S.C. Flynn – Children of the Different

childrenofthedifferentweb150Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and either emerge with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals. 

In the great forest of south-western Australia, thirteen year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead. 

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia. If they can reach it before time runs out. 

When I was approached about reviewing Children of the Different it wasn’t hard to say yes. Apart from the fact that the author is fellow blogger S.C. Flynn, this post-apocalyptic novel sounded as if it would be interesting and exciting, especially since it is set in Australia, the land that as the joke goes is trying to kill you at every opportunity anyway, never mind there having been an apocalypse. What I found was indeed an interesting story, focused on the close bond between its protagonists, but one that left me feeling unqualified to judge certain of its aspects.  Read More …

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A Quartet of Shorts

reviewamnestyMy huge plan to catch myself up on reviews during my vacation has gone hopelessly awry, in fact I think I’m even more behind now than I was when I started. Partially that’s because life, but it was also because I read a number of shorter works when we were travelling and they sort of added up. So I bundled a number of them and I present you with a quartet of shorts!  Read More …

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Brandon Sanderson’s Evil Librarians return!

Dark-Talent-Banner-788x90Today sees the publication of the fifth book in Brandon Sanderson’s middle grade series Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, the all-new The Dark Talent. I’ve read the first three  — they’re on the still-need-to-review pile — and really enjoyed them. The fourth is on my TBR-short-pile and I’m hoping to pair that with this fifth one and just review the series in one go once I’ve read all five.  Read More …

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Guest Post – Julie Czerneda on What’s Next & Giveaway

The Gate to Futures Past cover for releaseLast year Julie Czerneda visited A Fantastical Librarian for an Author Query to celebrate the publication of This Gulf of Time and Stars. I can’t believe enough time has passed for the next instalment of the series to be published. But The Gate to Futures Past is here and Julie is back with a great post on what it means when you ask a writer “What’s next?” Additionally, DAW is letting me hold a giveaway for 2 sets of the two books, and they are holding a tour-wide giveaway for the entire 8-book series which you can enter through the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post.  Read More …

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Kaaron Warren – The Grief Hole

kaaronwarren-thegriefholeThere are many grief holes.

There’s the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies.

There’s another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live.

And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre.

Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love.

Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you’ll die by the spirits haunting you. If you’ll drown, she’ll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women.

She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.

Kaaron Warren’s writing is wonderful. I always enjoy her short fiction and the one novel of hers I read, Mistification, was absolutely amazing. Warren always manages to create complexly layered, strangely weird stories that are genuinely creepy, and utterly compelling. Her latest novel The Grief Hole, out from IGFW Publishing last week, is no different. It’s an intense story looking at grief in all forms, featuring a heroine who is at once sympathetic and somewhat off-putting.  Read More …

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Author Query – Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

alvarozinosamaro-travellerofworldsWhen Alvaro Zinos-Amaro approached me about possibly reviewing his book Traveller of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, I had to say no due to my teeter-tottering to-be-read pile and the fact that I’m horribly behind on writing up reviews. However, Traveller of Worlds sounded interesting and I thought that there would be plenty of people who read my blog who would be interested in it, so I asked Alvaro if he’d be up for an interview. He was! And you can find the interview below.  Read More …

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Susan Spann – The Ninja’s Daughter [Blog Tour]

susanspann-theninjasdaughterAutumn, 1565: When an actor’s daughter is murdered on the banks of Kyoto’s Kamo River, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo are the victim’s only hope for justice.

As political tensions rise in the wake of the shogun’s recent death, and rival warlords threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace–but Hiro has a personal connection to the girl, and must avenge her. The secret investigation leads Hiro and Father Mateo deep into the exclusive world of Kyoto’s theater guilds, where they quickly learn that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. With only a mysterious golden coin to guide them, the investigators uncover a forbidden love affair, a missing mask, and a dangerous link to corruption within the Kyoto police department that leaves Hiro and Father Mateo running for their lives.

The Ninja’s Daughter is the fourth book in the Shinobi Mystery series and it is a reunion with the regular cast and some of my favourite background characters, such as Ana, Gato, Ginjiro, and Suke. I really enjoyed the previous two books I’ve read in this series, Blade of the Samurai and Flask of the Drunken Master, and I was looking forward to discover what would happen next for Hiro and his charge Father Mateo. What I found in The Ninja’s Daughter was both an interesting murder mystery and a great development of the overarching story.  Read More …

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Zen Cho – The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo & The Terracotta Bride

zencho-perilouslifeofjadeyeoFor writer Jade Yeo, the Roaring Twenties are coming in with more of a purr — until she pillories London’s best-known author in a scathing review. Sebastian Hardie is tall, dark and handsome, and more intrigued than annoyed. But if Jade succumbs to temptation, she risks losing her hard-won freedom — and her best chance for love. 

Zen Cho’s novella The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo isn’t actually an SFF story. In fact, it is a romance told through diary entries. And it is delightful! Set in 1920s London, our main character is a young  Malaysian woman who went to university in Britain and now is trying to make it as a writer. One of her gigs is writing reviews, so that immediately created a connection obviously, but Jade is wonderful in lots of ways. She’s funny, snarky, independent and prepared to defend her independence fiercely.  Read More …

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Author Query – Col Buchanan

colbuchanan-thehighwildI love the fact that there are more and more ways to support creators these days. And that writers are experimenting with ways to publish their work. Some are exclusively traditionally published, others self-publish, yet others become hybrid authors. Col Buchanan contacted me about his new venture, The High Wild, some or all of which he hopes to publish serially online, I was keen to ask him some questions. You can find his answers below and please do check out his new project!  Read More …

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A.F.E. Smith – Goldenfire

afesmith-goldenfireAyla Nightshade has ruled Darkhaven for three years. With the help of Tomas Caraway, her Captain of the Helm, she has overcome her father’s legacy to find new confidence in herself and her unusual shapeshifting abilities.

Yet three years ago, a discovery was made that could have profound consequences for the Nightshade line: a weapon exists that can harm even the powerful creatures they turn into. And now, that knowledge has fallen into the wrong hands.

An assassin is coming for Ayla, and will stop at nothing to see her dead.

Darkhaven, the first book in this series, was a surprise. Billed as a secondary-world fantasy with a murder mystery, I was all-in by the end of the synopsis and A.F.E. Smith delivered on the promise of the blurb and the cover of the book and I was completely smitten with the world and the characters. As such, Goldenfire had a lot to life up to. And it did, bringing back characters I love, introducing new ones and once again centring on a mystery, this time more on who will do it, than on whodunnit.  Read More …

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