Books

REVIEW: N.K. Jemisin is on track for more awards with ‘The Obelisk Gate’

The fight to assert one's humanity drives the narrative in 'The Obelisk Gate.' It is not merely a political aspiration but a deeply personal one, making the 'Broken Earth' series never feel polemical. N.K. Jemisin’s characters aren’t symbols; they are complex and conflicted human beings who want only to live in peace. But in the Stillness, as in the real world, sometimes you have to fight for peace.

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REVIEW: Luke Rhinehart and his hairy balls want to save humanity in ‘Invasion’

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Luke Rhinehart, author of the cult classic 'The Dice Man,' depicts an invasion of hairy balls from outer space who want to save humanity from themselves. While this is a frequently visited theme, it is Rhinehart's trademark humor and social and political incisiveness that make 'Invasion' stand out among other alien invasion stories.

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REVIEW: Jo Walton continues to pursue excellence in ‘Necessity’

The prolific Jo Walton returns with a sequel to 'The Just City' and 'The Philosopher Kings.' 'Necessity' completes the saga of gods and philosophers seeking to make Plato’s 'Republic' a reality. While it has an entertaining storyline, it is a missed opportunity in an otherwise exemplary and thought-provoking trilogy.

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REVIEW: ‘The Stars Askew’ fleshes out a wonderfully bizarre world ★★★★

I have been waiting with anticipation for the follow-up to Rjurik Davidson’s strikingly original debut, Unwrapped Sky (2014), and The Stars Askew does not disappoint. The “young master of the New Weird” fleshes out his wonderfully bizarre world, a world that blends familiar elements of history and mythology in unique ways.

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REVIEW: Geek psychologists analyze Marvel’s ‘Civil War’ in fascinating new volume

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'Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology' is the latest collection from Dr. Travis Langley and the PsychGeeks that approaches Marvel's 'Civil War' from a fascinating array of interpretive angles grounded in psychology and reveals just how rich and complex the original comic by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven was.

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Shadows gather in V.E. Schwab’s ‘A Gathering of Shadows’

The pace of 'A Gathering of Shadows' is slow up until the final pages when we get, in V.E. Schwab’s words, “the dreaded cliffhanger.” This makes it difficult to assess 'A Gathering of Shadows' for we won't know whether Schwab succeeded or failed until (at least) the third book in the series. But I’m certainly going to read it to find out.

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‘The One’ is every bit as engrossing as ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Divergent’

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'The One' is a wonderfully imagined YA series that is every bit as engrossing as 'The Hunger Games' or 'Divergent' series. But it has an edge of sophistication over other series in its sci-fi conception and elements of conflict, and it explores more complex issues of power than the average series. This is highly recommended reading for adult and young adult readers alike.

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Republished ‘The Final Programme’ is not for casual Moorcock fans

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My ability to recommend 'The Final Programme' is dependent on your familiarity with Michael Moorcock’s work. If you already know Elric of Melniboné or Duke Dorian Hawkmoon, you’ll enjoy analyzing Jerry Cornelius as another aspect of the Eternal Champion. But if this is your first visit to the Multiverse, start with Melniboné first.

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