Best Science Fiction Novel: A LUNATIC FEAR by Barbara Chepaitis (Wildside) THE CHILD GODDESS by Louise Marley (Ace) APOCALYPSE ARRAY by Lyda Morehouse (Roc) CALIFIA'S DAUGHTERS by Leigh Richards (Bantam Spectra) ANGEL-SEEKER by Sharon Shinn (Ace)
Weather Warden Books 1, 2, and 3 in Brief (Lori, JW)
...Before that I read ILL WIND by Rachel Caine. I liked it, up to a point, but I find it a bit annoying when I read a book where the heroine doesn't seem to have enough questions, and the author doesn't provide enough answers. I got the feeling the world wasn't quite well enough defined. And, despite the fact that the Amazon.com information (on the second book that had spoilers for the first) wasn't quite accurate, I still didn't like the ending of ILL WIND. So I'm not quite sure I'm going to read the next book. However, it was good while it lasted.--Lori
I've been able to read a bit, and read the second and third books in Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. I liked the second one, HEAT STROKE, better than the third, CHILL FACTOR, mainly because I tend to skim over the heavy action bits, being more interested in character/relationship stuff, and the two main characters were not together for much of the third book.--JW
Robin Owens' GUARDIAN OF HONOR--Fun, Rushed (Shelley)
GUARDIAN OF HONOR, by Robin D. Owens, is the second Luna book I've tried, and it's a definite recommend. I will add the caveat that this is very much the first book in an ongoing series. While the issues in the plot are resolved, there is more coming up for this world.
Alexa, a lawyer from Denver, is pulled into an alternate dimension by a group of magic users. They need an 'Exotique' from our world to help them with defending their land against several types of killing entities. In this world Owen has created, the act of pulling someone across the dimensions sensitizes them to a different kind of magic, and the Marshalls are hoping this will be beneficial to their cause.
The world in GUARDIAN OF HONOR was fun, and Alexa's character was not a push-over. She had a lot of spine and insisted that as Marshalls had brought her they could darn well treat her as an equal. I ended up reading the book in one day because I was so caught up in what was happening to Alexa and how she would react.
I did feel that the end of the book was a little rushed--this was a 400+ page novel, but everything seemed to resolve itself in the last 20 pages. I kept thinking that Owen should have allowed for another 20 pages or so--after all, once you hit 409, what is another few pages?
I am looking forward to the next book (due out in 2006) and am wondering if there will be six total. The author laid the ground work for a total of six people from Earth eventually being brought over.--Shelley
The February 2005 Locus is the annual Year-in-Review issue, looking back at 2004, with recommended reading essays, summaries of the year in publishing, and a composite recommended reading list of books and stories. Also in this issue is an entertaining interview with writer Neil Gaiman.
Some news: --Sharon Shinn sold YA novel THE DREAM-MAKER'S MAGIC to Viking. She also sold a novella set in her new universe to Ace, to be published with forthcoming novel MYSTIC AND RIDER. --Kim Antieau sold mainstream YA novel MERCY, UNBOUND to Simon Pulse. --"Robin Hobb" turned in SHAMAN'S CROSSING, first in her new Soldier Son trilogy, to Voyager. --Anne Bishop turned in ALTERED LANDSCAPES to Roc. --Diana Wynne Jones attended a secret screening of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, the film by acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki based on her eponymous novel. She calls the film "splendid and breathtaking", and says she "had a long talk with Mr. Miyazaki and it began to seem that we were soulmates."
Reacting to Linda's comments on DEAD WITCH WALKING, I thought that TGTBATU actually held together very well and was faster paced than DWW. Rachel, the main character, comes off as hot-headed and impulsive but not particularily wimpy. There are some things she is afraid of, but they make sense--she would need to be insane not to be afraid of them.
I also enjoyed Kim Harrison's world building. The setting is an alternate Cincinnati, one populated with witches, werewolves, pixies and vampires. The author's descriptions of the city, the alternate history she creates, and the way human and non-humans interact are all very interesting.
At the end of TGTBATU some issues are left unresolved, but the main crime had been taken to a logical conclusion. I am looking forward to the third book, due out in the fall of this year.--Shelley
Many of us here at RomSF enjoy audiobooks so I was happy to read about a new sf-oriented audiobook company that was launched recently. The folks that created the Palm Reader software have started Paperback Digital, which will publish audiobook editions of the latest best-sellers as well as classics from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. The most exciting thing about this company is their use of a new compression standard, which will allow unabridged editions of even large books to be published on a single CD or in a small enough size so direct download is reasonable. The company also says that this will mean they are able to price their audiobooks at a much lower rate, sometimes equal or less than the hardcover price. Paperback Digital's available titles include DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris, SPIRIT IN THE WIRES by Charles de Lint, and SURVIVAL: SPECIES IMPERATIVE 1 by Julie E. Czerneda. For more info, see their website.