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Book Review

Crow Shine

Alan Baxter

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

A well respected novelist, Australian writer Alan Baxter is also the author of many short stories, appeared in various venues, but never before assembled in a single volume.

Crow Shine is a massive collection of Baxter's dark tales which will pleasantly surprise the reader not yet acquainted with this excellent author.

The large majority of the stories included therein are original,well crafted pieces of disturbing fiction.

"TIny Lives" is a beautiful tale fu...

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Review written by Mario Guslandi on Friday 24th February 2017
Book Review

A Closed and Common Orbit

Becky Chambers

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

A Book that brings you Home: Becky Chambers’A Close and Common Orbit.

 It took me a while to  work up the emotional energy to read Becky Chambers’ A Close and Common Orbit. This is Chambers’ second novel. Her first novel, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, was a unique self-published sci-fi novel that blew up in popularity. It made it onto the lists for several awards, including the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke Award and the longlist for the Baileys Women's Prize f...

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Review written by Sean Connolly on Thursday 23rd February 2017
Book Review

Borne

Jeff Vandermeer

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

‘We all just want to be people, and none of us know what that really means.’ Jeff VandeMeer’s Rachel summarises the theme of his latest book best. The author’s first novel since his acclaimed Southern Reach Trilogy, Van de Meer’s Borne is a surreal piece of work that examines the idea of identity in a relentlessly unforgiving, post-apocalyptic setting.

Although broken into three sections, Borne is really a book of two halves. The first part is an intimate examination of Ra...

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Review written by Alice Wybrew on Monday 20th February 2017
Book Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows

James Lovegrove

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove

I've always had a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes. The books are wonderful pieces of classic fiction (my favourite being the Hounds of the Baskervilles) and modern interpretations such as those penned by Moffat and Gattiss help to keep this Centenarian alive in the minds of millions.

I've never considered combining the world of Holmes with that of Cthulhu (another favourite of mine) but on refection it does make some sense. Both writers are said to have been influenced by Edg...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 20th February 2017
Book Review

Relics

Tim Lebbon

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Angela thinks she knows her boyfriend Vince pretty well, that is until he goes missing. She quickly learns he has a hidden employment, his boss the infamous London crime lord Frederick Meloy (known as Fat Frederick, but nerver, ever as Fat Freddy).

His secret job? tracking down arcane relics succh as gryphon claws, satyr horns and other mythical creature body parts.

As Angela tries to piece together where Vince might be she begins to uncover bizzare, hidden, deadly underbe...

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Review written by Ant on Wednesday 8th February 2017
Book Review

The Passage

Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I've been aware of The Passage for years but never had chance to pick it up - even though I have family connections to the Cronin surname (although doubtfully any connection to the author!). Recently the final novel in the series was released which prompted me to begin reading.

The book describes a highly contagious pandemic that sweeps the United States, turning people into savage, vampiric beasts (known colloquially as Virals). This outbreak is caused, as is often the case, by...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 2nd January 2017
Book Review

Dead Man's Steel

Luke Scull

Dead Man's Steel by Luke Scull

Dead Man's Steel is the third and final volume in the Grim Company Series by Luke Scull. We reviewed the first book in the series - The Grim Company - back in 2013 and remarked that it was one of the best fantasy books of the year.

Last year the Sword in the North, the second in the series managed to build on the first book and was a worthy follow-up. This time around we've even managed to get one of our quotes on the front of this book - not something that happens very ofte...

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Review written by Ant on Friday 23rd December 2016
Book Review

The Hanging Tree

Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree is the sixth novel in the Rivers of London series. For those who have yet to experience these wonderful books imagine an Urban Fantasy with police procedural elements, warmly written with a disarming humour and celebrating the many hidden rivers that wonder through London (with exception to the last book Foxglove Summer which ventured into the countryside).

The police procedural elements are superb, feeling as close to real police work as you can possibly imagine. I...

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Review written by Ant on Wednesday 21st December 2016
Book Review

The Winter Hunt and Other Stories

Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis

The Winter Hunt and Other Stories by Steve Lockley

Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis form a British writing duo ( although they also publish individually) whose work has been appearing in various  genre anthologies during the years.

Fifteen of their tales of horror and terror are now assembled in an enjoyable collection from Parallel Universe. The overall quality of the stories is uncommonly high and quite remarkable.

Particularly worth mentioning are the following.

"Never Go Back" is a nightmarish piece showing how ...

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Review written by Mario Guslandi on Tuesday 20th December 2016
Book Review

Invisible Planets

Ken Liu

Invisible Planets by Ken Liu

There is a much bigger speculative fiction scene within China than most people realise. The main barrier to these stories for the western reader is of course language.

It's wonderful to see writers such as Ken Liu translating important Chinese works so that a wider audience can begin to enjoy this rich and diverse market.

Invisible Planets collects eleven short stories, some of which have won awards, others personal favourites of Ken Liu. Many are from a young generati...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 12th December 2016
Book Review

Fardwor, Russia

Olec Kashin

Fardwor, Russia by Olec Kashin

Oleg Kashin’s debut novel ‘Fardwor, Russia’ takes its reader on a surreal journey through the political landscape of Russia’s seedy underbelly. Drawing on his experience as an award-winning journalist and polemicist, Kashin skilfully blends fact and fiction, shining a light on some of the most sinister and hypocritical workings of the modern Russian state.

Kashin has woven a masterful fabric of pastiche and parody in his first attempt at fiction, which is decidedly postmoder...

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Review written by Abbie on Friday 9th December 2016
Book Review

Nightmares Realm: New Tales of The Weird and Fantastic

ST Joshi

Nightmares Realm: New Tales of The Weird and Fantastic by ST Joshi

"Life is but a dream" wrote Calderon De La Barca and "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream" confirmed Edgard Allan Poe. Dreams and nightmares constitute part of our nightly life, but they usually vanish as soon as we wake up. Sometimes, however, they stay with us and haunt also our normal, daily existence.

The present collection assembles seventeen new tales by contemporary authors addessing that fascinating issue. The list of the distinguished contributors includes...

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Review written by Mario Guslandi on Wednesday 7th December 2016
Book Review

Small Favour

Jim Butcher

Small Favour by Jim Butcher

No one's tried to Kill Harry in almost a year and the worst problem he has faced in that time is trying to get stains removed from carpets caused by his bungling apprentice.

Anyone who knows Harry knows that this is too good to last.

The person to put such a spanner in the wizards life is Mab, Queen of the Winter Court and someone who Harry is indebted to.

Mab decides its time to pay up, unfortunately doing so puts him between a nightmarish foe and a deadly a...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 5th December 2016
Book Review

Dust and Desire

Conrad Williams

Dust and Desire by Conrad Williams

I don't often get the chancce to read a crime novel and so when Titan Books let slip that the third novel in the Joel Sorrell series was about to be released I couldn't resist giving the series a try. Dust and Desire is the first book featuring the PI and sets the scene prefectly.

The prologue describes a killer freshly arrived on the streets of London, finding a victim almost straight away. Meanwhile Joel reluctantly agrees to help Kara Geenan find her lost brother who she ...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 28th November 2016

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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Book of the month

Defender by GX Todd
Defender by GX Todd

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