Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Personal and cultural complexities distinguish this fresh and fascinating look at a lawless future. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
The world's geopolitical balance rests on a genetically modified sea monster and his 17 1/2-year-old trainer. Can she resist the adrenaline rush of a pirate's life to keep the world aright? Read full book review >
KINGFISHER by Patricia A. McKillip
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Fantasy lovers looking for a lighter touch amid all those vampires, zombies, werewolves, and industrial-strength malefactors will find this a refreshing change of pace."
A delicately wrought, twinkle-eyed fantasy from the accomplished author of The Bards of Bone Plain (2010, etc.).Read full book review >

THE DARK DAYS CLUB  by Alison Goodman
ROMANCE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Readers willing to embrace the deep, deliberately paced journey will find the pace and tension increasing until the end leaves them eager for the next volume. (Historical fantasy. 13 & up)"
Regency balls, rebellious heiresses, and demonic creatures feeding on humans: not your mother's Regency romance. Read full book review >
CITY OF BLADES by Robert Jackson Bennett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Sometimes too talky but richly detailed and expertly plotted. A grand entertainment."
"Don't forget, it was their choice to get involved in this war": Fantasian Bennett builds another world, convincingly, in which empires rise and fall and blood flows. Read full book review >
ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Reminiscent of the best of Jo Walton and Nina Kiriki Hoffman."
Will science or magic save our world and all the living beings on it? That's the question posed in this science fantasy love story by the editor-in-chief of online geek mecca io9.com (Choir Boy, 2005).Read full book review >

THE BLUE WOODS by Nicole Maggi
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A satisfying finale. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This final installment of the Twin Willows Trilogy finds the battle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti at a head. Read full book review >
SKINNER LUCE by Patricia Ward
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"High-caliber, often engrossing literary sci-fi."
Ward (The Bullet Collection, 2003) offers a tale of a woman discovering her alien origins.Read full book review >
THIS CENSUS-TAKER by China Miéville
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul."
Miéville (Three Moments of an Explosion, 2015, etc.) has two main modes: the pyrotechnics of a puzzle maker and the austere depth of a mythmaker. Brief and dreamlike, his latest novel is in his simpler, stronger style.Read full book review >
The Agathon by Colin Weldon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 11, 2015

"A compelling sci-fi series that starts with a big bang."
The unexpected, unexplained destruction of Earth sends an experimental faster-than-light starship careening into the cosmos on a desperate mission to save what's left of humanity. Read full book review >
WANDERING STAR by Romina Russell
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"A thematically powerful ride. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
While threats still loom after Zodiac (2014), vilified Rho must pick up the pieces.Read full book review >
HAWTHORN by Carol Goodman
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"A satisfying end to an epic trilogy. (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)"
Having just recently saved Blythewood School for Girls from the evil Shadow Master Judicus van Drood, Avaline Hall is looking forward to relaxing and enjoying her senior year. As if. Read full book review >
THE RISING by Ian Tregillis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Part 3 can't come too soon."
War overshadows this second volume of an alternate-world trilogy (The Mechanical, 2015) set a few hundred years after the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens blended clockwork and alchemy to create the robotic Clakkers.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >