In the past month we’ve had a pretty good haul of reviews, twenty-one since my last round up, although we’ve had a larger proportion of YA to adult books than usual.
The most science fictiony book reviewed this past month was Lifeboat by A B Shepherd, reviewed by Brenda. It’s a story of alien abduction, supposedly rescuing people after disaster struck Earth. She recommends it to everyone and enjoyed it for being different to other UFO/alien stories.
Although I would call it fantasy rather than science fiction, Nalini Haynes reviewed Suited by Jo Anderton, the second book of the Veiled Worlds series. She writes “Suited overlaps magic and science in an alien world populated with humans or human-like people,” and regards it as an enjoyable read.
Thoraiya Dyer received the most reviews this month, with two for her recent collection, Asymmetry, and one for her novella The Company Articles of Edward Teach. Asymmetry contains four stories across a few genres including fantasy and science fiction. In his review Dave Versace, writes “I am comfortable adding Thoraiya Dyer’s name to my list of must-read authors on the basis of this collection,” and Mark Webb writes:
I can see why Dyer is gathering such praise. The writing is tight, but very evocative and her development of characters across very short story arcs is enviable. Her thematic exploration of power imbalances in this collection is impressive; to create such an array of very different stories that each throws a contrasting light on the asymmetric theme is quite an achievement.
I read and reviewed The Company Articles of Edward Teach and enjoyed the novella about two teens transported back in time to a pirate ship, highly recommend.
The only horror book reviewed this month was Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near. Elimy writes:
A cotton candy gothic fairytale set in the modern world, Fairy Tales for Wilde Girls is the story of sixteen year old Isola Wilde, and what happens when she finds a dead girl living in the woods behind her house. … I also couldn’t put the book down. Near’s pacing and tension were perfect.
Shaheen also loved it. Her favourite part was “the imagery, the dreamlike quality Near instills in the book, the vivid, raw, chilling atmosphere that permeates the world.”
On the paranormal romance front, Erin Golding reviewed Keri Arthur’s Full Moon Rising, which she didn’t expect to include quite so many steamy scenes. She found Arthur to be a good writer who created a complex fantasy world and expects that fans of erotic paranormal romance will love the book. Marcia reviewed the novella, Captivation, by Nicola Moriarty. She say of it, “a quick read with some fantastically steamy scenes”.
Along the lines of more traditional fantasy, Dave Versace reviewed Fire & Ice by Patty Jansen, the first book in her fantasy trilogy. He enjoyed some aspects of the novel, particularly the prose and characterisation, but some other aspects dragged it down a bit for him. He says he will seek out more of Jansen’s work but probably not the rest of this series. Helen Venn reviewed Deborah Kalin’s gritty fantasy novel, Shadow Queen. She writes:
The author keeps a tight grip on a complex story of politics and psychological manipulation that reveals itself slowly as Tilde learns more about herself, her family and her kingdom and its enemies. The characters are well-drawn with a blend of strengths and weaknesses and, often, surprising sides to them. As it should be, no-one is perfect in this world where betrayal is commonplace.
Finally, I reviewed A Blight of Mages by Karen Miller, a stand-alone prequel to her Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology. It’s an interesting story of class systems and how ambition and arrogance can end particularly badly.
I’m Tsana Dolichva and I’ve been reading and enjoying Australian speculative fiction since I first started reading “grown up” books (back before YA was its own genre). More recently, I’ve been blogging my reviews over at the creatively titled Tsana’s Reads. I irregularly blog about science in science fiction over at the Science Fiction Writers’ Guide to Space. When not reading or writing, I’m probably working towards my PhD in astrophysics.