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Shadowsong: one does not simply walk away from the Underground

Book cover: Shadowsong - S Jae-Jones (poppies in a fractured icy globe)Returned to her family, Liesl pines for her austere young man and for her brother. But from Vienna to the Bavarian forest, people are dying with mysterious marks on their lips and throat. The old laws cannot be broken. The Underground must have it due. Someone must die if spring is to return…

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Bite-sized Books: The Black Tides of Heaven

Book cover: The Black Tides of Heaven - J Y YangAkeha and Mokoya are the twin children of the Protector, sold to the Grand Monastery in exchange for military support. But Mokoya is a prophet, a resource too valuable for their mother to let go, while Akeha has the heart of a rebel. In a country ruled by fear, can they find peace for themselves – let alone for the rest of their people?

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Spare and Found Parts: review and giveaway!

Nell Crane is the girl with the clockwork heart, daughter of two revolutionary thinkers whose contributions have improved the lives of everyone in Black Water City. Great things are expected of her, but she’s running out of time to make a contribution that will keep her free of a life of manual labour. When inspiration finally strikes, her idea is so bold it may destroy her ties to everyone she loves…

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Bite-size Books: A Long Day in Lychford

Book cover: A Long Day in Lychford - Paul Cornell - a woman silhouetted against treesThings aren’t the same in Lychford since That There Vote (no, not the one about the supermarket). There are new divisions between friends, neighbours and witches. With terrors beyond the magical boundaries, the question of borders has never been so charged.

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Bite-size Books: River of Teeth

Book cover;In a past that nearly happened, hippos are a common feature of the American wetlands. Winston Houndstooth has a government charter to herd the dangerous ferals out of the Harriet and into the Mississippi Delta. But Winston wants to do more than make some money. He wants to get revenge.

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Bitesize Books: Prime Meridian

Book cover: Prime Meridian - Silvia Moreno Garcia (a young Mexican woman in a space suit)Amelia lives in Mexico City, crowded into a tiny apartment with her sister and her resentment. She makes ends meet as a friend-for-hire, dreaming of a future on Mars that seems ever further out of reach. But when a new client turns out to be her wealthy ex, Amelia’s options seem as though they might open up.

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Confessions of a bad SF fan: Flowers for Algernon

Book cover: Flowers for Algernon - Daniel KeyesLast autumn, I ‘fessed up that I rarely read SF classics. Looking at “scifi novels every fan must read” lists, I’m a very bad SF fan indeed. This year I made a half-hearted effort to mend my ways (I haven’t exactly let them dominate my reading), but Sci Fi Month was my inspiration to tackle a giant.

Yes it’s taken me a while to get round to marshalling my thoughts

Tarnished City: Equal opportunities for the few

Book cover: Tarnished City - Vic James (a chained hand points down, a Scottish castle in the background)With the Chancellor dead, the Jardines are back in control of Britain. As Luke Hadley is delivered to the Scottish fortress of Lord Crovan for his Condemnation, Abi escapes to join Luke’s agitating allies. But can they do anything to avert the horror the Jardines will bring to Britain – let alone rescue poor Luke before he chooses to walk through the Last Door?

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A Matter of Oaths: cyberpunk space opera

Book cover: A Matter of Oaths - Helen S Wright (a silhouetted man overlaid with a web of light)Formidable Commander Rallya needs a new First Officer for Bhattya; talented young webber Rafe needs a new berth. But Rafe is an Oath-breaker and few crews will consider taking him on. Worse, he was identity-wiped: he has no idea who he was or why he broke faith. But there are those who do, and they aren’t finished with him – or with Bhattya if she takes him on Excellent story with bonus pulp scifi cover art

The Hanging Tree: dancing the Tyburn jig

Book cover: The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch (pinky-purple cast to a map of London, Mayfair dripping blood)Peter Grant is back in London – and Lady Tyburn wants to call in a long-owed favour. But when it becomes clear that the case involves an untimely death, ancient magical artefacts being sold on eBay and the Faceless Man himself, Peter knows this it can’t be swept under the carpet – even for an influential Mayfair goddess…

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Within the Sanctuary of Wings

Book cover: Within the Sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan - dragons!Isabella, Lady Trent, is now a famous scientist and a happily-married woman – if still unwelcome in the ranks of the Collegium. But there’s nothing so dangerous as boredom, so when a Yelangese rebel puts temptation in her way, Isabella, Suhail and Tom set off on their biggest adventure yet…

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Throwback Thursday: Foxglove Summer

Book cover: Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch (blood smearing across a map of the English countryside)Reeling from recent betrayals, Peter Grant finds himself packed off to the Welsh borders to rule out magical interference in a child abduction case and take some time out in the country air to work through his tangled emotions. If only life were that simple.

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