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Archives for: November 2010


Review: Red Hood's Revenge

Red Hood’s Revenge by Jim C. Hines

Plot Summary: Roudette's story was a simple one. A red cape. A wolf. A hunter. Her mother told her she would be safe, so long as she kept to the path. But sometimes the path leads to dark places. Roudette is the hunter now, an assassin known throughout the world as the Lady of the Red Hood. Her mission will take her to the country of Arathea and an ancient fairy threat. At the heart of the conflict between humans and fairies stands the woman Roudette has been hired to kill, the only human ever to have fought the Lady of the Red Hood and survived-the princess known as Sleeping Beauty.

Jim’s Review: Re-telling fairy tales seems to be popular these days. Familiar characters and archetypes gives the reader an automatic connection with the characters, assuming these tales are a part of the reader’s cultural background. On the other hand, there are only so many ways to portray (for example) Red’s relationship with wolves after the end of the traditional tale. Still, Hines does an excellent job taking aspects of fairy tales and the many ways they have been told over the years, and mixing them with themes and archetypes from classic mythology to create his own world and tell a tale of his own with action and character-based drama.

If you enjoy this book, you might also enjoy:

Review: Sarah Jane Adventures - S1 & S2

Sarah Jane Adventures - Season 1 and Sarah Jane Adventures - Season 2

May's Review: I spent the later half of my 2010 re-familiarizing myself with Doctor Who and just recently checked out its other spin-off series, the Sarah Jane Adventures, which unlike Torchwood, is more family-oriented with less emphasis on the sex or extreme violence. Having watched the first two seasons of Sarah Jane back-to-back, I have to say that it's not half bad.

The series' premise revolves around Sarah Jane Smith, an investigative reporter and former companion Doctor, who enlists some local kids to help her investigate mysterious happenings in the community. Of course, all of these events have something to do with aliens of some sort and our "gang" with the aid of supercomputer named "Mr. Smith" and the occasional use of a sonic lipstick (I kid you not!), end up saving the world at the end of each and every episode. Fans of Doctor Who will recognize some of the aliens featured in the series such as the Slitheen and Sontaran but of course, for this series to succeed, they need to introduce a new pantheon of villains such as the Bane and the Trickster. In fact, the two episodes featuring the Trickster are my favorites so far because they explore Sarah Jane's pre-Doctor past and reminds us that her character is just as important to the world as the Doctor.

Let's be honest here. If you want your Sci-Fi series to be dark and brooding with elements of constant danger and action, then Sarah Jane is not the series for you. However, if you want to watch a fairly good Sci-Fi series with a somewhat exotic appeal (e.g. with British accents) that you can safely watch with the kids, then this series is for you!

Note: The Doctor does not show up in the series until Season 3 which is set to be released on DVD in January, 2011. Keep checking the catalog for when the record will be made available so you can place your hold on the item.


Categories: New Books

Here are the New Paperbacks!!!!

Fable: The Balverine Order by Peter David

Summary: The days of magic and adventure are fading away, giving way to the age of industry and science. As the aged last Hero sits upon the throne of Albion, two friends-the privileged Thomas and his loyal servant, John- set out for the East in search of a legendary beast: the vicious, rarely-seen balverine. But their desire for adventure may be their ultimate undoing-because their quarry has just found them...

At Empire's Edge by William C. Dietz

Summary: In a far-distant future, the Uman Empire has spread to the stars and beyond, conquering and colonizing worlds, ruling with a benevolent-but iron-fist. The Pax Umana reigns, and all is well. But on one planet, the remnants of a violent, shape-shifting race called the Sagathis are confined, kept captive by xeno-cops, who have been bio-engineered to be able to see through their guises. Still, sometimes one manages to escape. Zak Cato is a xeno-cop. He's returning a fugitive Sagathi when things go horribly wrong. Cato- the only survivor after the rest of his men are slaughtered-must now figure out who betrayed them and bring the alien in, whatever the cost.

Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman

Summary: Fourteen centuries ago, all power was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft the spell-wines. But the people revolted against harsh rule, and were saved by a demigod called Sin-Washer, who broke the First Vine, shattering the hold of the prince-mages. In 1378 ASW, princes still rule, but Vinearts now make spellwines, less powerful than in days of old. Jerzy, a young slave, has just begun his studies to become a Vineart when his master uncovers the first stirrings of a plot to finish the work Sin-Washer began, and shatter the remains of the Vine forever. Only his master believes the magnitude and danger of this plot. And only Jerzy has the ability to stop it…before there are no more Vinearts left at all.

Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Summary: When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time—or worse—Shel enlists the aid of Dave MacElroy, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission. Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil-rights upheavals of the 20th century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations...

