Oct 15
2018

B&N SFF on The Monster Baru Cormorant

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

“With The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Dickinson showed an impressive talent for executing an epic fantasy rich in worldbuilding, complex in character, and brutally exacting in its clockwork plotting. Baru Cormorant rose off the page as one of the most flawed, fascinating characters to come out of fantasy in a long time, her incandescent rage and patient desire for revenge but a few of her visceral qualities. In the first book, she survived the destruction of her culture and death of her loved ones at the hands of the Empire of Masks and feigned obedience in order to rise within its ranks and orchestrate its epic downfall from the inside. As The Monster Baru Cormorant opens, she finds herself, finally, a powerful member of the empire she’s vowed to destroy, yet psychically damaged by the effort it took to get there, to the point that she can no longer trust her own motivations. With this second of a planned four-volume epic, Dickinson has done something incredible by deepening our understanding of a fabulously complex, compelling character.” — B&N SFF

Oct 12
2018

Tor.com on Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

“This is a fast, fun, and funny novella that, at its heart, is about personhood, independence, and selfhood: about autonomy, trust, and kindness, as well as anxiety, frustration, and anger. At its heart, Exit Strategy is a kind story, and a hopeful one. I deeply enjoyed it. I heartily recommend the entire Murderbot Diaries series. Don’t start with Exit Strategy: start with All Systems Red. But you’ll find that Exit Strategy is worth the build-up.” — Tor.com

Oct 10
2018

Locus on The Agony House

The Agony House by Cherie Priest

“This time she goes full creepy with a haunted house story set in New Orleans that also manages to throw in a hefty dose of the history of comic books and some thoughtful consideration of the issue of gentrification. Combined with Tara O’Connor’s illustrations, The Agony House blends ghostly visitations with classic mystery solving and serious social commentary to give readers a smart and surprisingly topical read.

Kudos to Priest for crafting a supernatural mystery that blends classic crime-solving with a thoroughly modern sensibility. The inclusion of sections with the actual pages from the Lucinda Might comic book, courtesy Tara O’Connor’s outstanding illustrations, was also a brilliant decision. The Agony House is a fast-paced read that tackles significant social issues while never deviating from its horror roots. This is how you give perceptive readers a good time: you don’t write down to them, you dish out the thrills and chills in a narrative that also makes some insightful assessment of how we live along the way. We need more of this in MG and YA fantasy, much much more.” — Locus Magazine

Oct 8
2018

Publishers Weekly on The Monster Baru Cormorant

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

“The challenging second installment of this sweeping fantasy trilogy picks up where 2016’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant left off. Baru, intent on bringing down the Empire of Masks from within, has finally ascended to her new role as one of the Empire’s secretive, all-powerful cryptarchs, but only by betraying those who believed in her. To cement her position and eliminate visible weaknesses, she even has her lover executed for treason, a heinous act that affects her more than she can afford to reveal. Now swept up in the affairs of state, dealing with conspiracies, enemies, and potential war at every turn, Baru risks losing her soul in the pursuit of her goal: freeing her island home from the Empire’s grip. Dickinson packs a lot into this dense, multilayered, complicated epic, letting the story unfold through multiple perspectives, flashbacks, tense shifts, and other narrative devices. As Baru juggles increasing amounts of trauma with an unrelenting focus on the endgame, she continually proves herself as a fascinating, morally grey protagonist in a complex world where conflicts take place on the high seas, in the ballroom, and in the marketplace. It all builds to a powerful cliff-hanger, with hints of much more to come.” — Publishers Weekly

Oct 5
2018

Booklist starred review for Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

“Having gathered a lot of pertinent information to take down GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot returns to its place of origin to help Dr. Mensah, who started this quest. However, with a special security team on its tail, Murderbot soon discovers that GrayCris is well on its way to covering its tracks. Mensah has been accused of corporate espionage and is being held at another station. Realizing Mensah’s situation is a result of its own actions, Murderbot must help its former owner/friend escape, along with the rest of the Preservation team, even if it means this SecUnit will finally get caught. Coming full circle from the beginning of its journey to awareness, Murderbot once again works to save the fragile humans and discovers that trying to avoid humanity is one sure way to get caught in the midst of it.

VERDICT The last of Hugo Award winner Wells’s Murderbot Diaries (after Rogue Protocol) brings the concept of an AI’s dealing with humanity—for better and worse—to a sarcastic, sharp, thrilling conclusion.” — Library Journal, Starred Review

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