Archive for Robot Round-Up
We’re welcoming in the month of August with a round-up of some of the latest reviews and activity from our authors.
• Publishers Weekly rewarded Kameron’s epic fantasy novel with a starred review: “Hurley reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel.”
• It’s hard to choose just one or two great lines from Alex Ristea‘s review but here’s a taster of why he loved it so much: “This is world-building at its finest—an imaginative and fantastical world that is unrelenting in its immersiveness…The Mirror Empire takes a look at the epic fantasy patriarchy and gives it a firm kick in the balls.” Alex ends his rave review by saying, The Mirror Empire “will be the most important book you read this year.”
• When the most a reviewer dislikes about a book is the wait for its sequel, it’s safe to say we’re pretty happy. Thus was the case when In Case of Survival read The Mirror Empire: “I can’t even tell you how much I liked this book…I cannot wait to come back to the Worldbreaker universe and find out what the characters are up to.”
• Fantasy Review Barn awards with 4 stars: “The Mirror Empire will make your head hurt in a very good way. I couldn’t imagine the mental and physical mapping it would take to hold all these pieces together but hold together they do. This book deals with gendered expectations on every page yet could be read for the story alone; different conventions and expectations are ingrained into the societies portrayed so naturally that they shouldn’t even raise a brow. The world is alive, the world is unique, and the world is actually built rather than borrowed.”
• Can’t wait for The Mirror Empire‘s release? Check out Tor.com‘s excerpt, and lastly, here’s a hat tip to Amanda Rutter, former Strange Chemistry editor, who worked on The Mirror Empire and has been blogging about it on Floor to Ceiling Books.
Rod Duncan‘s The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, September 2014, charmed Publishers Weekly early on, “Duncan’s strong supernatural mystery serves ably as both a standalone adventure and the start to a series.”
• Alister at Fantasy Faction is blaming TBCD for some late nights and tired mornings: “It’s fair to say I was smitten by The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter. Rod Duncan’s talent has combined inventive plot and characterisation to create a smart, amusing and fascinating tale that had me reading long into the night.”
• Annie over on the Summer Reading Project “was immediately hooked by the world Duncan created.” Eagerly awaiting the next instalment, what made this book for Annie “was Elizabeth Barnabas. Her unusual upbringing in a traveling circus and her five years of forced independence have made her clever and strong. She’s a wonderful character and it was a treat to watch her work through the challenges the cropped up as she find out why everyone wants to get their hands on the Duchess’s missing brother.”
• I’m glad to see Looking For A Good Book trusted us with an unknown author: “There wasn’t a single moment that I felt bored or wanted to skip ahead a little. I was mesmerized early and the story and characters blossomed before me with precision…Looking for a good book? Mystery, duplicity, secret societies, alchemy, romance, action … The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan has it all and promises to be the talked-about/must-read book for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts this year!”
• SF Book: “The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter is an entertaining book that has some genuine, original touches combined with a clever story and even cleverer characters.”
• While Avid Fantasy Reviews thinks The Shadow Master is one of the strangest books we here at Angry Robot Books have published, it seems that works as it’s rated 8.5 / 10 and one of the best books she’s read all year!
• Upcoming4.me have Craig’s Story Behind his Story, and for more details on Craig’s inspiration for The Shadow Master, click here
• Craig has also been on Tor.com for his Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe.
• The Blogger Girls “loved, loved, loved the world and the characters” of Blades of the Old Empire, and I’m sure are looking forward to The Guild of Assasins!
• Anna is on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog talking about her Favourite Bit of The Guild of Assassins
• On August 4 Anna starts a Blog Tour with full details here, with a chance to win both Blades of the Old Empire and The Guild of Assassins as well this banner, courtesy of Tasty Book Tours:
Good morning robotic readers!
Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner
“The relationship between Audra and Jinx is one of my favorite parts of the book. Night Jinx is her loose cannon partner. Day Jinx is like a mother hen and makes Audra look like the loose cannon. It makes Night Terrors one of the most dysfunctional buddy cop stories in history. Four out of five stars.” – Dangerous Dan’s Book Blog
“This book was probably the most fun I have had reading a book in over a year. Five very large stars to this book!” – Shelby (Goodreads)
“Night Terrors is a ridiculously fun book to read – a concoction of nightmares, detective drama, and the supernatural that stretches the fabric of reality and bleeds surreal through the seams. I’m pleased that it’s the first in a series focusing on the Shadow Watch as Jinx is one nightmare that I, as a reader, wouldn’t mind reoccurring.” – Just a Guy that likes to Read
“Tim Waggoner’s first book in the Shadow Watch series is a highly imaginative, wholly original sci-fi/fantasy/mystery/dark fantasy mashup. This really was a fun read. I’m hooked, and will be looking forward to the next Shadow Watch book. Looking for a good book? Night Terrors is a rollicking fun mystery in the creepiest sorts of ways!” – Looking for a Good Book
“Waggoner has created an intense and unique Urban Fantasy world that I didn’t want to leave. Though I’m not sure what that says about my psyche!” – Alysa (Goodreads)
“Oh man, what a fun and insane ride!! I loved it! Where do I get my own Jinx?” – Rebecca Lea (Goodreads)
“This is quite the adventure story, a lot happening all around us. The sly humor is a refreshing break in what is a normally serious genre. The camaraderie between Audra and Jinx keeps the characters real (or as real as an ideator and incubus can be). This is a bit of a Sci-Fi Horror mix and made for an enjoyable read. Perhaps there will be more misadventures?” – Horror Novel Reviews
The White Towers by Andy Remic
“Remic has gone and done it, I PUT DOWN what I was reading to read The White Towers. Why would I strap on the meat suit and jump in the dog pit you ask? well…I’ll tell you. Because my dear reader The Rage of Kings series is a visceral thrill ride of dark fantasy FOR GROWN FOLK. The wolves aren’t nice folks and honestly, being nice is over rated. This time around a bit of heart and soul was introduced to the chaos and I devoured every page. I am offically adding Andy Remic to my buy on sight list.” – The Ghost Works
“Great book, highly imaginative dark fantasy.” – Grimdark Fantasy Reader
“Similar to the likes of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence, Andy Remic constructs a gritty and engaging series populated with compelling anti-heroes. Remic’s ability to spin a yarn sucked me right back into the world of the Iron Wolves and kept me reading much, much too late at night.” – Rachel (Goodreads)
Hello to all you robots (angry or otherwise!),
And in honour of last night’s book signing event at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London we’re bringing you some of the more recent reviews to remind everyone what a fantastic book this is!
