Category: Fantasy

Apr 14 2019

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton

So on the one hand, I didn’t get anywhere near as mad at this second (final?) book as I did at its predecessor, The Belles. There were still a few moments of “oh, come on” but they faded into insignificance next to the real problem with this book: it feels entirely rushed. It’s not even …

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Apr 06 2019

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Good grief, what an annoying novel. It starts out okay: Rae “Sunshine” Seddon is a fairly ordinary baker in a magical post-apocalyptic world who makes the mistake of driving out to the family cabin by the lake by herself one night. She’s subsequently abducted by vampires and manages to escape, which is only the beginning …

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Apr 01 2019

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I nearly set this one down about a third of the way through. The violence just seemed gratuitous, played for yuks (and for yucks), divorced from anything meaningful going on in the story. I stuck with it because I was curious about some of the characters and, to be honest, because the book isn’t that …

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Mar 12 2019

The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab

V. E. Schwab’s first novel reads very much like a first novel. Her writing is terrific, as always, but eeesh, the plot. Or, rather, the insistence on using idiotic reactions to further the plot. Our heroine, Lexi, is a teenage girl in the town of Near. Her father died three years ago, leaving her, her …

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Mar 08 2019

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James

This is a daunting book to read, and not because of its length or its subject matter or, even, commitment to violence and vulgarity, but because it isn’t written like a book. The tale of Red Wolf (or Tracker, as he prefers to be called) is an oral history told, for the most part, by …

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Mar 02 2019

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

There are lots of really great things about this book. The world-building is A++, with an excellent, well-described magic system and a very rich fantasy setting that is gloriously and unapologetically Afrocentric. The plot skips along briskly, and the depictions of rage and righteous anger are both compelling and wholly convincing. I liked that there …

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Feb 11 2019

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Martha Wells has recently received a lot of attention for her Murderbot novellas (Doreen’s reviews of the first three are here, here, and here), but she has been publishing fantasy and science fiction novels since the early 1990s, snagging a Nebula nomination for The Death of the Necromancer in 1998. Wheel of the Infinite, her …

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Feb 10 2019

The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

I suppose The Labyrinth Index marks the time in the Laundryverse when horror overtakes humor, and the combining apocalypses leave the characters nothing to do but get on with it in the face of diminishing hope for the human race, but honestly it makes the book a bit of a slog. The Laundry is, or …

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Feb 04 2019

The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Tower of the Swallow is what happens when an author wrestles with the middle-book problem, and loses. Nothing happens, or rather, a great deal happens but none of it matters a dickie-bird until the last 30 pages or so (out of 400), at which time Ciri, the child of destiny, definitively escapes the several …

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Jan 19 2019

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton

If you’d told me after I read Rebel Of The Sands that this series would go on to be one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever enjoyed, I would probably have laughed in your face. The first book was pretty rough in terms of storytelling but had so much promise. The second book made …

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