Aug 072014
Martin Reviews: Afterparty

Daryl Gregory’s new book Afterparty (Tor Books 2014) couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I was right in the middle of a punishing slog through Peter Hamilton’s 2012 novel Great North Road, where the plot is so overwhelmingly forced and the characters so underwhelmingly two-dimensional, that I was beginning to wonder if this huge tome (the trade paperback is over one thousand pages, and it must weigh at least a couple pounds) was worth finishing. Gregory’s book provided the perfect relief. Where Hamilton’s story contains a vast set of characters, Gregory’s is a tidy first person narrative. Where Hamilton’s […]

Jul 252014
Genevieve Reviews: Midnight Thief

I’d been looking forward to reading this book for a long time and I was counting down the days until it came out, but I ended underwhelmed. The plot is actually pretty interesting and as I was reading it I was thinking, I should be engrossed by this, I should be on the edge of my seat, but I never got there. The writing in this book is very simplistic, and I didn’t get a real sense of personality or voice from it. There weren’t any clever turns of phrase, no attitude in the narration at all. When I’m reading […]

Jul 112014
Genevieve Reviews: Ruin and Rising

The third book in a series always has a lot to do. Plot threads need to be wrapped up, the bad guy needs to be dealt with, romances need to be resolved. Maybe that’s why I always feel a little let down by final instalments in a series. There so much the book need to cover, it rarely gives completely satisfying closure. That’s why this book really surprised me. It did a great job of wrapping up everything with the primary characters. There wasn’t a ton of action in the book, but I still enjoyed the story. Actually, I was […]

Jul 032014
Genevieve Reviews: The Scorpio Races

I.LOVED. This. Book. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about this one, but for the most part I just loved how weird it was. Let me explain. On the island of Thisby, killer horses come out of the water every October, and the islanders race them down the beach. When I first started reading I wasn’t sure if that concept would be too weird for me, but the book manages to killer horses and make them seem real. Thisby has its own traditions, like delicious, gooey November cakes, the rider’s parade, writing a wish backwards in ashes […]

Jun 262014
Genevieve Reviews: Nameless

After tearing through Wayfarer, which was the second book in this series (I accidently read it out of order) I was really excited to read Nameless. I wasn’t disappointed. This one is very loosely based on Snow White. Cami, the main character, doesn’t remember where she came from and she struggles to feel like she belongs in her family and still wants to know what happened to her in her past. This series features one of the more interesting, weird systems of magic I’ve seen. Cami was adopted by the Family, which are, as close as I can tell, mafia […]

Jun 132014
Genevieve Reviews: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. Once the story really got going, it was captivating and I was on the edge of my seat until the very end wondering how everything was going to turn out. It was also impressive that the book had eleven sisters who managed to have, if not totally developed personalities, at least enough unique character traits for each sister that I knew which one was which, and I cared about what happened to all of them. Particularly, I ended up very invested in the romance between Josephine […]

Jun 062014
Genevieve Reviews: Wayfarer

There were lots of things to like about Wayfarer. I’m a fan of reinventing fairy tales, and this one is definitely puts an original twist on Cinderella. Her take on the fairy god mother was fantastic. The book is dark and funny at the same time, and I really enjoyed the author’s quirky and descriptive writing style. Ell as a character is likeable, despite the fact that sometimes she misreads things so badly I just want to shake her. I ended up liking the fact that she was determined and trying to do things on her own. Also, I think […]

May 302014
Genevieve Reviews: Nihal of the Land of the Wind

This seemed like it had everything I wanted: epic battles, magic, and a girl who wants to be a warrior. And at first, I was enjoying it. The beginning felt slow, but I was willing to overlook that because it seemed like it was setting the stage for later events. But as the story hit and then passed its midway point, the pace and the tension never picked up. I think the reason the story wasn’t all that engrossing was the writing style. According to the blub about the book, this novel was originally a best seller in Italy and […]

May 162014
Genevieve Reviews: House of Ivy & Sorrow

House of Ivy and Sorrow starts off with a line about an old witch who lives under the bridge of a freeway who can foresee your death for a lock of hair and make someone love you for the small price of a pinkie finger, and it just gets more and more engrossing from there. The book has its own personality and style, which made it easy to get caught up in the story. Jo, the main character, has a funny, quirky voice and I really liked being in her head, which was a big plus since the book’s in […]

Mar 252014
Martin Reviews: Questionable Practices

  Reading Eileen Gunn’s latest collection of short fiction, Questionable Practices (Small Beer Press, 2014), is like buying a grab bag full of fireworks, having a few beers and then lighting fuses…and with each fuse, you have no idea what to expect. Launch. Color. Bang! It’s all here in an extraordinary display of virtuosity and craftsmanship. This collection is a perfect example of what contemporary speculative fiction should be, and Gunn is fearless as she leads us through the captivating landscape of her imagination. The three strongest pieces in this collection are “Up the Fire Road, “ “Chop Wood, Carry […]