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Ryan Lawler profile

Place of birth: Canberra, Australia
Now living: Canberra, Australia

Visit Ryan's website - Website: http://ryanlawler86.wordpress.com

3 favourite authors

3 favourite books

3 favourite films

Ryan Lawler's 192 reviews

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is a new story in a new world by an author who is trying (and succeeding in my opinion) to stand out as one of the premier fantasy storytellers of the last few years. It is a story set in a world of great challenge, where the environment itself works against the people who rely on it, about a bunch of gifted individua...

9.5/10

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Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

Time Salvager is a new series by Wesley Chu, a far future sci-fi novel where people use time travel to salvage resources from the past just before they would have been destroyed. It’s definitely a cool concept that is well executed, and while it never rose above the level of popcorn fiction, I still had a pretty good time with it.Th...

8.0/10

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The Silent Army by James A Moore (Seven Forges series)

The Silent Army by James A. Moore is the fourth book in the Seven Forges series. There is some contention about whether or not this is the final book in the series, but I hope it is not the final book as I need more Seven Forges book in my life.The story follows on immediately after the conclusion of City of Wonders, with the city of Old ...

9.8/10

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The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

The Wheel of Osheim was the only book I could have possibly read next following on from the ultimate cliffhanger at the conclusion of the previous story. So, apologies to other authors whose books I have still to review but I simply had to find out what events would follow the prior outing and also, to see how The Red Queen's war against a m...

9.9/10

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The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

** This review contains minor spoilers **The Liar's Key is the second book in Lawrence's The Red Queen's War trilogy. I adored Prince of Fools which followed Jalan's escapades across The Broken Empire and therefore picked up this book as soon as I could.The survivors from the quest to the Black Fort are Jalan, Snorr...

9.5/10

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The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North is the third novel and fourth complete work by the author using this pen name (she also writes children’s fantasy as Catherine Webb and young adult fantasy as Kate Griffin). I have been an ardent supporter of her work, recommending it to everyone and anyone, and while her new novel is fantastic...

9.0/10

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A Whisper of Southern Lights by Tim Lebbon (Assassins)

A Whisper of Southern Lights by Tim Lebbon is the third novella in the Assassin series following on from Deadman's Hand and Pieces of Hate (which were published together as a single volume). I really like the way Lebbon writes, and with this volume he shows he can put together an intriguing plot too.The story is set in Singapore durin...

8.0/10

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Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

Central Station by Lavie Tidhar is a far future sci-fi that imagines a space-faring humanity, a vastly changed earth, and the full integration of technology into society. It is a collection of short stories that are all tied together with an overarching plot, and it touches on things like faith, evolution, discrimination, and more.The sto...

8.5/10

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Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy)

Morning Star by Pierce Brown is the third and final book of the Red Rising trilogy, a book that was hyped beyond belief given how good Golden Son was. And in my opinion Morning Star lived up to that hype, though it did not exceed the lofty standard set by Golden Son.The story commences some time after the events of Golden Son, with Darrow...

6.9/10

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The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu (Tao)

The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu is a novella length story set after the events of the original Tao trilogy. Chu describes this book as a bridging novella that will help to set the scene for his new trilogy with all new characters. And it works, not just as a bridging novella but also as an entertaining story. You could probably read this without h...

8.0/10

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Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon (Assassins)

Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon is the first volume of the Assassin series, collecting the first two novellas "Deadman's Hand" and "Pieces of Hate". If the name Tim Lebbon sounds familiar, it's probably because you always see his name on the covers of tie-in novels or novelisations of your favourite movies. You will be p...

7.0/10

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Touch by Claire North

Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOME PEOPLE TOUCH LIVES. OTHERS TAKE THEM. I DO BOTH.Touch by Claire North is a stand alone novel set in a modern era with a focus on entities known as ghosts who live by ...

9.0/10

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War God Rising by Tim Marquitz

War God Rising by Tim Marquitz is a stand-alone comedic heroic fantasy that takes all of those long standing heroic fantasy tropes we know and love, like farm boys and prophecies, embraces them, and then pokes fun at them. If you have had your fill of heavy / serious / dark fantasy, you should look to War God Rising as an opportunity to read som...

9.0/10

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Downfall of the Gods by KJ Parker

Downfall of the Gods is a standalone novella by KJ Parker, a story about a pantheon of gods and how they interact with the mortals who worship them. I've always been a fan of KJ Parker's novels, so I've always been meaning to try one of Parker's novellas, and I'm glad I did because this was an excellent story.Downfall ...

9.0/10

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The Master by Claire North (Gamehouse)

The Master by Claire North is the third and final novella in the Gamehouse trilogy, one that builds on the work of the first two novellas to deliver a thrilling finale. While each of the Gamehouse novellas is self contained, there are some key plot points in The Master that relies on events from The Serpent and The Thief, so you should probably ...

9.0/10

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The Thief by Claire North (Gamehouse)

The Thief by Claire North is the second novella in the Gamehouse trilogy, and in my opinion the best of the three by quite a substantial margin. That is saying something given how much I enjoyed the other two novellas. These novellas, while connected by the entity that is the gamehouse, tell contained stories in different locations and different...

10.0/10

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The Serpent by Claire North (Gamehouse)

The Serpent by Claire North is the first novella in the Gamehouse trilogy, a series that revolves around a supernatural casino where the game boards are locations, the pieces are people, and the stakes can be just about anything. As with previous Claire North works, the Gamehouse novellas are quite literary in style, with clever supernatural ele...

9.5/10

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City of Wonders by James A Moore (Seven Forges series)

City of Wonders by James A. Moore is the third book in the Seven Forges series, an epic fantasy interpretation of David and Goliath. Moore did not start out as an epic fantasy author, his roots are firmly planted in the horror realm, and those roots show through here as Moore gives us some truly imaginative and chilling moments. You should reall...

9.5/10

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The Shootout Solution by Michael R Underwood

The Shootout Solution by Michael R. Underwood is the first "episode" in the Genrenauts serial by Michael R. Underwood. The book is standard novella length, coming in at around 150 pages, so bigger than what you normally get per episode in a serial. I'm really enjoying this length of story at the moment as I can get through a story ...

8.0/10

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Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead is the first book of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, an urban fantasy set in a sprawling city on a world different to our own, full of familiar supernatural creatures and unfamiliar gods and magic. This is the first book in the series but, from what I understand, each book in the series is self contained and can be read as ...

9.0/10

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The Blasted Lands by James A Moore (Seven Forges series)

The Blasted Lands by James A. Moore is the second book in the Seven Forges series, a series that has managed to capture and hold my attention. If you liked the first book then you will be happy to know that The Blasted Lands does more of the same, exploring multiple plot threads with some high intensity action set pieces and thought provoking in...

9.0/10

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is the first book of a new series set within her Grisha universe (or Grishaverse as it has been termed elsewhere). Prior reading of her Grisha trilogy is not required as Six of Crows is a novel set in entirely different locations with all new characters; but, as with most new series set in an established universe, y...

