Cover of Much Secret Sorrow: Guy of Gisborne 1

Much Secret Sorrow: Guy of Gisborne 1

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kevin's Recommendation

This book pulls you into a richly detailed 12th Century world of politicking lords, dangerous Welsh border raids and a likeable protagonist in the form of Guy of Maebury. A careful, steady feed of recognisable, but not yet legendary, characters tops it all off.

The slow build-up is worth it and does contribute to a much livelier, fuller world and more meaningful character motivations.

Cover of Night Calls - Sample Chapter

Night Calls - Sample Chapter

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kevin's Recommendation

Well I certainly loved this sample!

Moved along at a nice pace. Plenty of events, but not rushed. Language, descriptions and sense of location & time seem spot-on. It's the first in a series too.

I'm intrigued and excited to read more. Just what a sample should do. And it's from Book View Cafe, so I know 90% my money will go to the author.

Off to buy the full book asap!

Cover of Nine Goblins

Nine Goblins

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kevin's Recommendation

What a fantastically fun read.

This novella was my first experience of T. Kingfisher's books, and I'll now be buying any and all the others I can get my hands on.

The lovably ragtag troop of goblins comprising the Whining Niners make the Fellowship of the Ring seem like some dull kids on a Sunday school outing. And I have to say, the Bear is my favourite.

Go read it. A light, fast story.

Cover of Nonplayer #1

Nonplayer #1

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kevin's Recommendation

Finding the print version of Nonplayer in a local comic shop blew my mind.

The amazing digital artwork is absolutely beautiful. The story - as much of a short snippet you get in a single comic book issue - is cyberpunky and fresh, to me at least.

I only recently realised it was available from Image Comics, along with issue 2. So I'm heading back into its lush artwork and enthralling world.

Cover of Nonplayer #2

Nonplayer #2

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kevin's Recommendation

As wonderful and entrancing as the first issue.

This beautifully illustrated second comic from Nate Simpson, opens up the world, broadens the scope and sets up some interesting conflict.

I can't wait for the third in the series. This is a story to get lost in.

Well done Nate and Image Comics.

Cover of Outermen

Outermen

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kevin's Recommendation

Amazingly-written, weird, claustrophobic, space, alternate Earth, horror story from a brilliant author who consistently nails it!

A tale of the Outside, what's beyond and, ultimately, fear of what may or may not be there. If there is something, stay hidden! If there isn't anything but a vast void, then stay home, be nice, don't explore, we're alone...

A story about our culture.

Cover of Saga #1

Saga #1

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kevin's Recommendation

Created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, Saga is a beautifully intimate space opera.

It touches on race, religion, conflict, family and love, with a deft hand and imagery that is just sublime.

Proof that Image Comics' creator-owned approach really works. These are the kinds of stories that comics were made for.

Cover of Seeing Double

Seeing Double

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kevin's Recommendation

You know how you sometimes get too comfortable in familiar genres and need a book to come along and kick you out of your comfort zone? Well, this was mine.

We fall into the world-weary lives of a newly-married ex-pat couple. The author explores sex, pain, abuse, assault, desire, trauma... and the relationships, even love, based on all these things.

An uncomfortable, but rewarding read.

Cover of Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf’s Point Novel

Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf’s Point Novel

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kevin's Recommendation

What a fun read! Menopausal werewolves, a town to protect, and a love to be found.

Becca didn't think the change was THAT literal. But that's what you get in Wolf's Point, I suppose. The name must come from somewhere...

A great concept, and lovely, warm, fast-paced writing.

Looking forward to reading Book 2!

Cover of Sinful Folk

Sinful Folk

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kevin's Recommendation

I'm always intrigued by novels that are inspired by tiny snippets of historical events.

A sliver of history taken as a seed, with enough facts to place it in a believable context, can be a rich seam for a skilled author. Ned Hayes has recreated a dark period of British history and, taking little-known facts, has wrapped them in a heart-wrenching tale of loss, vengeance, treachery, and grief.

