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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
Book Review

Defender

GX Todd

Defender by GX Todd

In the dark future of Defender, the majority of the worlds population have died. Killed by themselves and others who were listening to voices steering their horrific actions.

Those who survived live in a hostile environment, unable to trust strangers and fighting over limited resources.

On a long dusty road a stranger walks, the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl at the side of the road. For most it's dangerous to listen to that voice. For Pi...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 21st November 2016
Book Review

Shovel Ready

Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

I found this book on Amazon while generally having a browse around and put it on my wish list for Christmas (yes, last Christmas). I finally got round to reading it, I'm glad I did!

Shovel Ready is set in a near future New York that has suffered much since a dirty bomb hit Times Square and the refuse hit the fan. Before this Spademan was a garbage collector with a wife and steady life.

Now his job is a different kind of waste disposal, he's a Hitman.

He f...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 7th November 2016
Book Review

The Disciple

Stephen Lloyd Jones

The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones

Given that today is Halloween, I thought it only right that we review a horror novel. It's also a damn good one - The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones.

It all starts on a stormy night as Edward Schwinn navigates the country roads at the edge of Devil's Kitchen, Snowdonia. On a dark road in the middle of a forest he finds a scene of devastation. Cars wrecked and on fire, bodies everywhere, but in one a heavily pregnant woman still alive.

The woman gives birth to a gi...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 31st October 2016
Book Review

Exile

Martin Owton

Exile by Martin Owton

Book one of a proposed fantasy two-parter, Exile introduces us to a patch-work world of territories ruled over by the High King from his sacred city.

The earldom of Darien is betrayed and overrun. Its exiles scatter throughout the land, determined to reclaim their ancestral rights. Aron son of Eamon, an academy trained blade master finds a place for himself in the court of Nandor and, when an expedition is launched to rescue the Earl’s son from the neighbouring duchy of Sarazan, h...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 26th October 2016
Book Review

A City Dreaming

Daniel Polansky

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky is the author of the wonderful Low Town fantasy series, which shows how great a story-teller he is. A City Dreaming stretches these talents and more.

The book follows the life of M, a magically gifted drifter with a loose grip on morality and a quick, sharp tongue. He does his best to avoid the politics of New York city however when you personally know the two opposing Queens who threaten to turn the Big Apple into a crumble, trouble is hard to avoid. If M is going t...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 24th October 2016

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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Book of the month

Defender by GX Todd
Defender by GX Todd
books for 2016

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