The Evolutionary Void – Peter F. Hamilton

Void #3 The conclusion of the Void trilogy. Sadly, this book didn’t stand up to its predecessors (The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void). Those were pretty good, and this is not substantially worse, but while those were full of interesting ideas and a good balance of SF and fantasy, this one was a little more of a slog. In the first two books, I found it hard to keep track of the various actors, who…

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Shadowrise – Tad Williams

Shadowmarch #3 The March kingdoms are at war, and the royal Eddon family has splintered, in this continuation of Tad Williams’ Shadow series. I have the occasional argument with friends about whether Tad Williams has anything of his own to say. While I agree that Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn was derivative, I thought Otherland was innovative and interesting, as was The War of the Flowers. The first two books of Shadowmarch seemed to bear out…

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Legacy of Kings – C. S. Friedman

Magister Trilogy #3 Kamala, a magician with surprising powers, finds refuge in the north, discovering a dark, forgotten secret. Legacy of Kings is something of a letdown for a series that started with so much promise. Friedman doesn’t quite reach the same depths of darkness that are shown in the best of her prior work, but the background and premise are intriguing enough to be worth reading. This third volume, as with the second, to…

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The Waters Rising – Sheri S. Tepper

Plague of Angels #2 Xulai, the soul carrier for a foreign princess, tries to get back home from a post-apocalyptic America that is substantially covered by rising water The Waters Rising is good, but not Sherri Tepper’s best work. It tells the story of Xulai, the soul carrier for a foreign princess, trying to get back home. It is set mostly in a post-apocalyptic America that is substantially covered by rising waters. Aside from the…

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Iron Angel – Alan Campbell

Deepgate Codex #2 The sequel to Scar Night examines the politics and mechanisms of the hell that lies below Deepgate. I spent a good part of the predecessor, Scar Night, trying to decide whether the book was fantasy, or SF disguised as fantasy. There were indications of the latter, with ‘angels’ having fallen from ‘heaven’ in a technologically advanced vehicle (‘the Tooth’). This book, however, steams ahead with straightforward fantasy approach, if with more engineering…

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Leviathans of Jupiter – Ben Bova

Grand Tour #13 Ben Bova revisits the curious, atmospheric creatures of Jupiter, in this continuation of his Grand Tour series. Ben Bova’s Grand Tour series is reliable, complex, and realistic. Here, he revisits Jupiter, and the curious creatures we met on the last visit. As always, this is a standalone novel with nice little connections to other books for the initiated. The science is credible, the human relations interesting, the plot intriguing. In short, this…

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