The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (Fantasy Novel, 2018). Like many writers, this first-time fantasy novelist has drawn on elements of a real-life subject she knows about (in this case, Chinese history and mythology) as inspiration for an imaginary world series. There’s nothing wrong with that, yet I must confess to some slight ambivalence in […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Poppy War"
Charmed Bones by Carolyn Haines (Supernatural Mystery Novel, 2018). The latest Sarah Booth Delaney novel (18th in the series, if I haven’t miscounted) is a fun, cozy mystery that blends a colorful Mississippi Delta setting with often playful supernatural elements, plenty of misdirection, some romance and the expected greedy and/or murderous evil doers who must be […]Read more "REVIEWED: Charmed Bones"
Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope (Paranormal Fantasy Novel, May 2018). An award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance, L. Penelope kicks off a new series, The Earthsinger Chronicles, with this sweeping imaginary world novel. Two nations, ancient and bitter enemies, take centerstage here and face each other across an ancient magical wall. Caught […]Read more "REVIEWED: Song of Blood & Stone"
The Apocalypse Of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson (YA Fantasy Novel, 2018). Hutchinson has written anumber of well-received YA novels, as well as editing two anthologies in the genre. His latest portrays a modern-day Florida teen identified as the first person scientifically proved to have been born via parthenogenesis (hence, from a virgin mother). That has […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Apocalpse of Elena Mendoza"
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Historical Fantasy Novel, 2018). This is the second in a series of novels that capably blends Russian folklore/fairy tales and medieval history into spirited adventure fiction in an exotic wilderness. Arden’s first novel introduced readers to Vasya, a young noble woman with the gift of seeing supernatural creatures […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Girl in the Tower"
Year One by Nora Roberts (SF/F Novel, December 2017). Is it the tense times we live in that has so many authors exploring the theme of society collapsing via assorted doomsday scenarios? Of course the post-holocaust world is a long-established theme in science fiction and also crops up in supernatural fantasy from time to time. Here, […]Read more "REVIEWED: Year One"
Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier (Heroic Fantasy Novel, 2017). This one is a meaty and above average hunk of heroic fantasy adventure writing from a solidly respected pro writer. There are, to be sure, certain elements with Game of Thrones aspects in evidence. But it would be wildly unfair and inaccurate to dismiss it as […]Read more "REVIEWED: Winter of Ice and Iron"