazonGoodreads

Other books by the author: 

GREENSMITH - FBC Review - Amazon
THE LOOSENING SKIN—FBC Review —Amazon 
THE BEAUTY - FBC REVIEW - Amazon

AUTHOR INFO: Aliya Whiteley writes across many different genres and lengths. Her first published full-length novels, Three Things About Me and Light Reading, were comic crime adventures. Her 2014 SF-horror novella The Beauty was shortlisted for the James Tiptree and Shirley Jackson awards. The following historical-SF novella, The Arrival of Missives, was a finalist for the Campbell Memorial Award, and her noir novel The Loosening Skin was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award.

She has written over one hundred published short stories that have appeared in Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Black Static, Strange Horizons, The Dark, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Guardian, as well as in anthologies such as Unsung Stories’ 2084 and Lonely Planet’s Better than Fiction.

She also writes a regular non-fiction column for Interzone

Publisher: Solaris (March 16, 2021) Length: 300 pages Cover art: Dominic Forbes

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Book Review: The Chosen Twelve by James Breakwell


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: James Breakwell is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls, ages ten and under. He is best known for his family humor Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, which has more than a million followers. He has published three comedy parenting books that explore hot button issues like the benefits of doing as little as possible and the best ways to protect your child from zombie attacks. 

Publisher: Solaris (January 18, 2022) Length: 384 pages Cover art: 

Friday, January 14, 2022

ENGINES OF EMPIRE by R.S. Ford - Review


Official Author Website

Buy the book HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: R S Ford is a writer of fantasy from Leeds in the heartland of Yorkshire. He writes historical fiction under the name of Richard Cullen.

FORMAT/INFO: Engines of Empire was published on January 18th, 2022 by Orbit Books. It is 575 pages and is told from the third person POVs of Tyreta, Conall, Fulren, Rosomon and Lancelin. It is available in paperback and ebook formats.


OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: In the kingdom of Torwyn, the Guilds of commerce hold sway over the land, and few are more powerful than the Hawkspurs. Lady Rosomon has ensured that each of her three heirs are pursuing a path that will prepare them to eventually assume leadership in the guild. Conall is undergoing military service on the frontier, while Fulren prepares for an apprenticeship in artificing. Tyreta, meanwhile, has been sent to an island mining outpost to be trained in running the operations and the family business. But troubled times are sparked in the kingdom when an emissary from a rival kingdom is murdered and Fulren is framed. With no one at court willing to defend her son’s innocence, Rosomon must investigate matters on her own, and soon discovers a sinister plot. Elsewhere in the kingdom, Conall and Tyreta make disturbing discoveries of their own that will push the kingdom ever closer to war.

Engines of Empire is a fast-paced epic fantasy adventure that is always engaging, though at the cost of deeply written characters. Those who find 600-page fantasy tomes a slog may find this story more to their liking, as it never lets up the pace, constantly throwing characters from one fire into another. I found myself constantly hooked by the story and flew through it in four or five days – books of similar length have taken me well over a week.

Engines is a brutal tale with surprising moments, peppered across multiple kingdoms and different magic systems. I enjoyed the steampunk adjacent setting, where industry has risen through the use of arcana devices powered by magic stones mined from various regions. These stones power everything from giant trains to guns to mechsuits – fans of the recent Arcane will enjoy the magical technology vibe. There are also some great action set pieces (Fulren in particular has a memorable fight).

What succeeded less in my opinion was the writing of the characters. The story of Engines of Empire is so whirlwind-fast that we hardly get a moment to sit with any of our POV protagonists. The result is that everyone felt a bit the same: hot-headed, impulsive people who are nonetheless dedicated to the family and who will go to extreme lengths to protect it without a second thought. “I’ll pay whatever the cost” is a feeling almost every character utters without hesitation. While you could chock some of this up to “it runs in the family,” the result is that you have four characters who generally make knee-jerk reactions to every bit of information they receive. There’s little variation to how anyone handles the situation. No one plays the long game or is a coward or is more methodical. As a “character first” kind of reader, this was a bit of a hang up for me, but your mileage may vary!

