The Blighted City (The Fractured Tapestry #1)
17, Jul


BLIGHTED CITY is a fantasy which involves a juxtaposition of two things which you normally don't see much of: a biohazard horror setting and a fantasy world. Basically, it's a series which could best be described as THE LAST OF US, THE SHADOWS OF INNSMOUTH, meets your typical DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS dragon crawl. Even then, it's not a very good description and you could draw parallels to many other works.

Caliban's War (The Expanse #2)
16, Jul


CALIBAN'S WAR is the second installment of the Expanse series, which compromises the majority of Season Two of the series. Unlike with the first volume, I read this before watching the second season and I'm glad I did. I felt my viewing of the second season of the Expanse was enriched by my reading how the author originally intended the story to go.

Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness
15, Jul


I'm a big fan of Matthew Davenport's Cthulhu Mythos novels. I really enjoyed THE TRIAL OF OBED MARSH and thought THE STATEMENT OF ANDREW DORAN was a lot of fun. However, I was interested in where the story could go after the events of the first novel. It's not often an author combines Indiana Jones, the Cthulhu Mythos, and Titus Crow. Where do you go from there? Well, nicely, the answer is Antarctica to prevent the Nazis and some nasty cultists from raising an army of shoggoths to destroy everything.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1)
14, Jul


Let it never be said that adaptations don't lead you to the source material. I was led to LEVIATHAN WAKES by the Expanse television series on the Syfy channel (soon to be and, thus, had a bit of difficulty starting on because I knew the story of the first book but was interested in how the story sometimes zigged instead of zagged. It made me want to read the rest of the series before I watched the next season.

Into the Dark (Alexis Carew #1)
09, Jul


INTO THE DARK by J.A. Sutherland is the first novel of the steampunk science fiction novel series ALEXIS CAREW, which follows the adventures of the titular plucky midshipwoman. If I had to describe this one, I would have to say it's about halfway between Disney's Treasure Planet and the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. It is a world where starships travel the void between worlds using ropes, cannon, and sails as a new British Empire feuds with dozens of other Age of Sail powers.

Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #1)
08, Jul


CHILD OF THE NIGHT GUILD is the first novel in the Night Guild series by Andy Peloquin. It deals with a concept I've always loved in fantasy: the Thieves Guild. Before the mafia existed, the concept of an organized criminal underworld in Medieval times. Created in fantasy by Fitz Leiber, the Thieves Guild has been a mainstay of fantasy settings influenced by it like Dungeons and Dragons or Skyrim.

Brutal: An Epic Grimdark Fantasy (The Brutal Trilogy #1) by James Alderdice Book Review
06, Jul


BRUTAL: AN EPIC GRIMDARK FANTASY by James Alderice is an homage to the classic Western A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, 1920s gangster movie LAST MAN STANDING, and samurai story YOJIMBO. The premise for it is a remarkably flexible one. Basically, a lone warrior goes into a town which is controlled by two rival gangs. Playing the two against one another, he attempts to make a fortune but things quickly spiral out of control.

Star Wars: Lost Stars
01, Jul


LOST STARS by Claudia Gray is probably one of my top five Star Wars books with the others being THE THRAWN TRILOGY by Timothy Zahn and SHATTERPOINT by Matthew Stover. It is a book which doesn't talk about Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han, or the other characters but follows two original characters through the events of the Galactic Civil War (A New Hope to the Battle of Jakku following Return of the Jedi).

Saint Death
29, Jun


Since Santa Muerte went public as a religious sub-cult in 2001, there have been numerous cases of alleged human sacrifice. This is less unprecedented than people might think since in the United States we've had human sacrifices to Slendeman. Whether there really were such actions or just sensationalized reports is debatable. A good urban legend combined with a few possible true facts can be the source of great fiction and entertainment.

The Saint of Liars (The Lucky Devil Series 2#)
28, Jun


THE SAINT OF LIARS is the sequel to THE FINDER AT THE LUCKY DEVIL and the second volume of the LUCKY DEVIL series. The Lucky Devil series is an excellent find and one of the most interesting new books to come out of the indie urban fantasy market in years. I say that as an indie urban fantasy author myself (Red Room, The Bright Falls Mysteries). It takes place in a Shadowrun-esque setting where corporations rule and magic is abundant.