Next book

BONDS OF BRASS

From the Bloodright Trilogy series , Vol. 1

An impeccably paced, character-driven SF novel—the first in a trilogy—aimed at both adults and teens.

Ettian Nassun and Gal Veres are best friends, and maybe more, who are attending the Umber Empire’s system-spanning military academy, but when Gal is outed as heir to the Empire that killed Ettian’s parents and conquered his people, Ettian must choose whether to follow his heart and keep Gal alive or follow the drumbeat of his people as they attempt to restore their empire.

Ettian, an Archon war orphan, and Gal, who appears to be the well-off son of Umber-born parents, look out for one another at the Umber military academy. Ettian shines as a pilot and officer—his way of ensuring that he's never hungry or homeless again—while peace-loving Gal spends more time goofing off and finding ways to subvert the Empire’s warmongering ways. All that changes when other Archon war orphans at the academy learn that Gal's the Umber heir and try to kill him. Despite the revelation, Ettian risks his life to save Gal. Then, when Umber politicians try to use the prince’s vulnerability to their own advantage, Ettian is the only one Gal can trust to keep him safe. They escape to the neutral Corinthian system, where Ettian discovers the Archon people are not done fighting for their homes and families. He's torn between his love for Gal—and his hope the prince can forge a lasting peace—and his love for the Archon people he thought lost forever. Together with Wen, a sharp-witted girl running from the Corinthian mob, the boys’ loyalties, love, and mettle will be tested as their secrets and sacrifices are forced into the light. Fans of Pierce Brown's Red Rising series will find a fantastic home in Skrutskie’s (Hullmetal Girls, 2018, etc.) rich, diverse, and multilayered world. Her thoughtful SF portrayal of children navigating war, displacement, and PTSD while finding love and friendship in unimaginable circumstances is very much worth the read.

An impeccably paced, character-driven SF novel—the first in a trilogy—aimed at both adults and teens.

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12889-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 139


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 139


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Next book

THE DARK FOREST

From the Remembrance of Earth's Past series , Vol. 2

Once again, a highly impressive must-read.

Second part of an alien-contact trilogy (The Three-Body Problem, 2014) from China’s most celebrated science-fiction author.

In the previous book, the inhabitants of Trisolaris, a planet with three suns, discovered that their planet was doomed and that Earth offered a suitable refuge. So, determined to capture Earth and exterminate humanity, the Trisolarans embarked on a 400-year-long interstellar voyage and also sent sophons (enormously sophisticated computers constructed inside the curled-up dimensions of fundamental particles) to spy on humanity and impose an unbreakable block on scientific advance. On Earth, the Earth-Trisolaris Organization formed to help the invaders, despite knowing the inevitable outcome. Humanity’s lone advantage is that Trisolarans are incapable of lying or dissimulation and so cannot understand deceit or subterfuge. This time, with the Trisolarans a few years into their voyage, physicist Ye Wenjie (whose reminiscences drove much of the action in the last book) visits astronomer-turned-sociologist Luo Ji, urging him to develop her ideas on cosmic sociology. The Planetary Defense Council, meanwhile, in order to combat the powerful escapist movement (they want to build starships and flee so that at least some humans will survive), announces the Wallfacer Project. Four selected individuals will be accorded the power to command any resource in order to develop plans to defend Earth, while the details will remain hidden in the thoughts of each Wallfacer, where even the sophons can't reach. To combat this, the ETO creates Wallbreakers, dedicated to deducing and thwarting the plans of the Wallfacers. The chosen Wallfacers are soldier Frederick Tyler, diplomat Manuel Rey Diaz, neuroscientist Bill Hines, and—Luo Ji. Luo has no idea why he was chosen, but, nonetheless, the Trisolarans seem determined to kill him. The plot’s development centers on Liu’s dark and rather gloomy but highly persuasive philosophy, with dazzling ideas and an unsettling, nonlinear, almost nonnarrative structure that demands patience but offers huge rewards.

Once again, a highly impressive must-read.

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7653-7708-1

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

Close Quickview