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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers (Reviewed by Shazzie)

Book Review: The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers 



Buy The City of Stardust - U.S. | U.K.

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Georgia Summers is a half-British, half-Trinidadian writer. She spent most of her life living across the world, including Russia, Colombia, the USA, Scotland, and briefly Switzerland. She is still bad at languages.

She has previously worked as an editor, a bookseller and rare books student librarian, so you could say she’s seen the entire lifecycle of a book.

When she’s not doing bookish things, she enjoys embroidery, playing piano, and painting, among various other crafts. She currently lives in London, but she dreams of one day living in a haunted château with cats and a ghost that cleans.
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Review: The Slain Divine by David Dalglish

 


Official Author Website
Buy The Slain Divine
Read a review of book one, The Bladed Faith

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Graphic Novel: Aama by Frederik Peeters

 


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Frédérik Peeters (born 13 August 1974, in Geneva) is a contemporary Swiss graphic novelist. He received his bachelor of arts degree in visual communication from the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués in Geneva in 1995. Peeters currently lives with his partner Cati, her son, and their daughter in Geneva.

Publisher: SelfMadeHero (March 18, 2014)  Length: all 4 vols translated into English, around 500 pages
Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Review: The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

 

Official Author Website
Buy The Tainted Cup

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Robert is the author of American Elsewhere, The Troupe, The Company Man, Mr. Shivers, as well as The Divine Cities trilogy and The Founders Trilogy.

His work has received the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Phillip K. Dick Citation of Excellence, and he has been shortlisted for the World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Locus Awards.

He lives in Austin with his wife and two sons, one of whom is very large and one of whom is very loud, and he focuses on writing and not maintaining his website.
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

SPFBO 9 Finalist review: The Last Fang of God by Ryan Kirk

 



Book links: AmazonGoodreads

SPFBO Finalist Interview: Ryan Kirk, The Author of The Last Fang of God


Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Ryan Kirk is an author and entrepreneur based out of Minnesota. When he isn't writing, he can usually be found getting lost in the woods.

Visit his website at https://ryankirkauthor.com/

Publisher: Waterstone Media (April 26, 2023) Page Count: 252 (Kindle edition) Cover art: 100covers

Monday, January 22, 2024

Piglet by Lottie Hazel (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: Piglet by Lottie Hazel



Buy Piglet here - U.S. | U.K.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Piglet is judging the contents of your shopping trolley. She is listening to what you order for lunch and is observing whether the dessert you serve is homemade or snatched from a packet. There isn't another 31-year-old that takes food more seriously. And who could blame her, with a childhood nickname like that?
Friday, January 19, 2024

Interview: RuNyx, author of Gothikana

 Interview: RuNyx, author of Gothikana



Buy the Gothikana Hardcover Edition: featuring sprayed edges, a foiled case stamp, gorgeously detailed endpapers, an updated map and deliciously moody art throughout, here


This edition will go on sale on January 23, 2023

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Q&A with Dom Watson, the Author of Smoker on the Porch



Book links: AmazonGoodreads

About The Author: Father of cats and one human daughter. And a strange male toddler who magically appeared. Imagineer of the fantastic and the horrific. Explorer of the ethereal realms of the human id. Author of The Boy Who Walked Too Far and the upcoming novella Smoker on the Porch. Sequel to 'The Boy', A Stage of Furies due for release in 2022 Loves cooking, reading, cycling and generally behaving like a fool. Fighting the fight for mental health. Will sing for pizza and dance for wine.

Publisher: Dom Watson ( January 7, 2024) Length: 308 pages Formats: ebook Cover art: Blake Cover Design: ST King

Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett



Buy Emily Wilde's Map of the Motherlands here - U.S. | U.K.
Wednesday, January 17, 2024

COVER REVEAL: Mushroom Blues (The Hofmann Report #1) by Adrian M. Gibson

 

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: Adrian M. Gibson is a Canadian author, podcaster and illustrator (as well as occasional tattoo artist). He was born in Ontario, Canada, but grew up in British Columbia. He studied English Literature and has worked in music journalism, restaurants, tattoo studios, clothing stores and a bevy of odd jobs. In 2021, he created the SFF Addicts podcast, which he co-hosts with fellow author M. J. Kuhn. The two host in-depth interviews with an array of science fiction and fantasy authors, as well as writing masterclasses.

Voyage of the Damned by Frances White (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: Voyage of the Damned by Frances White



Buy Voyage of the Damned here
Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Book review: Fever House by Keith Rosson

Book review: Fever House by Keith Rosson

 


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Keith Rosson is the author of the novels Fever House, Smoke City, Road Seven, and The Mercy of the Tide as well as the Shirley Jackson Award-winning story collection Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his partner and their two children.

Publisher: Random House (Aug 15, 2023) Length: 448 pages Formats: audiobook, ebook, paperback 
Monday, January 15, 2024

Review: The Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent

 

Official Author Website
Buy The Serpent and the Wings of Night


OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Carissa Broadbent has been concerning teachers and parents with mercilessly grim tales since she was roughly nine years old. Since then, her stories have gotten (slightly) less depressing and (hopefully a lot?) more readable. Today, she writes novels that blend epic fantasy plots with a heaping dose of romance. She lives with her husband, her son, one very poorly behaved rabbit, and one perpetually skeptical cat in Rhode Island.

