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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spotlight on May Books

This month we are featuring 36 books. There are probably twice as many new sff and related releases this month in traditional publishing not to speak of the countless indies from Amazon and Smashwords but we are limiting ourselves to books that will be reviewed here or are similar with such. For the full schedule of May 2011 titles known to us, you can consult the Upcoming Releases page.

The release dates are US unless marked otherwise, though for books released in the UK and US in the same month but on different dates we use the earliest date without comment and they are first edition unless noted differently. The dates are on a best known basis so they are not guaranteed; same about the edition information. Since information sometimes is out of date even in the Amazon/Book Depository links we use for listings, books get delayed or sometimes even released earlier, we would truly appreciate if you would send us an email about any listing with incorrect information.

Sometimes a cover image is not available at the time of the post and also sometimes covers change unexpectedly so while we generally use the Amazon one when available and cross check with Google Images, the ultimate bookstore cover may be different.

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The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists & Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer. May 1, 2011. Abrams. (MISC)
"The Door to Lost Pages" by Claude Lalumiere. May 3, 2011. Chiz-Zine. (FAN)
Extremis by Steve White & Charles E. Gannon. May 3, 2011. Baen. (SF).
Hounded by Kevin Hearne. May 3, 2011. Del Rey. (UF).
“Throne of Fire” by Rick Riordan. May 3, 2011. Hyperion. (MG).
The Damned Busters by Matthew Hughes. UK May 5, 2011. Angry Robot. (UF).

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Vampire Warlords by Andy Remic. UK May 5, 2011. Angry Robot. (FAN).
Dark Mist Rising by Anna Kendall. UK May 5, 2011. Gollancz. (YA).
The Deserter by Peadar O'Guilin. UK May 5, 2011. David Fickling Books. (YA).
The Ritual by Adam Nevill. UK May 6, 2011. Pan Macmillan. (HF).
Stonewielderby Ian C. Esslemont. May 10, 2011. Tor. (FAN / US Debut).
The Chaos Crystal by Jennifer Fallon. May 10, 2011. Tor. (FAN / US Debut).

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Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine. May 10, 2011. Prime Books. (STPK).
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. May 10, 2011. Tor. (SF / US Debut).
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. May 10, 2011. Feiwel & Friends. (YA).
Hell's Bells by John Connolly. UK May 12, 2011. Hodder & Stoughton. (YA).
A Girl Called Tennyson by Joan Givner. May 15, 2011. Thistledown Press. (MG).
Embassytown by China Mieville. May 17, 2011. Del Rey. (SF).

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Eclipse 4: New Science Fiction & Fantasy ed. Jonathan Strahan. May 17, 2011. Night Shade Books. (ANTHO).
The Dark City by Catherine Fisher. May 17, 2011. Dial. (YA / US Debut).
The Order of the Scales by Stephen Deas. UK May 19, 2011. Gollancz. (FAN).
Savage City by Sophia McDougall. UK May 19, 2011. Gollancz. (AH).
City of Ruinsby Kristine Kathryn Rusch. May 24, 2011. Pyr. (SF).
The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer. May 24, 2011. Pyr. (STPK).

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The Warlockby Michael Scott. May 24, 2011. Delacorte Books for Young Readers. (YA).
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. May 24, 2011. Random House Books for Young Readers. (YA).
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. May 24, 2011. Harlequin. (YA / STPK).
The Necklace of the Gods by Alison Goodman. UK May 26, 2011. Bantam UK. (FAN).
Dead of Veridon by Tim Akers. May 31, 2011. Solaris. (STPK).
Degrees of Freedom by Simon Morden. May 31, 2011. Orbit. (SF).

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Timecaster by Joe Kimball. May 31, 2011. Ace. (SF).
The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter by Brent Hayward. May 31, 2011. ChiZine (FAN).
Centuries of June by Keith Donohue.May 31, 2011. Crown. (MISC).
The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. May 31, 2011. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (YA).
The Five by Robert McCammon. May 31, 2011. Subterranean Press. (MISC).
The Fly-By-Nights by Brian Lumley. May 31, 2011. Subterranean Press. (HF).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview with Blake Crouch (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Order “RUNHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Review of “RUN

Q: Welcome to Fantasy Book Critic and thank you very much for agreeing to participate in this interview. To start with, could you introduce yourself for our readers and tell us how you came to be a writer?

Blake: I was born and raised in North Carolina. Moved out to Colorado almost ten years ago after finishing college because I love the mountains, love to ski, hike, etc., and I was tired of the South. In terms of becoming a writer, there are several key moments:

a) 10 years old and telling my brother stories to scare him before bedtime...

b) 8th grade, when I turned in a short story for an assignment that offended my teacher, the entire class, and led to a parent-teacher conference. It was my first bad review, but I loved the experience of having people read and respond to my work. A pivotal moment for sure.

c) Working on my first-to-be-published novel, Desert Places, at Chapel Hill with my professor, Bland Simpson back in the winter of 2000 in an independent study class.....will never forget him coming in one morning when we were going to meet. He'd read the first 40 or 50 pages, and he said, "Blake, I think you might actually sell this thing."

d) Next big moment would be getting a contract for Desert Places which was in 2001.

e) And strangely enough, I'd have to mark 2011 as a big moment for me as a writer. The e-book revolution has broken down so many creative and financial doors for me, I'm still not 100% sure this is all really happening.

