Guest Post: Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Beast Within

adriantchaikovsky-tigerandwolfToday’s guest post is one I’m really excited about sharing with all of you. This Thursday February 11 will see the publication of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and The Wolf, his new epic fantasy standalone. It features shapeshifters, competing tribes and a young heroine torn between them. The hardcover is also extremely pretty in person — never let it be said I can’t be swayed by a lovely cover — and, as I’ve come to expect from Adrian’s books, big enough to thoroughly maim someone if you hit them with it. But please don’t do that, that’s not what books are meant for. Anyway, Adrian was kind enough to send this guest post my way on the shapechangers in this book and the way their natures influenced the shaping of the narrative (pun intended!) Enjoy and do check back for a review in the future as I’ll be starting the book once I’ve finished my current read.   Read More …

A.C. Wise – The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

acwise-glittersquadronWhen the world is endangered, there’s no point in sparing the spangles, spilling the drinks, or withholding the glitter. In this collection of whimsical stories of fierce femmes and brave butches, the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron is a phone call away…

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is a collection of inter-linked short stories featuring the sparkliest, bravest, most bad-ass women you are ever likely to meet. Any old hero can save the world, but these ladies can do it all in glitter and high heels, and still make it home in time for tea (and cocktails, or course).

The collection features two reprints and seven original short stories, plus bonus cocktail recipes.  Read More …

Editor Query – David Thomas Moore

MONSTROUS LITTLE VOICES - COVERDavid Thomas Moore is the commissioning editor at Abaddon Books, sister imprint to Solaris, and last year I absolutely adored his Sherlockian anthology Two Hundred and Twenty One Baker Streets. When I saw that this year he is publishing an anthology of novellas inspired by Shakespeare’s world, his fictional world that is, I was totally stoked, especially given the line up of writers he presented. But David isn’t only an excellent editor, he’s an allround good egg and funny guy, who often makes me laugh and think deeply with his posts on social media, so I was happy when I got to interview him for the publication of the first of the novellas from Monstrous Little Voices, Coral Bones by Foz Meadows. The stories will be published separately as e-only novellas, with a collected print edition to follow in April. I’ll be reviewing them in the near future, but for now: enjoy the interview!  Read More …

Review Amnesty: Big Fat Fantasy Edition

reviewamnestyAfter the hiatus I took last year, I have a huge backlog of books I’ve read and need to review and now I’m trying to get the blog back up and running they are staring me in the face and taunting me, all nineteen of them. Some of them I read over six months ago and it is hard to write a review for them in the usual way, so I’ve decided to declare a review amnesty. There are two books I’m planning to co-review with Wiebe, since they are two of his favourite books, two novellas that I can quickly reread and review, but the other fifteen will be split up into three posts and I’m going to just quickly run down each of them and give my thoughts. And then I’ll be able to move on and *bursts into song* Let It Go…So here is the first of the three posts, the one I dubbed the Big Fat Fantasy edition.  Read More …

Guest Post: T. Frohock – A Primer for The Spanish Civil War

tfrohock-withoutlightorguideI’m currently in the midst of reading T. Frohock’s latest novella Without Guide or Light. It is the second book in the Los Nefilim series and I’m really loving the setting and characters. The first book In Midnight’s Silence was wonderful and halfway through Without Guide or Light is even better, so you should absolutely pick it up. But after reading the first book I found myself googling and searching Wikipedia for some of the history underpinning the setting, as I wasn’t as familiar with the Spanish Civil War. Since I figured I wouldn’t be the only one, I asked T whether she could write me a sort of cheat sheet. She did me one better and sent me the following text. A great companion piece to this post can be found on Bibliosanctum where T provides the origins for Los Nefilim.
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C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld – The Secret Fire

daughertyrozenfeld-thesecretfireFrench teen Sacha Winters can’t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

