The Book of the Dead addresses the most fascinating of all the undead: the mummy. The mummy can be a figure of imperial dignity or one of shambling terror, at home in pulp adventure, contemporary drama, or apocalyptic horror. The anthology will be published in collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK’s oldest independent funder of archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt, dedicated to the promotion and understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture.
This anthology includes nineteen original stories of revenge, romance, monsters and mayhem, ranging freely across time periods, genres and styles. The stories are illustrated by Garen Ewing, creator of The Adventures of Julius Chancer and introduced by John J. Johnston, Vice Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society.
Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at age fifteen, they choreograph a plan to switch places and change the role that dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected. And when someone threatens to reveal the truth, it could cost the sisters everything.
In this clever twist on the twin-swap story, Robyn Bavati delivers a poignant tale about changing your fate—one step at a time.
One of my (not so) guilty pleasures is watching dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and films such as Step Up and Honey. So when Robyn Bavati’s Pirouette came across my radar during my prep for last summer’s anticipated books posts, unsurprisingly it set off all kinds of “you have to read this”-alerts. And well it should have, because it was just as entertaining as the best episodes of SYTYCD, those where there are choreographies that make you cry they’re so beautiful and emotional and choreographies that just make you grin like mad at their tricks and entertainment value. Continue reading
Today’s post is part of a book blitz organised by Lola’s Blog Tours to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of Ghost Hand, the first book in Ripley Patton’s PSS Chronicles. I first encountered Ripley’s writing in the anthology Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear, where her story about a girl and her drug-sniffing unicorn really caught my attention. Her debut novel Ghost Hand made for surprisingly addictive reading and I’m looking forward to digging into the recently published sequel Ghost Hold before the end of the year. Continue reading
Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.
When Krakatoa exploded, it shook the world. The volcano rained fire and unleashed floods, but the worst was still to follow. 1883 was a year of darkness and cold, as the global temperature dropped and the skies were wreathed in ash. It was also a year of fiery sunsets and blue moons, where the impossible could – and did – happen…
Ash explores a world where myths come to life and strange creatures wash up in the shallows – a world where survival is only the first of many struggles, and the monsters can take many forms.
The stories of Ash take place in the same shared setting as 1853, A Town Called Pandemonium and the forthcoming The Streets of Pandemonium and The Rite of Spring.
Ash can be read on its own or part of the series. Continue reading
Daughter of the Empire began the epic saga of Mara of the Acoma, illustrating her meteoric rise to power in the Machiavellian intrigues of the Tsurani court. Servant of the Empire continued that tale as Mara, Ruling Lady of her house, established herself as a skilful player in the game of the Council.
Now Mara faces not only the brotherhood of assassins, and the cunning spies of the rival ruling houses, but the awesome Assembly of Magicians, who see her as the ultimate threat to their ancient power.
Mistress of the Empire is the concluding volume in the Empire trilogy. It is a wonderfully satisfying ending to a fantastic story and one of the best fantasy series out there. It takes Mara to the height of power, but also the depth of despair and brought me to tears on several occasions. Discussing the book will of necessity provide spoilers for the previous two books, though I will strive to keep them to a minimum. Continue reading
Sam Thornton has had many run-ins with his celestial masters, but he’s always been sure of his own actions.
However, when he’s tasked with dispatching the mythical Brethren – a group of former Collectors who have cast off their ties to Hell – is he still working on the side of right?
Since the publication of Chris F. Holm’s first Collector novel, Dead Harvest, I’ve been a fan of the series. I absolutely adored books one and two and book three lived up to my expectations and more and had me once again guffawing out loud at Sam’s dry wit. For those familiar with Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, the title gives some clue of what to expect from the novel as it’s a word play off of Chandler’s book, but there are some twists Chandler himself wouldn’t have thought of. Like the previous book, The Big Reap retains the gritty, noir flavour in its story-telling, but in some places it’s actually a little darker in tone than anything that went before. Continue reading
At the American Academy of Classical Art, popular opinion has it that the school’s handsome and mysterious founder, Raphael Sinclair, is a vampire. It is a rumor Rafe does nothing to dispel.
Scholarship student Tessa Moss has long dreamed of the chance to study at Rafe’s Academy. But she is floundering amidst the ups and downs of a relationship with egotistical art star Lucian Swain.