Hang Wire by Adam Christopher
“Hang Wire is just pure fun. Yes, there are some dark doings here (something huge is awakening underground and gods are running around wearing human facades, and of course, murder), however, Adam Christopher manages to pull off the right amount of creepy (and some great action scenes) without ever getting too dark. Fans of quirky urban fantasy will devour this one. Loved it!” – My Bookish Ways
“Hang Wire is an awesome read (and that’s understating it by far), from the first pages I was hooked. Not only has Adam Christopher written a great story, it is also his writing style that readily pulled me in and never let me go.” – The Book Plank
“Hang Wire is flush with the sort of geek-centric weirdness and galloping, whiz-bang pace that Christopher had previously only begun to master. In spite of so many moving parts, the result is a tightly wound, dynamic piece of genre-bending machinery. If that’s a metaphor for Christopher’s awestruck vision of melting-pot America, all’s the better.” – NPR Books
“Lightning fast, overflowing with imagination and great fun to read, Hang Wire will definitely capture Adam Christopher some new fans.” – The Tattooed Book
“Adam Christopher’s HANG WIRE reads like Erin Morgenstern via Tim Powers, but the dark, creepy heart that beats at its center is entirely its own. It’s good unclean fun, and so addictive.” - Kelly Braffet
“Christopher fulfils our expectations and more: just when we think the story couldn’t get any weirder, he adds a whole new layer of weird, bouncing from one unexpected moment of goofiness to another, keeping us stuck to our chairs until we think it’ll take an industrial-strength solvent to pry us loose. Days after finishing the book, you’ll still have a grin on your face.” – Booklist Starred Review
Lets hope our 200th book is just as popular, if its anything like Hangwire we’re in no doubt it will be!
(If you’d like to read some more reviews of fantastic book you can find them on our Hang Wire page).
A lot of people were very excited for this, so lets see if it lived up to expectations.
Known Devil by Justin Gustainis
“Its quirky, has a great overall arc and when added to a criminal element goes on to show how tricky policing the unusual can be. Its definitely something that I would recommend to others and a series that has done nothing but entertain since its original release.” – Falcata Times
“All in all, Known Devil is a fun book. It is exactly the entertaining, action packed, supernatural beings filled novel I was hoping for.” – Luxury Reading
“I highly recommend this to people who want something a little gritty, a little dark, a bit nostalgic and different from the average Urban Fantasy novel.” – Fangs Wands and Fairy Dust
“With this many different kinds of creatures in play there seems to be no end to the possibilities in this series, and I would very much like to see what Mr. Gustainis might have in store for Stan and Karl in the future.” – That’s What I’m Talking About
“I had a great time with Known Devil and tore through it in a single sitting” – A Fantastical Librarian
Sounds like another fantastic edition to Occult Investigation Series!
It’s round up time again and this week we’re taking a look at all the fantastic awards and nominations our authors have been getting lately!
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
First up, we’re so excited that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick award! What is it about this book that readers and critics love so much? Here are just a few of the many amazing reviews:
“You won’t be the same after you read The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, trust me. [...] Rich, complex, and delightfully-developed, The Madman’s Daughter opens up new worlds of possibility and does so with elegance and grace.”
-s.e. smith, at this ain’t livin’
“The characters are what drives this story, whether it’s Cat struggling through life, her mad yet grounded and caring father, the friends and lovers Cat meets throughout her life, or Finn, the android who doesn’t want to be human yet seems like the most perfect creation.”
– Katherine Stubbs, Shades of Sentience
“One of the most heart-clenching and gut-wrenching love stories I have ever read. I bet no-one reading this review has ever read an unrequited love story where the love is only unrequited because science has not made it possible, yet. Heart meet knife! Clarke’s exploration of human nature versus science versus faith versus the disingenuous youth are the reasons this book needs to be read and loved by everyone.”
– Vicki, Open Book Society
“I urge you to read this book, it will haunt you and stay with you for a long time. It is very hard to believe that this is only the author’s second novel – bravo Miss Clarke!”
– Wendy of the Geek Syndicate
“The twist is that the cool, rational Finn is a robot, and Cat’s love for him is unrequited because she ages while he does not, and he is not programmed to respond to her emotions. It’s a neat premise and Clark examines the ramifications with the precision of a poet”.
– Eric Brown, The Guardian
“It’s not a story of future heroism. It’s not even, really, a story about robots. It’s a story of live and failure and expectations. It is, perhaps, in its relentless examination of one woman’s life, one of the most realistic science fiction stories ever told.”
– Michael Ann Dobbs for IO9.com
“Cat is a finely etched character, difficult, distant, and living in denial of her true feelings for years … Cassandra Rose Clarke does a fine job of staying inside her protagonist’s head, and capturing what it’s like to drift through life without the will or the opportunity to make the best decisions.”
– Adam-Troy Castro, Sci Fi Magazine (print only)
“The Mad Scientist’s Daughter reminded me of a couple of books I haven’t read in years, books I loved dearly that still haunt me. It has the strange feel of Geoff Ryman’s The Child Garden, a terribly sad story that was ultimately so rewarding. It also sparked some of the same emotions I feel while reading anything by China Miéville.”
– Tammy Sparks, Books, Bones & Buffy
“This book is about LOVE mostly and family, betrayal, emotion and what happiness means, but so totally science fiction. It is an amazing book and I enjoyed so much that I will be looking for more books by Cassandra Rose Clarke.”
– Katie Turner, Turner’s Antics
“At it’s heart, it’s a beautifully written story, not only exploring the complexities between Cat and Finn, but also her changing relationships with her parents, and the other men who enter her life.”
– Michelle, BCF Book Reviews
“I read this book with a constant sense of impending doom…I expected disaster and drama around ever corner. But this isn’t one of those books. This book is more subtle, a much more realistic picture of an imagined world, and I loved it.”
– Leah at LeahRhyne.com
“Cassandra Rose Clarke has proven she can write with the best of them in this one and I expect this was just a taste of what is to come from her.”
– Liam, The Troubled Scribe
“this book is heavy on the romance side. The science fiction element is there but very subtle but not as much until it becomes superficial. Instead, it gives the story this otherworldly quality.”
– Zuleeza at **QWERTY**
Nexus by Ramez Naam
Second, the fantastic Nexus by Ramez Naam has been nominated for the Golden Tentacle (Debut) award in the Kitschies! Congratulations also to the wonderful Will Staehle, whose cover art for The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher has been nominated for the Inky Tentacle.
Here’s what just a few people have had to say about Nexus:
“Ramez Naam’s debut novel Nexus is a superbly plotted high-tension technothriller about a War-on-Drugs-style crackdown on brain/computer interfaces … full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity … excellent spycraft, kick-ass action scenes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology, making a hell of a read.”
– Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“It’s good. Scary good. Take a chance and stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”
– James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com’s GeekDad blog
“a fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You’ll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down.”
– Annalee Newitz, IO9.com
“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.”
– SFX Magazine
“the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing”
– Publishers Weekly
“Mr. Naam sees all the angles of future technology almost too imaginatively to keep up with … Nexus joins Paul McAuley’s Fairyland (1995) as a double-edged vision of the post-human.”
– Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal
“This sophisticated page-turning techno-thriller is one of my favorite stories of all time … Naam is remarkable in his ability to address deep philosophical concepts while keeping the story line light, fast, and action-packed.”
– Stephen L. Macknik, Scientific American Illusion Chasers blog
“Naam, an expert in new technologies and author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), turns in a stellar performance with his debut sf novel … Naam has set himself a difficult challenge here: he’s telling a story in which much of the action and dialogue takes place inside the characters’ minds. But he succeeds admirably”.
– David Pitt, BookList
“a very readable book … deals with real world ramifications of next-generation technology in a believable, if somewhat scary, fashion. It’s accurate without being boring, and action-packed without being trite or vapid.”
– Matthew S. Dent, Interzone
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu, which has not only been receiving amazing reviews but also made it into the top ten of the Goodreads Choice Awards science fiction novels of 2013, has now been given an Alex (ALA) Award for adult books that appeal to teens! Want a reminder of why Tao is getting so much love?
Since the moment I finished Wesley Chu’s debut novel, The Lives of Tao, I called reading it ‘the most fun I’ve had this year.’
– Staffer’s Book Review
Note to James Patterson fans: this is how to write a sci-fi page turner.
– Sci-Fi Bulletin
A sci-fi thriller this may be, but it has a lot of emotional depth to it.
– Fantasy Faction
Wesley Chu’s debut novel The Lives of Tao is a fun book that will appeal directly to those who enjoy Charles Stross’s Laundry novels (2004-).
– Strange Horizons
The Lives of Tao is a fun book with a lot of energy and it really worked for me. Full of action, adventure, martial arts, gunplay, and large quantities of geeky goodness. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a lighter than the current swathe of serious sci-fi / fantasy.
– Fantasy Book Review
An exceptionally entertaining book, Chu’s writing is easy to consume and leaves you wanting more. Definitely one to read, and an author to watch.
– British Fantasy Society
…makes this book what it is: one of the freshest, most fun debuts I’ve read in quite a while!
– My Bookish Ways
I think this is one of the best amalgamations of SF, Thriller, buddy-stories, comedy and other genre assortments, which was even more impressive because it’s a debut and is funny as hell. The story is a nice one with a bit of everything to satisfy most readers, beginning with characterization.
– Fantasy Book Critic
We need to be able to identify with what’s going on, and while sci-fi has historically given us a vehicle to discuss some very serious things by using the unreality as a smokescreen (female officers on the Enterprise and whatnot) to tell a really compelling and interesting story in science fiction, the window dressing of future worlds and alien species needs to still allow reasonable suspension of disbelief and Chu absolutely nails it.
