The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1)

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu Published: Simon & Schuster (Apr 7, 2015) Original Post: Edge, Goodreads (Mar 10, 2017)     The struggle between kings and their governed takes center stage in Ken Liu’s fantasy epic, The Grace of Kings. The novel features a tense political atmosphere with ever-shifting notions of right and wrong. Unlike other fantasy novels, Grace is inspired by the Far East instead of medieval Europe. In addition to a unique setting, Grace is an epic tale with diverse characters. The Islands of Dara were once six fractured-but-equal kingdoms known as Read More …

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection (The Stormlight Archive #2.5) by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Nov 22, 2016) Original Post: Cross-posted(Jan 24, 2017)     SPOILER WARNING: Arcanum Unbounded features major spoilers for Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive, and Elantris. This review contains spoilers for Mistborn & The Stormlight Archive. This anthology is best suited for fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. ~ Arcanum Unbounded is a collection of fantasy novellas by Brandon Sanderson. All of the stories are set in his Cosmere universe. Each planetary system explored is prefaced by the White Sand’s Worldhopper Khriss. This unique perspective allows Sanderson’s observations Read More …

The Alchemists of Loom (1/10/2017)

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova Published: Keymaster Press (Jan 10, 2017) Posted: Cross-posted (Dec 31, 2016)     The Alchemists of Loom marks the beginning of a new fantasy series by Elise Kova. Combining Steampunk and high fantasy, the author revitalizes the questing-high fantasy genre, creating a detail-rich world with unparalleled originality. Alchemists may be extremely easy to read, but don’t let that fool you, there’s a lot to love here! Loom is a world of opposites. Controlled by a powerful race of magic-wielding beings known as Dragons, the downtrodden, gray-skinned Fenthri are forced to Read More …

Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Published: Solaris (Feb 10, 2015) Original Post: Edge, Goodreads, Medium (Nov 23, 2016)     “In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” – TS Eliot “Why can’t music be magic? Aren’t spells just words you repeat? And what are songs? Lyrics that play over and over again. The words are like a formula.” – Signal to Noise   Signal to Noise explores music and magic in a story that bridges two decades. Through the turbulence of youth to the uncertainties of adulthood, the novel blends modern Read More …

Invisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation (11/01/2016)

Invisible Planets by Ken Liu Published: Tor Books (Nov 1, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 24, 2016)     Invisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation is a collection of Chinese speculative short fiction edited and translated by Ken Liu. A master of storytelling in his own right, Liu shares 13 stellar visions of the future by 7 of China’s top science fiction writers. It also features 3 essays that examine the role of sci-fi in modern China. This collection includes stories from Chen Quifan, Xia Jia, Ma Boyong, Hao Jingfang, Tang Fei, Cheng Jingbo, and Liu Cixin. Read More …

The Apothecary’s Curse (10/11/2016)

The Apothecary’s Curse by Barbara Barnett (Blogcritics) Published: Pyr (Oct 11, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Sep 3, 2016)     The Apothecary’s Curse is an upcoming fantasy novel set in an alternate Victorian England and modern day Chicago. Alternating between two timelines, the novel explores humanity through the lens of its two immortal protagonists: Doctor Simon Bell and the mysterious apothecary, Gaelan Erceldoune. Over the centuries, they’ll need to work together to overcome many obstacles and unravel the secret of their affliction. The author concocts a masterful blend of the finest storytelling elements. With a tempered hand, Bell and Erceldoune’s story Read More …

The Quantum Thief (Jean le Flambeur #1)

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi Published: Gollancz (Sep 1, 2010) Posted: Goodreads (Nov 14, 2014) Edited: Sep 10, 2016     [Edited 9/10/2016 — This is a review of one of the greatest post-singularity science fiction novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The novel contains plenty of action and high-tech speculation. A large part of this review was written back in 2014, prior to me claiming the all powerful mantle of “Reviewer.” Tread carefully. There are probably a ton of grammatical mistakes. Although it contains some spoilers, they are no more numerous than those found in the famous Read More …

Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening (Issues #1-6) (Graphic Novel)

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. – Monstress synopsis, Image Comics This article combines reviews of the 6-part single issue release of the ARC Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening graphic novel. If you prefer to read each review at a time, you Read More …

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Mar 4, 2014) Posted: Goodreads     Words of Radiance is the second installment of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive. If this is your first Stormlight Archive novel, you should probably go check out The Way of Kings as this review contains a few spoilers! If you read and enjoyed the first volume, the second will blow your mind! *** Where The Way of Kings establishes the detail rich world of Roshar, complete with a large assortment of characters, Words of Radiance expands upon that depth a Read More …

Altered America: Steampunk Stories

Altered America: Steampunk Stories by Cat Rambo Published: Plunkett Press (Jun 12, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Aug 4, 2016)     Altered America: Steampunk Stories by Cat Rambo is a collection of the author’s short stories. Unlike other Steampunk works, Rambo focuses on crafting an alternate history of the world in which dreadful magic returns and supernatural threats run rampant. Most of the stories take place in America during the mid-1800s, early 1900s. Unlike other shorts in the genre, those in Altered America focus on a singular, pivotal event: the mysterious return of fairies, heralding in other forms of magic and Read More …

White Sand (White Sand #1) (Graphic Novel)

White Sand (White Sand #1) by Brandon Sanderson Published: Dynamite Entertainment (Jun 28, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Jul 24, 2016)     White Sand is New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson’s first graphic novel. While it’s based on his unpublished first novel of the same name, it’s been re-imagined and released in a visual form. The graphic novel is written by my favorite fantasy novelist, but does past success transfer to this medium? White Sand takes place on the planet of Taldain, in the author’s Cosmere, the same “universe” as his Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series. Taldain is tidal locked, Read More …