9.5/10

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Mythmaker by Marianne de Pierres (Peacemaker)

Mythmaker by Marianne de Pierres is the second book in the Peacemaker series where urban fantasy meets cyberpunk meets spaghetti western meets various other sub-genres and labels. It's always great to read a book by an author who wants to push the envelope, and while Mythmaker didn't work for me as much as I wanted it to; I still respect...

6.5/10

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Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea by Adam Roberts

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea by Adam Roberts is first and foremost an obvious nod to the Jules Verne classic of a similar name. While this book presents itself as homage to Verne and his classic tale, Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea comes across as a book that cannot stop agonising about various existential crises. I've loved ...

4.0/10

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The Rebirths of Tao by Wesley Chu (Tao)

The Rebirths of Tao by Wesley Chu is the third and final book in the Tao trilogy. Rebirths was slow to start but gradually picked up steam before rocketing towards a huge climax that served as a satisfying bookend to the trilogy. If you haven't tried these books yet, all I can say is "why not?!"The story takes place a number...

9.0/10

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Aftermath by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Aftermath by Tim Marquitz is the ninth book in the Demon Squad series, one that sees the main character Frank reach his nadir before slowly climbing out of the pits of a drug and alcohol fuelled depression. It's amazing to think that after nine books the Demon Squad series feels as fresh as ever, and with the events of Aftermath busting the ...

9.5/10

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Andersonville by Edward M Erdelac

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9.5/10

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The Harvest by Chuck Wendig (The Heartland Trilogy)

The Harvest by Chuck Wendig is the final book of The Heartland Trilogy, a trilogy that I will remember for the scale of its creativity, but a trilogy that I will want to forget because of how much I disliked the characters. Perhaps you are a Wendig fan and need only a few hundred pages of his excellent prose to feel satisfied, but I wanted more ...

7.0/10

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Blightborn by Chuck Wendig (The Heartland Trilogy)

Blightborn by Chuck Wendig is the second book in The Heartland Trilogy, and is a huge improvement over the first book. I almost didn't read this book given how much the characters grated on me in the first book, but I have read a few books by Wendig, I had faith that there was a method to Wendig's madness, and Blightborn certainly repaid...

9.0/10

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Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig (The Heartland Trilogy)

Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig is the first book in a Young Adult dystopian trilogy with angsty teens, flotillas full of privileged people, and corn. So much corn. Readers are having fun describing these books as corn-punk, but for your sake I'll try to refrain from the corn puns.The Heartland Trilogy is set in a world where a...

6.0/10

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Ex-Heroes: Superheroes vs Zombies by Peter Clines (Ex-Heroes)

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines is the first book in a series about a group of superheroes trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. As far as genre mashups go, this is certainly one of the better ones I've read, and I'll look forward to continuing with the series.The story follows St. George the Mighty Dragon, a man who has super streng...

7.5/10

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a stand-alone historical sci-fi novel written by Claire North (AKA Kate Griffin and Catherine Webb) about a man who lives his life, dies, and is then reborn in the same body to live his life all over again. This was a fantastic story, one that deals with complex elements such as time and passing message...

9.4/10

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Wind by KJ Taylor (Drachengott)

Wind by K. J. Taylor is the first episode of a four episode serial being released one episode per month. As far as serial episodes go, Wind is a great size, equivalent to a short novel or a long novella, which I read over a handful of sittings. Voyager: Impulse haven't exactly knocked it out of the park with their foray into serialized story...

4.9/10

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy)

You might wonder why after not exactly enjoying Red Rising I decided to read Golden Son. The first, and probably least important reason is that a book deprived childhood and a generally stubborn streak have left me with an inability to stop series mid way through, however more importantly, I have certainly come across authors whose first books a...

7.5/10

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Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels)

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews is an urban fantasy novel, the first book in the Kate Daniel series. Ilona Andrews is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team, and together I think they have produced a solid first entry for what might become an exceptional series. The werewolves in this book might brood, but the vampires don't sparkle, a...

7.0/10

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Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel is a post-apocalyptic novel set in the southern provinces of Canada where an aggressive mutation of swine-flu has wiped out an estimated 99% of the world’s population in the space of a couple of weeks. This is not so much a story with a beginning, middle and end, but a story about what happens to the ...

9.5/10

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The Vagrant by Peter Newman

The Vagrant is the debut novel of Peter Newman, a post demon apocalypse novel set in a dying fantasy world. It was a hard book to get into, presenting a steep learning curve and mashing up a bunch of different styles in an eclectic fashion, but once I got into the book the journey became absorbing and I found the payoff to be immensely satisfyin...

9.0/10

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The Barrow by Mark Smylie

The Barrow by Mark Smylie is an "old school" epic fantasy adventure story that could have come straight out of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, with a party of characters of various alignments heading out on a quest to track down an ancient treasure hidden within the lost burial chamber of a long dead wizard. It also has a number of mo...

8.5/10

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Collateral Damage by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Collateral Damage by Tim Marquitz is the eighth book in the Demon Squad series, and in my opinion is the best to date. After a small dip with books five and six, book seven saw Marquitz get Demon Squad back on track and Collateral Damage sees Marquitz at the top of his game. If you are a long-time fan of this series I should warn you that Marqui...

9.6/10

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy)

I was quite eager to try Red Rising, partly because of Ryan's review, and partly because I loved the idea of combining dystopian fiction with a science fiction setting, particularly a setting with some rather interesting and colourful themes, (colourful in more sense than one). The setting indeed is one of the book's strongest points, si...

5.4/10

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Half the World by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea)

The second in Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea trilogy, Half the World continues the story of Yarvi but from a slightly different perspective. Thorn is disliked by most, a prickly, arrogant girl who finds herself in Yarvi’s debt and dragged halfway across the world because of it.I loved the first book, I barely put it down on my fi...

9.8/10

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Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton

Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton is the first book in a new series that mashes up the genres of murder mystery, thriller, and pre-industrial second world fantasy, whilst adding some pulpy / noir stylings for good measure. I'm not a big reader of the mystery genre, so I didn't know what to expect going in, but I have to say I'm pleasa...

9.0/10

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Gemini Cell by Myke Cole (Shadow Ops series)

Gemini Cell by Myke Cole is a prequel to his previously published Shadow Ops trilogy. I have a lot of love for that trilogy, but unfortunately for me that love did not transfer across to the new book. I have read other reviews around the internet and from what I can tell my dislike of the book puts me in a minority of about one, but I can only t...

5.0/10

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The Last Quarrel by Duncan Lay (The Last Quarrel)

The Last Quarrel by Duncan Lay is a new story in a new world, one that has been good so far. The Last Quarrel has been split into five novella length "episodes", with an episode coming out every fortnight. This review is focussed on the first episode, so if it seems a little short, that’s because I barely got into the story befor...

