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

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

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