GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second book syndrome of not living up to the expectations of the previous book and being a dull set up to the expected major events of the third and last book. Its exciting, fun, and attention grabbing with mysteries wrapped around yet more mystery.
Genre: Science Fiction
MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEASTLY TALES was a mixed bag for me with some stories being pretty entertaining and spooky while others fell flat or just outright confused me. Each story involved a twist on a classic monster or monsters who inhabit the world living alongside humans.
Original and intriguing, HOUSE IMMORTAL falls closer to the science-fiction spectrum of books than urban fantasy. However, with the kickass heroine, powerful, near immortal beings, fun sidekicks, and original world, HOUSE IMMORTAL will definitely appeal to the standard urban fantasy reader.
THE HOT ZONE was one of those books that sort of fits into two genres. Its a paranormal romance of sorts yet it is also a sci-fi story set on a futuristic Earth colony. I had some trouble understanding exactly where Harmony was located. Are they on a moon once inhabited by aliens or some random planet far away from Earth? I really couldn’t figure it out but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this strange new world.
Whereas ICONS was a fast-paced, rush of a novel, IDOLS is a slow burn, with bits and pieces offered to the reader throughout, until the big reveal at the end. While not a bad thing, my expectation was for a higher level of action, and I was mildly disappointed at the resulting slowness.
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.
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.
DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT could have been so good- and it sounded so good, which is why I picked it up. Unfortunately, it felt like the author was trying to shove too many ideas into one book, and ultimately didn’t succeed at making any of them super compelling. Though well-written, it just didn’t offer many opportunities for the reader to really dig into the story, which made it less enjoyable than it could have.
In LAGOON, Nnedi Okorafor poses the question: what if first contact with aliens took place not in New York, London, or Tokyo, but the beach city of Lagos, Nigeria? The answer is something both utterly human and uniquely African. In addition to stunning detail of both city and marine life, Okorafor fills this novel with a dozen points of view, but rather than confusing the narrative, those sections allow the reader to experience all sides of the encounter that leads to some of Nigeria’s darkest days, and to understand why different people react so differently to something ‘alien.’