8.5/10

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The Younger Gods by Michael R Underwood

The Younger Gods by Michael R. Underwood is the first book in a Young Adult Urban Fantasy series, and is the third series that Underwood currently has on the go. It's a reasonably enjoyable read for the most part, but after the high standards set by Geekomancy and Shield & Crocus, The Younger Gods feels like a step backwards rather than ...

6.9/10

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Brave Men Die by Dan Adams

Brave Men Die by Dan Adams is the first book in a fantasy series being marketed as grimdark for some reason I'm not sure of. I should start by saying this is not a review of the whole book Brave Men Die by Dan Adams, this is actually a review of the first part of the book, as the publisher has decided to split the book into three parts with ...

6.0/10

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Willful Child by Steven Erikson

I love Star Trek. I probably love Star Trek more than you do. I don’t, however, love Star Trek more than Steven Erikson does, as is proved by reading Steven Erikson’s latest book, ‘Willful Child’.Willful Child is the Star Trek-spoof every self-professed Star Trek fan wishes they could have written. It is a blatant ...

7.8/10

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Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz (A Clandestine Daze Novella)

Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz is a novella length story aimed at introducing readers to his forthcoming Clandestine Daze series. While this may be an introduction to a new series, the story itself is self-contained and complete, with a satisfying ending that has me looking forward to what Marquitz might do in this new world.The story follows ...

8.5/10

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Shield and Crocus by Michael R Underwood

Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood is a stand-alone (perhaps series?) fantasy novel that I think is most easily described as Watchmen meets Game of Thrones. It is a story about a city, the Tyrants who vie for control of different sections, the various races of people who are oppressed, tortured and experimented on, and the underground mov...

8.5/10

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Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

This review contains minor spoilers."I'm a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play or bravery."Prince of Fools, the first story in The Red Queen's War trilogy is set in The Broken Empire and introduces readers to P...

9.4/10

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Exit Wounds by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Exit Wounds by Tim Marquitz is the seventh book in the Demon Squad series. If you have made it this far, you are probably a fan and will pick up this book regardless of what I say. If you had the same issues that I had with Book 6, then I can tell you that I think Marquitz did a great job of fixing them in this book. If you haven't read a De...

9.3/10

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Path of the Dead by Timothy Baker (Hungry Ghosts)

Path of the Dead by Timothy Baker is the first book in a series that explores zombies in Tibet. It would be easy to dismiss this book as being just another zombie book, but that would be doing a great disservice to an author who delivers some deep thoughts about the nature of Buddhism, and how someone of the Buddhist faith might react to the liv...

7.0/10

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Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia (The Clifton Heights Saga)

Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia is supernatural horror very much in the vein of Stephen King. It is made up of two novella length stories set in the same town, with a frame story that loosely connects the two novellas. While I don't think the horror in this book will make you wet your pants, it does establish an atmosphere that I think will...

9.0/10

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The Girl with all the Gifts by MR Carey

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey is a stand-alone zombie apocalypse novel that has plenty of action and adventure as expected, but also takes time to focus on ethical dilemmas in a post-apocalyptic world. The Girl With All The Gifts asks the question "How far would you go to save the world?" and the answers given by the chara...

8.9/10

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The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu (Tao)

The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu is the follow-up to the very successful The Lives of Tao, a book about symbiotic aliens and a global war between the two main alien factions. This book does everything a good sequel should do, improving on the first book in every facet, expanding the scope of the conflict, and delivering big punches and bigger con...

9.0/10

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The Best of Enemies by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

The Best of Enemies by Tim Marquitz is the sixth book in the Demon Squad series. This series has come a long way since we first met the demon Frank, and Marquitz continues to up the ante with each adventure. I don't think this book is the best in the series, but it was still a great read and the tease at the end has me craving the next book....

8.9/10

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Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres (Peacemaker)

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres is the first book of a new series set in a near-future Australia where the term "genre" knows no bounds. de Pierres has a strong background writing cyberpunk, and while Peacemaker has some similarities with those books, it also breaks a lot of new ground by mixing together cyberpunk with sci-fi, wester...

8.5/10

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The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi

The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi is a short and sweet haunted house novella that uses mood and emotion to evoke suspense and dread in the reader. Malfi has built up a solid reputation in the horror community over the past few years, and now that I've finally read one of his stories, I can see that the reputation has been well earned....

8.5/10

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American Craftsmen by Tom Doyle

American Craftsmen by Tom Doyle is the first book in a new series focusing on modern day military fantasy. After the success Myke Cole has experienced in this genre I have been expecting more of these types of books to turn up, and while there are a few commonalities between Shadow Ops and American Craftsmen, Tom Doyle does a pretty good job of ...

8.5/10

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Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon (Zenn Scarlett duology)

Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon is the second book of the Zenn Scarlett duology, a book that ties everything up in a neat package, but leaves plenty of room for future books in the same universe. There aren't many YA books that take to the stars, but Schoon easily proves that YA and space opera can be a perfect mix.The story ...

8.8/10

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Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive)

I know I’m late to this particular party, but as the man who beat me to it said, I “just had to get words on a page to decompress” after finally finishing reading ‘Words of Radiance’ by Brandon Sanderson.When Words of Radiance finally rocked up on my doorstep those few months ago, I looked at it with fear. Su...

9.5/10

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Cracked by Eliza Crewe (Soul Eaters)

Cracked by Eliza Crewe is a YA Urban Fantasy from the people at Strange Chemistry, and it is probably the darkest Strange Chemistry novel I've read so far. Death, murder, and a wicked sense of humour run amok, and the end result is one of the most entertaining YA books I've read.The story follows Meda, a snarky young girl who is h...

8.0/10

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Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina (The Majat Code)

Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina is the first book of The Majat Code, and likely to be the last book I read in this series. Urgh... what a frustrating book. The overall plot had some pretty interesting things going on with a couple of conspiracies and guild politics, a couple of the action scenes were quite good, and the writing was pret...

3.5/10

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Inside Out by Will Elliott

Inside Out by Will Elliott is stand-alone novel where a man's brain provides the canvas for a trippy adventure through the world of cults and brainwashing. It is similar in style to his previous release Nightfall, and while it may not have the same emotional impact, the story is more comedic and, in my opinion, far more accessible.The...

9.0/10

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The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir started life as a self-published book, experiencing a lot of success, before being picked up by Random House. It is a "hard SF" story about a man being left behind on Mars, and while there is math and equations dotted throughout the book, it never gets in the way of what is one of the most thrilling sci-fi stor...

9.8/10

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Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea)

Half A King by Joe Abercrombie has been marketed as Abercrombie's attempt at telling a "grimdark" Young Adult story. Once you get past all the buzzwords and marketing speech, you will find a story about a young man with a horribly disfigured and almost useless limb who is not satisfied with simply surviving extreme adversity in a b...

