Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Robot Round-Up. Slightly more svelte and manageable than last week’s monster instalment, but no less packed with Good Stuff. Dive on in!

The Wrong Goodbye, by Chris F. HolmChris F. Holm‘s newly-published second Collector novel, The Wrong Goodbye, has been reviewed by Kristin at My Bookish Ways who said: “This series is urban fantasy at its best with subtle noir undertones and the combo just works. Also, if you’re a fan of the classics in hardboiled noir, the title is especially awesome.” And by Ken at Paperless Reading, who said: “This action packed novel will keep you reading late into the night and provide hours of entertainment. An irresistible treat for all the urban fantasy fans out there.” Shadowhawk at The Founding Fields enthused: “The Wrong Goodbye is an unrestrained joyride that will leave you breathless by the time you are done.” And Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian declared: “The Wrong Goodbye is an amazing follow up to Dead Harvest, but stands surprisingly well on its own … In my opinion Holm has become a must-read author, as I love how his crime is salted with the supernatural.”

Chris has also been guest-blogging over at My Bookish Ways, telling the world about his favourite Halloween-themed things.

David Tallerman‘s newly-published Crown Thief was reviewed by Mieneke at A Fantastical Librarian, who enjoyed the second Tale of Easie Damasco even more than Crown Thief: “Easie’s second adventure is another winner for David Tallerman. It’s a high-octane romp, with perhaps just a tad less urgency than Giant Thief, but that’s made up for by the deepening of his characters and a slightly bigger reveal of his world’s inner workings.”

The Dead of Winter, by Lee CollinsLee Collins‘s forthcoming Weird Western debut, The Dead of Winter, was reviewed by Matthew at Shattered Ravings, who said: “I’m impressed. Very impressed. For a first time author, Collins displays a nice diversity of writing skills, including a unique voice, a solid story, and damaged characters that are both likable and strong. Not to mention an original storyline that throws plenty of punches throughout its course.” And it’s a big thumbs-up for Cora from Heidi at the Open Book Society: “Cora Ogelsby is a kick-ass heroine and really, we can’t have too many kick-ass heroines can we? Especially when they are nearing retirement and still wielding weapons and killing monsters like nobody’s business!” Hell, no!

Lee has been interviewed by Stefan at Civilian Reader talking about his background in genre fiction and introducing The Dead of Winter.

Adam Christopher‘s Seven Wonders was reviewed by Eric at Superhero Novels, who said: “Christopher has given us a superhero novel that explodes off the page … It is, in many ways, the sort of book that comic fandom has been anticipating since the bronze age ended 25 years ago.” And here’s one we missed when it was posted a few weeks ago. Scott D. Parker, reviewing for Criminal Element, said: “If you’ve seen The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises and are still clamoring for more superhero action and intrigue, you can safely add Adam Christopher’s Seven Wonders to your list.”

Nexus by Ramez NaamWe’ve spotted the first review of Ramez Naam‘s debut science fiction thriller Nexus (January 2013, folks!) from Timothy C. Ward, who said: “Ramez writes excellent action sequences, incorporating his technology well, and the lives at stake are more than just cardboard cutouts. No one in this story is ‘as meets the eye'”.

Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade has been reveiwed a couple more times this week: Adrian at the Morpheus Tales Supplement (that link goes to an 8.54Mb pdf) said: “Kemp has created a pair of characters who sparkle, and a plot that streaks along at pace. A grand start to what is likely to be an excellent fantasy series.” And Voxael at Spolier Alert! offered the following caveat: “Very highly recommended to all well-written fantasy fans but with one warning attached – expect to lose two or three days of your free time to this book”.

Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds was reviewed by Andrew Liptak for SF Signal and he said: “Blackbirds is a shocking, dark read that pulls you deep into its story and simply won’t let go until you’ve blown through. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Chuck has also been talking to Mahvesh of City FM89 radio’s 89 Chapter show. Mahvesh also interviewed Lauren Beukes for the show back in June. And speaking of Lauren – bringing this little segment full-circle in the process – she’s been reading Blackbirds as well and on Twitter she declared it to be: “fast, ferocious, sharp as a switchblade and fucking fantastic”. A woman of excellent taste, our Lauren 🙂

Mike Shevdon‘s third Courts of the Feyre novel, Strangeness and Charm, got a mention in the latest Morpheus Tales Supplement as well (again: 8+Mb pdf behind that link), where Adrian called it: “A magical book, intelligent, heartfelt and well-written, Shevdon has created a series that deserves your attention.”

The first instalment in Anne Lyle’s Night’s Masque saga, The Alchemist of Souls was on the receiving end of a rave review from Leo Elijah Cristea, who said: “Anne Lyle’s writing is beautiful, elegant and gripping; be prepared to be swept away to a rich and colourful depiction of a different Elizabethan England, where treachery and danger abound.”

Speaking of things Lyle-esque, we’re pleased to hear that @MalCatlyn is back! That’s right folks, once again you can follow the C16th century tweeting of Elizabethan England’s favourite secret agent via the magic of Twitter’s new Reverse Time-Lapse Twengine® (or something like that…)

Lavie Tidhar‘s Camera Obscura was reviewed by Tony at Tony’s Thoughts, who enjoyed the smooth, flowing narrative: “This book is just so effortless to read. There is a lot going on and yet it all seems to be explained so easily. Everything just works, every reference to a historical or popular fictional figure adds to the background without taking over the story.”

You can also grab a free ebook copy of Lavie’s novelette The Last Osama from his website for a limited time.

And finally: no fewer than seven Angry Robot authors have taken part in an SF Signal Mind Meld on the subject of heroes and heroism.

There you go, short and sweet as promised. Have a great weekend!