Cover of The Blue Blazes

The Blue Blazes

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kevin's Recommendation

This weird, wild, violent, dangerous, almost-fantasy, New York setting is pure Chuck Wendig.

Mookie Pearl is to the gangland thug what Miriam Black is to the care home nurse. If this is what happens when Chuck Wendig is given free rein to create his own universe and populate it with strange gods, demons and magic, then I want more of it!

Read it and the sequel. Well done Chuck!

Cover of The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter

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kevin's Recommendation

A ripping yarn of disguise, deception and misdirection, propelled along by a brilliantly written period style that firmly places you in the world.

A rollicking ride through alternate-history Britain after the Luddite uprisings. Recognisable locations mixed with carefully applied genre tropes keep this book from becoming yet another steampunk adventure and raise it above its fellows.

Cover of The Devil's Revolver

The Devil's Revolver

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kevin's Recommendation

What a fantastic 'Weird West', magic, action, adventure tale!

This carefully constructed alternative Western story is populated with interesting, but not always likeable, characters. The magic is strange and unpredictable, and is very much part of the world, not added on top.

While a YA fantasy, the book never shies away from addressing the very real violence and horror of genocide.

Cover of The Fisherman

The Fisherman

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kevin's Recommendation

Yes, The Fisherman is a little Lovecraftian, with its ancient gods, cultists, and watery... things. But it has much more going for it. The Fisherman is a work of beauty that Lovecraft never came close to.

You grieve with Abe as he tries to pick up the pieces. You worry about what Dan will do... and when he'll break. You wonder which story you are actually reading and who is telling it.

Cover of The Healers' Home

The Healers' Home

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kevin's Recommendation

Another beautiful read by S.E. Robertson!

I'm really enjoying this slice-of-life fantasy genre I've only just learned about. The Healers' Home gives us a more stable setting, some new drama as past-acquaintances re-appear, and work to do as Agna and Keifon try and fit in to their new lives.

Family expectations, awkward commitments and trying relationships flesh out this wonderful book.

Cover of The Healers' Road

The Healers' Road

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kevin's Recommendation

I absolutely loved this book!

Recommended in @paracactus' 'Slice-of-Life Fantasy' list, it provides a place to go, a world to just sit in and enjoy.

Like the contemplative and cozy parts of The Steerswoman series, Jaran, and The Guy of Gisborne books, you simply get lost in the subtly portrayed world.

A fantasy setting without the usual tropes or stereotypes. A fantasy book to love.

Cover of The Hellsblood Bride

The Hellsblood Bride

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kevin's Recommendation

There's weird fiction, then there's Chuck Wendig weird fiction.

In this sequel to The Blue Blazes, our gangland enforcer with a heart of gold, Mookie Pearl, must save his daughter and the whole world from the schemes of demons, demi-gods and more weird stuff before it all ends.

Call it a Chuckpocalypse, or even Wendigeddon!

Loads of fun and a must read for any Chuck Wendig fan.

Cover of The Language of Power

The Language of Power

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kevin's Recommendation

An amazing instalment in the Steerswoman fantasy series.

We're back to the Inner Lands now and we're learning more and more about this world and what's going on.

In this book, we finally see what wizards can do. And the steerswoman and the Outlander take the fight straight to their door.

If you enjoy excellent world-building and puzzling plots, start reading The Steerswoman series. Now!

Cover of The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson

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kevin's Recommendation

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson is a post-modern tale of friendship and fate, where the truth is only a simulacrum of itself. It's probably literary, but it's far more accessible than that suggests.

This is a truly accessible modern classic that should be winning all the awards.

It's tense while cozy. It's suspenseful while relaxed.

And it's very, very good.

Cover of The Lost Steersman

The Lost Steersman

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kevin's Recommendation

A very different book to the previous two in the series.

The Lost Steersman takes a different turn about half-way through, where the scope and scale of the world and its inhabitants undergoes another astonishing twist.

I got a definite Jane Goodall vibe from this book. Our understanding of the steerswomen grows in this wonderful instalment in a fantastic and surprising series. Loved it!