Q: My first introduction to you was via your collaboration with J. A. Konrath, “Serial Uncut”. How did you and Joe first meet? What was the spark that lead to the both of you writing “Serial” and combining your written worlds?

Blake: I met Joe in El Paso, Texas, at a book conference called Left Coast Crime in 2005. He said, “You want to come up to my room and drink some great scotch?” We were good friends for several years and then he wrote me one day and suggested we write something together. That became “Serial.” I think it was maybe a year ago, maybe a little more, when I suggested to Joe that we conclude his Jack Daniels series and my Andrew Z. Thomas series in a single collaborative novel. Once we decided to do that, we started actively combining our universes, culminating in Serial Killers Uncut.


Q: How does it feel to be a part of the Jack Daniels universe after being named in Fuzzy Navel, joining the ranks of various luminaries such as Barry Eisler & James Rollins? Your thoughts on this rather (in)famous character credit?

Blake: It’s probably better not to appear in a Jack Daniels novel if you’re a friend of Joe’s, because he just uses it as an opportunity to humiliate you.

Q: In each of your books, the environment is a veritable factor in the plot. How much of this is a conscious decision? Do you set your plots with specific environments in mind or is it the other way around?

Blake: Environment certainly plays a factor in my work. For instance, with Snowbound, that book began because I had been to this salmon fishing lodge in Lake Clark National Park, and I wanted to write a book set in Alaska. For Locked Doors, I loved the atmosphere of the North Carolina Outer Banks, and actually went there for Thanksgiving back in 2002, trying to figure out if the island would lend itself to what I wanted to do structurally (luckily it did). In fact Locked Doors is exactly the book it is because of where it’s set. Abandon, same story. It’s my Colorado book. I wish I knew why I work this way, but it’s probably best not to overthink it.

Q: You have written both short stories and novels. Do you have a schedule which you tweak depending on the length of the story?

Blake: It’s all dependent on the idea. I keep a running list of short story ideas (they’re so hard to come up with). I’ll often be working on several things at once, bouncing back and forth between what’s intriguing me most at the moment. Otherwise, there’s really no set schedule, other than write, write, write when an idea is working.

Q: Usually when an author writes a series, it features a protagonist. In your case, you came up with Luther Kite, an antagonist, whose role has progressively increased throughout each successive book. What lead you down this route? Also, you are currently writing Stirred which is supposed to be the end of the Luther Kite saga. How does it feel to conclude Luther’s story who has been with you since your debut?

Blake: It’s strange; I’ve known Luther since 1999. And he’s certainly grown with me. In a lot of ways, he’s still a mystery, and I like that aspect of him. But I’m ready to bring some closure there with Stirred. I’ve got a thousand other characters I want to write and explore. Can’t spend all my time on this one psychopathic monster!

Q: You have written a very informative essay about Jack Ketchum’sOff Season” in the 100 Best Thrillers list. Did you volunteer to write about that specific book or were you chosen? If it’s the former, why did you choose that book specifically?

Blake: No, Hank Wagner and David Morrell brought Ketchum’s Off Season to me, which I hadn’t read, and asked if I’d be interested in contributing an essay based on that title. It was a blast (and hard work) and really fascinating to read. Ketchum was putting out some mind-blowingly nasty stuff way before it was cool. He was a true pioneer.

Q: I believe the titles of your first two books were taken from poems by Robert Frost and Anne Sexton, while the novella “Break You” had its origin in a U2 song. What is it about certain words or phrases that makes you pick them as titles? Why did you pick these specific ones?

Blake: Typically, I’ll use phrases that have always stuck with me, such as the case in the epigraph for “Break You”. That phrase comes from their song, “Peace on Earth”:

They say that what you mock/will surely overtake you/and you become a monster/so the monster will not break you.” There is no more perfect summation of “Break You” than that beautiful lyric from Bono and the lads.

Q: Where do you find the inspiration for your stories (i.e.: nature, events, people, etc.)? And is there a particular life experience that influenced your writing?

Blake: For novels, it’s usually a slow realization of a long-burning idea….like Abandon, where I’d always wanted to write a ghost-town thriller, and only three years after moving to Colorado, did I finally realize how to tell it.

With short stories, it’s often weird things. Like for instance, I was sitting in a hot spring pool in Pagosa Springs, Colorado last week, and overheard these two old Romanian guys having a conversation, and the opening to a wicked little short story presented itself that I’ll probably write when I get a moment. It’s all about constantly being open to inspiration, even from the strangest places and circumstances.

