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Bite-size Books: Cold-Forged Flame

Book cover: Cold-Forged Flame - Marie Brennan (a young woman holding a longbow, hair tossed by the wind)A people in need summon a woman by magic, binding her to their cause. She must fight her way across an enchanted landscape to win her freedom. She doesn’t know who – or even what – she is except strength and fury, so she has nothing left to lose …or does she?

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Born to the Blade (1.02): Fault Lines

Relationships are getting complicated on the supposedly neutral island of Twaa Fei. Loyal Michiko’s ancestors are more vocal than she’d like, and arrogant Mertikan Bellona is determined to turn Michiko’s acquaintance with Kris to her advantage. But Kris is hot tempered and has their own views on who they should befriend – and trust…

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Revenant Gun: the final battle for the Hexarchate’s soul

Book cover: Revenant Gun - Yoon Ha Lee (space ship flying away from explosion and asteroids)The Hexarchate is no more. Only two Hexarchs survive: slippery Shuos Mikodez, backing Cheris’s nascent democracy; and immortal Nirai Kujen, determined to resurrect the high calendar to maintain his grip on life. And even Protector-General Kel Inesser and her fleet don’t back him. Kujen isn’t worried: he has another incarnation of Shuos Jedao at his command…

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Bite-size Books: Born to the Blade

The Mertikan empire grows ever stronger, Rumika’s industrial prowess is bringing it new influence, and Quloo is literally sinking into the Mists. Welcome to a world of islands floating in the sky, where airships carry trade and war and magic is cast by swordcraft.

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Throwback Thursday: Abaddon’s Gate

Book cover: Abaddon's Gate - James S A Corey (view up the side of a spacecraft above a planet lost in yellow haze)In the outer reaches, the protomolecule has built a gate to… somewhere else. It’s the last place a haunted Jim Holden wants to go, but a determined young woman with a vendetta against him holds all the cards. Leaving human space may be the only way the Rocinante can escape her well-laid plans…

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White Tears: the blues will get everybody

Book cover: White Tears - Hari Kunzru (text treatment)Seth has always lived for the future, but his musical partner Carter has his heart set on the past. When Carter pushes Seth to create a retro track that sounds straight out of the 20s, they unleash a memory of musicians past. The blues don’t forget, and the devil still lingers at the crossroads…

In which I try to avoid too many spoilers, and to be at least vaguely coherent. It’s a struggle, ok?

Bite-sized Books: Buffalo Soldier

Book cover: Buffalo Soldier - Maurice BroaddusDesmond Coke fled Jamaica with his former comrades hot on his heels. He must cross an alternate America, where the Free Republic of Tejas, the Albion Empire and the Five Civilized Tribes may all offer sanctuary – or may seek to take advantage of the rare opportunity Desmond’s young ward Lij represents… Continue reading “Bite-sized Books: Buffalo Soldier”

Chalk: proving nostalgia isn’t always comforting

Book cover: Chalk - Paul CornellAndrew Waggoner is one of the favourite victims of five brutal boys at school. When their hazing becomes torture one Hallowe’en, Waggoner’s pain and outrage opens the door to ancient forces that promise him revenge. But the ghosts of generations past also have their own wrongs to right…

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Bite-size Books: Passing Strange

Book cover: Passing Strange - Ellen Klages (two people dancing in a ballroom at night)San Francisco, 1939. Treasure Island glows in the Bay, a beacon for Man’s perseverance and ingenuity. The vibrant City itself is full of immigrants and free spirits, shielded from the shadows of war. Anything can happen in San Francisco: forbidden love, illegal shifts in gender, and maybe – when you really need it – some actual magic.

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Dogs of War: should a Good Dog follow orders?

Book cover: Dogs of War - Adrian TchaikovskyRex just wants to be a Good Dog. But Rex is no ordinary dog. Rex is a Bioform, engineered to fit a specific set of requirements: obedience, loyalty, leading his pack, killing his Master’s enemies. But if Rex’s Master is not a Good Man, how can Rex be a Good Dog?

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Bite-size Books: Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth

Book cover: Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth - Cassandra Khaw text title and silhouette of city skyline in redWho needs enemies with friends like Rupert Wong’s? Following his unfortunate involvement in dragon murder and celestial war, Rupert’s is being seconded to London ‘for his own safety’. But his new Greek employers are at war too – and nobody is betting on Rupert surviving it.

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The Rift: would you believe?

Book cover: The Rift - Nina AllanJulie Rouane disappeared, leaving the house one afternoon and never returning. Selena and Margery learned to lived with her loss; Ray’s refusal to give up on her eventually killed him. But 20 years later, Julie calls Selena out of the blue. She’s back. And her explanation defies belief.

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