9.7/10

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The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher (The Spider Wars)

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher is a sci-fi horror story set on a distant space station surrounding a very strange star. Adam Christopher is a guy with a brilliant imagination whose books I have enjoyed in the past, but for me this story is a case of what could have been.The story follows Captain Idaho Cleveland, a decorated starship...

7.0/10

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At the Behest of the Dead by Timothy W Long

At the Behest of the Dead by Timothy W. Long is a solid urban fantasy, not the best I've read, but far from the worst. If you like the Dresden Files, Iron Druid Chronicles, or the Demon Squad series, you will probably find some enjoyment with this story.The story follows Phineas Cavanaugh, a necromancer who makes a living working as a...

6.9/10

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Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by Tim Marquitz

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters started life as a Kickstarter campaign that ended up being very successful, surpassing the funding target and hitting all of the stretch goals. It boasts big names like Larry Correia, James Swallow, and Peter Clines, just to name a few. It has interior art for every single story, created by high profile artists like...

9.0/10

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The Sandman Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

The Sandman Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator), Malcolm Jones III (Illustrator)‏The Sandman, as imagined by Neil Gaiman, is an iconic run of graphic novels that is rightfully held in high regard. The first volume, Preludes and Nocturnes, began life 25 years ago, but yo...

9.0/10

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Nameless: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M Yardley (The Bone Angel Trilogy)

Nameless is the first full-length novel from Mercedes M. Yardley, published by the folks at Ragnarok Publishing, and the first book in The Bone Angel trilogy. Yardley's shorter works are best described as unconventional, and she continues to be unconventional in her transition to long form writing.The story follows Luna Masterson, a n...

9.0/10

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John Golden: Freelance Debugger by Django Wexler

John Golden: Freelance Debugger is a short urban fantasy novella by Django Wexler, published by Ragnarok Publishing, and the first book in what I hope is a lengthy new series. It is a very different beast compared to his epic fantasy, The Thousand Names, but it is no less accomplished, and I can't wait to read more.John Golden works i...

8.5/10

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Breach Zone by Myke Cole (Shadow Ops series)

Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole is the concluding book in the Shadow Ops trilogy, and what a trilogy it has been. I've been a strong proponent of these books right from the start, and in my opinion, Cole has not only met my expectations but easily exceeded them. I'm not going to bother trying to hide my inner fanboy in this review b...

9.5/10

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Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman (The Split Worlds)

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman is an offbeat urban fantasy published by Angry Robot Books. This is the first book in The Split Worlds trilogy (maybe series?), and all three books were published in 2013. Despite the rapid rate of publication, it is clear that these books have not been rushed, that a lot of time and effort has been put in, and ...

8.5/10

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Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes M Yardley

AM&NL is a dark supernatural tale about two broken people who are fuelled by raw emotion. It is an intense story, but it is a rewarding story, and I think a lot of people will be able to connect with it. Also, it was recently voted on Reddit (r/fantasy) as the best piece of short fiction for 2013, which probably says more about how great thi...

9.5/10

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Skulk by Rosie Best (Shapeshifters of London)

Skulk by Rosie Best is a Young Adult novel published by one of my favourite publishers, Strange Chemistry. With this book, Best takes us on a graffiti tour of modern day London, introducing some cool shapeshifter lore, and creating some very interesting mysteries and conspiracies.The story follows Meg, the young teenage daughter of a powe...

7.0/10

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Era of the Spectre by Rui Cruz

Era of the Spectre is a collection of twelve short stories written by Rui Cruz and published by Midnight Showcase Fiction in 2010. The piece is very much a collection of character studies, exploring the ways in which different characters deal with themes such as isolation, hopelessness, fear and death. These themes can be quite dark and may not ...

8.0/10

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The Companions by RA Salvatore (Forgotten Realms: The Sundering)

The Companions by R. A. Salvatore is the first book in a new Forgotten Realms series called The Sundering, a series focused on a chaotic event designed to transition everyone to the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and to act as an accessible entry point for new readers. Each of the six books in the series are written by different authors fo...

5.5/10

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Have Glyphs Will Travel by Edward M Erdelac (Tales of a High Planes Drifter)

The Merkabah Rider series by Edward M. Erdelac is unlike anything I have read before. It is a collection of Weird Western episodic novellas telling the story of a man named Rider as he tries to stop his former mentor from destroying the world. Have Glyphs Will Travel is the third book, containing episodes #9 to #13, and in this book things do no...

9.0/10

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Student Bodies by Sean Cummings (Poltergeeks)

Student Bodies by Sean Cummings is the second book in the Poltergeeks series - a book about teenage witch Julie Richardson coming to terms with her new found powers, authority, and responsibilities. It is a good sequel that departs from the first book by taking a darker path, and I think it is definitely worth the read. Fair warning, the next pa...

8.5/10

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The Treasury of the Fantastic by David Sandner and Jacob Weisman

The Treasury of the Fantastic is an amazing collection of 44 poems, short stories and novellas, all fantasy related, all published before 1923. The anthology editors, David Sandner and Jacob Weisman, should be congratulated for managing to collect the rights to so many amazing stories. At the start of the book they openly provide the criteria th...

9.5/10

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The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence)

Well, given it only took six years to produce the third novel in a planned set of seven, we might be having to settle in for a long one here. At this rate it'll be 2037 before we know what happens. I'd like the author to speed things up a little if he can. Maybe one a year?Anyway, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen are back after their ...

9.3/10

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Control by Kim Curran (Shift series)

Control is the second book in the Shift series by Kim Curran, a series about being able to control the current state of the present by changing decisions made in the past. Control surpasses its predecessor in many ways - the writing is better, the characters feel more real and fleshed out, the world has expanded way beyond the tiny little box it...

9.0/10

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Seven Forges by James A Moore (Seven Forges series)

Seven Forges by James A. Moore is one of those epic fantasies with a mean looking hooded guy on the front cover. Don't let that fool you, because this is not a story about crooks, thieves or assassins skulking through the night. Seven Forges is a straight up epic fantasy full of intricate world building and populated with very competent warr...

8.6/10

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Tomorrow by Karen Henderson

Tomorrow is an anthology of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic short stories, edited by Karen Henderson and published by Kayelle Press. It contains fifteen short stories exploring a wide range of possible, probable and improbable post apocalyptic scenarios, with each story offering something unique and personal.Tomorrow is a big ideas antho...

6.0/10

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When the world was flat (And we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach

When the world was flat (and we were in love) is first YA novel from Australian author Ingrid Jonach. It is a love story, told in a similar vein to The Time Traveller's Wife, but with science fiction elements similar to Bioshock: Infinite and Sliders. And it is one of the better love stories I have read in the last few years, especially in t...

