Fanged Royalty: Kate Locke’s “God Save the Queen”
Oct19

Fanged Royalty: Kate Locke’s “God Save the Queen”

I have to say I was a bit leery when I started to read debut novelist, Kate Locke’s God Save the Queen, the first in The Immortal Empire series, a supernatural steampunk urban fantasy mystery set in an alternate United Kingdom in which the Plague spread vampirism, lycanthropy and more throughout Europe, and in which an undead Queen Victoria is still ruling her empire–not necessarily because it didn’t sound like a fun...

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Resurrecting a God: Max Gladstone’s “Three Parts Dead”
Oct10

Resurrecting a God: Max Gladstone’s “Three Parts Dead”

Ever since I learned that Tor would be publishing my friend, Max Gladstone’s, novel, I’ve been extremely eager to get my hands on the book. And it does not disappoint. With strong, unique characters, superior and highly imaginative world building, and an expertly structured plot that gradually builds in intensity until reaching a genuinely stunning climax, Three Parts Dead is an absolutely brilliant debut that works on...

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City on Fire: Jonathan Barnes’ “The Somnambulist” (2007) and “The Domino Men” (2009)
Jul10

City on Fire: Jonathan Barnes’ “The Somnambulist” (2007) and “The Domino Men” (2009)

Some characters are so larger than life, they seem to eclipse any literary work that attempts to contain them. There are two such characters in Jonathan Barnes’ two novels, The Somnambulist and The Domino Men, the latter title of which is an alternate means of address for these two mercurial beings who appear in both stories despite the fact that the first is set in Edwardian London and the second in contemporary London. These two...

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Indian Voyage: Sarah A. Hoyt’s “Soul of Fire” (2008)
Jul06

Indian Voyage: Sarah A. Hoyt’s “Soul of Fire” (2008)

In Soul of Fire, Sarah A. Hoyt’s glittering and engaging sequel to Heart of Light, British gentleman and were-dragon Peter Farewell embarks on a daunting and dangerous journey to the heart of British-controlled India. His mission: to find and recover “Soul of Fire,” twin gem to “Heart of Light” and deliver it to his friend, Nigel Oldhall, so that Nigel can return both gems to their rightful place, the first temple mankind ever built,...

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“Magical Mystery Tour”: Sarah A. Hoyt’s “Heart of Light” (2008)
Jul05

“Magical Mystery Tour”: Sarah A. Hoyt’s “Heart of Light” (2008)

Heart of Light, the first installment in Sarah A. Hoyt’s Magical British Empire series, took me somewhat by surprise. I say somewhat by surprise because, having read the back cover blurb and admired the cover art, I was half-expecting to love it. I totally loved it. Not unreserved love, mind you, but it was what I hoped for and more, and if, in places, I found a small quibble with pacing or characterization, by the end of the...

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Wizards and Witches: K. E. Mills’ “Rogue Agent” Series
Jul05

Wizards and Witches: K. E. Mills’ “Rogue Agent” Series

Poor Gerald Dunwoody. A lowly Third Grade Wizard working as an inspector for the Department of Thaumaturgy who loses his job after inadvertently blowing up Stuttley’s Superior (Wizard) Staffs factory and thereby discovering he may be a far more powerful sorcerer than anybody previously realized, Gerald soon finds himself moving to the faraway tiny kingdom of New Ottosland, along with his talking bird, Reg (a former despotic queen who...

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