– Speculative Post
“Vividly entertaining, this is a book that looks past the lively and thrilling glamour of life as an international spy and also merges several genres together into a cohesive whole to tell a story that rocks from start to finish.”
– The Founding Fields (Shadowhawk)
“The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu is a very interesting book, and right from the start you will find yourself drawn into the strong narrative and the interesting characters.”
– The Founding Fields (Bane of Kings)
You guys, this book was just AWESOME. I literally don’t have a single complaint about it. It was an action-packed, fun-filled joy ride and I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Roen and Tao.
– Sarah Says Read
It’s easy to forget about all of that science fiction stuff when you are busy laughing at and cheering for Roen Tan. And that, more than anything else, makes The Lives of Tao one of the best debuts I’ve read this year.
– The 52 Review
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Lastly, we wanted to mention one of our Strange Chemistry titles that has also been pulling in a lot of praise and awards nominations recently. Pantomime, a YA fantasy novel by Laura Lam, has been shortlisted in the 2014 NE Teen Book Award, nominated for the 2014 ALA Popular Paperbacks List in the GLBTQ category and the 2014 Cybils Award, and has been announced in the final 2014 Rainbow List! Wow! So what makes Pantomime so special? Here is just a small selection of what people have been saying:
“Pantomime by Laura Lam took me into a detailed and exotic world, peopled by characters that I’d love to be friends with . . . and some I’d never want to cross paths with.”
– Robin Hobb, author of the Farseer trilogy
“Ancient myths, vintage tech and living wonders abound in the riotous carnival of fancy which is Pantomime. Lam paints her world with greasepaint and stardust while exploring the notion of the circus ‘freak’ with subtle brilliance. A spectacular and brave debut!”
- Kim Lakin-Smith, author of Cyber Circus
“The atmosphere of R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is everything that I have been missing in other circus reads of late . . . It’s a brave book and one that deserves to be read by a wide audience.”
– Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
“These characters are brilliant . . . You can’t help but fall in love with each of them in turn . . . A completely eye-opening, enthralling debut.”
– Joanne @ Once Upon a Bookcase
“Pantomime is a dark, gritty world where all the fun of the fair can turn sinister at any time.”
– Hannah @ My Book Journey
“A fantastic read, a stunning debut and a jaw dropping secret! I cannot wait for book two.”
– Kirsty @ The Overflowing Library
“If there’s ever a book that you need to rush out and pre-order this is it . . . Pantomime is quite possibly one of the best fantasies of its type I have read this year.”
– Raimy @ Readaraptor
“Read Pantomime and know what good fantasy can be: intricate, heartbreaking and heartwarming. The best new book I’ve read this year.”
– Andrew Hook
“Pantomime has all the magic and mystery of The Night Circus . . .”
– Maria M. Elmvang
“ I actually stayed up to the early hours of the morning because I just needed to know what was going to happen . . . Pantomime is a fascinating, exciting, thought provoking, colourful read.”
– Leanne @ District YA
Round up time again, and this week we’re taking a look at our 100th book(!), Adam Christopher’s Hang Wire. We’ve been getting some great reviews, and there are also some cool competitions running to celebrate 100 Angry Robot books!
Hang Wire by Adam Christopher
We’ve had such a great response to Hang Wire, but before we dive into what you guys have been saying about it, let’s take a look at some of things Adam has been up to.
Adam talks superheroes on the Reader/Writer podcast, and over at BRSBKBLOG, Peter Sutton asks him a few questions about Hang Wire and his writing. Hang Wire also gets a mention in SF Signal’s Mind Meld: Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2014!
Meanwhile, we’re running a giveaway for Hang Wire over on Goodreads, with ten copies to send to lucky winners! Adam is also running his own fantastic pre-order competition on his site, with plenty of goodies to be won.
But that’s not all! Want to win all 100 Angry Robot books? To celebrate the release of Hang Wire, our 100th book, readers of Tor.com in the US and Canada (excluding Quebec) can win a flash USB drive containing all 100 of our books (plus a few extra surprises). Enter over on Tor.com here. And for readers everywhere else, don’t worry – we have something coming for you very soon!
And don’t forget, Adam will be signing copies of Hang Wire (with special limited editions available at the event) at Forbidden Planet’s London Megastore at the launch party on Thursday 6th March, from 6 – 7pm!
Phew! On to the reviews…
“The sheer volume of ideas is dizzying… an enjoyably fast-paced read.”
– SFX Magazine.
“Christopher fulfils our expectations and more: just when we think the story couldn’t get any weirder, he adds a whole new layer of weird, bouncing from one unexpected moment of goofiness to another, keeping us stuck to our chairs until we think it’ll take an industrial-strength solvent to pry us loose. Days after finishing the book, you’ll still have a grin on your face.”
– Booklist Starred Review
“To put it simply, this is one of the best sci-fi novels in years. Try this one out, it’s a worthwhile experience and one that beats any number of Hollywood blockbusters for pure originality and panache. A fantastic read.”
– Kafka’s Cage
“There’s only so much praise you can heap on a book, and I’m going to lay it on thick here. HANG WIRE is a damn cool book. It’s the perfect example of deep and well thought-out characterisation, diversification, multi dimensional plotting, and clever (and at times poetic) writing. ”
– Just A Guy That Likes To Read
“The plot within Hang Wire is just as original as his previous work and like before, he loads it up on characters and ideas … it’s a fun novel with a hell of an interesting cast.”
