Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

MARKED by Laura Williams McCaffrey
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"An original, textured page-turner. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
Lyla is 16, and her only goal is to keep her seat in the Bright—the section of school for the smartest children—and earn the best grades so that she may go on to university one day and become an inventor. Read full book review >
THE ORION PLAN by Mark Alpert
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Alpert, one of the best writers after Michael Crichton at transforming futuristic science into believable fiction, devises such a scary scenario here, it's a shame he doesn't develop it further."
In Alpert's latest nanotech thriller, a space probe from a solar system 200 light-years away lands with an explosive bang in a marginal area of Manhattan, infecting several park regulars with malevolent alien technology. Read full book review >

THE RULE OF MIRRORS by Caragh M. O'Brien
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"A middle volume that's elevated with its explorations of identity. (Science fantasy. 12 & up)"
After The Vault of Dreamers (2014), Rosie's split consciousness struggles to evade her old enemies and unravel the conspiracy.Read full book review >
BEHOLD THE BONES by Natalie C. Parker
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Shines with spooky Southern charm. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)"
Following Beware the Wild (2014), Candy and the supernatural swamp have unfinished business.Read full book review >
A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Fans of A Darker Shade of Magic will love its sequel, and fantasy fans who haven't yet read the first book in this series should hurry to catch up."
An absorbing fantasy adventure set in a world where magic can be a gift—or a weapon. Read full book review >

THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Dripping in magic, strong women, and forbidden love. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
A Middle East-inspired fantasy version of "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp." Read full book review >
BITTER BITE by Jennifer Estep
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"An intense yet engaging urban fantasy jaunt."
Retired paranormal underworld assassin Gin Blanco can handle almost any physical threat, but when a figure from her past returns to charm her best friend and foster brother into a close relationship, she's convinced the woman is up to no good. Read full book review >
The Rampart Guards by Wendy Terrien
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 26, 2016

"A delightful novel that delivers a tightly plotted, character-driven story about a hero confronting wondrous creatures."
This first installment of a projected paranormal fantasy series chronicles the adventures of a 14-year-old boy who, after dealing with the disappearance of his mother, moves to another state. Read full book review >
BLOOD PASSAGE by Heather Demetrios
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2016

"Here's hoping the third book arrives faster than a jinni can manifest a glass of spiced Arjinnan wine. (Fantasy. 15 & up)"
After three years of servitude under a greedy half-human/half-jinn master, jinni slave Nalia Aisouri'Taifyeh is free—almost. Read full book review >
THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC by Mark Tompkins
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2016

"The bones of a great fantasy are here, but most readers will find the book slow going."
A half-goddess, a Vatican mercenary, kings, queens, warriors, and faery creatures battle for control of Ireland in this historical fantasy adventure. Read full book review >
BLACK CITY SAINT by Richard A. Knaak
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2016

"Melodramatic and forgettable."
A legendary figure-turned-paranormal investigator protects Prohibition-era Chicago against otherworldly influences in the first of a series by an author best known for his epic fantasy (The Horned Blade, 2015). Read full book review >
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL by R.S. Belcher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2016

"Could Belcher be stretching himself too thin? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, for now."
Because Belcher isn't busy enough writing an occult Western (The Shotgun Arcana, 2014) and a contemporary paranormal noir series (Nightwise, 2015), he begins a new contemporary horror/dark fantasy series with this novel. 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 >