CONCLUSION: While Engines of Empire was not a home run for me, I commend the author for writing a tome that goes by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t connect with the characters in the way I was hoping, but it is certainly an engaging story setting up plenty of mysteries and trials for the Hawkspur family to overcome.
Thursday, January 13, 2022

Book review: Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon

 


Book links: AmazonGoodreads

Series links: 

SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD—FBC Review —Amazon 
THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM - FBC REVIEW - Amazon


AUTHOR INFO: Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. Among his many popular novels were the classics Boy's Life and Swan Song. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

McCammon resides in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently working on the eighth Matthew Corbett novel, The King of Shadows.

Publisher: Subterranean Press (February 2, 2010) Length: 440 pages

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Interview with Ron Walters, the author of Deep Dive



AUTHOR INFO: Ron Walters is a former journalist, college registrar, and stay-at-home dad who writes science fiction and fantasy for all ages. A native of Savannah, GA, he currently lives in Germany with his wife, two daughters, and two rescue dogs. When he’s not writing he works as a substitute high school teacher, plays video games, and does his best to ignore the judgmental looks his dogs give him for not walking them more often.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Book review: Deep Five by Ron Walters


Book links: Goodreads, Amazon

AUTHOR INFO: Ron Walters is a former journalist, college registrar, and stay-at-home dad who writes science fiction and fantasy for all ages. A native of Savannah, GA, he currently lives in Germany with his wife, two daughters, and two rescue dogs. When he’s not writing he works as a substitute high school teacher, plays video games, and does his best to ignore the judgmental looks his dogs give him for not walking them more often.

Published: January 11, 2022 Publisher: Angry Robot Pages: 400 Cover art: Kieryn Tyler

Friday, January 7, 2022

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Madness Of Herakles (Tapestry Of Fate #4) by Matt Larkin

 


Today we are super excited to host the cover reveal for Matt Larkin’s fourth volume in the Tapestry Of Fate series titled THE MADNESS OF HERAKLES.

I’ve recently been getting into this dark fantasy series that reimagines Greek mythology & characters in a secondary fantasy world and I’ll be reviewing the first three volumes in the next few months.
Thursday, January 6, 2022

Book review: Azura Ghost (The Graven #2) by Essa Hansen (reviewed by Adam Weller)



Book Links: Amazon, Goodreads
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Nophek Gloss

Author Info: Essa Hansen grew up in beautifully wild areas of California, from the coastal foothills to the Sierra Nevada mountains around Yosemite, before migrating north to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She has ranched bison and sheep, trained horses, practiced Japanese swordsmanship and archery, and is a licensed falconer. She works for Skywalker Sound as a sound designer for science fiction and fantasy feature films such as Big Hero 6, Doctor Strange, Avengers: Endgame, and Pixar’s Onward. Essa lives with her British Shorthair cat Soki in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Publisher: Orbit Publication Date: February 1, 2022 Length: 480 Cover art: Design by Lauren Panepinto, Illustration by Mike Heath/Magnus Creative.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

SPFBO Finalist review: Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind. When she isn’t arguing with him or any of his friends, she parents, and farms. She has a lot of children and even more animals and one very excellent husband. She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion. She expects to exist in this universe for a while.

Publication Date: February 18, 2021 Publisher: Imburleigh Book Company Page Count: 662 Covet art: Brad Bergman

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

SPFBO Finalist Interview: Krystle Matar



AUTHOR INFO: Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind. When she isn’t arguing with him or any of his friends, she parents, and farms. She has a lot of children and even more animals and one very excellent husband. She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion. She expects to exist in this universe for a while.

Book links: AmazonGoodreads

Publication Date: February 18, 2021 Publisher: Imburleigh Book Company Page Count: 662 Covet art: Brad Bergman

Mihir's Top Reads of 2021

 


Usually I’m very excited for my listing my top reads but again this year, my reading numbers weren’t up to the mark of what I wish they would be. Therefore, this year instead of numbering my top reads, I am just listing them.

So here we go with the top reads of 2021 (in random order):
Sunday, January 2, 2022

Lukasz's Top Reads of 2021



Globally speaking,  2021 wasn't that much better than 2020. And yet, for me, it was a great year both personally and professionally. So here's hoping 2022 won't break the spell.

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Cardinal Black” by Robert McCammon!!!


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Cyber Mage” by Saad Z. Hossain


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
Order HERE