Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kirkus Reviews round-up (September 1st issue)

Time for the next Kirkus Reviews round-up. First, the Starred Reviews:
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon: "Ridiculously entertaining. If the movie people don't snap this one up, somebody's asleep at the switch."

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007, edited by Ellen Datlow, Gavin Grant and Kelly Link: "Bring out the bone china—a critically acclaimed fantasy/horror annual celebrates its 20th anniversary in grand style. . . Worth a space on any bookshelf."

In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente: "Demanding, certainly, but no summary can do justice to the bedazzling intricacies on bountiful display here."

Devices and Desires: The Engineer Trilogy, Book One by K.J. Parker: "Those who prefer epics painted in sophisticated shades of gray to ultimate battles of good and evil will relish this first volume of a trilogy, published in the U.K. in 2005. . . Highly recommended, especially to readers tired of the usual thing." (This one also received a starred Library Journal review.)
Next up, the ones they liked enough not to mock:
The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson (filed under "fiction" and not "science fiction" for some odd reason): "Apocalypse Then. Its prose aptly—on occasion annoyingly—portentous, this Superman prequel is action-packed, depicting a lost world in fanatic detail. . . Sci-fi of Miltonic ambition."

The Kingdom of Bones by Stephen Gallagher: "In this moody, gripping period thriller, the shadowy world of the undead sucks in a beautiful actress and the man who would give his life to save hers. . . Dark but splendid entertainment."

The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia: "Flavorsome fantasy set in the hidden underworld of newly capitalist Russia, from an ex-Muscovite and current New Jersey resident. . . Great character sketches and plenty of magic-realist incidents, all set forth in charmingly Russian-accented prose. Missing a structured plot, however, the story lacks an essential firmness." (Picky, picky.)

1 comment:

Paul Abbamondi said...

Boo to the Kirkus Review of The Secret History of Moscow! I loved the book and firmly believe it has a solid plot structure. All the different character sketches add up, culminating with an ending that is both appropriate and wrenching.