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Book Review: Dive Smack By Demetra Brodsky
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Dive Smack book review

Dive Smack
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Demetra Brodsky
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: June 19, 2018

Theo Mackey should have it all. He’s the captain of the diving team, gets good grades, has a lot of friends, and the girl he likes is showing serious interest. But he has darkness in his past that threatens his present and future. His mother died in a fire, a fire he started, and his dad, who never recovered, died soon after. Now Theo lives with his alcoholic grandfather, and he cannot remember that night. He’s also popping Adderall like candy, and seeing his “Uncle” Phil, a psychiatrist with the heavy prescription hand and an enemy of GP (grandpa). He gets assigned a family history project with his crush, who also lost her mother, and a kid he does not like. On top of all that, he’s going into some fugue states, some that endanger his life. He’s hitting a brick wall with his memories and GP. What will he find when he finally breaks it down?

More below on Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky.

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Book Review: City Of Lies: A Poison War Novel By Sam Hawke
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City of Lies book review

City of Lies
A Poison War Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Sam Hawke
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: July 3, 2018

I will give you this, the first line of this book is a wicked great start to City of Lies. The attention to detail is amazing, be it the landscape or the characters. And I will be honest, I am not always a fan of debut novels, as I find that they often lack refinement. This one, however, was leaps and bounds above the norm.

The premise is fairly simple: there is a family who has perfected the art of poison. Their job, for they are known as proofers, is to protect the ruling families from harm. The skills they possess enable them to detect or dispense these deadly chemical compounds with relative ease. But, as always, what you do not know can really hurt you. This is a lesson Jovan, and his sister Kalina, learns quickly as the companion and bodyguard to the heir apparent. But as he falls deeper and deeper into plots of intrigue and betrayal, he finds himself at his limits on who and what to trust. For even his closest confidantes keep secrets from him.

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Book Review: By Fire Above: A Signal Airship Novel By Robyn Bennis
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By Fire Above Book Banner

By Fire Above
Signal Airship Series – Book 2
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Robyn Bennis
Publisher: Tor Books
Paperback Release date: May 15, 2018

Who does not like a great steampunk novel? In By Fire Above, you do not juts get a steampunk story but one laced with the darkness of war. For in this tale, it is kill or be killed, with little time left for life itself.

Decidedly different than what I was expecting, this book hooked me from chapter one. It probably would have been even easier had I read the first book in this “Signal Airship” series.

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Book Review: ‘Child Of A Mad God’ By R.A. Salvatore
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Child Of A Mad God by R.A. Salvatore

Child Of A Mad God
A Tale Of The Coven
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By R.A. Salvatore
Tor Books
Release Date: February 6, 2018

From R.A. Salvatore, the fantasy demi-god that brought us Drizzt Do’Urden and Cadderly, comes a brand new series, The Coven! The first book, Child Of A Mad God, introduces readers to a new world with all new people and creatures. It is one wild ride watching these events unfold, in typical Salvatore fashion. Curious? I bet. Allow me to explain further.

In a desolate area on a formerly unknown world, readers are subjected to a bombardment of new sights and ideas. Fans, old and new, will notice almost no similarities between this new series and anything the author has previously written. Great thought and care went into the creation of this new world, something Salvatore knows well since he has previously created other worldscapes. While most of his writings have taken place in the Forgotten Realms setting, he has, nevertheless, created several other planes of existence to house his ever-growing collection of heroes and villains.

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Book Spotlight: Tor Minis, New Small-Format Hardcover Editions
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Tor Minis From the Two Rivers

Tor Minis
Miniature Hardcover Series
Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders
Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson
From the Two Rivers by Robert Jordan
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Wild Cards I: Volume One edited by George R. R. Martin
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Nothing says Happy Holidays at my house like receiving books as a gift. In this same spirit, Tor Books has seen fit to create smaller format editions of some great science fiction and fantasy stories.

I am going to give you a quick run down of the six books already available in the Tor Minis series. Hang on tight, there is a lot to take in!

