Of the one-hundred books I read in 2012, nearly one quarter of them were first time authors. I read slightly more last year (28), which makes some sense considering that 2011 was a far better year for debuts than 2012. Regardless, I would happily stack up this year’s Juice Box short list against last year’s. Oddly, none of this year’s best debuts were written by women, a fact that surprised me after reading so many excellent debuts from women a year ago. I’ll chalk it up to noise, especially considering my 2013 reading thus far has included numerous excellent debuts from female authors.
Interestingly, despite some of the harsh criticisms I’ve levied toward Night Shade Books’ 2012 list, two of their debuts make the cut here, matching last year’s number. I lauded them a year ago for their outstanding new author program, and I hope it’s something they can continue to champion.… Read the rest
I recently detailed the intricacies of the Shadow Ops magic system over at Fantasy Faction. In that post, I hinted that there was more to magic than the basic authorized and Probe school system I laid out in Control Point.
In this article, I’ve decided to gives a glimpse into the more esoteric, one might even say singular, magical categories, arcane arts so rare, so unique, that they can only be channeled by the writing style of a particular person.
Sam Sykes — Author of The Skybound Sea
A special sub-species of Hydromancy. Sykes has the ability to cause any person to find themselves suddenly moving across the surface of the ocean, where they shall remain for at least 150 pages.… Read the rest
I hear two main complaints among those who read Myke Cole’s debut novel, Control Point. First, the novel’s protagonist Oscar Britton was an indecisive and unlikable whiner. Second, that the writing and dialogue lacked polish. Personally, I didn’t find either of those items to be true, but I can say without a shadow of doubt that both are improved in Cole’s second novel, Fortress Frontier.
Given the ending of the first novel, I anticipated that the story of Oscar Britton taking on the establishment to bring rights to Latents — a Magneto figure, if you will — would continue. While Oscar does make an appearance, Fortress Frontier isn’t about him. Instead, Cole replaces him with Col. Alan Bookerbinder, an Army bureaucrat who comes up latent, tearing him away from his comfortable suburban life and throwing him to the wolves. . . or goblins as it were. The novel is better off for it.… Read the rest