The Secret Fire came as a bit of a surprise to me. When I was offered a review copy I hadn’t really registered that the book would be out and while I’d heard of C.J. Daugherty before, her writing partner Carina Rozenfeld was unknown to me. Yet when looking at the synopsis and reading about how the book came about, I was intrigued enough to say yes and I’m glad I did. The Secret Fire was an engrossing adventure, which I tore through only taking a break to sleep.  Read More …

Author Query – Andy Livingstone

andylivingstone-herobornThese past few months I’ve been reading a lot of the new releases in the HarperVoyager UK’s digital first imprint, that launched in June. And so far, they’ve all been lovely books. I’ve also had the chance to interview several of the authors and host a guest post too. Today I’m adding another to the list. Andy Livingstone is the author of Hero Born, a fantasy novel which seemingly looks at that most fantasy-of-fantasy tropes: the hero with a destiny. I decided to ask Andy how and why he came to write about this trope. You can find his answers to that an more below.

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Josh Vogt – Enter the Janitor

joshvogt-enterthejanitorClean-freak college student Dani Hashelheim never imagined she’d discover her latent magical ability in, of all places, a bathroom. But when she ducks into the ladies’ room at the library, she’s put in the crossfire between an elderly janitor and a ravenous muck-monster that emerges from the sink. Dani’s previously unknown power manifests in self-defense, and she floods and burns down the library—at the same time.

Enter Ben, the janitor, who works for the Cleaners, a supernatural sanitation company that keeps reality tidy and safe…and a company Dani now works for as well, whether she wants to or not. This puts a significant crimp in her dream to attend med school and become a doctor. Nor is Ben happy, since it’s his duty to help Dani adapt to the job and learn to control her chaotic talent before it kills them both.

Dani barely has time to try on her new company uniform before she and Ben are hunted down by a cult that wants to cleanse all life from the planet, and believes her power provides the means to do so. While fighting to survive the cult’s increasingly violent recruitment attempts, the pair must battle dust devils, navigate a maze of mystical sewers, face down trash golems—and scrub the occasional toilet.

When I read the synopsis for JR Vogt’s Enter the Janitor I was immediately intrigued, because who could resist the phrase “supernatural sanitation company”? Furthermore, the grumpy. old mentor figure paired with a newbie overcoming all odds, is one of my favourite tropes, in whatever media form you can imagine. Vogt’s interpretation of the eternal battle between order and chaos also seemed as if it would be really funny, though I did wonder whether its premise of magical cleaners wouldn’t become shticky or repetitive. So I went into the reading hopeful, but wary. Yet Vogt completely sold me on the story, because it was entertaining, charming, and had far more emotional resonance than I’d expected.  Read More …

Author Query – Craig Cormick

craigcormick-thefloatingcitiesLast year I very much enjoyed Craig Cormick’s The Shadow Master and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Floating City. The book was released last month and has received some lovely reviews. Craig was kind enough to agree to an interview to celebrate the release of his latest novel. Enjoy this Author Query and be sure to check out The Floating City.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Craig Cormick? 

My website www.craigcormick.com says that I have been writing since I could make up stories and have worked in journalism, communications, teaching and science communication. Also that I like to write across many different genres and styles, from fiction to non-fiction and literary fiction to speculative fiction. – So if I read it online then it must be the truth, right?

I could also tell you that I’m a twin, I have travelled to all seven continents for work – including to Antarctica, but the thing I most love doing in the world is reading books to my six-year-old son and remembering how more real than real stories were when we were young.  Read More …

Guest Post: Gerrard Cowan on Worldbuilding and maps

gerrardcowan-themachineryThis week HarperVoyager UK is celebrating the launch of their digital-first line by organising a #VirtualVoyager blog tour. I’ve already read two of the books in this line, Darkhaven and Among Wolves, and enjoyed both of them tremendously and I’m currently reading Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf, which is quite funny. So when I was approached about being part of the tour I gladly said yes and was very pleased to host Gerrard Cowan with a post about maps, because who doesn’t love a good map?  Read More …