Jul 28

PW review for new Jay Lake collection

The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake

Lake’s sixth collection offers 25 tales written since 2007’s The River Knows Its Own. The collection is bookended by popular favorites: the haunting “The American Dead” and “The Sky That Wraps the World Round, past the Blue and into the Black,” a moody meditation on mistakes and the end of the universe. One of Lake’s strengths is his ability to channel classic writers and styles, such as the heroic fantasy of Robert E. Howard in “The Leopard’s Paw,” Cordwainer Smith in the baroque “The Man with One Bright Eye,” pulp SF in “Lehr, Rex,” and space opera adventure in “To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves.” Fans of Lake’s novels will especially appreciate the tie-ins to Green, Mainspring, and Trial of Flowers, while the diversity of settings and styles makes this a nice introduction to Lake’s stylish craftsmanship. –Publishers Weekly

Mar 16

Starred PW review for Jay Lake’s Pinion

Pinion by Jay Lake

Political conflicts and philosophical arguments find closure at last in this splendidly baroque whirl of geomancy and Victorian clockwork. Young Paolina Barthes, the gear-minded prodigy who became a target for the empire-building ambitions of rival governments in 2009’s Escapement, is on the run, heading south over the Wall that God built to divide the hemispheres and keep the Earth’s gear turning through the heavens. As spies and ancient secret societies scramble to find her, Paolina struggles to learn how to control her world-shaking abilities, while her heart pulls her toward Boaz, a golemlike man of brass. Lake wields big themes—magic and religion versus science, free will, colonialism, and a bit of romance—with surprising elegance, and readers will enjoy cherishing the characters and pondering the concepts of this “clockpunk” world. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Jan 26

Locus review of Madness of Flowers

Madness of Flowers by Jay Lake

Jay Lake’s Madness of Flowers, the sequel to 2006’s Trial of Flowers, is by far Lake’s best novel yet, a sustained accomplishment that would appear to signal a major advance in this talented and prolific author’s career….

Lake demonstrates impressive control as he juggles the action in Port Defiance, the far north, and the City Imperishable, deftly drawing his plot lines and his characters slowly back together, as a mysterious threat, the Eater of Forests, moves from enigmatic rumor to horrific reality. But what makes the novel memorable is the depth of characterization, the myriad relationships between the characters and the tangled roots of the emotions that bind them for good or ill.

–Paul Witcover, Locus Magazine (January 2010)

Oct 2

Starred Review for Madness of Flowers by Jay Lake

Readers unfamiliar with 2006’s Trial of Flowers will be baffled by this sequel; those who have read the former are likely to be both delighted and flabbergasted by the latter. The City Imperishable is the decadent relic of a magical empire in which human and numinal forces struggled until the Old Gods were almost forgotten—but this familiar-sounding background doesn’t set up a predictable heroic fantasy yarn. The city’s diverse inhabitants, including demigods and manmade dwarves, are subject to violent physical and moral transformations, and Lake’s lushly energetic writing pulls readers through startling developments. Major concerns this time include bloody political intrigue, a blockade by corsairs and an expedition to the North that may lead to the city’s rebirth or its doom. The result is exuberantly odd, melodramatically ironic and dangerously wonderful. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Jul 15

July Locus bestsellers, New and Notable books

butcher_turncoatCongratulations to Jim Butcher with Turn Coat taking the #1 spot on Locus’ hardcover bestseller list! Small Favor is on the paperback list at #7.

lake-greenJay Lake’s Green is named a New And Notable book this month. The eponymous heroine of this colorful fantasy is a slave, courtesan, and assassin struggling to navigate a land of magic and political intrigue. “A complex, beautifully described world — something like a combination of steampunk and the gods of India, with an added dash of Lovecraftian horror.” [Faren Miller]

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