Shotgun Sorceress by Lucy A. Snyder

Summary: For Jessie Shimmer, everything changed when she went to hell and back to save her lover, Cooper Marron. After tangling with supernatural forces and killing an untouchable spirit lord, Jessie finds herself gifted—or perhaps cursed—with dark powers. And when she and Cooper make love, her pleasure throes light the whole house on fire. What is a sorceress to do? Jessie is about to find out. The circumstances of her birth, the mystery of a father she never knew, and the help of a cuddly ferret turned fearsome monster have made Jessie not just an outlaw from mundane society, but an accidental revolutionary in the magic realm. Encountering portals stitched into thin air and a fiercely sexy soul harvester, Jessie rushes headlong among enemies, horrors, wonders, and lovers into a place of self-discovery—or destruction.

Golden Shrine by Harry Turtledove

Summary: The glaciers came and covered the world with ice. Now they are in retreat. North of the city of Nidaros, north of the forest, north of the steppes where the nomadic Bizogots hunt, a gap has opened in the ice-wall. And down through that gap come the men who call themselves "Rulers." Scattered survivors of the Bizogot tribes hide from the Rulers. The Empire is shattered. The feckless Emperor Sigvat II is in hiding. Against the Rulers stands Count Hamnet Thyssen and his small band of friends.


David Moody -- the next great voice in sci-fi/horror

Highly recommended for Scott Sigler fans,
and Apocalypse addicts everywhere!

Hater (2009)

by David Moody

"A head-spinning thrill ride ... Hater will haunt you long after you read the last page" --Guillermo Del Toro, director Pan's Labyrinth

Product Description:
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), Hater is the story of Danny McCoyne, an everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad. For reasons unknown, vast numbers of the human population suddenly become irrationally violent, killing all who cross their path.

Dog Blood (2010) New and popular!

Product Description:

...the electrifying sequel to Hater where humanity fights itself to the death against a backdrop of ultimate apocalyptic destruction

The Earth has been torn into two parts...everyone is now either Human or Hater. Victim or killer. Governments have fallen, command structures have collapsed, and relationships have crumbled. Major cities have become refugee camps where human survivors cower together in fear. Amidst this indiscriminate carnage, Danny McCoyne is on a mission to find his daughter Ellis, convinced that her shared Hater condition means her allegiance is to people like him. Free of inhibitions, unrestricted by memories of peace, and driven by instinct, children are pure Haters, and may well define the future of the Hater race. But, as McCoyne makes his way into the heart of human territory, an incident on the battlefield sets in place an unexpected chain of events, forcing him to question everything he believes he knows about the new order that has arisen, and the dynamic of the Hate itself.

Click here for author's official website!

The Cryptkeeper

Review: Cryoburn

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Plot Summary: Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove - he's been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp - an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future - attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out. On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning, ‘Don't mess with the secretary’. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping - something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn't due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle- of trouble!

Jim’s Review: The first Miles Vorkosigan novel came out in 1986. Before Cryoburn, the most recent addition to the series was Diplomatic Immunity in 2002. The wait has been long, but this latest novel does not disappoint. In Cryoburn, Bujold explores some of the potential benefits, hazards, and moral quandaries of a civilization with easy access to fully functional cryogenics, and she does it in the context of a fast-moving mystery, full of action and drama. Miles is characteristically charismatic and quick-witted, though he’s matured as the series has progressed, building relationships and learning from experience. While great for long-time fans of the series, this might not be the best book to start with. The ending, especially, keeps Cryoburn from working well as a stand-alone novel, though it works well to make me eager for the next book in the series.

You might enjoy this book if you enjoyed:


Categories: New Books

New Paperbacks

Imager's Challenge by L. E. Modesitt

Summary: Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L’Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things. First, the Commander of the Civic Patrol doesn’t want a liaison from the infamous Collegium, and soon has Rhenn patrolling the streets of the worst district in the city. Second, Rhenn receives formal notice that one of the High Holders, the father of a man Rhenn partly blinded in self-defense, has declared his intention to destroy Rhenn and his family. Rhenn’s only allies are the family of the girl he loves, successful merchants with underworld connections.

Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

Summary: His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years--ever since the beast in him was born. Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself.

Heaven's Spite by Lilith Saintcrow

Summary: When a new hellbreed comes calling, playing nice isn't an option. Jill Kismet has no choice but to seek treacherous allies - Perry, the devil she knows, and Melisande Belisa, the cunning Sorrows temptress whose true loyalties are unknown. Kismet knows Perry and Belisa are likely playing for the same thing--her soul. It's just too bad, because she expects to beat them at their own game. Except their game is vengeance.

Quatrain by Sharon Shinn

Summary: Shinn weaves compelling stories in four of the worlds that readers love in Flight (Samaria), Blood (Heart of Gold), Gold (Summers in Castle Auburn) and Flame (Twelve Houses).

Crown of the Blood by Gav Thorpe

Summary: He had brought his master’s Empire to the furthest reaches of the world. All had fallen before him. Now he longs for home. But home isn’t what it was. Could it be that everything he’s fought for all those years has been a lie? A sweeping fantasy of immense battles, demonic magic and dark politics.


Categories: Award Winners

2010 World Fantasy Award Winner

Congratulations to China Miéville for picking up the World Fantasy Award this past weekend for best novel!

The City & The City by China Miéville

Summary: When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Click on link for the complete list of winners in all of the categories.