Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

SILVER SHARD by Betsy Streeter
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 29, 2016

"An entertaining if not entirely transparent sequel. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
In this follow-up to Silverwood (2015), the Silverwood clan must ensure its old enemy doesn't escape its supernatural prison. Read full book review >
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF LANGDON ST. IVES by James P. Blaylock
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 31, 2016

"A collection of enjoyable and cheerfully unsubtle adventures in the company of an endearing cast of characters."
In this illustrated collection, Blaylock (Beneath London, 2015, etc.) offers readers five stories featuring scientist and adventurer Langdon St. Ives, a character first introduced in 1978 when Blaylock was one of the pioneers of the steampunk genre. Read full book review >

THE SWARM  by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Trading heavily for verisimilitude on material established years ago by Card but just about worthwhile for series fans."
A second prequel trilogy to the child-warrior Ender's Game series (Earth Awakens, 2014, etc.) opens. This time the invading alien Formics get serious. Read full book review >
NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A sensuous, shades-of-moral-gray world; a compelling, passionate heroine; a high-stakes quest for revenge—this is a fantasy fans won't be able to put down."
A dark and bloody fantasy about a young woman bent on revenge—at almost any price. Read full book review >
DANCING IN DREAMTIME by Scott Russell Sanders
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"Sanders is at his best when he leaves humor behind to tell stories with big ideas; fortunately, over half the stories here do so, despite a shaky start."
A short story collection wrestling with modern isolation and dystopic futures, from an author also known for nonfiction essays about conservation and nature. Read full book review >

THE OBELISK GATE  by N.K.  Jemisin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Stunning, again."
In the second of a trilogy (The Fifth Season, 2015) by the science-fiction columnist for the New York Times Book Review, the latest in a series of apocalypses marches on. Read full book review >
GHOST TALKERS by Mary Robinette Kowal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A fascinating premise somewhat burdened by workaday execution and pat characterizations, but fans of Kowal's formula will be charmed."
The terrible death tolls of World War I are revisited in an alternate history where the spirits of the dead can be interrogated for valuable military intelligence in another historical fantasy from Kowal (Of Noble Family, 2015, etc.). Read full book review >
NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT by Michael Swanwick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 19, 2016

"Tales that, through their extraordinary clarity of thought and expression, showcase precisely why this multiaward-winning author is held in such high regard."
Another collection of speculative fiction from Swanwick (Chasing the Phoenix, 2015, etc.), one of a handful of writers whose short pieces are as impressive as their novels. Read full book review >
SPELLBREAKER by Blake Charlton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Vivid, intelligent, and painful in an authentically laudable way."
"Where's the apocalypse?" wonder the characters and the reader as this epic fantasy trilogy reaches its long-awaited conclusion. Read full book review >
BREATH OF EARTH by Beth Cato
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A steampunk-flavored adventure with amiable characters and a fantastical version of San Francisco that has imaginative promise but fails to engage with the Asian cultures it appears to take inspiration from."
In a novel that imagines a very alternate history, Cato (The Clockwork Crown, 2015, etc.) channels her flair for steampunk fantasy into the story of a plucky heroine living in San Francisco in 1906. Read full book review >
GHOSTLY ECHOES by William Ritter
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A somber turn for the supernatural sleuth and levelheaded assistant but still energetic and entertainingly offbeat. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)"
Past actions and futuristic inventions haunt people in this sequel. Read full book review >
INTO THE ABYSS by Stefanie Gaither
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Give this effort to fans of dystopia who prefer sci-fi essentials to fluff. (Science fiction. 13 & up)"
Because clones can be cloned again, a new version of Violet returns to fight against clones programmed to do evil in this Falls the Shadow (2014) sequel. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Morgan Matson
July 25, 2016

From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, comes The Unexpected Everything, a feel-good YA novel of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan. Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks. So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too. Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all. “Romance fans will find plenty to enjoy, as Andie gradually lets down her guard and risks the messy and unpredictable wonder of first love,” our reviewer writes. “A novel best read on a lazy summer day with sand between the toes.” View video >