“[Hang Wire] feels like an old story, but one told in a fresh and relevant way. Which to me means it is excellent storytelling. It could be read as almost anti-science or anti-science fiction even (anti- as in opposite, not against), reflecting past-times when horrors such as earthquakes and comets were explained by supernatural events … So, what is Hang Wire? A very good piece of storytelling. A damn fine read.”
– Geek Syndicate
“Hang Wire tells a number of tales all at once. It’s a detective story, a horror, a little bit of science fiction and a lot of urban fantasy. It’s a heady mix and throwing all these elements together means Adam Christopher is able to keep things rolling along at a hell of a pace.”
– The Taichung Bookworm
“An excellent read, Adam Christopher once again reminds us why he is your go-to writer for awesome urban fantasy as he crafts an unputdownable tale that makes Angry Robot’s 100th Novel an excellent read!”
– Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
“It kept me on my toes and kept me wondering who it and they were. I also enjoyed the dash of mythology thrown into it and the sense of the mystical that the circus theme always brings.”
“It’s an absorbing read … The pacing is really good: there was never a point where I could put it down and not wonder what was coming up next.”
– The Bibliophibian
“The worldbuilding is light but effective and the plot runs along at a fair pace with some great imagery … Overall – being an Angry Robot book you expect it’ to be pacy and intelligent with good plotting and Christopher really delivers. Recommended.”
It’s round up time again and this week we’re taking a look at all the fabulous reviews we’ve been seeing for Chuck Wendig’s new Miriam Black book, The Cormorant. This is the third in the Miriam Black series, beginning with Blackbirds and Mockingbird. You’ve been loving this book! Here’s why:
The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
“Miriam’s story remains an undeniably addictive one, and I finished this in one sitting. Wendig’s writing is better than ever, and this series continues to surprise and terrify in equal measure.”
– My Bookish Ways
“My immediate urge here is to just go on at length about how great this book was. And it was, I absolutely loved the hell out of ‘The Cormorant’”
– Graeme’s SFF
Read an interview with Chuck on Cabin Goddess, where he talks The Cormorant, Miriam, and all things Chuck. And learn how to make The Miriam Negroni!
“The Cormorant really feels like the book where Chuck Wendig decided to out-do himself. There’s something Tarantino-esque about the way he hunts down the extremes of darkness and violence and then kicks them just a little bit further down the road to blood-red insanity. It’s as if he was turning up the “Crazy” button, discovered it went all the way to 11, and then the button came off and it just kept escalating until, well, until the book was done. It’s a spectacular ride”
“Chuck Wendig writes a goddam good book … I really dug this book and dug what it did and I dug how it explored further and expanded on the ideas he built in the other books. It’s a great continuation of a really, really good storyline.”
– Booked Podcast
“The third book in the Miriam Black series goes up another level. As per usual the humour is wickedly black. If you haven’t read this series yet jump on the band wagon now!”
- Bite The Book
“Wendig’s writing, as usual, is inordinately exquisite throughout this book. The master of the metaphor, Chuck paints scenes you can feel, a veritable Bob Ross on an LSD-laced speed binge. Characters pop out of the page, each voice unique to its owner, each owner colorful, meaningful, and truly existing in the world beyond the purpose they serve to the story.”
– Tree is a Tree
“The acerbic wit of Miriam and the variety and ingenuity of her visions, which made the previous volumes such fun, are again in evidence, but Wendig takes the opportunity this time around to further explore Miriam’s personal history, in particular her relationship with her mother. Secrets are revealed and Miriam’s own perceptions and recollections are challenged in a series of scenes that illustrate the author has the skill for the tender character-based moments as well as the adrenaline pumping action scenes.”
– Ross Warren, This Is Horror
“[Chuck is] like a jazz drummer who just keeps riffing…it all comes tumbling out as if he was Jack Kerouac, cranked up on Benzedrine and writing “On the Road” on a single roll of paper without stopping from beginning to end. Is it clear yet that I think he’s a really good writer? Just checking.”
– Terry Irving, author of Courier
“If you like dark urban fantasies tinged with blood and murder, Wendig’s Miriam Black books are perfect for you. And if you think there’s no way you’d want to read them, I still urge you to try – you, like me, may find something that keeps you coming back for more in these novels.”
– Speculating on SpecFic
“What can I tell you about a book that I waited with bated breath for? A book that I stared longingly at the Amazon page over, dreaming that I could reach through and pluck it our of the sea of ones and zeroes. What can I tell you about the third book of a series that I have come to love so much they sit snuggled up against all my other favorite writers. I can tell you that this book was the best so far.”
– Adventures of a Military Housewriter
“I described the first Miriam book as GrittyDarkFast!, so I suppose I should call The Cormorant GrittierDarkerFaster!, but that doesn’t take its full measure. This book is brutal and I finished it feeling like a dirty, over-wrung dishtowel. Can we go again?”
“This is the best Miriam Black book so far … I have to imagine that the author has a blast writing this character. Miriam has such a desire to make things right, but always seems to get in the way of her good intentions. I’m very excited about the promise of what is to come in the fourth book.”
“Here’s the deal: I love these books because I’ve never read anything like them. Miriam Black is not just an anti-hero, she’s a take-no-shit, hell-talking, bad-ass motherfucker. And that is rare in a female protagonist.”
