Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 8)

Toru by Stephanie R. Sorensen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 13, 2016

"Cool alternative-history yarn of yester-century Nippon, a promising steampunk-energized start."
Defying his shogun's ban on contact with the Western world, a young Japanese in 1852 uses smuggled blueprints and technology to create a hyperindustrial movement to thrust the nation forward into the modern age. Read full book review >
THE BLUE WOODS by Nicole Maggi
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A satisfying finale. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This final installment of the Twin Willows Trilogy finds the battle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti at a head. Read full book review >

Revelation by Ellery A. Kane
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"A satisfying conclusion to a flawed but often fantastically entertaining trilogy."
In Kane's (Prophecy, 2015, etc.) final installment of the Legacy trilogy, a teenage girl puts her life on the line to try to destroy a sinister company that produces powerful, mood-altering drugs.Read full book review >
The Jestivan by David F. Farris
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 9, 2016

"A fun, energetic fantasy sure to appeal to anime aficionados."
Farris' debut is an epic tale of strange powers and political maneuvering set amid the backdrop of 10 fractious kingdoms, each with its own agenda and defining traits. Read full book review >
PAWN'S GAMBIT by Timothy Zahn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A grab bag of decidedly less-than-amazing stories."
A collection of science-fiction and fantasy short stories from an author best known for his Star Wars expanded-universe novels. Read full book review >

SKINNER LUCE by Patricia Ward
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"High-caliber, often engrossing literary sci-fi."
Ward (The Bullet Collection, 2003) offers a tale of a woman discovering her alien origins.Read full book review >
THIS CENSUS-TAKER by China Miéville
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul."
Miéville (Three Moments of an Explosion, 2015, etc.) has two main modes: the pyrotechnics of a puzzle maker and the austere depth of a mythmaker. Brief and dreamlike, his latest novel is in his simpler, stronger style.Read full book review >
Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"While suffering from too many characters and some convoluted plot elements, this novel still offers an exuberant mashup of portal fantasy and chosen-one motifs."
A girl learns about her magical heritage and preordained fate just as an evil wizard threatens to take over an enchanted world in this YA series opener by Drake (Touching Fate, 2015). Read full book review >
KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR by Sharman Apt Russell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"By turns bawdy and bold, Russell shifts between precise, accurate scientific description and sheer absurdity, which renders this ambitious tale of human hubris quite uneven and eventually implausible."
Struck by catastrophes like a fatal supervirus, 23rd-century Earth has become a world of peaceful, nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes living harmoniously in nature alongside telepathic animal clones resuscitated from the Pleistocene era, until an invention created by an unlikely alliance alters the future. Read full book review >
Invasion of the Spirit Snatchers by Johnny Townsend
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A funny, charming tale about a group of Mormons facing the end of the world."
Townsend (Gayrabian Nights, 2014, etc.) uses the apocalypse as a window into the secret lives of Mormons in this satirical novel.Read full book review >
Kingdom Nightmare by D.C. Lloyd
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A broadly imagined tale, ultimately hamstrung by a lack of finer detail."
A terrifying force of darkness tears a couple of childhood friends apart, sparking a quest spanning three interconnected worlds in this sprawling debut fantasy novel. Read full book review >
Foundra: The Rift War by Emmanuel M. Arriaga
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 30, 2015

"Delightful genre piece with all the right ingredients: monsters, warfare, and romance."
In Arriaga's sci-fi debut, an elite military team tries to stop a vindictive enemy from a parallel universe hellbent on annihilating races and leaving planets in ruin. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >