Archive for Reviews
Hey folks, today’s Robot Round-Up is a celebration of January 2014′s coming titles, and we have two exciting books to share with you! First up, the much anticipated The Cormorant, the third in Chuck Wendig’s fantastic Miriam Black series. Readers of the first two books loved the dark, punchy style (“fast, ferocious, sharp as a switchblade and fucking fantastic” – Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls) and I can’t wait to see what you all think of the third book. Read More→
Damn, April already? Isn’t this year flying past? But also, that means that it’s British launch week for the wonderful The Age Atomic, the terrifying Black Feathers and the incontinence-inducing hilarity of The Marching Dead.
That man Joseph D’Lacey has been hither and thither promoting his book in the UK, and many thanks to Blackwells and Big Green for letting us hijack your stores. Black Feathers is getting raves everywhere right now:
• The mighty Tor.com said the novel is “an exceptional piece of apocalyptic/horror/fantasy fiction”, which is true.
• Upcoming4Me rather agreed: “a refreshing take on the whole post-apocalyptic genre and a great introduction to the writing of Joseph D’Lacey”.
• SciFi Now magazine gave it a half page and said the novel “artfully weaves a tale of destruction and rebirth”.
• Head to Popcorn Reads for a review and a chance to win an advance proof: “I loved this novel, despite the fact that it gave me chills and some bad dreams.”
• … or Book Bones Buffy, who also has a proof to give away, to celebrate “a story that is irresistibly addicting.”
• Fantasy blog Draumr Kopa recommended Black Feathers “to anyone who wants a more intelligent story, with lots of secrets and mystery, people who don’t mind a little thinking while reading.”
• And Then I Read a Book were blown away by the book: “It terrified me, made me angry, made me sad, transported me somewhere new and yet strangely familiar, and hasn’t left my head yet. It combines mythology, folktale, shamanism, coming of age and apocalyptic themes to create something very special.”
• And Stanley Eriks concluded by saying: “Black Feathers is an original and intelligent apocalypse story. It’s a myth-filled fable of the end of the world on an individual basis. It’s a coming-of-age story set on a cruel and broken Earth.”
The inimitable Lee Battersby has returned, bringing hapless half-dead Marius don Hellespont with him in The Marching Dead, the sequel to The Corpse-Rat King:
• Kate Of Mind blog loved loved loved it, giving it “all the stars” and saying “With this sequel, Battersby kicked up everything I loved about the first novel by a notch or two – world-building, storytelling, hilarity, and most of all, characters who just made me punch the air over and over again, usually while laughing.”
• Don’t forget you can get a taster in the form of an exclusive short story, Lying Like Cards, right here on this very website.
The tireless Adam Christopher was out and about promoting The Age Atomic, the two-fisted follow-up to Empire State. Thanks to Forbidden Planet in London for a fab launch event this Thursday – we rocked the joint, again.
• The book was an April pick for Kirkus Reviews, which was nice.
• A Writer’s Sidequest said it is “a glorious and joyous ode to the pulp science fiction of old. Awesome fun, from start to finish, just straight up, pure entertainment.”
• Adam was interviewed on My Bookish Ways, who also have a copy to give away too, so hurry over there!.
Upcoming debut author Wesley Chu continues to wow folks with the breakneck thrillride that is The Lives of Tao, out in May.
• Wes had a guest post on The Qwillery this week to talk about the first time a novel really spoke to him.
• I Will Read Books had this to say: “By the end of the books I was close to tears, which proves my emotional investment in the characters and their fates. I wish every book made me care about the characters as much as The Lives of Tao.”
• Over at Tome of Geek, Wes managed to overcome their usual aversion of genre mash-up novels: “We get the full sci-fi feeling combined with the spy genre without either side getting diluted or ignored. We get the full effect and in turn get a character we care about.”
Emma Newman, despite losing her wisdom teeth this week (wishing you a speedy recovery, Em), was still full of the joys of Between Two Thorns.