– Everyday Jetsam
Happy New Year everyone!
It’s our first round up of 2014, so we thought we’d take a look at your favourites from last year. What got everyone talking in 2013?
Your Best of 2013
First off, The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu has made it into a few of your favourites piles, and was even voted into the top ten science fiction books in the Goodreads Choice Awards! Badass Book Reviews included it on their Best Science Fiction of 2013 list. My Bookish Ways and Staffer’s Book Review both also named it a top debut of 2013. Justin of Staffer’s Book Review says:
“8 months ago I called The Lives of Tao ‘the most fun I’ve had this year.’ Fast forward to today and it’s still true. He [Chu] succeeds because he’s got a clever voice, full of subtle wit and kinetic pacing.” (Staffer’s Book Review)
The reviews for this book have been phenomenal, so it’s definitely one series to catch up with if you missed it!
Three by Jay Posey is another favourite. Jasper of Book Plank says: “It is not only the world that makes Three interesting, the characters are spot on and only further help make this story a winner“, and Tabitha of My Shelf Confessions says: “You seriously do NOT want to miss this debut!“ We agree!
Next up is The Big Reap by Chris Holm. The Founding Fields and My Bookish Ways both included it in their top books of 2013 lists, and both bloggers, S.J. and Heather, over at Snobbery picked it to top their list as one of their two Super Best Books of 2013! Wow!
Now, let’s just talk for a moment about Between Two Thorns and the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. Between Two Thorns was a hit with so many of you, and not only that, but it was also listed in NetGalley’s Top Ten of the Year! The Founding Fields, My Bookish Ways, and A Fantastical Librarian are just a few of the blogs that included it in their best of lists. Justin at Staffer’s Book Review also gave the gorgeous cover by Sarah J. Coleman a mention in his Best Cover Art post.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke also receives some great mentions in your best of lists, with characters that are “vibrant and real” (Badass Book Reviews). Mieneke of A Fantastic Librarian saying this about it:
“The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is stunning. A gorgeous exploration of love, the ability to feel it and other emotions, and the lies we tell ourselves in order to attain happiness that probes the border between human and AI to see how far they stretch.” (A Fantastical Librarian) Read More→
It’s Round Up time again, and this time we’ve got a selection of our recent titles that we really feel you should take a look at.
Heartwood by Freya Robertson
First up, Heartwood by Freya Robertson, the first in an exciting new epic fantasy series: The Elemental Wars! You can read interviews with Freya on SF Signal, Civilian Reader, Terribleminds and My Bookish Ways. On Searching for Superwomen she talks video games, and on Bookworm Blues we find out what speculative fiction has taught her. Read More→
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→
Hey, it’s Leah here, Angry Robot’s new intern. Today’s Robot Round-Up is a celebration of October’s upcoming titles, and we have some brilliant ones to show you. First of all, keep your eyes peeled for our Special Edition post coming soon on Ramez Naam’s amazing second novel, Crux. Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Pirate Cinema has described Crux as “A blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in.” If this has whet your appetite, both books are out in shops now!
The first of the October titles is All is Fair by Emma Newman. The third in Emma’s successful The Split Worlds series. With many followers, readers are eagerly anticipating Emma’s next instalment. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the reviews:
• ‘Newman’s complex magical world is as inventive as it is charming, and this latest “Split Worlds” story contains deceit, deception and intrigue in all the right places.’ Kirkus Reviews
- • ‘The series is Changeling the Lost meets Downton Abbey as feuding families tied to mad Fae patrons scheme in the world between ours and Faerie, and in those as well.’ Three Things to Read, Watch and Use
• ‘I love the plot of this series, as there are so many interlacing stories going on that you feel like a part of something much bigger… one of my favourite reads of the year.’ Book Chick City
• ‘There’s lots of action in this one, but there’s still all of the court intrigue and wonderful characterization that I’ve come to expect from the series… the ending leaves plenty of hints of things to come, and I can’t wait.’ My Bookish Ways
• ‘This is a fun book, adding more characters and different perspectives on the Nether and the Split Worlds, plenty of humour and excitement… I want to know more about the world Emma Newman has created, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet!’ Vicky Thinks
•’I do love the unique world Emma has created in this series, where two cultures collide, and there’s some great bits of humour.’ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
This title is released on the 3rd of October (UK) and the 23rd of September (US/CAN)
• ‘With action, humour, adventures, and giants, The Tales of Easie Damasco is an enjoyable series which fans of fantasy and heist stories are sure to enjoy.’ The Arched Doorway
• ‘This series is solid adventure fantasy, but with a twist. The stock thief in Tallerman’s hands is more than just a generic character. He’s unique, a fresh and original creation with enough familiarity to him that readers won’t be put off.’ Adventures Fantastic
Praise for Giant Thief
• ‘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.’ SFX Magazine
• ‘If you’re up for a fun, fast-paced adventure featuring rogues, giants and lots of fighting, you won’t want to miss it!’ A Fantastical Librarian
Praise for Crown Thief
• ‘It’s a fun romp in a dark fantasy world and when you add to this great prose, top notch prose and combat to keep you glued, all in all this is a great second book for the reader to enjoy.’ Falcata Times
• ‘If you haven’t met Easie Damasco, you should. You’ll be glad you did.’ Adventures Fantastic
This title is released on the 3rd of October (UK) and the 24th of September (US/CAN)
• ‘Unexpected plot twists, shocking revelations, total chaos. Everything I thought I was signing on for when I picked up this book, I got.’ The Bibliosanctum
• ‘This is fantasy on the scale of Terry Brooks or Brandon Sanderson… If you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ll definitely want to check out SEVEN FORGES. It is a solid, well-written addition to the genre, and I’m looking forward to see what Moore does next.’ Shattered Ravings
• ‘I finished Seven Forges in four nights, staying up later than I should to do so. It’s not often I’ll stop and reread a scene, but I did more than once. I’m looking forward to see where Moore takes the story next.’ Adventures Fantastic
• “An excellent, enjoyable, and thoroughly entertaining fantasy debut into a new world of swords and sorcery, complete with romance, intrigue, and danger.” Attack of the Books
• I thought this was really intriguing, it’s a fast paced story and fairly short for a novel of this type of scope… I will definitely pick up the next novel to see what happens in this world. Lynn’s Book Blog
• ‘Wow, that twist. In some ways I think I should have seen it coming, and I kind of did, but Seven Forges just lulled me into security and BAM! Craziness!… I applaud a book that is willing to go as crazy realistic as Seven Forges did with that plot twist. I would very much like to read another story in the Seven Forges world.’ On Starships and Dragon Wings
This title is released on the 4th of October (UK) and 24th of September (US/CAN).
