Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 283)

DARWINIA by Robert Charles Wilson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 25, 1998

"A brilliantly imagined but hypercomplicated, undramatizable hodgepodge, whose incoherent narrative is all squirming ends and no graspable substance."
Alternate-historical apocalypse from the author of the fine time-travel adventure A Bridge of Years (1991), etc. In 1912, following a cosmic event known as the Miracle, Europe vanishes, replaced by Darwinia, a physiographically similar continent occupied by alien flora and fauna that somehow are biochemically compatible with those of Earth. Read full book review >
FACTORING HUMANITY by Robert J. Sawyer
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 25, 1998

"An intelligent and absorbing double-stranded narrative, generally well paced, accelerates to hyperspeed in the last few pages."
Messages-from-space yarn from the versatile author of Illegal Aliens (1997), etc. By 2017, messages from Alpha Centauri A have been arriving at Earth for ten years, but only the first few have been deciphered. Read full book review >

DREAMCHILD by Hilary Hemingway
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 16, 1998

"Fun, but unlike tales by abduction specialist Budd Hopkins, less than convincing."
Borrowing a title from Dennis Potter, Hemingway (niece of Ernest) and her husband Lindsay continue a tale begun with Dreamland (1995), wherein Annie Katz seemingly lost her four-month foetus when it was abducted from her body by aliens but later returned so she could carry it to term. Read full book review >
THE KLONE AND I by Danielle Steel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 16, 1998

"A deft, bubbly, decidedly unusual romance, and a welcome departure for the ever-redoubtable Steel."
Give Steel points for turning from her usual tearjerkers (The Long Road Home, p. 145, etc.) and trying her hand at a playful romantic comedy with a twist. Read full book review >
THE WHITE ORDER by Jr. Modesitt
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 15, 1998

"A quality series that's settled into a pleasantly understated, modestly involving groove."
Another episode—the eighth so far—in Modesitt's continuing battle between White (Chaos) magic and Dark (Order) magic (most recently, The Chaos Balance, 1997). Read full book review >

MAZE OF WORLDS by Brian Lumley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 12, 1998

"More straightforward than Lumley's Necroscope series, and fun on a heroic sf level."
Sequel to British fantasy writer Lumley's hybrid sf/games fantasy The House of Doors (1990, not reviewed) in which alien Thones try to take over the Earth. Read full book review >
EXCALIBUR by Bernard Cornwell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 12, 1998

"Splendid, white-hot storytelling."
This completes Cornwell's well-received Warlord Chronicles, an Arthurian trilogy (The Winter King, 1996, and Enemy of God, 1997). Read full book review >
THE DEATH OF THE NECROMANCER by Martha Wells
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 10, 1998

"Splendid plotting and characters and agreeably varied magics; not as compellingly original as City of Bones (1995), but thoroughly engaging nonetheless."
Sequel to The Element of Fire (not reviewed), its backdrop resembling a 19th-century Paris that within living memory was occupied by the Unseelie Court. Read full book review >
HEAVEN'S REACH by David Brin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 8, 1998

"Since Brin wrote the charming and inspiring The Postman (1985), his novels have grown ever more impenetrable and overambitious; like the rest of the trilogy, this one's hard to get into, hard to follow, and difficult to care about."
Final installment—the individual entries (Brightness Reef, 1995; Infinity's Shore, 1996) aren't particularly intelligible in their own right—of Brin's vast yarn about planet Jijo and its six alien races, all illegal immigrants living in terror of a visitation from the rulers of the Five Galaxies. Read full book review >
CHILD OF THE RIVER by Paul McAuley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 5, 1998

"Agreeably meaty and complex, challenging and tantalizing: an entry with ample scope for sequels, the one possible drawback being that McAuley's (Pasquale's Angel, 1995, etc.) narrative voice may be too cool to be entirely satisfying."
Thousands of years ago, so we eventually learn, the omnipotent and now-vanished Preservers built Confluence, not a planet but a habitat, or construct, that's home to a zillion species—"bloodlines"—whose ancestry includes both human and animal genes. Read full book review >
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 4, 1998

"Inventive and packed with flavorsome incident, but lacking propellant: a pleasant but far from compelling saunter."
First of a fantasy trilogy, from the author of Mid-Flinx (1995), etc. The tall herdsman/warrior Etjole Ehomba of the Naumkib tribe lives by the sea. Read full book review >
FIRE ANGELS by Jane Routley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1998

"Competently set forth but pedestrian and hackneyed, with some annoyingly obvious borrowings from Tolkien (Moria, Istari, etc.) and a heroine who screams far too much."
Sequel to the mass market Mage Heart, continuing the adventures of narrator and mage Dion. Read full book review >
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 >