Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews (page 9)

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 >
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 >

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 >
Wings of the Pegasus by Mark Kirsch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 21, 2016

"An engaging, albeit unoriginal, premise, laid low by uninspiring storytelling."
Kirsch's debut sci-fi adventure novel tells a story set in a colossal starship containing 52 massive biospheres called Cylinders, inhabited by human colonists escaping an overpopulated Earth. 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 >

Sacred Planet by Austin Rogers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2016

"An ambitious, ardent launch that sets a stellar precedent for installments to follow."
In Rogers' debut, the first book of a planned sci-fi series, a prime minister's daughter may be the key to evading an interstellar war. Read full book review >
Gar by Megan Twiddy
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 18, 2016

"This meteorite tale favors—and nails—teen romance but remains a mere inauguration for the mysterious titular character."
Twiddy jump-starts her debut YA sci-fi series with the story of a boy—who can morph into various creatures—wanting to know his origin while keeping his ability a secret. 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 >
Executive by D.P. Oberon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A richly detailed futuristic premise, crackling battle scenes, and a gender twist march alongside a tried-and-true combat sci-fi formula."
In this first installment of an interconnected-world series, a disgraced business executive in the treacherous future seeks to earn redemption by joining a commando outfit on a perilous mission to save humanity. 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 >
SWORD OF SHADOWS by Karin Rita Gastreich
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey."
A practitioner of magic struggles with her forbidden love for a king as she and her friends/students are threatened by impending war in the second of Gastreich's (Eolyn, 2016, etc.) fantasy series. Read full book review >
A Clearing in the Forest by Kim Love Stump
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 14, 2016

"Spellbinding and untraditional, this fantasy with a brave royal could teach Disney a few things about princess adventures."
A debut YA fantasy stars a princess who must venture forth into the world before she's allowed to rule. 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 >