Katharine Coldiron Reviews Lost Gods by Micah Yongo

Lost Gods, Micah Yongo (Angry Robot 978-0-85766-737-3, $12.99, 448pp, pb) July 2018

One of the daunting aspects of epic fantasy is the double duty it must do: it must be a genre novel with its own setting, ideas, and language, and it must be a historical novel, offering a well-thought-out contextual backdrop of nations, epochs, and ruling figures on which to project its characters’ actions. The grandness of this ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri (Orbit 978-0-316-44971-7, $15.99, 480pp, tp) November 2018.

A reliable way to revive epic fantasy, which seems to be going through many of the same motions it’s been tracing for 60 years, is to set it in a culture other than a West­ern one – other than a thinly disguised United Kingdom, to be uncomfortably specific – but if a white writer does this, she ...Read More

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Year in Review by Katharine Coldiron

By the time the clock hits 11:59 on December 31, my list of books read for 2018 will tally about 150. Because I review a wide variety of books, a small minority of those books will have been SF/F (only about a dozen, in fact). I like reading and reviewing genre books, and I especially like doing so for Locus, but it’s just a sliver of what I do ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews The Cloven by B. Catling

The Cloven, B. Catling (Vintage 978-1-101-97274-8, $16.95, 512pp, paperback) July 2018.

The problem with The Cloven, the third book in B. Catling’s intense fantasy trilogy, which began with The Vorrh and contin­ued with The Erstwhile, is the same problem that dogged the first two books: Catling is not very experienced, and it shows. These books, imaginative and daring as they are, make rookie mistakes, and for whatever ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn and Moon Brow by Shahriar Mandanipour

The Rending and the Nest, Kaethe Schwehn (Bloomsbury 978-1-63286-972-2, $26.00, 304pp, hardback) February 2018.

A blurb of The Rending and the Nest could position it as a combination of Station Eleven and The Leftovers, but that would do the novel a major disservice. In structure, it resembles Station Eleven, because the struggle to endure after most of the world’s resources are no longer available is the main ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 978-1-328-81079-3 $24.00, 367pp, hc) April 2018.

If Neil Gaiman wrote a post-Katrina novel about New Orleans, it just might be The City of Lost Fortunes. It’s stuffed with more-than-meets-the-mortal-eye cityscapes (Neverwhere), immortal schemes and meddling (American Gods), and historical myth and meaning (Norse Mythology). Although many of the novel’s fantasy elements are ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Echoes of Understorey by Thoraiya Dyer

Echoes of Understorey, Thoraiya Dyer (Tor 978-0-7653-8595-6, $16.99, 350pp, pb) February 2018.

Readers who enjoyed the first book in Thoraiya Dyer’s Titan’s Forest series will probably enjoy the sequel, Echoes of Understorey. The two books have in common a breathtakingly complex world, magic and ability tied to animal and natural realms, a powerful and self-sabotaging female protagonist, and potent political and racial allegories. Readers who found Crossroads of ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron reviews MEM: A Novel by Bethany C. Morrow

MEM: A Novel, Bethany C. Morrow (Unnamed 978-1-944700-55-3, $25.00, 175pp, hc) May 2018.

MEM is a short novel with so many complex elements, so many wild and wonderful ideas, that summarizing it proves difficult. Yet the circumstances of its world are set forth so gracefully and confidently that understanding it is easy. In its opening pages a woman walks into a vault and explains to the receptionist waiting there ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Daughters of the Air by Anca L. Szilágyi

Daughters of the Air, Anca L. Szilágyi (Lantern­fish Press 978-1-941360-11-8, $16.00, 260pp, tp) December 2017.

Until just a few years ago, I was barely aware of Argentina’s Dirty War, which purged tens of thousands of its “subver­sive” citizens from 1974 to 1983. These people usually vanished, traceless, leaving behind fami­lies who had no idea what happened to put them at the mercy of the repressive government. The whole affair ...Read More

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