Last Thursday was Thanksgiving in the States and the lovely team at Angry Robot and their various imprints surprised us with their Team Robot Blogger Award. I was really flattered to have been shortlisted and while the ultimate win went to the wonderful Kristin at My Bookish Ways and to Josh from Just A Guy That Likes To Read, it really is true what they always say in these situations, it was an honour to be nominated. One of my fellow nominees, Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm created a post with covers of all the Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry, and Exhibit A titles she’s reviewed on her blog, in honour of her shortlisting and to say thanks. I thought this was a really cool idea, so with Ellie’s blessing I nicked it and today I bring you my own cover post of all the AR titles I’ve reviewed to date here on the blog. Hopefully there will be many more to come. Continue reading
By 30 November, 2013
Posted in article, crime, fantasy, science fiction, YA
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
By 20 November, 2013
Posted in crime, fantasy, mystery, review, thriller
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
By 9 November, 2013
Posted in crime, fantasy, review
When I was thinking of a topic to propose to Freya for a guest post, there had just been another kerfuffle about women in genre, both due to Damien Walter’ piece in the Guardian linked below, his asking on Twitter about SFF being a boys’ club, and the fact that there was to be a panel at WFC called ‘Broads with Swords’. So I decided to ask Freya’s opinion about SFF being a boys’ club as Damien Walter implies it is. I found his stance interesting as he acknowledges that there is a gender imbalance in our genre, but also seems to dismiss a whole swathe of female readers as non-existent. If you have time and inclination going back through the Twitter archives is quite interesting and gives some context. Below you’ll find Freya’s response. Continue reading
By 7 November, 2013
Posted in article, guest post
The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn’t stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who once lived there… and oft-rumoured riches.
Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half‐forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him.
As he returns home, bringing an entourage of the strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.
Seven Forges has left me confused after finishing it, more so than any other book I’ve read this year. Why? Well, Seven Forges has so many elements going for it: the world-building is great, the characters are interesting, snappy dialogue, interesting plot. Yet for some reason, the elements didn’t gel together smoothly and so the book made for an uneven read. And I’m having a hard time putting my finger on why exactly I found it to be so. Continue reading
By 4 October, 2013
Posted in fantasy, review
Today I have a guest post by James A. Moore, author of Seven Forges, a new fantasy out from Angry Robot tomorrow, and not coincidentally, also reviewed here on the blog then. When I read the blurb for the book and first saw the cover, the first thing that bubbled up was the question why the icy setting? We’ve seen lots of epic fantasy set in arid deserts, what made Moore choose to set his book in a land of snow and ice? Luckily, James was kind enough to write me a guest post explaining exactly that.
By 3 October, 2013
Posted in fantasy, guest post
Egil and Nix have retired, as they always said they would. No, really – they have! No more sword and hammer-play for them!
But when two recent acquaintances come calling for help, our hapless heroes find themselves up against the might of the entire Thieves Guild.
And when kidnapping the leader of the most powerful guild in the land seems like the best course of action, you know you’re in over your head…
A Discourse in Steel is the second Tale of Egil and Nix and a while after last year’s The Hammer and the Blade. While I had lots of fun with the first tale, I did have some problems with it, rather like watching a fun summer block buster you shouldn’t think too deeply about, lest it lose its sparkle. A Discourse in Steel was just as enjoyable and in several ways was even better than the previous book. There were more female characters with a role that wasn’t just ornamental and it featured a thieves’ guild; I always enjoy a good story with a thieves’ guild. Continue reading
By 2 August, 2013
Posted in fantasy, review
Last week I received several mails with interesting new covers and acquisitions news. And as I’ve been looking forward to these books a lot and Solaris’ new acquisition sounds really interesting, I thought I’d share them on the blog.
Let’s start with Angry Robot Books, who revealed the covers for two final books in the series, that I’ve been looking forward to hugely, Emma Newman’s All Is Fair and David Tallerman’s Prince Thief. Both covers and the accompanying blurbs can be found below: Continue reading
By 14 July, 2013
Posted in article, crime, fantasy, science fiction
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.
Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation… or death.
vN was one of my favourite debuts for 2012, only beaten out by Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise. I loved Amy’s story and the world Ashby created. I was looking forward to returning to the world and seeing how the developments of the last book would echo through this one. Continue reading
By 13 July, 2013
Posted in review, science fiction