Enjoy these, folks!
Gather round drones, and check out what has been amazing couple of weeks for all things robotic and brilliant…actually makes us a little bit less angry, but don’t worry as it won’t last. Prepare yourselves…it’s a long ‘un.
I think it’s only right that we start off with the great news from the US, that Angry Robot has been shortlisted at the Locus Awards for Best Publisher. Not only that but Madeline Ashby‘s vN has been shortlisted in the Best First Fiction category, and fellow Angry Robot author Aliette de Bodard is up for Best Novella and Best Short Story! Couldn’t be better timing with Book Two in the Machine Dynasty, iD, coming very shortly! Check out Lee’s post on this good news.
Wesley Chu continues to take the world by storm with Tao & Roen in The Lives of Tao with reviews, interviews, and blog posts popping up left, right, and centre.
• Normal in London loved the book: “There are comic moments, there are tender moments and there are moments where I wondered what I would do if I had an alien inside me, and moments where I wished I did as it might push me into doing stuff! The climax was especially strong, and somewhat unexpected. And it has left me wanting more Roen & Tao.” There’s definitely a business opportunity for Wes if he can provide aliens for all the reviewers looking for their own Tao!
• Dangerous Dan awards Tao “four easy stars” believing the “ending[...]was perfect for the story and left it open-ended enough for future adventures of Roen and Tao.”
• Always Unmended don’t just focus on the fact that “Chu’s writing is strong, and his ability to write tragic, heart-rending scenes into such a fun, easy story is proof that he’s found his calling as a writer” but also believe we can all learn something from Roen: [the book] “contains inspirational advice that is bound to make readers reflect on their own lives. There is much about being the person you want to be and not making excuses to let yourself fail. Much as the practice of Tao is The Way of life, the character of Tao shows Roen the way to live fully. And isn’t that something we could all use a little help with?” Now. Go out there and live your live…after the pizza dinner, it is Friday evening after all.
• For a review with a spin, check out Richard’s rhyming review; I can’t even pull a line from it, it needs to be read in whole…what are you waiting for? Shooo!
• Feathers & Tea get their review off to a great start, calling Chu’s debut “another triumph from the Angry Robot publishing stable”, why thank you! It continues thusly: “Chu’s writing is sparingly skillful [and the] key premise is novel and handled deftly, the transition of Roen from bumbler to Commander is a joy to read, and the book is as laced with humour and flashes of poignancy as it is with action scenes”
• The Lives of Tao has even managed to impress the self-proclaimed cross-genre wary 42 Webs! “The Lives of Tao is one of those good books that pulls off the mash-up perfectly. 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. Roen becomes the mix between James Bond and Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin Creed 2, Brotherhood, Revelations).”
• “The most fun I’ve had all year” Staffer’s Book Review
• Mike over on Stuff and/or Junk calls Roen & Tao “a sci-fi action Odd Couple” – I think the most apt description I’ve heard yet!
• Wes & the Prophus’ global domination continues with i109 proclaiming The Lives of Tao one of the Astounding Summer Reads!
• The Lives of Tao is “top notch entertainment” and “the perfect summer read” The Eloquent Page
• The wonderful 52 Book Reviews allow no excuses for anyone not reading Chu’s amazing debut: “Chu’s cunning and hilarious mash-up of comedy, coming of age drama, espionage thriller, and science fiction has something for everyone.”
• Matthew Scott Baker is very excited about Tao! It’s “very clever with fun/deadly characters and a high-paced plot. Be ready to drop your social life for a few days, though…you will definitely want to use your free time finishing this one up!”
•Bandelier Girl Reads Everything is short and sweet with Tao: “A nice mash-up of genres that moves the reader thru the story with humor and interesting characters. Recommend.”
• Wes has been interviewed on many a website, and get yourself over to Toonari Post, Sci-Fi Fan Letter, and Bastard Books…for a mammoth, brilliant, read which also includes a giveaway!
• Check out Stellar Four for Roen’s drink of choice, and Wes talks about Aliens on Dribble of Ink.
