May 11
2010

RT review of new series by Laura Anne Gilman

Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman

This is a strong start to a new series. Bonnie is an interesting narrator — more naïve than some of Gilman’s other protagonists, but just as capable and intelligent. The supporting cast is also fascinating. The plot is engaging and compelling, but remains a smidge unresolved, perhaps purposefully. Fans of Gilman’s other novels in this setting will definitely enjoy this volume, while new readers may find some of the worldbuilding confusing, though not overly so. Using the same setting as her Retrievers novels, Gilman looks at the world of Talent from a different perspective, this time through the eyes of Bonnie Torres, an investigator with the fledgling PUPI — Private, Unaffiliated, Private Investigators — organization. Bonnie and the team are new to the world of forensic investigation involving Talent, and their first case will stretch them and their Talents to their limits. After an apparent double suicide, the victims’ daughter hires PUPI to find the truth — no matter what it may be. –Romantic Times, 4 Stars

Apr 27
2010

Starred review for Gilman’s new series

Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman

Spinning off a minor character from the Retrievers books (Staying Dead, etc.), Gilman launches an entertaining new series set in her Cosa Nostradamus world of magic-using Talented humans. Following up on a mysterious job lead, college grad Bonita Torres joins the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations (PUPI), a freelance CSI-style unit for Talent-related crimes. The “puppies” refine and practice spells until they get their first big case: an apparent double suicide. As they follow the evidence, trail and interrogate suspects, and defend themselves against attacks, the investigators develop comfortable and engaging team dynamics and create the field of forensic magic. Gilman’s deft plotting and first-class characters complement her agile blend of science and spell craft, and readers will love the Mythbusters-style fun of smart, sassy people solving mysteries through experimentation, failure, and blowing stuff up. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Feb 19
2010

2009 Nebula Award Nominations

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have released the final ballot of this year’s Nebula Nominations. Press release here. Congratulations to Laura Anne Gilman and Cherie Priest in the novel category!

gilman-fleshfire priest-boneshaker

Oct 6
2009

PW on new Vineart series from Laura Anne Gilman

Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War

With a unique, pleasingly consistent magic system based on the production and consumption of wine, urban fantasist Gilman (the Retrievers series) turns a standard coming-of-age tale into something wholly new. Young Jerzy, a vineyard slave, possesses the rare and extraordinary ability of the Vinearts, magicians who create spellwines from the most potent grapes. When someone begins sabotaging the fields of the traditionally reclusive winemakers, it is up to Jerzy and his master to save their way of life. A slow build of tension as Jerzy progresses from slave to student to spy keeps the reader engaged without any need for frenetic fight scenes. The tale is dominated by vivid, absorbing characters, and Jerzy’s powerful narrative voice makes his joys and sorrows dramatic, authentic and potent. This intoxicating high fantasy will satisfy oenophiles and bibliophiles alike. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Also, see A Potent Vintage: PW talks with Laura Anne Gilman

Sep 29
2009

Starred Review from Library Journal for new Gilman fantasy

Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War

In a world once ruled by mage-princes who nearly destroyed it, magic now resides in the hands of the Vineart Masters, who have the ability to cast spells through wine of their own making. When an unknown evil threatens to destroy the vines, the key to saving the world lies in the magic of Vineart apprentice Jerzy, provided he can learn to break centuries-old traditions.

VERDICT This launch of a new trilogy by the author of the Retrievers urban fantasies (Blood from Stone) achieves an extraordinary power from its elegant storytelling and unique magical philosophy. Offering one of the most original approaches to fantasy adventure; highly recommended for all fantasy fans. –Library Journal, Starred Review

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