Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Library Journal round-up (September 15th issue)

Here's the newest round-up of Library Journal SF/F reviews. For full reviews, click here.
The Queen of Wolves by Douglas Clegg: "Building upon the events of The Priest of Blood and The Lady of Serpents, Clegg brings his otherworldly trilogy to a satisfying close while leaving the door open to future books. A good choice for libraries with a strong readership for vampiric fiction. (Sept.)"

Reap the Wild Wind by Julie E. Czerneda: "Set in the same universe as her “Trade Pact Universe” series (A Thousand Words for Stranger; Ties of Power; To Trade the Stars), Czerneda's latest novel launches a new “Stratification” series that retraces the journey of the clan to a time before they left their home to travel the stars. Fascinating world-building and sympathetic characters make this a good choice for most sf collections. (Sept.)"

Fatal Revenant (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Bk. 2) by Stephen R. Donaldson: * Starred Review * "Once Dr. Linden Avery loved Thomas Covenant, the maimed leper who learned how to travel to the realm known as the Land, where he was both hero and sacrifice. Avery returns to the Land now in search of her autistic son Jeremiah, who was kidnapped by Covenant's greedy son Roger. . . Donaldson's latest contribution to his saga explores the boundaries of love and trust as well as the importance of loyalty and friendship. Essential for series fans and a necessary addition to most fantasy collections. (Oct.)"

Moon in the Mirror: A Tess Noncoiré Adventure by P.R. Frost: "Unknown to her readership, fantasy novelist Tess Noncoiré bases her stories on her own adventures as a member of the Sisterhood of the Celestial Blade Warriors, dedicated to protecting the world from invasion by demons. . . Frost has created a resourceful and appealing heroine whose strengths and weaknesses together make her a fully formed character. This sequel to Hounding the Moon continues a strong series and is suitable for most fantasy/urban fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

Ilario: The Stone Golem by Mary Gentle: "Born a hermaphrodite, Ilario has served as freak to King Roderigo of Spain. When an assassination attempt forces Ilario to flee, his travels take him to Carthage, then Venice, where “he” finds himself pregnant and, in due time, gives birth to a baby girl. At long last, his travels take him to Constantinople, where amid the intrigues of palace and church he seeks once again to find a place in the world. Gentle (Ash; Golden Witchbreed) concludes the tale begun in Ilario: The Lion's Eye with her customary sure eye for detail and her singular ability to bring past times and places to life. For most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

The Phoenix Unchained by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory: "Set in the same universe as the “Obsidian Trilogy” series (The Outstretched Shadow; To Light a Candle; When Darkness Falls), the latest novel by coauthors Lackey (the “Valdemar” series; Diana Tregarde novels) and Mallory (the “Merlin Trilogy”) sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril. A good addition to most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller: "First published in Britain, Miller's debut novel portrays a fresh new fantasy universe where two races—one magical, the other apparently lacking in magic—coexist in apparent harmony unaware that they are on the verge of upheaval. Intriguing characters and a finely tuned sense of drama and pacing make this first in a two-book series a good addition to most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear: "Coauthors Monette (Mélusine) and Bear (Blood and Iron) combine their literary talents in a saga of warriors whose love for their wolves and for one other serves to bind them together into a band of fierce protectors. Graphic sexuality may limit the audience for this well-written and emotionally powerful quasi-Nordic fantasy. Recommended for adult-themed fantasy and fiction collections. (Oct.)"

The Metatemporal Detective by Michael Moorcock: "Prolific author Moorcock collects 11 tales, including one original to this anthology, of yet another incarnation of fantasy's most popular and enigmatic antihero, the Eternal Champion. Moorcock's storytelling is impeccable, his humor both arch and to the point. Most libraries should consider adding this themed short story collection to their holdings. (Oct.)"

Vorpal Blade by John Ringo & Travis S. Taylor: "Coauthors Ringo (A Hymn Before Battle) and Taylor (Warp Speed) return to the days of pulp sf with an action-packed adventure laced with hard science and brimming with battles. Fans of tongue-in-cheek dialog and superbly crafted military sf should enjoy this sequel to Into the Looking Glass. (Sept.)"

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers: "Avery Cates is an assassin with few morals. After he finds himself in the hands of the law, facing charges of murdering three policemen, he accepts a bargain against his better judgement: freedom in exchange for the assassination of the head of the Electric Church, whose cyborg monks are creating an army of slaves—robots with human brains. The author of Lifers and The Freaks Are Winning creates a dark future of high tech and low dreams in an action-filled noir thriller reminiscent of Blade Runner. A good addition to most sf collections. (Sept.)"

The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling: "The fourth installment in the author's postapocalyptic novels of “The Change” series (Dies the Fire; The Protector's War; A Meeting at Corvallis) sheds light on heretofore unexplored regions of a terribly altered world. A master of speculative fiction and alternate history, Stirling delivers another chapter in an epic of survival and rebirth. For most libraries. (Sept.)"

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson: "Wilson's first novel skillfully combines elements of romance, court intrigue, and epic drama. Some graphic eroticism makes this adult romantic fantasy most suitable for libraries where Jacqueline Carey, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind are popular. (Oct.)"

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson: "This sequel to Wilson's Hugo Award–winning Spin elaborates on strange new sciences and old dangers in an adventure solidly grounded in science. Intriguing characters and strong storytelling make this an excellent choice for most sf collections. (Sept.)" [La Gringa asks: Am I the only one on the planet that thought Spin was emotionally flat and unreadable?]

Frankenstein's Bride by Hilary Bailey: "In Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, Victor begins to create a bride for the monster but stops and tears her apart before she rises. British author Bailey takes this passage as her epigram and asks what would have happened if he had chosen to finish the job. . . Despite praising Shelley's erudite monster in her introduction, Bailey unfortunately chooses to portray him as the shambling, groaning creature of the movies. First published in Britain in 1995, this novel arrives stateside in an edition that includes the complete text of Shelley's Frankenstein as well. Recommended for large horror collections. (Oct.)"

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin: "Rardin's lively, fast-paced urban fantasy debut features a host of characters and a plethora of plot twists. Fans of Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, and other urban fantasists will bite. Recommended for popular reading collections. [The second title in the series, Another One Bites the Dust, will make its debut in December.—Ed.] (Oct.)"

Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley: "This brutal yet spirited world-spanning political fantasy reflects the strong influence of George R.R. Martin's “Song of Ice and Fire” series. While the characters are less complex, the action less compelling, and the plot twists less surprising than those elements in that work, this is solid, engaging reading. The epilog, which suggests the birth of even more powerful evil, will leave readers anxious for more. Ruckley shows talent; one suspects even stronger work will follow. Recommended for all fantasy collections. (Sept.)"


Anonymous said...

Arrrgh. Book 2 of the Covenant series has a starred review.

Sometimes I curse the day I decided to wait for the series to finish before reading...

Anonymous said...

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson: "...and Terry Goodwind are popular. (Oct.)"

Eek; I'm pretty sure they meant Terry Goodkind.

clindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clindsay said...

Ha ha ha! I like Goodwind better - seems more appropriate. I just changed it. I noticed that they also misspelled the name of Sarah Monette's book. Great quality control there, guys!