9.0/10

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From Hell by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

From Hell by Tim Marquitz is a novella set in his Demon Squad universe - a standalone prequel that can be read independently from the main series. It is from the perspective of main series protagonist Frank 'Triggaltheron' Trigg, but set in London during the late 1800's rather than modern day. Given that this is a standalone prequel ...

9.0/10

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The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce is a YA novel set in modern London, complete with ghosts, Egyptian mythology, and secret societies. It is a fast paced book, easy to read, and it provides plenty of promise for what might happen next.The story follows Taylor Oh, a sixteen year old highschooler who has been ostracised by the popular cro...

8.5/10

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Those Poor, Poor Bastards by Tim Marquitz

I'm not a big Weird Western reader. I'm not a big zombie reader. But Those Poor Poor Bastards, the first book in the Dead West series by Tim Marquitz, J. M. Martin, and Kenny Soward, is better than just another Weird Western or just another zombie book. The writing is very visceral, raw in a style similar to Chuck Wendig, with some gooey...

9.0/10

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The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke is second and concluding chapter of the Assassin's Curse duology. The Pirate's Wish is all round a better novel and provides a satisfying conclusion to the duology, but a small part of me still wishes that this duology was a single volume.The story continues on directly after the even...

7.5/10

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Playing Tyler by TL Costa

Playing Tyler is the debut novel from T. L. Costa. It's Young Adult but not a fantasy novel, more modern day science fiction that acts as a cautionary tale about the current direction global warfare is heading. It's pretty heavy stuff compared to most YA out there, but I would definitely encourage young readers to give this book a read....

8.0/10

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The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig

The Blue Blazes is the first book in a new urban fantasy series by Chuck Wendig, a high action fast paced story about supernatural underworld gang warfare. Angry Robot Books and Chuck Wendig have already proven to be an excellent match with Wendig's Miriam Black novels, and The Blue Blazes only enhances the reputation of both parties....

8.5/10

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This may sound slightly biased, but I am always excited to read a Neil Gaiman story and as soon as I had read the prologue to this story I knew I was already hooked and looking forward to the adventure this book would take me on. The prologue itself serves as a reminder that some memories, however hidden, are not truly forgotten, but may just ne...

9.2/10

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vN by Madeline Ashby

vN is the debut novel from Madeline Ashby, a sci-fi story that touches on topics we haven't seen a lot of in science fiction recently - androids, artificial intelligence, consciousness, self awareness, and replication. This is the first story in the Machine Dynasty series, and I think it lays a solid foundation for what is yet to come....

7.5/10

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The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (Tao)

The Lives of Tao is the debut novel from Wesley Chu, an action packed, secret organization, globetrotting sci-fi thriller. As an action junkie, this book his all the right notes for me - think The Matrix meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers.The story follows Roen, a down on his luck programmer who is wearily plodding through the daily mot...

8.5/10

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Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne) by Tim Marquitz

Inheritance: Heir to the Blood Throne is the first book in a new YA series by Tim Marquitz. Full of supernatural creatures in a Victorian London setting, Inheritance is an attempt to bring some horror elements to a younger audience in a more accessible fashion.“A fellow creature of the night, how fortuitous is this?” The man&r...

8.0/10

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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in a new YA gearpunk trilogy which is all about drawing the best chalk monsters and using them to battle against other chalk monsters that have either been drawn by other people or that have come into being naturally. I really enjoyed this book, as I do with every Sanderson book, but I don...

8.0/10

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No Return by Zachary Jernigan

No Return is the debut novel from Zachary Jernigan, and I have to say that it's not like any other book I have ever read. In part a sci-fi / fantasy / far future / post apocalyptic genre mash-up, but also deep examination of the many facets of religion, spirituality and sexuality, No Return is a book that I think people will either love or h...

9.0/10

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Emilie & the Hollow World by Martha Wells

Emilie & the Hollow World by Martha Wells is a well written fast paced book, very similar to a Jules Verne or H.G. Wells type of story. It has a "coolness" factor with airships and aether engines, and it is set primarily in the Hollow World - a world that lies hidden deep inside the surface world. It has cat-people, it has mer-peop...

7.0/10

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Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon (Zenn Scarlett duology)

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon is the latest YA release from Strange Chemistry - an excellent feel-good sci-fi novel about an exoveterinary clinic on Mars that specializes in the treatment of alien animals. This is the first book in a series, it has a big cliff-hanger ending, but it also has enough closure to leave you feeling satisfied at th...

9.0/10

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The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer (WARP)

The Reluctant Assassin is Eoin Colfer's first attempt at establishing a YA series after concluding Artemis Fowl last year. Similar to the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, this book is good, not great, but has the potential to develop into a great series.The Reluctant Assassin is set in a world where the FBI uses time travel as p...

7.0/10

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Old Man's War by John Scalzi

Old Man's War by John Scalzi is the first book in a series of sci-fi novels set in the far future exploring humanity’s first steps towards joining a galactic community. It has action, adventure, unique science, very unique aliens, politics, witty dialogue, and all with just a touch of romance / lust.The story follows John Perry,...

8.9/10

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The Holders by Julianna Scott

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother - from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up i...

7.9/10

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Black Feathers by Joseph DLacey

Angry Robot Books have a knack of finding some of the most different and bizarre fantasy books, and with Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey they continue to push the boundaries of what we expect fantasy to be. Described by some as an eco-horror story with mythological and fantasy elements, Black Feathers is a pre and post apocalyptic story tha...

8.5/10

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Beyond The Veil by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Frank's woman kidnapped, a frantic chase across worlds, an inter-dimensional uprising, and all with the surly father-in-law to be in tow. What could be worse? How about being drafted by the Almighty? Trapped on a strange and hostile planet, forced to deal with an alien insurrection, Frank and Longinus scramble to save Karra from the clutches...

9.5/10

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Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole (Shadow Ops series)

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers - summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed… but not for everyone.Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a pape...

9.5/10

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Signal In The Distance by Peter Welmerink

Short fiction has become a necessity for me recently. I don't get much time to read at the moment, so I need stories I can read and digest in a short space of time just to get my fix. Signal In The Distance is a short by Peter Welmerink, and despite a few faults here and there it does a pretty good job at sating my thirst for short stories....

6.9/10

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Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams

We all love our epic fantasy. Hundreds of pages, hundreds of thousands of words, multi-volume series. Epic: Legends of Fantasy was put together by acclaimed anthology editor John Joseph Adams, and is his attempt to try and capture as many facets of epic fantasy as possible. This is the biggest anthology I have ever read, almost twice the size of...

8.5/10

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Pantomime by Laura Lam

R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of th...

9.0/10

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Requiem by Tim Marquitz (Blood War Trilogy)

The true enemy of Ahreele has been revealed.Caught in a storm of war, Arrin learns just how little hope remains as he's forced to make a choice between his family and the world that so desperately needs him.Requiem is conclusion to the Blood War Trilogy, an exciting book that has all the blood, gore and action that made me like...

