Fantasy Book Review

At Fantasy Book Review we are dedicated to reading and reviewing the very best fantasy books for both children and adults (both young and old).

Latest reviews

The City by Stella Gemmell

The City book cover
7.0

The City is ancient and vast and has been waging almost constant war for centuries. At its heart resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime - and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a few have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to halt the emperor's unslakebale thirst for war is to end his unnaturally long life. From the crumbling catacombs beneath the City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels emerge. Their hopes rest on one man. A man who was once the emperor's foremost general - a revered soldier who could lead an uprising and liberate a city, a man who was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is now believed to be dead...

"I will be the first to admit that I picked up this story with my own reservations and preconception, but was very happy to have them changed. This is a great addition to the epic fantasy genre." Fergus McCartan

 

Battle Royale Volume 6 by Masayuki Taguchi and Koushun Takami

Battle Royale Volume 6 book cover
9.0

Having recovered from her fever, Noriko is now ready to travel, but her trip is cut short by the powerful Hiroki. Confronted by Shogo, the two come to blows until Shuuya intervenes. Inviting Hiroki to join them, the young martial artist briefly considers it, but ultimately goes his own way, revealing that he's searching for Kyoichi Motobuchi. Making plans to re-join the alliance as soon as he finds Kyoichi, Hiroki departs just as the alliance finds itself under attack. When it's discovered that the attacker is Kazuo, Shuuya agrees to distract him while Shogo and Noriko flee. It's a sacrifice that will cost him dearly. Shuuya survives, but just barely. Having caught several rounds from Kazuo's machine gun, it's only through the interference of Hiroki that Shuuya escapes with his life. Meanwhile, Shinji and Yutaka are on the verge of completing their plan to take out the "school," when the bumbling Yutaka loses an integral piece of equipment. With his temper slowly rising, how will the frustrated Shinji react?

"Takami and Taguchi hit all the bases with the martial arts angles, friendships and being under pressure, watching their friends die and the obligatory fan service for the boys. Battle Royale Volume 6 is just one of the shonen (boys category of series) that puts characters in a no win situation where they have to battle for their lives on a daily basis." Sandra Scholes

The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

The Long Mars book cover
8.5

2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has ulterior motives... Meanwhile U. S. Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has embarked on an incredible journey of her own, leading an expedition to the outer limits of the far Long Earth. For Joshua, the crisis he faces is much closer to home. He becomes embroiled in the plight of the Next: the super-bright post-humans who are beginning to emerge from their 'long childhood' in the community called Happy Landings, located deep in the Long Earth. Ignorance and fear are causing 'normal' human society to turn against the Next - and a dramatic showdown seems inevitable...

"The third “Long” novel from this collaboration is an improvement on the second effort. The content and style of it seems to be more Baxter than Pratchett – the latter’s hand is clear in the Lobsang episodes but it seems the waning powers of the author have meant Baxter has taken a lead on this latest effort. It is heavier on the science fiction, with lighter touches on brow-breaking philosophy… a subject matter Pratchett indulged in with his last Discworld novel – Raising Steam." travelswithadiplomat

Maximum Ride Volume 7 by James Patterson

Maximum Ride Volume 7 book cover
8.5

Fang's blog has brought ITEX and their cruel research to the world's attention, and his readers take a stand at the facility where Max and the girls are being held, shutting the organisation down. But Max isn't through saving the world yet! When the Flock is asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the effects of global warming, the expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure and activism. But even in Antarctica, Max is an irresistible target with the eyes of the world upon her. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world...

"While Ari closely resembles Wolverine from the X-Men, Patterson goes onto parody the characters as having mutant-like traits from these comics. Max is a strong female role model while Ari tries desperately to change who he is and find Max. This manga shows that anyone can change, even the bad guys." Sandra Scholes, Fantasy Book Review

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
9.5

Animal Farm is set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others, and the animals start to question their supposed utopia. Little by little, the rules begin to mysteriously change, and the pigs seem to gain power little by little, making the animals question what society they were striving for in the first place and whether their new-found freedom is as liberating as they might have hoped.

"Animal Farm by George Orwell was first published in 1945 and will be celebrating its seventieth birthday next year. It is still a keen area of debate whether it remains relevant for readers of this generation - I certainly believe it is, and the fact that it is still studied as part of the United Kingdom’s English Literature curriculum would add further credence to this opinion. I re-read the novella last night and found its themes and messages just as powerful, moving and relevant as they must have been seven decades ago." Floresiensis, Fantasy Book Review

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