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1)

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Aug 31, 2010) Posted: Goodreads (Jul 21, 2016) 🙂   TL;DR – This is a long review of The Way of Kings. The novel features an in-depth and heavily detailed world complete with excellent characters and strong story. The character development, political climate, and magic system are all noteworthy. The review should be relatively spoiler free. TWoK is a true masterpiece and an excellent start to an intriguing series. 5/5 and highly recommended! *** The Way of Kings is the first installment of The Stormlight Archive. Read More …

Secret History (Mistborn #3.5)

Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson Published: Dragonsteel Entertainment, Ltd. (Jan 26, 2016 ) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 30, 2016)     (Secret History and this review contains spoilers of the first three Mistborn novels.) Did the survivor actually persist past death? What secrets does the Eleventh Metal hold? What is the larger state of the Cosmere Mistborn: Secret History explores those questions in the form of a novella. The best way to read Secret History is after the 2nd novel of the Wax & Wayne series, The Bands of Mourning. So, including The Eleventh Metal (a short story prologue to Read More …

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6)

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Jan 26, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 28, 2016)     The Bands of Mourning raises the bar for Wax & Wayne, taking everything Shadows of Self got right and expands upon it. It is by far the best of Wax & Wayne and well worth your time. Whereas past Wax & Wayne novels may have lacked the “epic” feel prior to the last half of Shadows of Self, Bands truly elevates Mistborn’s latest Era into the realm of epic fantasy. It contains so many different types of scenes – from Read More …

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5)

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Oct 6, 2015) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 24, 2016)     TL;DR- Wow. If you like Mistborn, buy this now. The scope and depth of this novel will remind you of The Fallen Empire. Yet it stands on its own as being one of the best Mistborn books to date. Outstanding. *** Mistborn’s world is forged in metal. From it’s groundbreaking beginning, The Last Empire, to it’s latest incarnation starting with The Alloy of Law, the series has been about prophecy, ascendancy, growth and change. Shadows of Self exemplifies these constants, helping Read More …

The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4)

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Nov 8, 2011 ) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 18, 2016)     Alloy of Law is the beginning of Mistborn Era 2 (the second set of books after the Mistborn Trilogy). While it isn’t the second trilogy’s official beginning, it’s a fun adventure filled with loveable characters in a ten of the century, late 1800s-type setting. If you love fantasy and Victorian-esque literature (or the brief expansion of the American Midwest during the mid to late 1800s), you’ll thoroughly enjoy Era 2. Just insert automobiles and magic and you’ve got some Read More …

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3)

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Apr 28, 2009) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 14, 2016)     Outstanding finale for one of the greatest fantasy series I’ve ever read. If you thought the first two Mistborn novels were good, you’ll love this. Essentially continues the story of Elend and his army as well as former members of Kelsier’s crew. There’s also some pretty epic things that have been brewing for the last two books. There’s lots of action, comedy, sad moments and amazing storytelling. Just as face paced tempered with plenty of detail and excellent writing. Essentially Read More …

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Aug 21, 2007) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 2, 2016)     This is the second book in the Mistborn series and it’s absolutely amazing. The same well written and carefully constructed story you’d expect from a follow-up to The Last Empire and yet even more to love. This novel continues with the court intrigue in the first novel and expands it to political and military spheres this time around. It also has a hell of a lot of twists and turns along the way. All of the suspenseful threats and perils Read More …

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)

The Final Empireby Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Books (Jul 17, 2006) Posted: Goodreads (Jan 1, 2016)     TL;DR — Mistborn: The Last Empire is the start of an amazing and unique series that revitalizes epic fantasy. If you like similar novels but long for a well written story with intense pacing, Mistborn cannot be beat. Cut away the unresolved endings and meaningless story deviations in other similar works, Sanderson delivers an unparalleled saga that’s sure to amaze. *** I’ve read and reviewed my fair share of fantasy novels over the years, and yet I can’t recommend any of them Read More …

The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn #0.5)

The Eleventh Metal by Brandon Sanderson Published: Crafty Games (Apr 11, 2012) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 22, 2016)     The Eleventh Metal is a short story designed as a prequel to the Mistborn Adventure Game, an RPG of that series. Fans of the series will want to read the story out of love for the main character Kelsier. As other reviewers have noted, the story isn’t essential, the details of it are scattered throughout the actual novels. But I found the story to be a fun read. The writing is as excellent as novels in the series. What I liked Read More …

The Emperor’s Soul (Elantris #2)

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tachyon Publications (Oct 11, 2012) Posted: Goodreads (June 15, 2016)     The Emperor’s Soul is a novella about a Forger named Shai that is forced to create a masterpiece, the mind and soul of an Emperor in a vegetative state. But it explores larger issues and is so much more than a shortened novel. Blend this interesting plot with some great fantasy storytelling and you have a good read. Sanderson makes regular conversations between characters intense, witty and fun. The magic mechanics for crafting things – objects, even persons, created using finely Read More …

Elantris (Elantris #1)

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson Published: Tor Fantasy (May 30, 2006) Posted: Goodreads (Jul 7, 2016)     Synopsis Elantris is a fantastic fantasy novel set in the author’s Cosmere universe. The story focuses on a soon to be wed prince and his sudden unraveling at the hands of a mystical transformation. Whereas once the Shaod created ascended, God-like beings, it now leaves those it touches as living dead. The prince, Raoden, never gets to meet his wife-to-be, Sarene. Instead he’s cast into the country’s once great capital: the walled city of Elantris. A place that was once so full of Read More …