• Her guest post on The Creative Penn talked charmingly about urban fantasy, as a genre, its influences and its many strands.
• And finally, blog heavyweights Fantasy Faction gave the book nine stars out of ten, saying: “If you like a bit of fairy magic, the juxtaposition between ancient and modern, here and there, and you don’t mind being left in suspense for a good few months, you’ll really enjoy it.” (They’re going to be overjoyed when they hear that the sequel, Any Other Name, will be out in June then!)
“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.”
“His breathtaking expertise and confidence as a writer makes Naam the only serious successor to Michael Crichton working in the future history genre today.”
Scott Harrison, author of Archangel
“Reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best.”
Brenda Cooper, author of The Silver Ship and the Sea and The Creative Fire
There appears to be a pattern emerging! Also…
“Excellent spycraft, kick-ass action scenes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology… a hell of a read.”
Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
“The action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing”
“A ‘smart thriller’ in all senses of that phrase. Ramez Naam really does know how to make you turn that page. If you are posthuman or transhuman this is an absolute must-read for you; and even mere mortals will love it.”
Philip Palmer, author of Version 43 and Hell Ship
And if you pre-order a copy of Nexus, you can get an eBook copy of Naam’s HG Wells Award-winning non-fiction debut, More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement FREE!
Nexus will be published in the US on December 18th and in the UK on January 3rd. The eBook will be available worldwide on December 18th.
The Bookman Histories by Lavie Tidhar is published worldwide as an eBook on December 18th ($11.99 / £9.99). It will also be available as a 1,024 page paperback in North America (US$15.99) from that same date, and in the UK from January 3rd, 2013 (£12.99).
The Bookman Histories comprises the three individual volumes:
1. The Bookman - “Simply the best book I’ve read in a long time.” – James P Blaylock
2. Camera Obscura - “Stuffed to the gills with action and plot.” – The Literary Omnivore
3. The Great Game - “It’s a virtuoso performance.” – Locus Magazine
Plenty of love rolling in for David Tallerman’s energetic debut novel, Giant Thief:
SFX Magazine says:
Breathless pace… Damasco resembles a landlocked version of Jack Sparrow… The atypical backdrop,self-aware style and downplaying of magics bring to mind the contemporary fantasies of Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie.
Meanwhile, Starburst had this to say:
I’m finding it hard to dislike anything about this book. It’s a fun, entertaining read, everything a good story should be… David Tallerman’s first novel is a gripping yarn, one that is difficult to put down once started, and this reviewer is eagerly awaiting the next tale of Easie Damasco.
Over at A Fantastical Librarian, they confidently state that
If you’re up for a fun, fast-paced adventure featuring rogues, giants and lots of fighting, you won’t want to miss it!
and Publishers Weekly tells us:
“Best known for an eclectic variety of short stories, Tallerman debuts with a breezy novel of a man with his eye on the prize … Tallerman’s charming, devil-may-care hero has plenty of swashbuckling roguishness to carry him through the planned sequels.”
And Fantasy Nibbles was impressed, too:
This really is a fun read. Saltlick is adorable, I want one! It’s straightforward, linear, smack down the middle fast-paced goodness.
Giant Thief is released in mass market paperback in the US and Canada on January 31st, and in the UK on February 2nd. The eBook is released worldwide on January 31st in ePub and Kindle formats.
A couple of excellent reviews in the papers, today.
Whates has developed an intriguing metropolis every bit as fascinating as his varied cast of characters… Compulsively readable.
Suffused with a love for noir fiction and the golden age of American comic books, Christopher’s Empire State is something of a tour de force. If, somehow, Raymond Chandler and Philip K Dick had collaborated on a Superman story, they might well have produced this novel.
Click on the links to read the full reviews, then go buy/order from your favourite indie, chain, or online retailer (including the Angry Robot eBook Store).