FORMAT/INFO: The Serpent and the Wings of Night was traditionally published on December 5th, 2023 by Bramble Romance. It is 464 pages long and told in first person from Oraya's POV. It is available in ebook, audiobook, and hardcover.
Sunday, January 14, 2024

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Great Hearts V: Imperator & Flame Of The Desert by David Oliver

 


Preorder The Great Hearts V: Imperator over  HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Great Hearts
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Great Hearts II: A Game Of Gods
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Great Hearts III: Shadowstrike 
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Draconis (Draconis Descendent saga #1)
Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Book review: Petition by Delilah Waan


Book links: AmazonGoodreads
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

SPFBO 9 Finalist review: Cold West by Clayton W. Snyder

 


Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Co-author of SPFBO finalist Norylska Groans, which Anthony Ryan (Blood Song) described as “Rich in bone-crunching violence and a grimly convincing sense of place and character.”, and the final instalment of the Manifest Delusions series, A War to End All. Several of my other novels have been SPFBO semi-finalists. I’ve also authored numerous short stories, my most recent, Hounds, at Grimdark Magazine. I currently split my time between work and writing. I have worked as a systems admin, chainsaw operator, and once did an ill-advised stint as a bodyguard because I am ‘really tall’.

Publisher: Clayton Snyder (February 29, 2020) Page Count: 141 (Kindle edition) Cover art: Clayton Snyder

SPFBO 9 Finalist Interview: Clayton W. Snyder, the Author of Cold West




Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Co-author of SPFBO finalist Norylska Groans, which Anthony Ryan (Blood Song) described as “Rich in bone-crunching violence and a grimly convincing sense of place and character.”, and the final instalment of the Manifest Delusions series, A War to End All. Several of my other novels have been SPFBO semi-finalists. I’ve also authored numerous short stories, my most recent, Hounds, at Grimdark Magazine. I currently split my time between work and writing. I have worked as a systems admin, chainsaw operator, and once did an ill-advised stint as a bodyguard because I am ‘really tall’.

Publisher: Clayton Snyder (February 29, 2020) Page Count: 141 (Kindle edition) Cover art: Clayton Snyder

Monday, January 8, 2024

The Beholders by Hester Musson (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: The Beholders by Hester Musson



Buy The Beholders here - U.K. | International

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: June, 1878. The body of a boy is pulled from the depths of the River Thames, suspected to be the beloved missing child of the widely admired Liberal MP Ralph Gethin. Four months earlier. Harriet is a young maid newly employed at Finton Hall. Fleeing the drudgery of an unwanted engagement in the small village where she grew up, Harriet is entranced by the grand country hall; she is entranced too by her glamorous mistress Clara Gethin, whose unearthly singing voice floats through the house. But Clara, though captivating, is erratic. The master of the house is a much-lauded politician, but he is strangely absent. And some of their beautiful belongings seem to tell terrible stories. Unable to ignore her growing unease, Harriet sets out to discover their secrets. When she uncovers a shocking truth, a chain of events is set in motion that could cost Harriet everything, even her freedom…

FORMAT/INFO: The Beholders will be published on January 18, 2024 by Harper Collins. It will be available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.


OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Let me just tell you that Harriet Watkins, young maid newly employed at Finton Hall did something most of us never could. She gets a beautiful diary, a lovely green one, and actually writes in it. If you've gotten over that, let's continue. She flees an unwanted engagement to take up service at this place, and writes entries in her diary, which we get in the form of this simply marvellous debut.

In this house, Harriet gets astounded by what to her service-class eyes looks like a world within the walls of the property, as well as the enigmatic mistress, Mrs. Gethin of the house. Beyond the first entry in the diary, it is clear that this is not a rosy environment, there are something sinister and this feeling slowly builds toward a certain point. I admit, the beginning was slow and will irk some readers, but trust me when I say the payoff is worth it. It's been two days since I finished reading this, and the more time that passes, the more I realises this pace was really effective.

Why does all this matter? Because the mistress, Mrs. Gethin had a reputation among the work staff of being difficult, constantly dismisses servants, but suddenly takes an inscrutable interest in Harriet, who is nothing special. In a few months, she gets convicted of the murder of her child, and our protagonist is swept up in the case, all while not knowing what the complete truth could be, and wondering if she judged her situation correctly. 

The writing is quite strong and the voice feels authentic. It acknowledges all the grind and drudgery of being part of the servant class in such a place, as well as the feeling of being trapped with no better prospects, of having been painted into a corner, and possibly pissing off those in more powerful positions. What it does better, is paint a very compelling picture of how scary it is to live in a corrupt man's world. The character introduction and establishment takes about the first half of the book, and the plot is sheer genius in some ways. I feel like certain things could have been written in a more direct manner, but they did add to the gothic atmosphere well.

CONCLUSION: If I said anything more, even more good stuff about this book, I would be spoiling it for you. Hester Musson knocks it out of the park with sheer ingenuity in plotting and fine atmosphere-building. So good, and very recommended. 

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