8.5/10

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Broken by AE Rought

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell. She and Daniel had been made for each other. When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He is as drawn t...

8.5/10

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Crossing Mother’s Grave by Jake Elliot

Crossing Mother's Grave by Jake Elliot is the second book in the Heretic series and the follow up to Elliot's debut novel The Wrong Way Down. I did enjoy The Wrong Way Down and was curious to see where Elliot was going with the series, but Crossing Mother's Grave didn't quite meet my expectations. Elliot will need to lift his gam...

6.0/10

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Clockwork Dolls by William Meikle

Does all human passion, all memory, all imagination come merely from the chemistry in our brains, like the movements of a clock follow from the arrangement of its cogs and wheels?Are we just clockwork dolls?Or is there an organizing principle at work, something we can ask for answers to the important questions of existence... somet...

8.0/10

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The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott

“You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You’re joining the circus. Ain’t that the best news you ever got?”Delivered by a trio of psychotic clowns, this ultimatum plunges Jamie into the horrific alternate universe that is the centuries-old Pilo Family Circus, a borderline world between ...

9.2/10

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The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skilful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor's sceptre, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new sou...

9.1/10

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Diamond Eyes by AA Bell

Mira Chambers has an unusual gift for solving mysteries…Blind, institutionalised and frustrated by her loss of independence, Mira has been driven to the brink of insanity by medications that make her life unbearable. When she astounds two medical scientists by ′seeing′ the impossible, they begin an exploration of Mira&p...

8.9/10

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The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind (The Legend of Magda Searus)

Let me preface this review by saying two things:I’ve never read Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series (though I started once)I do not like mediocre writing, for I think writers and editors can do betterSo when The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind rocked up on my doorstep a month or so ago, I was sc...

4.3/10

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Erekos by AM Tuomala

In a land where gods walk beside men and witches defy death, war changes everything. Scholar and warrior, witch and king, priestess and corpse - all must come together to save their world from the ravages of the coming tempest.For three hundred years, Erekos and Weigenland have fought to hold the borderland between the two nations. As the ...

5.1/10

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The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiancé  But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.And when the assassin, ...

6.7/10

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Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon

The ragtag crew of Serenity take on a scavenger mission with the hopes of earning enough dough to disappear for a while. Only too late do they realize the whole gig is orchestrated by an old enemy eager remake their acquaintance with the help of some covert-operatives known only as the Blue Gloves...Serenity: Those Left Behind is the firs...

8.0/10

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Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wo...

8.9/10

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Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings (Poltergeeks)

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend and uber-geek, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection. The house is occupied by a ...

8.6/10

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Feedback by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.Or so he thought.But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experi...

8.7/10

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Isolation by Dan Wells (Partials Sequence)

Two decades before the events of Partials, the world was locked in a different battle for survival: a global war for the last remaining oil reserves on the planet. It was for the Isolation War that the American government contracted the ParaGen Corporation to manufacture the Partials—our last hope in reclaiming energy independence from Chi...

8.4/10

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Legion by Brandon Sanderson (Legion series)

Stephen Leeds, AKA "Legion," is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are drawn into the search for the missing Baluba...

8.6/10

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The Corpse Rat King by Lee Battersby

The Dead need a King. Marius dos Hellespont will find them one. Just as soon as he stops running away.Weird, strange, and cynical with good doses of humour and charm. That's probably the best way I can describe The Corpse Rat King, the debut novel from Lee Battersby, published by Angry Robot Books. Like most books from Angry Robot, Th...

7.4/10

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The Man Who Crossed Worlds by Chris Strange

All freelance Tunneler Miles Franco wants is a bit of freedom and a couple of bucks to rub together. So when the cops haul him downtown for illegally smuggling the natives of another dimension to Earth, he’ll take any chance he can get to stay out of the pen. And funnily enough, the cops have just the job for him.A mysterious interd...

8.2/10

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Nightfall by Will Elliott

Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, the monstrous Gorr family, the goddess Muse, Slythe the deadly assassin.On the night Aden awakens, the Forgetting closes in, erasing everything it touches. Aden has lit...

9.6/10

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Redshirts by John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.Life couldn’t be better… until Andrew begins to pick up on th...

6.5/10

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Paladins of Shannara: Allanon’s Quest by Terry Brooks

It's been 35 years since the publication of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. 28 novels later and Brooks is still going strong, still writing books in the Shannara universe that are for the most part well received. As part of his 35th anniversary celebrations, Brooks has decided to write three short stories about three of our favourite ...

7.0/10

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Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.Miranda, a mi...

6.9/10

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Shift by Kim Curran (Shift series)

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made.At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly sta...

7.8/10

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The Mensch with No Name by Edward M Erdelac (Tales of a High Planes Drifter)

The Merkabah Rider continues his journey across the American Southwest of 1880 in search of the renegade teacher who destroyed his mystic Jewish order in the second volume (containing novella episodes 5-8) of this acclaimed weird western series.In this installment the Rider unravels more of the mystery of Adon's Hour of the Incursion ...

8.8/10

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The Hollow City by Dan Wells

I'm a big fan of Dan Wells. I loved the John Cleaver series for all its psychological terrorising, and while I enjoyed Partials, I actually missed having Wells play with my mind. So when I heard that Wells was returning to supernatural psychological thrillers with The Hollow City I became very excited and set aside a bunch of time to make th...

9.1/10

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Embers of an Age by Tim Marquitz (Blood War Trilogy)

Let's be honest, all writers want to be epic fantasy writers. The best romance writers, the best horror writers, even the best literature writers all wish they were writing epic fantasy right now. Ok well maybe not all writers want to write epic fantasy, but for horror writer Tim Marquitz, writing epic fantasy is becoming a reality. A realit...

8.9/10

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Partials by Dan Wells (Partials Sequence)

A friend of mine recently lent me Partials by Dan Wells, and it was a book I was rather eager to try. Not only because I had enjoyed the only other book I'd read by Dan Wells, the wonderfully silly gothic farce Night of Blacker Darkness, but also because the world and setting of Partials intrigued me as a very unique take on apocalyptic dyst...

6.7/10

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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim....

9.0/10

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Keir by Pippa Jay

Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption?For Keirlan de Corizi--the legendary 'Blue Demon' of Adalucien--death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel t...

7.0/10

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Dead Harvest by Chris F Holm (The Collector)

Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever s...

8.5/10

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I Don't Want To Kill You by Dan Wells (John Cleaver series)

John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon–literally called it on the phone–and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. As he wades through the town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon ...

9.3/10

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Spellbound by Larry Correia (The Grimnoir Chronicles)

The Grimnoir Society’s mission is to protect people with magic, and they’ve done so - successfully and in secret - since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s. But when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir. The knights must become fugitives whi...

9.6/10

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Echoes of the Past by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Not when you're the Devil's nephew.An unexpected message gives Frank the answer he's sought for years - where did God and Lucifer go? - but the knowledge brings its own dilemma as inter-dimensional war looms, threatening to engulf the Earth. Tasked with the planet's defence, Frank scroun...

9.0/10

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Mr. Monster by Dan Wells (John Cleaver series)

“My name is John Cleaver. I live in Clayton County, in a mortuary on the edge of town. I have a mother and a sister and an aunt. I’m sixteen years old. I like reading, cooking, and a girl named Brooke. I want to do what’s right, no matter what. I want to be a good person.But that was only half of me....

10.0/10

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The Wrong Way Down by Jake Elliot

Sometimes the right way turns all wrong. I saw his body lying there. My teacher, my mentor, my friend - face down in a pool of his own blood. His white robes were starched brown with dried blood, his throat cut open by the thieves who'd stolen the spiritual artefact we'd been entrusted to protect. The Blessed Mystery smiles, we caugh...

7.0/10

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Giant Thief by David Tallerman

Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.Big time.Thieves are in, thieves are cool, t...

8.2/10

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Hounded by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles)

Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. ...

7.9/10

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Mathion by Jeff Shanley (The Mavonduri Trilogy)

In an ancient time long lost to legend, a race of men known as the Wolven inhabited the land of Ánovén. To the north lay the land of Kânavad, home to a brutal, savage race we know today as Werewolves.At the age of seven, the Wolven prince Mathion encountered a dying White Wolf, and received two gifts that ...

3.9/10

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Empire State by Adam Christopher

It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York. When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist.Sometimes a book comes along that doesn't quite...

8.1/10

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I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells (John Cleaver series)

I Am Not A Serial Killer is the story of John Cleaver, a 15-year-old sociopath who works in a mortuary, dreams about death, and thinks he might be turning into a serial killer. He sets strict rules to keep himself “good” and “normal,” but when a real monster shows up in his town he has to let his dark side out in orde...

9.3/10

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Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan (The Riyria Revelations)

Michael J. Sullivan is one of the most talked about authors around the fantasy community at the moment. His independently published six book series, The Riyria Revelations, has sold a bucket load of ebooks, and these big sales lead to a lucrative offer from Orbit.  The first two volumes, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, have been combin...

9.0/10

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The Last Vampire by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

The earthquakes with their falling ash, the global floods and the devastating fires arrive first. Then the worldwide plague with its stench of death. And as mankind suffers and dies out, vampires, their numbers dwindling, struggle and fight fiercely among themselves to survive in a world where there aren’t enough humans to prey and feed up...

8.0/10

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Variant by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.He was wrong.Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive...

8.5/10

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Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole (Shadow Ops series)

Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer.Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the dead, and set everything they touch ablaze.Army officer Oscar Britton sees the worst of it. A lieutenant attached to the military's Supernatural Operations Cor...

9.4/10

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The Sending by Isobelle Carmody (The Obernewtyn Chronicles)

The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal.  But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key.  And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated.Elspe...

6.9/10

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At The Gates by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

A revolt in Heaven, angels fighting angels. Who better to mediate a peaceful resolution than the Devil's nephew, Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg?Don't answer that.When Scarlett arrives at his door, beaten to within an inch of her life, Frank finds himself in the middle of a war as the Nephilim arrive to finish the job...

9.5/10

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Hard Magic by Larry Correia (The Grimnoir Chronicles)

Jake Sullivan is a war hero, a private eye—and an ex-con. He’s free because he has a magical talent, being able to alter the force of gravity in himself and objects in his vicinity, and the Bureau of Investigation calls on him when they need his help in apprehending criminals with their own magical talents. But the last operation he ...

9.3/10

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Merkabah Rider by Edward M Erdelac (Tales of a High Planes Drifter)

The last of an ancient order of Jewish mystics capable of extraplanar travel, The Merkabah Rider roams the demon haunted American West of 1879 in search of the renegade teacher who betrayed his enclave. But as the trail grows fresher, shadows gather, and The Hour Of The Incursion draws near... Four novella episodes in one book.In a town h...

8.0/10

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a 2007 Pulitzer winning novel. I finished this book a couple of days ago (ironically in one sitting on a long road trip), and I've had a chance to let it digest. I don't know if I enjoyed it - this is not a story designed to entertain - but I was certainly fascinated and moved to thought by it.So fir...

10.0/10

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Infinity Blade: Awakening by Brandon Sanderson

Trained from birth in swordplay and combat, a young knight named Siris has fought through an army of Titans to face the tyrannical God King in one-on-one combat. This was his family’s sacred mission, going back countless generations in an effort to free their people from enslavement.  But when Siris succeeds, he finds himself cast int...

8.3/10

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Tymon's Flight by Mary Victoria (Chronicles of the Tree)

The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain. All creation nestles in its green branches. There is no world besides this one… or so the people believe.Tymon grows up at Argos seminary in the lush heart of the Central Canopy, where science is a heretical pursuit and travel beyond the Tree is banned. But h...

9.6/10

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The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Undercover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful cr...

7.5/10

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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Broken Empire)

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is a book steeped in controversy - a book that seems to have divided the Science Fiction and Fantasy community with regards to what is acceptable for people to like and enjoy. The book has been out for a couple of years already, the arguments for various perspectives have already been well established, but I hop...

9.0/10

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The Measure of Magic by Terry Brooks (Legends of Shannara)

Terry Brooks’ follow up to his first in the Legends of Shannara duology possesses a somewhat different feel from its predecessor. With the final bearer of the black staff Sider Ament out of the picture, the responsibility of protecting the people of the valley falls to young tracker Panterra Qu. But with the demonic ‘ragpicker’...

6.3/10

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The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III (Splendor and Ruin)

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.Her father-king wants war.Her messianic brother wants peace.The black god wants his due.She suffers all the consequences.King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling aban...

9.4/10

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The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth Series)

An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous.As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister ...

7.7/10

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Dawn of War by Tim Marquitz (Blood War Trilogy)

For hundreds of years, the bestial Grol have clawed at the walls of Lathah without success. Now armed with O'hra, mystical weapons of great power, they have returned, to conquer.Witness to the Grol advance, Arrin can abide his exile no longer. He returns to Lathah, in defiance of death, with hopes to save his beloved princess and the ...

7.5/10

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Wild by Lincoln Crisler

When Colonel Albert Waters, a controversial Civil War veteran, and his thirteen-year-old son Henry disappear from their El Paso, Texas home, Deputy Sheriff Kurt Kearney calls upon Matthias Jacoby, a strange newcomer, to help with his investigation. Word is, Jacoby’s handled a few cases like this before. Kearney and Jacoby form an uneasy al...

7.0/10

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Resurrection by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Armageddon averted, the world returns to business as usual. Unfortunately for Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg, business as usual sucks.His night out interrupted by a horde of kidnapping zombies, what could possibly be worse? The resurrection of the Anti-Christ, that's what. Caught in the middle of a supernatural pissing match be...

9.1/10

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Armageddon Bound by Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad)

Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon.As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he'd always had his uncle's influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leav...

7.9/10

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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (The Discworld Series)

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex...Terry Pratchett is a man who need...

8.5/10

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Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes (Aeons Gate)

Adventurer.The name never uttered without scorn, they are long loathed for their knowledge of nothing beyond violence and greed and their utter disregard for human life, least of all their own.And Lenk, a young man with a sword in his hand and a voice in his head, counts them as his closest company.Charged with retrieving th...

8.5/10

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Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (The Hollows)

"This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.Amanda Hoc...

4.9/10

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The Converted by CR Hindmarsh

With his patients dead and his genetic research in tatters, Dr. Anton Springmann fled his homeland as a fugitive, taking a one-way diesel ship to New Alania. But within hours of his arrival, screams ring through the night. Hordes of gray, humanoid creatures--devils, to the townspeople--attack Anton's new home. Among the dead, Anton finds a s...

8.0/10

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The Passage by Justin Cronin (The Passage Trilogy)

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl-and...

9.3/10

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Skulls by Tim Marquitz

Life held little interest for Jacob until he found death.Abused and neglected, Jacobs only solace comes when he is alone in the woods or in the arms of his new girlfriend. But when he stumbles across a hidden bunker filled with human skulls, he learns what true suffering is. Drawn to examine the skulls, he finds there is more than just em...

7.8/10

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The Black God's War (novella) by Moses Siregar III

"King Vieri’s war against the lands of Pawelon rages into its tenth year, and with the kingdom’s holy saviour, his son Caio, en route to the fighting in the storied canyon, victory ought to come soon. Feeling abandoned by his god, King Vieri forces young Caio to lead his army to victory.The Black One, Lord Danato, torture...

8.5/10

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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

My Brandon Sanderson-athon has been continuing, and I’ve been enjoying myself immensely. While I was a third of the way through rereading ‘the Way of Kings’ I decided I would start ‘Elantris’ (mainly so I could read the soon-to-be-read-and-reviewed ‘The Emperor’s Soul’). It’s taken me two fal...

8.8/10

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The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (Mithermages)

The Lost Gate is the first book in Orson Scott Card's Mithermage series published by Tor in 2011. This is the second book from Card within the space of three months and just like Pathfinder, The Lost Gate is the first book of a new YA fantasy series centered around a young boy trying to learn how to control and utilise his powerful gifts (wh...

8.0/10

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The Third God by Ricardo Pinto (The Stone Dance of the Chameleon)

The Third God is the third and final book in Ricardo Pinto's The Stone Dance of the Chameleon series, published by Bantam in 2009. In The Chosen we were introduced to Carnelian and Osidian, got to explore the politics and brutality of The Three Lands, and felt angry when Carnelian and Osidian were betrayed by the ones they loved. In The Stan...

8.8/10

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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a contemporary and comedic fantasy written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett in 1990. The collaboration between two of the finest fantasy authors of our generation is nothing short of brilliant, and while they both shared everything equally and did it for fun, Pratchett has ...

9.4/10

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Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card (The Pathfinder Trilogy)

Pathfinder is the first book in Orson Scott Cards Serpent World series published by Simon & Schuster in 2010. Well known in the Sci-fi world for the Ender Saga (notably Ender's Game), and the Homecoming Saga, Card seems to be branching more and more into the fantasy genre with better results each time. With Pathfinder, Card has take...

8.9/10

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Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Death Troopers is a horror based Star Wars novel written by Joe Schreiber and published Del Rey. While the idea of horror based Star Wars may not appeal to everyone, the thought of zombie storm troopers hunting down Rebel scum just seems to resonate with my inner geek. Putting the fanboy bias aside, this is a well thought out story that does a g...

8.0/10

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The Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice by John Jackson Miller (The Lost Tribe of the Sith)

Precipice is the first book in John Jackson Millar's Lost Tribe of the Sith series published by Del Rey in 2009. This series is made up of short stories, set in the Star Wars universe 5000 years Before Battle Yavin (BBY), that follows the story of a Sith tribe lost on a strange planet. Each story is approximately 60 pages long and all are av...

7.0/10

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Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (New Crobuzon)

I began reading Perdido Street Station firstly as a break from sci-fi and secondly because it sounded vaguely interesting. I finished reading Perdido Street Station (a surprisingly short time later given how long the book is)finding it to be one of the greatest, strangest and most utterly awesome things I've read for a considerable while. I ...

9.8/10

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The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time)

In preparation for A Memory of Light coming out in early 2013, and to fill a notable gap in our review library, I have been rereading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. A lot of time has passed since I first read these books, my teenage self placing them on the highest pedestal, and rereading the first two books really shattered the illu...

9.2/10

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Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks (Legends of Shannara)

Bearers of the Black Staff is the first book in Terry Brooks' Legends of Shannara series, published by Del Rey in August 2010. This book follows on from the Genesis of Shannara series and continues to explore the post-apocalyptic evolution of our world, connecting the events from the Word/Void series with the fantasy world of Shannara. While...

9.2/10

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The Standing Dead by Ricardo Pinto (The Stone Dance of the Chameleon)

The Standing Dead is the second book in Ricardo Pinto's The Stone Dance of the Chameleon series, published by Bantam in 2002. In the first book, The Chosen, Pinto created an amazing, complex, and wonderous world complete with an intricate society, intriguing politics and a facinating history. As such, there is a lo...

7.0/10

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive)

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first volume in a projected ten book epic fantasy series, set on the world of Roshar where constant storms have caused the ecology to evolve into something resembling a rock pool or a coral reef. This 1000 page door stopper is a large undertaking for many readers, and with the second book not even out...

9.8/10

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Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Series)

Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception is the fourth book in the Artemis Fowl series, and it showcases Fowl's uncanny ability to always find a special kind of trouble. Each book in this series has been better than the last, and the Opal Deception is no different, building on the events from the three previous books to tell an intriguing stories...

9.4/10

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Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Series)

Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code is the third book in the Artemis Fowl series, and just like the second book in the series, this book is an improvement on its predecessor. If you haven't read an Artemis Fowl book before, you could probably pick this one up and have a great time, but my recommendation would definitely be to start from the f...

9.0/10

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Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Series)

Our intrepid anti-hero Artemis Fowl returns again in this second instalment in Eoin Colfer’s best selling series. Artemis, having been installed at a prestigious boarding school by his now recovered mother Angelina, takes great delight in confounding the school psychologist and taking leave as he pleases to pursue his other 'interests&...

8.5/10

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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Series)

This is the first instalment of the Artemis Fowl series, which continues to grow in success as well as its number of books.Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old genius born into the Fowl dynasty, that is, he is heir apparent and an already accomplished master of criminal activities that have founded the Fowl empire; he also has every intention of...

7.8/10

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