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Friday, December 29, 2023

FBC Crew List - Lucas' Favorite Books (and more) of 2023

I love best-of lists and reading wrap-ups. As 2023 comes to a close, it's time to sit, think, and write such a post. I always do it with pleasure. 

It was a rather good year. I've read a lot and discovered some excellent reads. Contrary to previous years, my 2023 wrap-up is dominated by fun, pulpy, and entertaining, with just a few "serious" works thrown in the mix. 

I guess it's because the year has been intense and I simply gravitated toward easier, more accessible books. I've rediscovered my love for thrillers and mysteries but I won't list them because it's a fantasy website, after all. That said, some of my most thrilling reads this year were all thrillers. I'll mention a few standouts here, in case someone here is interested: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, False Witness by Karin Slaughter, The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, and The Traitor by Ava Glass.

I hope some of you will find inspiration here and maybe discover something worth attention :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Book review: Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward



Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CATRIONA WARD was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She studied English at the University of Oxford and later earned her master’s degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. Ward is a three-time winner of the August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel: for The Girl from Rawblood, her debut; Little Eve; and The Last House on Needless Street. Little Eve also won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel. Ward is the international bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial.

Publisher: Tor Nightfire (August 8, 2023) Page count: 352 pages Formats: Audiobook, ebook, paperback
Monday, December 18, 2023

Review: Sun of Blood and Ruin by Mariely Lares

 


OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Mariely Lares is a Mexican-American writer of fiction. Born in the only hospital of a small town in Southern California—which, fun fact, is also Cher’s birthplace—she grew up straddling two worlds, crossing the border almost every day. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she holds a degree in Computer Science Engineering and lives in San Diego, where she can be found doing all the outdoorsy things, rescuing dogs, and writing her next book.

FORMAT/INFO: Sun of Blood and Ruin will be published on February 20th, 2024 by HarperVoyager in the US; it was published in the UK on September 28th, 2023. It is 384 pages and told in the first person from Leonora's POV. It will be available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook format.
Thursday, December 14, 2023

Book review: Murder on The Lamplight Express (The Lamplight Murder Mysteries # 2) by Morgan Stang


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Morgan Stang lives in the humid part of Texas. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA. By day he works in accounting and by night he sleeps, and sometime in between he writes in a wide variety of fantasy genres, ranging from dark fantasy (The Bartram's Maw series) to gaslamp murder mystery (The Lamplight Murder Mysteries) to cozy fantasy (The Bookshop and the Barbarian). He is a fan of all things nerdy, and lives with an immortal ball python.

Publisher: Morgan Stang Length: 298 pages Formats: ebook, paperback

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

SPFBO Finalist review: Murder at Spindle Manor by Morgan Stang

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Morgan Stang lives in the humid part of Texas. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA. By day he works in accounting and by night he sleeps, and sometime in between he writes in a wide variety of fantasy genres, ranging from dark fantasy (The Bartram's Maw series) to gaslamp murder mystery (The Lamplight Murder Mysteries) to cozy fantasy (The Bookshop and the Barbarian). He is a fan of all things nerdy, and lives with an immortal ball python.

Murder at Spindle Manor links: AmazonGoodreads

SPFBO Finalist Interview: Morgan Stang, the author of Murder at Spindle Manor

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Morgan Stang lives in the humid part of Texas. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA. By day he works in accounting and by night he sleeps, and sometime in between he writes in a wide variety of fantasy genres, ranging from dark fantasy (The Bartram's Maw series) to gaslamp murder mystery (The Lamplight Murder Mysteries) to cozy fantasy (The Bookshop and the Barbarian). He is a fan of all things nerdy, and lives with an immortal ball python.

Murder at Spindle Manor links: AmazonGoodreads

Monday, December 11, 2023

A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself by Katherine Howe (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself by Katherine Howe


A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself by Katherine Howe

Official Author Website
Buy A True Account here - U.S. | U.K.

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Katherine Howe is a #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer of historical fiction and nonfiction. Her best known books are The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2009 and was named one of USA Today's top ten books of the year, and Conversion, which received the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award in young adult literature. In 2014 she edited The Penguin Book of Witches for Penguin Classics, a primary source reader on the history of witchcraft in England and North America. She co-authored the #1 bestselling Vanderbilt: the Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty with CNN's Anderson Cooper, which came out in September 2021. Their next collaboration, Astor: the Rise and Fall of an American Fortune will release September 19, 2023. And her next novel, A True Account: Hannah Masury's Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself will be out November 21. 2023. She holds a BA in art history and philosophy from Columbia and an MA in American and New England studies from Boston University, A native Houstonian, she lives in New England with her family. She also puts hot sauce on everything.

FORMAT/INFO: A True Account was published in November 2023 by Magpie Books in the U.K. and by Henry Holt and Co. in the U.S. It is available in hardback, ebook, and audiobook formats.
Thursday, December 7, 2023

EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL Q&A: The Storm Beneath The World (Children Of Corruption #1) by Michael R. Fletcher



Q] Welcome back to Fantasy Book Critic Michael. How are you doing since the release of A WAR TO END ALL, the end of your Manifest Delusions saga?
 
MRF: Welcome back? Yeah, I guess this place does look kinda familiar. Er…if anything went missing after my last visit, it wasn’t me. And if anything was broken, it was like that when I got here.
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Review: Fearless by Allen Stroud

 

Official Author Website
Buy Fearless

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Allen Stroud (Ph.D) is a university lecturer and Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror writer, best known for his work on the computer games Elite Dangerous (Frontier Developments) and Phoenix Point (Snapshot Games). He has chaired the British Fantasy Society's Fantasycon and is the current Chair of the British Science Fiction Association. His SF novels, Fearless, and Resilient are published by Flame Tree Press. He also composes science fiction music soundtracks, including for The Fractal Series.

FORMAT/INFO: Fearless was published on September 8th, 2020 by Flame Tree Press. It is 362 pages long and is told in first person from multiple POVs, including Captain Shann. It is available in paperback, hardback, and ebook.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Book review: Snow Angels by Jeff Lemire & Jock


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Lemire is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, and creator of the acclaimed graphic novels Sweet Tooth, Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Trillium, Plutona, Black Hammer, Descender, Royal City, and Gideon Falls. His upcoming projects include a host of series and original graphic novels, including the fantasy series Ascender with Dustin Nguyen.

Publisher: Dark Horse Books (March 28, 2023 ) Page count: 264 pages

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