Hello, hello and welcome to a bumper, double-sized Robot Round-Up. Most of the AR crew was down at Fantasycon in Brighton last weekend, so we were a tad on the busy side – schmoozing, drinking, pontificating on panels, drinking, selling books, drinking and… well, drinking – so we’ve been saved everything up for a full fortnight’s worth (and then some) of AR linkage action. And here it is!
Chris F. Holm‘s second Collector series novel, The Wrong Goodbye is Out Now and was reviewed this week by Bane of Kings at The Founding Fields, who said: “The Wrong Goodbye is explosive, enthralling, page turning and everything that you would want from a sequel to a book as awesome as Dead Harvest.” and OzNoir at Just a Guy That Likes to Read, who said: “This is one hell of a book and I cant wait for third instalment.” (Coming next year!) And Dan Malmon at Crimespree Magazine was quite taken with the whole thing: “An undead agent of Hell? Relatable to the reader? As written by Chris F. Holm? You bet.”
We’ve also seen a couple of new reviews of series-opener Dead Harvest, from Angie at Open Book Society, who said: “This book is everything I would want in the first of a series. It had action, romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and most importantly an awesome plot!” and Erin at In Real Life, who said: “I’m not normally a big reader of fantasy, urban or otherwise … Sometimes, though, I make exceptions. Dead Harvest is one, and it’s a doozy.”
Chris has also been busy with the Guest Posts: over at Anhinav Jain’s Sons of Corax he talks character names, at Criminal Minds he compares writing to hustling pool and he talks about his favourite bit of The Wrong Goodbye at Mary Robinette Kowall’s blog. Chris has also been interviewed by The Qwillery and Kate and Dan at Crimespree Magazine. And the star of the Collector series, Sam Thornton has been talking to the aforementioned Erin at In Real Life as well.
David Tallerman‘s rip-roaring second instalment in the Tales of Easie Damasco, Crown Thief, was reviewed shortly but rather sweetly by Falcata Times, who said: “It’s a fun romp in a dark fantasy world and when you add to this great prose, top notch prose and combat to keep you glued, all in all this is a great second book for the reader to enjoy … Great stuff.” And over at The Arched Doorway, Becca said: “I enjoyed Crown Thief very much. It was an interesting read, very quick and easy to get through. Ending with a bit of a cliffhanger, it leaves you wanting for more.”
Chuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird was released last month and has been reviewed a couple more times since we last checked in, by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who said: “Mockingbird, like Blackbirds, isn’t for the easily offended or weirded out and definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like your urban fantasy dark, brutal and unforgiving then you shouldn’t miss reading Miriam Black’s adventures.” and Shaheen at Speculating on Spec Fic, who called it “An awesome follow up to Blackbirds … I highly recommend this series to you if you think you can handle the blood, gore and foul language.” Can you handle it? Can you? Of course you can…
Also a month old and continuing to attract exactly the right sort of attention is Adam Christopher‘s superhero saga Seven Wonders, which has been reviewed recently by a fair few folks and therefore gets a bullet-list:
• The legendary Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet International said: “this is a cracking read for any fan of SF or superhero tales … mark Adam Christopher down as a new writer you should be watching out for. I have.”
• Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields said: “Seven Wonders is a massively fun book that you definitely should read, especially if you like your superheroes to be morally grey and not straight up goody-two-shoes type.”
• Paul at The Functional Nerds said: “Readers of comics, especially from the Bronze Age (’70s and mid ’80s) are going to find a lot to like in Seven Wonders”
• Ken at Paperless Reading said: “The book was such a joy to read and the scenes were so vivid that I swear it was like reading the comic book version. I’m sure any superhero fan would appreciate and love this story too.”
• Mr Giobblin at Minuetto Express reviewed in his native Italian, but included a handy summary for English readers: “Seven Wonders is definitely one of the best superhero novels I’ve ever read. Smart, engaging, with a fast pace, wonderfully crafted characters and unexpected plot twists.”
Another September release that’s doing very well indeed on the reviews front is Lee Battersby‘s first saga of Marius don Hellespont, The Corpse-Rat King, which has been reviewed by Ryan at Fantasy Book Review, who said: “There are a lot of things to like in this debut novel from Battersby. If you are into weirdness and / or reprehensible knaves, I think you will get a real kick out of this story.” Also by Ed at Starburst Magazine, who summed it up neatly: “This is a tale of con-men, their victims and the undead, and will appeal to fans of Scott Lynch or Mark Lawrence, or anyone who likes a not-so-loveable rogue.” and gave it 8 out of 10 to boot. Meanwhile, Hannah at My Book Journey compared Lee’s writing to Voltaire’s and concluded: “The Corpse-Rat King is an absurd and fantastical tale of a man about to learn the error of his ways the hard way.” And there’s an interview with Lee at Civilian Reader as well.
We’ve seen a few more early reviews of Lee Collins‘ soon-to-be-published paranormal western Dead of Winter (November 2012), from Merikay at Popcorn Reads, who said: “Lee Collins has a winner on his hands with The Dead of Winter!” and Liam at The Troubled Scribe, who really got caught up in the action: “The book reads ridiculously fast and multiple times I had to physically slow my pace down lest I skipped over any crucial details.” and Asiye at Closet Geeks and Slow Mo, who said: “Probably my favorite thing about the book is that its built up slowly, revealing layer after layer of the story …. Certainly a book to enjoy for lovers of westerns and paranormal.”
Lee has also contributed a guest blog post to The Qwillery, on the subject of The Weird West, which he concludes “is Weird”.
Madeline Ashby‘s vN is another title that continues to grab the attention of reviewers, with the latest being Josh at Examiner.com, who said: “vN is excellent science fiction that packs in plenty of fun and original ideas while also not getting bogged down in all the techno-babble behind the concepts.” and Jessica at Plot Twister, who pointed out that it’s not all fun and games in Ashby’s world: “The book goes to some dark places at times, touching on some very serious issues.” Over at Richard’s SF Ramblings there’s a verse review that concludes: “It’s time to rethink robots and AI | This is where you begin”. Plus, Mike at Stuff and/or Junk makes a prediction that we like the sound of: “I would be extremely surprised if this book did not garner some nominations and awards. vN has changed the way I will look at AI stories.”
A few reviews of books that are slightly older – but no less worthy of your time and attention – now, kicking off with Mike Shevdon‘s third Courts of the Feyre novel, Strangeness and Charm, which was reviewed by Jaym for SF Signal, who said: “Shevdon’s urban fantasy is unlike just about anything else I’ve read. His attention to detail and history tickle my love of historical fantasy, while long-running political and social intrigues tie the series together in a strong arc.”
Justin Gustainis‘s first Occult Investigations novel, Hard Spell was reviewed by The Weekly Rot: “Meth addicted goblins. Cultists who summon real demons. A stone cold killer searching for a forbidden tome. All of which is great fun, but it’s Markowski’s matter-of-fact, world weary delivery that gets to me.” And Justin has been talking to Dave at Hellnotes.
Lavie Tidhar‘s first Bookman steampunk extravaganza, The Bookman also got the verse review treatment from Richard’s SF Ramblings, which concluded with the couplet: “Aliens, Revolution, Alt-History, Romance, Steam | Lavie Tidhar, coming on strong” Can’t say fairer than that, Richard. Lavie has also guest posted on Pornokitsch, on the subject of his favourite female crime writers.
A few more interviews and author blog-bits to finish with:
And that’s your lot. Come back next week for plenty more AR-flavoured linky-goodness.