Book Review: Art of War anthology, edited by Petros Triantafyllou (published by Booknest.EU)
This fantasy short story anthology features forty (yes, FORTY!) stories from an incredible selection of self-published and traditionally published authors. All proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to the charity Doctors Without Borders, which makes this anthology all the more special.
Audiobook Review: The Eighth God by Paul S. Lavender (published by Paul S. Lavender)
This grimdark fantasy audiobook was a good listen. It tells the story of a world full of elves, humans, orcs that has enjoyed an uneasy peace for thousands of years, after a mighty battle where seven elves were granted the power of seven Gods to decimate an orc army. Since that time the orcs have kept to their lands and the humans and elves to theirs. But the orcs are twitchy, and spurred on by mysterious allies, they decide to invade.
Book Review: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (published by Pan Macmillan)
Wow! This book puts the EPIC in epic fantasy! There’s complex political intrigue, devastating betrayal, high stakes, great escapes, dangerous sea travel, large scale battles, love, a touch of magic and plenty of sex.
Stefan M. Nardi is a fantasy author and the editor of the Beyond The Deepwoods fantasy short story anthology which includes my story The Tunnel Runner.
Stefan kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me about his process with his writing partners, more about his novels, his story in the anthology - and more!
Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (published by HarperCollins)
This psychological thriller really packs a punch! The agoraphobic Anna Fox lives as a recluse in her New York City home, never venturing outside. Her only entertainment includes watching old black-and-white movies and watching – and sometimes photographing – her neighbours. When she sees something horrific through the window of her newly-moved-in neighbours’ home, her world begins to crumble.
Chattergoon paused and held up his hand. Behind, his companions stopped and fell silent. He lifted his lantern and held it in front of him, lighting the pitch black of the tunnel a few paces ahead. But there was nothing there.
He cocked his ear to listen. After a few heartbeats, the trivial quarrelling between two of his men, that had been incessant for the past week, started up again.
I was blown away by the brilliance of blockbuster Marvel movie Black Panther! In particular I loved the sub-Saharan African setting.
It made me think what adult fantasy and science fiction novels are out there with similar settings. So… after a bit of digging around the internet, Goodreads, Reddit r/fantasy and Amazon, here are 11 books that I’m going to be checking out and one that I’ve already read that I definitely recommend. Majority are fantasy, but all are either set in Africa or have African inspired settings.
Recently a reviewer described my novel Melokai (In the Heart of the Mountains #1) as grimdark. I’ve been calling it epic fantasy, but as it does fit with the grimdark sentiment, I’m embracing it wholeheartedly! So, just what is grimdark?
Audiobook Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (published by HarperCollins)
I absolutely loved the audiobook narration of this one. The actor Jeremy Irons did a brilliant job bringing this mystical tale to life, with the character’s voices and with the flow and pacing. It’s a shame that I didn’t love the story more.
Visiting new places, travelling around the world or venturing into areas near where you live for the first time can all spark your imagination and help you write more compelling, vivid descriptions of settings, characters and dialogue.
I’ve been very fortunate to travel around the world for long periods at a time, as well as live in the Middle East, and all of these new peoples, cultures and landscapes have filtered into my fiction.
Book Review: The Mirror Empire (The Worldbreaker Saga #1) by Kameron Hurley (published by Angry Robot)
The Mirror Empire confused the crap out of me! But the worldbuilding was refreshingly unique and weird. So, although some of the time I wasn’t sure entirely what was going on in this epic grimdark fantasy, I really enjoyed it.
Book Review: The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1) by Anthony Ryan (published by Orbit)
This is one dense fantasy novel! There’s a lot going on, and a lot to take in but I really enjoyed it. The Waking Fire is set in a world where there are still ‘empires’ in the traditional sense but also ‘empires’ in terms of a corporate entity that has grown big and powerful. Both the empire and the corporate empire are after the same thing – drake blood, or ‘product’.
Book Review: Everything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister (published by Penguin)
This psychological suspense thriller is a good read, which starts with the action and intrigue immediately. Rachel is pregnant with Jack’s child. The couple have only been together for a few months and are trying to learn everything about each other before the baby arrives. Rachel accidentally sees an email in the middle of the night that implies Jack has a dark history, one which he hasn’t told her about. She sets off on a compulsive and obsessive mission to find out – but the thing is, Rachel also has a secret…
Have you ever read a non-fiction book that made you stop everything and think, “Whoah, I didn’t know that, and now I do my entire worldview has changed”?
Well, here are five books that did exactly that to me when I read them, and I feel a much more informed and enlightened human being because of them.
Book Review: Behind the Throne (The Indranan War #1) by K.B. Wagers (published by Orbit)
This science fiction novel definitely did not live up to its description of an ‘action-packed’ ‘Star Wars-style science fiction adventure’ for ‘anyone who wonders what would happen if a rogue like Han Solo were handed the keys to an empire’. Instead it was a story of political/court intrigue where the main character Hail, a princess turned gunrunner turned princess again, spends most of her time going to a lot of brief meetings within the palace and a couple of public events where she’ll invariably survive an assassination attempt. There’s some action (or what I would call action) near the end.
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