Marie Brennan is a wizard at mixing the real world and magic, whether in the past or present. No book better exemplifies her skill than THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS, a facsimile of a historical memoir that effectively adds hints of modernity in it’s structure, character growth, and fast paced adventure.
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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.’
A brilliant, chilling ghost story, SILENCE FOR THE DEAD created such a vivid world I couldn’t bear to put it down. This story is as romantic and terrifying as reading Jane Eyre for the first time, and as soon as I finished it I rushed back through my gothic favorites to continue savoring the tone.
With HALF-OFF RAGNAROK we get the same action packed, funny and at times emotional story we’ve come to expect in an InCryptid novel except there is a narration change with Alex Price, brother of Verity from the first two books. After hearing so much about Verity’s siblings and grandparents in MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL and DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON I was happy to finally get a whole book involving Alex and their cryptid grandmother and cousin.
MURDER OF CROWS should come with a warning: “Don’t open this book until you have time read the entire thing”. This second installment in The Others series has all of the humor and magic and sweet romance of WRITTEN IN RED, but this time with a threat that takes the stakes to a global level. This series is fascinating and heartwarming, and I treasure each new page that adds to its world.
As satisfying for the quiet interactions in the background as for the sweeping action or big character growth, THE UNDEAD POOL is The Hollows at it’s best. The paranormal world of Rachel Morgan is an intricate ecosystem of magic and normalcy, and never is that so apparent as here near the series’s end.
Along with a rollicking good and at times hilarious story WITCH INTERRUPTED puts a keen twist on werewolf and witch mythology that is so different from what I’m used to that I had to go back and re-read sections just to get it all straight. The fact that I had to go back is not a criticism so much as a comment on how attached to the
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.
Ever find that series that’s the equivalent of binge-watching a new show on Netflix? The Holders is turning into that for me. I started reading THE HOLDERS days ago and finished it Friday night. I read THE SEERS today. All day.
After GENERATION V, I was extremely curious to see where Brennan was going to take her characters in IRON NIGHT, the second book in the American Vampire series. My cautious optimism (one can never be too sure about a second book) was rewarded tenfold – IRON NIGHT is a spectacular follow up to GENERATION V, and I can’t imagine how it could have been better.