Then, one of Tessa’s sketches catches Rafe’s attention: a drawing of a young woman in 1930s clothing who is covering the eyes of a child. The suitcase at her feet says Wizotsky. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of Rafe’s life, was lost during the Holocaust. Or was she? Rafe suspects Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened.
As Rafe finds excuses to interact with Tessa, they quickly discover they cannot deny their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction forbidden by the Academy Board and disapproved of by anyone familiar with Rafe’s playboy reputation and Tessa’s softhearted innocence. But what if fate has other plans for Tessa and Rafe? What if they break all rules to succumb to a passion that defies history?
Helen Maryles Shankman’s The Color of Light wasn’t what I’d expected it to be and yet it was an intriguing read. When I first read the blurb above, I’d expected there to be quite a large historical component to the book. An expectation that was proven wrong; in fact only about a sixth of the book could be classified as purely historical – if one disregards the supernatural presence of vampires, that is – the rest of it is set in its own contemporary setting of 1992. This leaves us with a supernatural romance set at an art school in New York with a historical gloss to its narrative and honestly, this isn’t the sort of book I’d normally pick up. But I certainly don’t regret reading The Color of Light. Continue reading
For Cassandra Randall, there’s a price to pay for being a secret atheist in a family of fundamentalists—she has nothing good to write on an online personality quiz; her best friend is drifting away; and she’s failing English because she can’t express her true self in a poem.
But when she creates a controversial advice blog just to have something in her life to call her own, there’s no way she can predict the devastating consequences of her actions. As her world fractures before her very eyes, Cass must learn to listen to her own sense of right and wrong in the face of overwhelming expectations.
Even though I’ve been reading more YA books in the past few years, most of those are solidly based in the speculative fiction corner of literature. Contemporary YA doesn’t really get a look in that often, though perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising for a blogger who mostly focuses on SFF, historical fiction and crime fiction. But the contemporary YA I have read, I’ve almost universally liked and when I first saw Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always, I was immediately drawn by the blurb. I loved the premise: what is it like to grow up with fundamentally religious parents, when you’re an atheist yourself? It is a very specific question, but the atheism versus fundamentalism could be substituted with other elements that make you different to your family, whether it is sexuality, faith, or politics to name some examples, which allows people of all stripes to connect to the story. Unfortunately Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always tries to tackle some huge issues and takes a somewhat ‘everything and the kitchen sink’-approach by, in addition to the basic conflict between Cass and her parents, also trying to say something about bullying and homophobia. And while Hoole definitely created a good story, sometimes all the different conflicts got a bit muddled and the narrative lost strength due to that. Continue reading
Meet Mookie Pearl.
Criminal underworld? He runs in it.
Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.
Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job.
But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…
Chuck Wendig is a writing machine and has a steam-roller personality. Not only has he published ten novels in the past two years, he also blogs almost daily on his site Terrible Minds. And if you read his blog and follow him on Twitter you can’t help but be charmed by this, somewhat foul-mouthed, but always entertaining phenomenon that is the bearded one. Me? I’ve been a convert ever since reading Blackbirds, the first in his Miriam Black series, so to say I was looking forward to his first novel in a new urban fantasy series was a given. And in Mookie Pearl he’s created a main character that is just as memorable as Miriam Black. Continue reading
Fifth century Britain is a country in chaos, torn with conflicting beliefs and allegiances after the Roman withdrawal.
The illegitimate son of the Princess of South Wales, Merlin becomes aware at an early age of his extraordinary natural gift – the Sight. Gradually gaining control of his powers and facing the dangers that his knowledge brings, Merlin the enchanter grows in strength. He emerges into manhood to take his dramatic part in the New Beginning – the coming of King Arthur.
The body of Arthurian myths has been a staple of fantasy, since the genre’s earliest beginnings. Everyone has read at least one Arthurian book or seen Disney’s Sword in the Stone and some of the genre’s best known tropes can be traced back to the legend of the once and future king. Stewart takes a novel approach to the Arthur legend, by focusing on Merlin. While not the first to do so, her Merlin trilogy, which was published from 1970 onwards, was the first modern story to have Merlin as its main character, though this has been done more often since. Continue reading