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Book Review: Deadlands: Boneyard
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Deadlands: Boneyard

Deadlands: Boneyard
Deadlands Series Book 3
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Now, this technically has not a thing to do with Deadlands: Boneyard, but as it was released right before my favorite day, it seems fitting that I share that with you. The creepy and scary books all tend to drop around this time, but few have an element of fantasy mixed into the suspense and horror. With this particular novel, you get it all. Read on and I will try to satisfy your curiosity, one and all! Welcome, gentle folk, to the story of the Blackstone Family Circus and Traveling Wonder Show!

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Book Review: Children Of The Fleet By Orson Scott Card
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Children of the Fleet header Orson Scott Card

Children Of The Fleet
Fleet School Series
Hardcover | Kindle
By Orson Scott Card
Audiobook narrated by Stefan Rudnicki from Macmillan Audio
Publisher: Tor Books | Macmillan
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Just when you thought you would never see another book from the Enderverse, author Orson Scott Card surprises us all with not just a new book, but one with a definitive twist. Children of the Fleet is more than a spin-off or a sequel, it is a completely different perspective of events that unfolded in a previous novel.

The similarities are still there, of course that is to be expected. An exceptional child displaced, but amazing. This one, however, takes a turn for the unexpected, again and again. Our new protagonist is Dabeet Ochoa. He’s a headstrong boy of about ten who is exceptional in every way, including his massive ego. And while the Battle School from previous stories, beginning with 1985’s Ender’s Game, has morphed into the newly minted Fleet School, much has remained the same, including having one Hyrum Graff involved at every level.

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Book Review: Iraq + 100: The First Anthology Of Science Fiction To Have Emerged From Iraq
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Iraq + 100 header

Iraq + 100
The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq
Paperback | Kindle
Edited Hassan Blasim
Tor Books
Release Date: September 12, 2017

Anytime the opportunity arises to experience something new and unique, I advise you to embrace it. But I must warn you, not all of these will be easily categorized. As a matter of fact, sometimes the experience will not just be enlightening, but also challenging. Iraq + 100: The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq is more than an anthology of new voices in science fiction. It is a testament to mankind’s willpower and tenacity even in the face of certain destruction. But, and this is a huge but, it is far more than even that. This book defies contemporary concepts of what sci-fi is by adding additional layers of history, laced with emotional turmoil.

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Book Review: The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase By Greg Cox
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The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase Greg Cox Cover

The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase
The Librarians Book 2
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Written by Greg Cox
Tor Books
Release Date: April 25th, 2017

Mother Goose is real. Although that should not surprise Eve Baird and her team of ragtag genius librarians, they are still able to muster some disbelief at some of the cases that the Clippings Book hands them. Three inexplicable events happen in separate areas of the world: a woman gets trapped inside a pumpkin, 3 giant rodents with no eyes attack a woman, and a man gets caught up in a fierce wind which catches him up into the sky, until he lands on a trampoline. What do these three people have in common? They appropriately lived through some real life nursery rhymes, appropriate since they are direct descendants of the real Mother Goose.

Such is the hook that ensnares us in The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase By Greg Cox.

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Book Review: Extreme Makeover By Dan Wells
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Extreme Makeover Header

Extreme Makeover: A Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Written by Dan Wells
Tor Books
Release Date: November 15th, 2016

The never-ending quest for eternal youth and beauty is the bread and butter of the beauty industry, and it looks like NewYew is the company that has hit the winning jackpot. Their secret weapon (literally) is scientist Lyle Fontanelle, who has developed a lotion that can cause a body to create more collagen, good for burn victims, and Lyle hopes, eventually… cancer patients. But the corporate bigwigs want to push through with the testing and manufacturing against Lyle’s better judgment. An accidental lapse in safety protocols cause the lotion to be tainted. During the test run, most of the subjects start turning into Lyle, and one man starts turning into his assistant (a woman). That doesn’t end pretty. The tainted lotion overwrites one’s DNA, and the quick knowledge spread of the lotion’s capabilities start spiraling the drain, leading all to want an Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells.

More below.

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