Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
5 Stars , Reviews / April 27, 2014

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie is exactly the type of YA book I have been waiting to find. It’s no secret, that Abercrombie is one of my favorite authors, so I was hopeful, but still wasn’t sure what to expect. In this book, Abercrombie does not compromise or dampen his story for a younger crowd. When things get dark and violent, so does the book. The detail may be a little less than his other books (maybe? Well, there’s no Glokta, but yeah, there is still violence), but Yarvi experiences some grim, dark times and those are not skipped over at all, the reader gets to see it all. And of course, it wouldn’t be an Abercrombie book if there wasn’t just the right amount of dark humor interspersed to help counter the darkness. Another thing I really appreciate about this book is that it does not have an overwhelming romance. I know there are other YA books that don’t, but often, that is my gripe. I enjoy everything about the story but some sudden obsessive love interest. Not at all the case here. Also, for those readers who found Abercrombie’s other books slower to get into, I think you…

Moon’s Artifice by Tom Lloyd
4.5 Stars , Reviews / April 21, 2014

  Tom Lloyd’s Moon’s Artifice may very well be the least talked about book from the last 6 months that people really should be talking about. At least of the books I have read. Earlier this year I deemed a new release over-hyped. This one is the opposite. It’s under-hyped. After reading it, I decided that I have not heard nearly enough people recommend or review it based the quality of writing and the enjoyability of the story. I have not read anything else by Lloyd, so really did not know what to expect. One thing that this book did very well was hooked me in early. We are dropped into the middle of “something”, but pretty much have to read the book to figure out exactly what it was that happened. And from there, I stayed hooked. There is mystery, assassins, Gods, Demons, conspiracy, secret sects, in other words, there is plenty going on here to keep the reader going. Our protagonist, Narin, is an Inspector who by some chance sequence of events happens to knock an unknown man unconscious. From here, the story starts to unfold. A God appears and asks Narin a question, “Who is the Moon?”…

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
4 Stars , Reviews / April 13, 2014

  On a recent road trip with my boys (ages 9 and 11), I gave them several choices for audiobooks. Most of them were books I had read reviews for or had recommendations for.  After they read the blurbs and listened to the samples, they quickly agreed on Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves.  This was the one option that I knew little about, I have not had it recommended for them, and I had not read any reviews, but they were interested, so that settled it. Decision made (as I hoped beyond hope that the fact I had heard nothing about this book co-authored by Neil Gaiman was not a bad sign). Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The story, about a boy named Joey Harkin, who has a tendency to get lost even within his own house, suddenly finds himself in a familiar, yet completely different world. Evidently he has the ability to walk between worlds, which range from purely scientific worlds to worlds completely ruled by magic (and all the worlds in between these two extremes). I am not familiar with other works by Michael Reaves and therefor am not able to pick out…

The Corpse Rat King by Lee Battersby
4 Stars , Reviews / April 7, 2014

  Corpse Rat King by Lee Battersby is full of wonderfully macabre atmosphere and attitude. Marius don Hellespont makes his gory living by wading through battlefields, liberating the dead of their valuables (in other words, he is a corpse rat). Our story begins as Marius and his lackwit assistant Gerd are interrupted as they are making their latest collection. I’ll skip over any spoilers here and just say it results in Marius being sucked into the underworld where he is mistaken as a dead king. Once the army of dead realize the mistake, they send Marius on a journey to find them a dead king (I guess they are in serious need of a deceased monarch). As incentive, the dead are able to hold his life ransom, so while he is making this journey, he does so as a walking corpse. As Marius travels, we get to see him stammer through many different situations, obstacles, setback and such, all of which are made more interesting and disgusting because of his lack of life. And some of which would never be possible otherwise. One thing that I need to make clear about this book, is Battersby writing skills are top notch….

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (Minor spoiler)
4 Stars , Reviews / April 4, 2014

  Vampire books are an interesting breed. Nowadays, it seems that when I hear “vampire” in relation to a book, the first thing that comes to mind is paranormal romance where some beautiful young woman will catch the eye of an immortal, centuries old vampire and well, insert whatever sexually explicit magic you think happens next here. Maybe I am alone in this, but I can’t help it. That is truthfully my knee-jerk reaction. Now, that said, I absolutely know that is not always the case. There are some phenomenal vampire books that do not contain swooning romances. You can see my reviews for I am Legend by Richard Matheson or Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin for just two examples. So, what does all this have to do with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? Where does this one stand? Most aspects of this book, I absolutely loved. It is dark and it portrays the really dangerous, scary side of vampires instead of just glorifying them as sexy undead that happen to drink blood.  Actually, within this world, there are segments of the society and media that do glorify them, just not everyone. I really like how, while there…

Cover Reveal: The Guild of Assassins (The Majat Code Book II) by Anna Kashina
Covers / April 3, 2014

I often like to share my love for Angry Robot books, but I have to admit I probably have not shared my love their covers as much as I could have. Let’s face it, covers are important whether we like to admit it or not and Angry Robot has a history of selecting great artists that produce memorable covers. So today, I am happy to participate in the cover reveal for The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina. This is the sequel to Blades of the Old Empire and here is the blurb provided by Angry Robot: Kara has achieved something that no Majat has ever managed – freedom from the Guild! But the Black Diamond assassin Mai has been called back to face his punishment for sparing her life. Determined to join his fight or share his punishment, Kara finds herself falling for Mai. But is their relationship – and the force that makes their union all-powerful – a tool to defeat the overpowering forces of the Kaddim armies, or a distraction sure to cause the downfall of the Majat? File Under: Fantasy [ Duty vs Honor | Forbidden | Unstoppable | Back in Black ] So, without further ado, here it…

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
4 Stars , Reviews / April 1, 2014

  I heard about Dark Eden probably close to a year ago. The blurb definitely intrigued me. It describes a population of humans on sunless planet where light comes not from the sky, but from the things that live and grow there. It’s a story of one young man breaking from the confines of the group, determined to explore the Dark that surrounds where they live and change the way their world thinks and acts. So why didn’t I read this sooner? It certainly got a lot of praise in the UK, winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel in 2013 and was a British Science Fiction Association Award Nominee for Best Novel in 2012. Well, while it was busy doing well in the UK, it was not released in the US. Until today, that is. So, now that I have my hands on a copy of this book, what do I think? Does it live up to the hype? Hmmm. I suspect that will depend on who you are. It is different different. Personally, I quite enjoyed it.  The world was eerie, yet had a beauty to it. Light (and not just white light, but variable colors…