Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea is a cyberpunk action novel about a young lady criminal named Koko Martstellar who retires on an island that basically offers a theme park experience for shady ass people. She owns a business and has essentially retired from her blood-soaking shenanigans. But when an old acquaintance sends a team of assassins after Miss Martstellar, her retirement hopes and dreams get blown to bits just like her brothel. On the run and spectacularly ticked off about this latest event, she decides to take out the acquaintance before her ass can get further fried.
The House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman is a psychological horror novella about two teenagers who have their first date on a stunning lake…
Awakened by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth is a science-fiction, horror story that begins in New York City’s latest underground subway line, which is an express line that connects the city with communities across the Hudson River. On the inauguration celebration of this state-of-the-art transport system, everyone is stunned when the train’s car arrive completely devoid of human life except for the blood that splatters its walls.
Forge of the Mindslayers by Tim Waggoner is the second novel in the dark fantasy, sword-and-sorcery series, The Blade of the Flame. Diran and his half-Orc chum, Ghaji, receive a tip about a lich terrorising people in the mountains of Perhata. As they work to hunt down this malevolent force, the duo, and their comrades, end up getting ensnared in the local politics poisoning the two regions that are vying for control.
Thieves of Blood was the very first book that introduced me to the Eberron universe. In 2006, I was only familiar with fantasy novels via the Legend of Drizzt series, and hadn’t read much sword-and-sorcery beyond that. However, with Diran and Ghaji, not only did my love for the genre explode into a passionate love affair that shall last until my dying days, but it also showed me a dark setting with creatively fascinating lore, history, politics and more.
Spine of the Dragon by Kevin J. Anderson is an epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery novel that’s the first volume in the Wake the Dragon series. It revolves around two continents that have been divided via bloodshed for many, many generations. However, when a long-forgotten outside threat returns with the hopes of reawakening an ancient race by slaying a mythological dragon of hatred and spite, the two nations must find a way to put aside their violent differences in order to formulate an alliance to fight this newly arisen peril.
Alien by Alan Dean Foster is the novelisation of the 1979 sci-fi, psychological horror film of the same name. It follows the crew of a commercial space tug named Nostromo who are awakened from hyper-sleep when the ship’s AI detects a distress beacon emanating from a planet not too far off their trajectory towards home. When the crew investigates, they find themselves at the business end of a deadly hunt with an extra-terrestrial creature unlike any they’ve seen or read of before.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly is the first novel in a cosy mystery series called, The Magical Cats Mysteries. It is about a librarian named Kathleen Paulson after she moves to Maryville Heights, Minnesota where she gets adopted by two stray kitties. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a tuxedo babe that shares Kathleen’s love of Barry Manilow. When a murder interrupts the local town’s music festival, Kathleen is labelled the prime suspect.
Gothic horror is a much-underappreciated category of fiction, so to witness a culturally rich Latinx addition to the genre was absolutely thrilling. Mexican Gothic not only lived up to every expectation that I had, but it also surpassed them by a marvellous margin.
Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar is a Queer own-voices Indian picture book about a young girl named Ayesha who is positively ecstatic to attend her cousin’s wedding to another woman and to celebrate the joy of their love.
Murder in Old Bombay is an excellently written piece of historical fiction that is both transportive and insightful about an era that is rarely seen within the genre, the British occupation of India during the late 1800s. Coupled with the portrayal of a biracial identity and a curious crime mystery, readers shall have a pleasantly engaging reading experience, more so if they fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dynamic detective duo
Phoenix Extravagant is an exceptional piece of science-fiction that is beautifully complex yet approachable and fascinatingly original. It is one of the best novels released within the genre in all of 2020.
The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical supernatural mystery novel about a young woman named Annie who survived the sinking of the Titanic, only to find herself working aboard another ship, the Britannica, years later. While working on the second ship, she is reminded of her time on the infamous maiden voyage of the Britannica’s predecessor; memories that are further heightened when she bumps into a familiar face.
Burning Roses by S.L. Huang is an adult own-voices Queer Chinese fantasy novella about Rose (a.k.a. Red Riding Hood) and an archer named Hou Yi. Together they join forces to stop deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside. Their journey shall take them into a reckoning of terrible sacrifices, a mourning of mistakes, of choices, and also of family amid a quest for immortality.
One of the most intriguing characteristics about Seven is the subject matter of female genital cutting (FGC) as it is one that I have never seen discussed in literature before. My own personal knowledge of this ritual is extremely limited and for all intents and purposes, it has always been a topic that has existed within my own cultural circles, but one that is never openly discussed.