Oct 2
2018

B&N SFF on Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

“Wells has been a beloved but under-read voice in fantasy for two decades, which is why it is so gratifying to see the success she’s having with the bestselling, and now, Hugo- and Nebula-winning Murderbot Diaries novella series, which follow a rogue Security Unit cyborg that has hacked its governor module and gained sentience and free will—and given itself the (mostly ironic) name Murderbot. This fourth and final novella (a full-length novel arrives next year) finds Murderbot close to getting the goods on the evil corporation GrayCris. When it learns that its former owner/possible friend Dr. Mensch is under threat, Murderbot doesn’t understand its own urge to save him. Wells’ explorations of free will and the question of what, exactly, makes us human remain fascinating, and the snarky narrative voice—and the murder-y mayhem—that peppers the story as it marches toward to a bracing conclusion are as fun as always.” — B&N SFF

Sep 20
2018

Kirkus starred review for Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“This latest in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint launches Korean mythological creatures into outer space.

Thirteen-year-old Min cannot believe her older brother, Jun, has deserted his Space Force post, as he’s been accused of doing. Naturally, Min runs away from home to clear her brother’s name. It’s a Rick Riordan trademark to thrust mythological figures into new settings. Fans will breathlessly watch while fox-spirit Min charms her way onto a hijacked starship, ending up on her brother’s military star cruiser on the way to the lawless Ghost Sector. Lee has created an adrenaline-filled space opera with mythological creatures living alongside humans. Min and her family are gumiho, or shape-shifting foxes, but they present as human to hide their magical natures. She takes on the identity of Jang, a male cadet killed in battle, and enlists the aid of two other supernatural Space Force cadets: Haneul, a female dragon, and Sujin, a nonbinary goblin. Min is first and foremost a teenager on a mission and a magical being second. The ambivalence of her identity (fox or human, male or female, hero or traitor,) echoes ethical questions that many kid readers face. It is refreshing to see both Korean elements and a nonbinary character seamlessly integrated into the storyline. Narrator Min explains Korean mythology smoothly as the action progresses for readers with no previous knowledge.

A high-octane, science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

Sep 17
2018

Tor.com on Rogue Protocol

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

“Wells’ characterisation is pitch-perfect. Murderbot’s voice is darkly—and frequently not-so-darkly—funny, and Murderbot itself is a deeply appealing character. Other characters, as is appropriate for a writer of Wells’ talents, feel like fully formed individuals with lives and goals of their own, despite how little time the reader spends in their company. The pacing is excellent, tension mounting to an explosive conclusion, and like all of Wells’ work, it has atmosphere in spades.

And thematically, it’s about what it means to be human, and the nature of responsibility.

I really enjoyed this installment of the adventures of Murderbot. I’m looking forward to Exit Strategy, the next novella, and to the recently-announced forthcoming Murderbot novel. The world needs more Murderbot, because Murderbot is delightful.” — Tor.com

Sep 12
2018

Booklist starred review for The Agony House

The Agony House by Cherie Priest

“Following up on their successful collaboration in I am Princess X (2016), Priest and O’Connor neatly weave together the history of comic books and contemporary concerns about gentrification in this eerie ghost story set in a ramshackle house that’s as much a character as the people living in it. Denise, her mom, and stepdad have just moved into an nearly destroyed, once-beautiful house in New Orleans, and almost right away, Denise starts noticing odd things. First, they’re harmless, if creepy, but later, unexplained, dangerous accidents happen as they renovate the house. But the comic book manuscript Denise finds carefully hidden in the attic (pages of which appear throughout the novel) is the key to source of the poltergeists. Meanwhile, Denise’s neighbors are uneasy about outsiders capitalizing on cheap property in New Orleans, and Priest does a great job of skillfully including the important conversations Denise and her family have with their new community. At its heart, though, this is a ghost story, and Priest excels at building palpable atmosphere: Denise’s parents’ anxiety about their shoestring budget, the sweltering New Orleans summer heat, the disrepair of the house (“soggy plaster fell from the studs like wet cake”), and the increasingly terrifying haunting. Dynamic characters and a surprising mystery round out this sharp, satisfying, and engrossingly spooky story.” — Booklist, Starred Review

Sep 5
2018

All Systems Red wins Hugo Award!

Congratulations to Martha Wells for All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries, winning the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella!

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