“Debris is a strong, exciting debut that took me by surprise with its unique setting, interesting main character, and powerful “fight your way back to the top” narrative.”
“The world building is spectacular with a concept that’s amazingly simple yet wonderfully constructed and when added to some decent characterisation it’s a title that really does make you think… this debut is pretty impressive.”
- Falcata Times
““Debris is a fast read, and very well put together. I was immersed in its world at every stage, and fascinated by its characters. Tanyana may be too proud for her own good, but Jo Anderton has written a novel she deserves to take pride in.”
- Warpcore SF
“Jo Anderton combines elements of steampunk with her own unique vision to create something striking. Debris is a first novel NOT to be missed.”
– Marianne de Pierres, award winning author of the Parish Plessis and Sentients of Orion series.
“Anderton demonstrates a mastery of storytelling and world building in this series opener that is reminiscent of the visionary works of China Miéville. This accomplished debut novel should enjoy a wide readership.”
- Library journal
“I did enjoy living within this very richly crafted world that the author presents in Debris and the magical system is not only pretty unique but such a great idea too.”
- SF Books Review
“If you want a novel that will sweep you up and take you to another world where a kick-ass heroine will do battle to right wrongs and save her planet, then you are going to thoroughly enjoy Debris! I know I did!”
- Popcorn Reads
“I was reminded of the best of Stephen King. It’s the smartest and most compelling end-of-the-world alien-zombie story I have ever read.”
- Adam Roberts, author of By Light Alone and Yellow Blue Tibia
“This book is told with a sure hand and careful attention to detail; it’s frightening where it should be, sensitive where it should be, and enthralling throughout.”
- Mike Resnick, author of the Starship series, and the John Justin Mallory Mysteries
“Peter Crowther is crafting the first great post-apocalyptic saga of the new century, one that may dwarf even such a benchmark work as The Stand.”
- Lucius Shepard, author of The Golden and Life During Wartime
“Anything that has Pete Crowther’s fingerprints on it is evidence of quality. Snap it up.”
- Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Drive-In series and Bubba Ho-Tep
“As intensely menacing and gruesome as any George Romero film. A virtuoso ‘tour de force’ by Pete Crowther.”
- Ramsey Campbell, author of The Grin of the Dark and Thieving Fear
“His writing is master storytelling at its finest — gripping, chilling and beautifully told.”
- Sarah Pinborough, author of the Dog-Faced Gods trilogy and The Language of Dying
The Secret Lair is a bit of a misnomer – it’s actually really easy to find – here, for example. Not much of a secret, really, but we don’t mind – we’d prefer you to be able to actually find it. Partly because it’s a great blog, and partly because this week they’re running an Angry Robot Week.
Every day this week you’ll find reviews, interviews and commentary on some of the things Angry Robot are up to. For example:
There’s a Haiku Contest, where you can win five cool Angry Robot books.
There’s a review of the classic Morlock Night (recently reprinted by Angry Robot).
There’s an overview of our Nano Editions (short stories by our authors).
And today there’s an interview with Empire State author, Adam Christopher.
Go visit them every day this week for further goodies.
While Robopocalypse is this year’s hottest robot release… Reality 36 is a superior novel in almost every way.
[The application of technology] just makes sense… This reality (so far as science fiction goes) is what makes the book so compelling. It’s an actual glimpse into the future as much as it’s a mystery yarn and an action thriller. Isn’t that what Science Fiction is all about?
He won’t get any arguments from us…
When bullets aren’t flying I felt like I was having a discussion with the author about the implications the Singularity will have on humanity. And that’s cool.
As I was reading the novel I was comparing it favorably to another debut from earlier this year – Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief. They really aren’t similar in any way other than they read with a similar pace and absence of information dumping (a pet peeve of mine).
Guy Haley has really produced a first rate robot novel. Angry Robot Books keeps churning out great additions in speculative fiction.
You can read the full review at Staffer’s Musings.