Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

GATE CRASHERS by Patrick S. Tomlinson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 2018

"A well-drawn ensemble cast of scientists, soldiers, and aliens enriches this quirky first-contact tale, but that same quirkiness steals some of its impact."
Humanity makes first contact with aliens—but humanity being what is, it doesn't go smoothly. Read full book review >
SUMMERLAND by Hannu Rajaniemi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 2018

"A jaw-dropping, knowing, hyperintelligent yarn that, like the author's previous outings, would have benefitted from fewer smarts and more warmth."
Following a dazzling science-fiction trilogy, Rajaniemi (Invisible Planets, 2017, etc.) offers a sort of neo-steampunk spy story wherein the afterlife is real. Read full book review >

TRAIL OF LIGHTNING by Rebecca  Roanhorse
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 2018

"Roanhorse, the first Indigenous American to win a Nebula and a finalist for a Hugo, has given us a sharp, wonderfully dreamy, action-driven novel. Here's hoping that the next two in this trilogy will deliver more heart-racing, heart-rending prose."
After the Big Water, Maggie Hoskie's monster-slaying clan powers have woken up. She's going to need them on a journey culminating in the kind of battle fantasy readers will relish. Read full book review >
CITY OF LIES by Sam Hawke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 3, 2018

"A well-crafted debut with believable political intrigues, solid worldbuilding, and original characters."
A brother and sister trained from birth to protect their ruler find their skills—and their assumptions—tested in Hawke's debut novel. Read full book review >
THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 3, 2018

"While there's a fascinating alternate history here of humanity's quest for the stars, it could stand to be told with characters who are a little more human."
Veteran historical fantasist Kowal (Ghost Talkers, 2016, etc.) tackles an alternate history of the space race, in which a catastrophe necessitates an earlier reach for the stars—and the confrontation of gender barriers. Read full book review >

THE FATED SKY by Mary Robinette Kowal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 3, 2018

"The worst tendencies of white feminism—in space."
A female physicist journeys further into space in Kowal's (The Calculating Stars, 2018, etc.) sequel, set in an alternate version of the 1960s. Read full book review >
EUROPEAN TRAVEL FOR THE MONSTROUS GENTLEWOMAN  by Theodora  Goss
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 2018

"A fizzy adventure for lovers of the genre, but the execution could have been much better."
Mary Jekyll and her crew of "monstrous gentlewomen" are back in the second installment of Goss' (The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, 2017) gothic mashup series. Read full book review >
SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 2018

"A medieval fable of obscure moral import blossoms into a thoughtful, emotionally complex, absorbing drama that stands confidently on its own merits."
From the author of Uprooted (2015), the splendid Temeraire Napoleonic Wars-and-dragons series, etc., this reworked fairy tale's opening sentence might well have read Once upon a time in Old Lithuania....Read full book review >
KILL THE FARM BOY by Delilah S. Dawson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 17, 2018

"Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring on laughing gas."
A rollicking fantasy adventure that upends numerous genre tropes in audacious style, the first installment of Dawson and Hearne's Tales of Pell series is a laugh-out-loud-funny fusion of Monty Python-esque humor and whimsy à la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Read full book review >
APOCALYPSE NYX by Kameron Hurley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 17, 2018

"For established fans, a bittersweet reunion with old friends; for new readers, a reasonable enticement toward the superior novels of the series."
Hurley (The Stars Are Legion, 2017, etc.) collects five grim new adventures of Nyxnissa so Dasheem, disgraced ex-government assassin and current bloody-minded bounty hunter with an existing but deeply buried moral sense. Read full book review >
SPELLSLINGER by Sebastien de Castell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 17, 2018

"An intriguing system of magic, wry humor, and a twisting plot make for an entertaining series debut."
A young magician who cannot cast magic must prove himself in other ways in the first installment of a new fantasy series from de Castell (Tyrant's Throne, 2017, etc.). Read full book review >
PIERCING MAYBE by Dan Cray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 24, 2018

"Sumptuous sci-fi with originality to spare."
Cray's sci-fi thriller stars a heroine who battles a hidden race determined to curtail humanity's growth. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >