In a future where bureaucracy and totalitarianism have supplanted capitalism as our national language, the city of Recoletta’s own police force has a hard time getting permission to do its job. In Carrie Patel’s THE BURIED LIFE everything is compartmentalized and strictly need-to-know, which makes solving a series of murders amongst the elite very difficult. Not that that would stop a couple of investigators looking for the truth.
Short stories are a difficult form to master in any case, but when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, the author has an even tougher challenge: building an entire world in just a few pages. As with any short-story collection featuring multiple authors, some of the contributions to MAGIC CITY: RECENT SPELLS, edited by Paula Guran, are more successful than others. Ultimately, I think the anthology does a great job of showcasing many different interpretations of ‘urban fantasy’ and gives readers the chance to discover something new.
From an initial, chilling fall into darkness, Sarah Beth Durst brings hope and magic to a horrific, almost apocalyptic landscape. Don’t pick up this book unless you have time to make it through at least the first half of Lauren’s journey, as her grief and circumstances will make it painful to leave her until she finds her footing.
CONFESSIONS OF THE VERY FIRST ZOMBIE SLAYER (THAT I KNOW OF) felt very reminiscent of The Walking Dead with slow walking zombies, groups of people battling against each other for resources while a zombie horde threatens humanity’s very existence. Except this story revolves around kids with
I always enjoy books that make me think about the basic question of what it means to be human. EXPIRATION DAY is definitely one of those books. Set in a not-so-far future, where most humans can’t have children, we get all the classics: can robots be creative? Can they experience emotion? If they’re creative and emotional, are they not as human as homo sapiens? These are all fascinating questions to ponder, and rather than detract from the story, they add to it, giving a somewhat regular “coming of age” story depth and a completely different angle.
THE HAVEN is a thrilling, romantic way to introduce young readers to dystopian human rights, but may not be satisfying for anyone who knows where Soylent Green comes from or who has been to The Island with Ewan McGregor. A short, age-appropriate adventure, THE HAVEN is best suited for a younger audience.
The first novel in Victoria Scott’s new YA series is CATCHING FIRE, THE GOLDEN COMPASS, and The Amazing Race all rolled into one. But imagine if Katniss couldn’t hunt, or Lyra couldn’t communicate with Pantalaimon. Now imagine that they were still determined to do whatever it took to save those they loved and you’ll understand Tella Holloway’s dilemma in FIRE & FLOOD.
I’m going to be completely honest here and say what we’re all thinking – a comparison to both George Orwell and Suzanne Collins in the same sentence doesn’t exactly make sense, does it? And while I appreciate the publisher’s desire to pull in THE HUNGER GAMES’ audience, if you go into THE OFFICE OF MERCY looking for another Katniss, you’re going to be disappointed. Not because THE OFFICE OF MERCY is in any way inferior to THE HUNGER GAMES, but it’s a totally different type of book – in the same way that Collins and Orwell wrote very different works, even though they may both have books that take place in dystopian environments.
Overall I found PAWN to be a pretty decent dystopian YA novel even though it bore many similarities to other novels in the genre. Luckily, the story veers off into its own direction and becomes a pretty interesting story about identity, self-worth, and overcoming obstacles set up by the government.
Fans of X-men and Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series will fall in love with the MetaWars. With scientific enhancements and mutations that are all but magic, this politically messy series contains a world that has remade itself over and over again. And despite that complexity, I jumped in with CHIMERA and found myself up to speed and invested from page one.