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Book Review

Architects of Destiny

by Amy DuBoff

Architects of Destiny by Amy DuBoff

Young adult science fantasy is a story type that has existed in various forms since the 1950s. The writing quality can vary, but the intention – to convey a vision of a far flung future where humanity has become an interstellar society always fires the imagination of impressionable readers.

Architects of Destiny is a bold title for an escape into one such future. Our protagonist, Cris Sietinen is heir to a powerful lineage Tararia, but chafes under the constrictions of his place, li...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Saturday 23 May 2015
Book Review

Day Shift

by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift is the second novel in Charlaine Harris's Midnight Texas series, following on from the quite excellent novel Midnight Crossroad we reviewed in May last year. It's a welcome return to the inhabitants of the strange small cross-road town that is Midnight. There doesn't seem to be more than a few inhabitants that are entirely human, even less who are human without an unusual power.

As with the previous book Manfred acts as principle protagonist although we get scenes from mos...

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reviewed by Ant on Friday 22 May 2015
Book Review

Gemini Gambit

by D Scott Johnson

Gemini Gambit by D Scott Johnson

A title that gives a hint as to what we might expect, but ruins no surprises at all, Gemini Gambit by D. Scott Johnson is an intriguing story of the near future, immerses us in a world a generation or two further on from our own.

Elite hacker ‘Angel Rage’ – whose real name is Kim Trann has retired, but when Mike Sellars tracks her down in the middle of the Warhawk FPS World Tournament, curiosity gets the better of her. Who was this strange guy who managed to spring all her defences ...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 20 May 2015
Book Review

The Scarlet Gospels

by Clive Barker

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

It has to be said that even though I don't entertain much horror, Clive Barker is somewhat of a legend. Growing up in the 80's his name was often spoken in quiet awe by impressionable teenagers, not least due to his infamous Books of Blood collections.

For me though it was the character of Pinhead that managed to solidify his standing as a master of horror. Hellraiser brought with it a different kind of bad guy. This guy was much more coldly intelligent and collected than any I'd se...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 18 May 2015
Book Review


by Ari Bach

Valhalla by Ari Bach

Award winning novelist and academic Gwyneth Jones asserts that ‘a typical science fiction novel has little space for deep and studied characterisation, not because writers lack the skill (though they may) but because in the final analysis the characters are not people, they are pieces of equipment.’

The initial premise of Valhalla speaks directly to this summary of the genre. Violet, a seventeen year old girl has come of age on the Isle of Skye and is wondering what to do with her l...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Sunday 17 May 2015
Book Review

The Suicide Exhibition

by Justin Richards

The Suicide Exhibition by Justin Richards

I must admit I have a fondness for alternative history novels, especially those that depict the second World War. Throw in secret Nazi plots that involve alien technology and that infamous Axis quest to create the Übermensch and you have a formula for a very interesting book indeed. Suicide Exhibition is the start of a series that follows such a plot — here the Übermensch are alien and the Germans will stop an nothing to gain technology to control such power. The aliens are known as the "Vril...

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reviewed by Ant on Friday 15 May 2015
Book Review

Saint Rebor

by Adam Roberts

Saint Rebor by Adam Roberts

Stories from Adam Roberts are always challenging as well as entertaining. Saint Rebor follows this trend, being a diverse collection joined together by the writer’s conceptual ideas in the prologue. Whilst you might expect a variety of story premises in a collection, in Saint Rebor, you have a much wider set of experimentation in modes of address and form. We have conventional first person, and third person then a set of archive documents outlining legal action in AD 2060, a poem, a dense nar...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 13 May 2015

Gollancz May 2015 Paperbacks

Gollancz Paperback of the month for May 2015 is Adam Roberts exceptional story of artificial Intelligence, Bête — which we reviewed last October. Roberts is a writer who seems to improve with each book he writes and Bête is quite simply stunning. It's set sometime in the near future and explores our relationship with the natural world and how that is changing with the steady march of technological progress. Witty and clever, it was one of my favourite books of 2014.

Gollancz is also...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 12 May 2015
Book Review

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

by Patricia A McKillip

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A McKillip

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is fantasy at it's finest, it exemplifies and defines the genre in a way few others have. It won the first ever World Fantasy Award for best novel back in 1975, an achievement more remarkable when considering that it was only the authors third novel. For many who have read the book it becomes a treasured part of their collection. As with many deserving novels it has never had the exposure it deserves. Once again thanks must go to Gollancz and the inclusion of The F...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 11 May 2015
Book Review


by Lucy Hounsom

Starborn by Lucy Hounsom

An exciting new high fantasy story in a new fantasy world, Starborn is Lucy Hounsom’s debut novel. Her graduation to UK Tor’s writing stable from an MA in Creative Writing and before that a BA in English and Creative Writing speaks for itself as being quite an illustrious journey towards the promised land of publication.

Starborn is certainly a strong and engaging start. It is a novel aiming squarely at the young adult and immediately invokes elements of Terry Brooks, Trudi Canavan,...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Sunday 10 May 2015
Book Review

Bill, The Galactic Hero

by Harry Harrison

Bill, The Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison was a genius. The way he managed to use absurdity, satire and slapstick humour to talk about some pretty grim subjects is nothing short of remarkable. Way before Pratchett, Holt, Adams and Naylor, Harrison was creating some of the funniest books on the planet.

Bill, the Galactic Hero was first written fifty years ago and has been described by Terry Pratchett as: "Simply the funniest Science Fiction book ever written"

Thankfully Gollancz has ...

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reviewed by Ant on Friday 08 May 2015
Book Review

Hunt for Valamon

by DK Mok

Hunt for Valamon by DK Mok

Hunt for Valamon is a fast paced epic fantasy tale that manages to portray a number of genre tropes in a fresh and exciting way. The strong authorial voice of the writing quickly draws the reader in, the almost conversational tone of delivery actually put me in mind of Terry Pratchett. The language is witty and provides a continuous source of humour throughout the book, everything from the dialogue to description works to bring a chuckle as you read.

While the book may have a strong...

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reviewed by Aaron Miles on Thursday 07 May 2015

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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