• Wes had a guest post with Mary Robinette Kowal which you can catch here
• Wes has also been busy with some fun & games and with the coolest cake ever, launched The Lives of Tao in Chicago. Take a look at the photos on Wes’ Facebook page
• If you’re in Chicago – or will be – on May 19, you can catch Wes on a panel at Open Books: 213 W. Institute Place Chicago, IL 60610 (1 block north of Chicago & Franklin el stop.) See the Open Books Website for further details.
• If you can’t make Chicago, Wes will be at WisCon May 24-27, on 4 panels no less, and for more info: check it out here
• And if Tao & Roen hadn’t provided Wes with enough to celebrate, didn’t he only go and win the April Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars over at The Qwillery! Thanks again to Argh! Oxford for the great cover! Here’s an interview The Qwillery also did with him.
• Adam Christopher‘s The Age Atomic has a very cool video review over on I’m Ellie Ann
• Paper Mages is putting future reading trust in the hands of Adam, a very wise move, whilst also praising Christopher’s dynamic characters!
• Listen in to Adam’s radio i/v on City FM 89 here
• And, it might be belated posting on my behalf, but check out the Bane of Kings review over on The Founding Fields: “A wonderful novel, The Age Atomic proves that Adam Christopher can write sequels just as well as anyone. The most fun read of 2013 so far, and one of the best.”
The wonderful Emma Newman has had the internet all a flutter between reviews for Between Two Thorns, advance talk on Any Other Name, the wonderful Three Wishes, and also her new podcast, Tea & Jeopardy!
Reviews for Between Two Thorns & Any Other Name:
• “JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer ” so say the Guardian along with praising how Emma “renders the Split Worlds with verve and an infectious sense of fun, and presents in Cathy a strong and personable heroine.” Get in, Between Two Thorns!
• “Between Two Thorns is in essence a mystery, with a dash of magic, suspense and intrigue combining with just a touch of romance, polictics and feminism to freshen it up a bit” Boy, do Vinx Books love Between Two Thorns! Vinx also highlights Em’s amazing short stories based in The Split Worlds, and the Three Wishes, thanks Vinx!
• Uncorked Thoughts give Between Two Thorns 4 out of 5 stars, and declare the “story…an Austinesque fantasy, filling every chapter with action. I loved learning about this new world and am looking forward to sinking my teeth into the next book!” You don’t have long to wait, Leah!
• A Writer’s Sidequest is another eagerly anticipating the release of Any Other Name, having fallen in love with Between Two Thorns!
• 5 out of 5 stars. Why, thank you very much Geek Syndicate. “A word of warning, make sure it is somewhere comfortable though as once you start this magical book, you won’t be going anywhere until you finish it. Absolutely brilliant.” Just one of the many excellent proclamations from them, and rightly so!
• Here’s a review for the forthcoming Any Other Name from My Dear Bibliophage who call it “enchanting, shocking, and well-crafted”
• SQ Magazine have a great interview with our Em; find out what she thinks about the challenges facing female speculative fiction writers in today’s publishing world, amongst much more. Emma also has a short-story in SQ, here
• Keep an eye on Emma’s Split World interviews page for all her oot-and-abooot happenings!
• If you haven’t heard about Emma’s fantastic new project Three Wishes, you’re missing out on your chance to have some magical wishes come true! Get involved: make your wish but also try grant somebody else…it’s a magical Pay it Forward, and we like it! Read more here.
• Urban Fantasy Land have definitely got on board with Three Wishes and are urging everyone to be “part of something very exciting, wonderful, and of course, magical!”
Tea & Jeopardy:
The Blue Blazes:
• For something “dark, gritty and fun” Three Crow Press recommend Chuck‘s first Mookie Pearl novel, The Blue Blazes. True that.
• “Wendig has taken the cast of Goodfellas and dragged them, kicking and screaming into a fantasy reality of New York, opened up the playground and let them run loose”, so says Wilder’s Book Review, who continues: “The dialogue is crisp and flows quickly, with a dark humour which Wendig relishes throughout…It’s a style which Wendig is well-known for and as my first Chuck Wendig novel, I found it to be a real breath of fresh air in a subgenre which sometimes feels a little stuffy and manufactured.”
• Odd Engine starts a glowing 4 star review with a shout-out to Joey Hi-Fi for the amazing cover, and continues by praising the “punchy dialog, snappy prose, and a gritty narrative voice”, calling The Blue Blazes “inventive, edgy, and a joy to read”
• Elf Machines from Hyperspace (what a cool name, and you’re welcome for the ARC!) after one book has declared Chuck’s writing “imaginative, funny, profound, tough, and poetic all at once” and they ain’t wrong!
• Blackbirds is “a bit fucking wrong” (a quote courtesy of Miss BookCunt) which for PublishThings sums up the second Miriam Black novel perfectly!
• The Cheape Book links Blackbirds with the perfect director: “This book begs to be done as a movie by Tarantino if he hasn’t already” Are ya listening, Quentin?
Finally, The 52 Review has a great interview with Mr Wendig, and if you’re an aspiring writer you definitely want to check out when he says about finding your own voice
With good timing as A Discourse in Steel‘s publication date (25 June / 4 July) is fast approaching, Geeks versus Nerds are talking all things Paul S. Kemp and The Hammer and the Blade: “This book is wonderful, funny and exciting with a pinch of spine shivering evil added in for flavor.”
The beautiful story that is Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter has certainly made an impression on ScienceFiction.com, who call it a “fantastically written science fiction novel about love and society”.
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!)