Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

THE LIBERATION by Ian Tregillis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A frighteningly frank and brutal consideration of slavery, post-slavery, and colonialism in metallic garb."
The thoughtful, blood-soaked conclusion to an alternate-history trilogy (The Rising, 2015, etc.) in which the Dutch rule Europe and the New World thanks to their control of Clakkers, mechanical servants fueled by clockwork and alchemy. Read full book review >
Biome by Ryan Galloway
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"An indelible red-planet backdrop enhances an already rugged, tenacious story of a colony's cadets learning to rely on one another."
Part of a Mars terraforming settlement, a teenager has six days to figure out why doctors are repeatedly wiping her peers' memories—and why she's retained her own—in this sci-fi debut. Read full book review >

The Dark Lord by Jack Heckel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"A diverting, heartfelt adventure that provides laughs in between earnest moments and spells."
In this fantasy, a mage tries to save the same world he'd tormented as an evil wizard—part of his university studies—with help from the heroes who'd fought him. Read full book review >
MINIATURES by John Scalzi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 31, 2016

"Somewhat repetitive in theme, often verging on the silly, but on the whole, quite amusing."
Scalzi has said that his two writing strengths are his novels (The End of All Things, 2015, etc.) and his very short fiction; this slim offering showcases the latter. Read full book review >
RECLUCE TALES by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Don't expect great significance everywhere—some of the pieces are no more than vignettes—but Modesitt is excellent company, and the more familiar you are with the series, the richer these stories will seem."
A collection of 17 new and three reprinted stories plus an essay, weaving among the prolific Modesitt's impressive 18-book (and counting) fantasy Saga of Recluse (Heritage of Cyador, 2014, etc.). Read full book review >

ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A rich, atmospheric story that readers will be hard-pressed to put down. (Fantasy. 13 & up)"
The Phantom of the Opera is reborn in this supernatural tale of music, passions, and love. Read full book review >
A TOASTER ON MARS by Darrell Pitt
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who fans are a natural audience for this story, but it may well build a broader readership once the word gets out. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
This pseudo-science-fiction book provides laughs of all types: readers will progress from snickers to giggles to, finally, belly laughs and shouts of outrage. Read full book review >
MARTIANS ABROAD by Carrie Vaughn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Reading far more like a book for young teenagers than one with a strictly adult audience, this easygoing adventure has an affable appeal."
Vaughn (Dreams of the Golden Age, 2014, etc.) offers a stand-alone that finds a Martian colonist struggling to adapt to life on Earth. Read full book review >
EMPIRE GAMES by Charles Stross
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"An absorbing but ultimately underwhelming yarn that patiently builds on existing foundations without venturing a conclusion or even a cliffhanger."
Espionage and Cold War paranoia prevail as near-future governments in alternate timelines test one another's defenses and capabilities in this opening installment of a science-fiction trilogy and sequel to the six-volume Merchant Princes series (The Trade of Queens, 2010, etc.) Read full book review >
THE SKILL OF OUR HANDS by Steven Brust
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"The imaginative worldbuilding and magic system overshadow the plot, and the reader may need a flowchart to track the cast, but Brust and White offer a frequently poignant take on the question of whether power conveys authority."
A group of secretive immortals are thrown into turmoil by the murder of one of their own in Brust and White's sequel to The Incrementalists (2013). Read full book review >
CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
Magic, mystery, and love intertwine and invite in this newest take on the "enchanted circus" trope. Read full book review >
SILVER STARS by Michael Grant
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"Exhaustive research, immersive storytelling, and emotional depth make for a superlative tale. (glossary, bibliography) (Alternate history. 14 & up)"
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >