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Book Review: Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

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They’re a couple of good old boys, traveling around together in a battered pickup. If that sounds like the opening line of a bromance, it’s only because you haven’t met Earl and Duke yet. One is a jerkweed vampire who sports an atrocious comb-over and a distinct lack of socially redeeming personality traits. The other is a werewolf whose anger-fueled fits of lycanthropy ruin more clothing than he can afford to replace. Like a paranormal ... Read More »

Book Review: Jingo by Terry Pratchett

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The 21st Discworld novel centers, once again, on Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. This time the adventure begins with a lost continent (actually, a small island) emerging in the middle of the sea between Ankh-Morpork and the dark continent of Klatch. Both countries make claims on the territory and a Klatchian prince is sent to Ankh-Morpork to hash it out with Lord Vetinari, the Patrician. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s an attempt ... Read More »

Book Review: Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher

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Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher   In a long-ago culture similar to the Norsemen of old Scandinavia, a young woman named Jessa is banished into the frozen wastes of the north – exiled by a sorceress-queen and her usurping husband – sent to all but certain doom, either from cold and hunger or at the hands of the queen’s son Kari, rumored to be a hideous monster. Surprise! Kari isn’t what the stories about him let ... Read More »

Book Review: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

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Sapphique by Catherine Fisher   In this sequel to Incareceron, former prisoner Finn—the first to escape from the prison-world of Incarceron since the legendary Sapphique—struggles to accept the new identity that has been thrust upon him. The Warden’s daugther Claudia thinks Finn may be Prince Giles, heir to the throne of the Realm and her own betrothed, and that his supposed death at age 15 was meant to cover up a conspiracy between Queen Sia (Giles’ ... Read More »

Book Review: Star of Stone by P. D. Baccalario

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Star of Stone by P. D. Baccalario In Book Two of the Century Quartet, four kids with Leap Day birthdays come together again to solve another puzzle, this time in New York City. Elettra from Rome, Mistral from Paris, Sheng from Shanghai, and Harvey from Manhattan face an evil nightclub owner, five dangerous women, a one-eyed crow flying surveillance for a shadowy group of Native Americans, and a trail of clues seemingly left behind by ... Read More »

Book Review: Jinx on the Divide by Elizabeth Kay

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The third book in The Divide trilogy begins with the Christmas present Felix has been waiting for: a visit from his best friend from the magical world across the Divide, the tangle-girl Betony. Things don’t go as planned, however. A forgotten brass lamp finds its way into Felix’s school bag, and before he knows it, a genie (or rather, brandee) has escaped, taken the school bully hostage, and demanded to be taken to a scientist to be ... Read More »

Book Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher   This first installment in a remarkable new fantasy series acquaints us with a unique, and never fully explained, world in which futurism and archaism are strangely blended. It is a world in which human technology has advanced somewhat beyond where it is today, in which the turbulence of human progress has culminated in something called “the Years of Rage,” whose violence left scars even on the moon. At that point ... Read More »

Book Review: Monster by A. Lee Martinez

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This novel shares its one-word title with an award-winning teen novel by Walter Dean Myers, to say nothing of novels by Jonathan Kellerman, Frank Peretti, and Christopher Pike; plus various works of non-fiction and the Oscar-winning 2003 film starring Charlize Theron. Dallas-based author Martinez overcomes this handicap with the strikingly original move of making Monster the name of its main character (full name: Monster Dionysus): a freelance animal-rescue officer whose specialty is “cryptobiologicals”—which is to say, monsters. Monster is a pretty ... Read More »

Book Review: Ring of Fire by P. D. Baccalario

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Ring of Fire by P. D. Baccalario Translated from the Italian by Leah D. Janeczko, this book is the first of four in the Century Quartet. The other three books, in order, are: Star of Stone, City of Wind, andDragon of Seas. You might speculate, based on these titles, that the series has something to do with the medieval “elements” of fire, earth, air, and water. And after reading this book, you would have even more ... Read More »

Book Review: Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

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The ninteenth Discworld story once again features Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the City Watch, with his now-dozens-strong corps of policemen that is slowly but surely coming into the Century of the Fruitbat in terms of investigative procedures. In Maskerade it was already mentioned that Vimes had secret (undercover, or at least plainclothes) officers investigating secret crimes. Apparently he’s in a lot of trouble with a lot of rich people who are willing to pay good money ... Read More »