Q: This is perhaps an odd question so forgive me for asking it, but why do you write thrillers? If not thrillers, are there any other genres you plan on writing would like to explore?

Blake: All I can say about what I write is that I write the type of books I would want to read. I’m considering a project now that may edge into sci-fi, possibly even fantasy. We’ll see what happens. I have no commitment to a particular genre. The common thread running through my writing is that I explore characters who are at the end of their rope, because that’s where interesting things begin to happen.

Q: As a writer, what still challenges you and what do you want to accomplish?

Blake: I still find it a challenge to start a novel I’m excited about. There’s this hesitation, always, because I don’t want to spoil the perfect idea I have in my head.

In terms of future goals, I want to find those stories that haven’t been told, that blow my hair back, and communicate those to readers. I also want to use the emerging technology afforded by e-readers to enhance the way stories are told. We’re attempting our first stab at this with the double-novel Serial Killers Uncut, which has a number of brand new features that all work toward interconnecting this book with all of our other novels.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

Blake: Here’s the 10 that come to mind at the moment:

The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy
Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy
The Sun Also Rises” by E. Hemingway
Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris
Cottonwood” by Scott Phillips
Savages” by Don Winslow
Deliverance” by James Dickey
A Wrinkle in Time” by L’Engle
Mystic River” by Dennis Lehane
Night Dogs” by Kent Anderson

Q: You and Joe Konrath were recently featured on the cover of Crimespree magazine and I noticed curiously that the books being burned in it, were your own publications. Can you tell us more about this?

Blake: That Crimespree Magazine cover photo just sort of came together when I was visiting Joe Konrath last summer. We were trying to make a statement about what was beginning to happen with e-books and the possible implosion of the traditional publishing infrastructure. Little did we know how far along that process would be when the magazine actually came out last January!

Q: You have a top 10 list of your various moments while touring in 2004. After so many years, can you add any new additions to that list?

Blake: No new ones, because thankfully, with e-books, I don’t have to tour. I do miss visiting bookstores and seeing the fans, but I don’t miss being away from my family.

Q: I believe that both you and your wife are hiking enthusiasts. What are your favorite areas for hiking?

Blake: Well, we live in Colorado, so hiking and climbing is what this area is all about. We love to spend time in the La Plata Mountains and the San Juan Mountains just outside of Durango.

Q: You are also a Tar Heels fan. What’s your greatest memory of the team?

Blake: Ha! The 1993 championship when they beat Michigan.

Q: In closing, are there any final thoughts or comments that you'd like to share with your readers? What can we look forward to you in the future?

Blake: I think it’s an amazing time to be a writer, but more so, a reader. The stuff Konrath and I are doing, interconnecting our universes, is the kind of thing I WISH my favorite writers had done, and if the readers of the blog enjoy just one of our books, they’re going to love the entire catalog.

I’m working on a few things at the moment, including a new novel, Stirred with Konrath, and laying the groundwork for two new collaborative works that will be a ton of fun.

Thanks for having me!
Thursday, April 28, 2011

“Hounded” by Kevin Hearne w/Bonus Review of “Clan Rathskeller” (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Order “HoundedHERE
Read the First Six Chapters HERE
Read the “Clan RathskellerShort Story HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Interview with Kevin Hearne

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Kevin Hearne was born and brought up in Flagstaff, Arizona. He earned his degree in English literature from Northern Arizona University and then got a job as a teacher in California. After three years, he returned to his native state and got a job in Tempe, Arizona. Kevin is a self-confessed comic book fan and collector. He also collects and paints miniature dwarves in his free time. Hounded is his debut novel.

PLOT SUMMARY: Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. As the centuries passed and Atticus remained an annoyingly long-lived fugitive, those who were furious only grew more so, while others began to aid him in secret.

Now he’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily find him. It’s a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the Old World—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.

Unfortunately, the very angry Celtic god who wants that sword has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power, plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old-fashioned luck of the Irish to kick some arse and deliver himself from evil!

CLASSIFICATION: Featuring the right amount of comedy, action and mythology, Hounded is a worthwhile urban fantasy book in the vein of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and K.A. Stewart’s Jesse James Dawson series.

FORMAT/INFO: The Hounded ARC is 289 pages long divided over twenty-five numbered chapters and an Epilogue. Also includes a Pronunciation guide for all the names and places mentioned in the book and an excerpt from the sequel, Hexed. Narration is in the first-person, exclusively via Atticus O’Sullivan. Hounded is mostly self-contained, but is the start of the Iron Druid Chronicles with sequels—Hexed and Hammered—scheduled for publication in June and July 2011. Cover illustration is provided by Gene Mollica.

May 3, 2011 marks the North American Mass Marker Paperback and e-book publication of Hounded via Del Rey. The e-book edition also includes two short stories called “Clan Rathskeller” and “Kaibab Unbound”, which are set ten months and two weeks before the events of Hounded.

ANALYSIS: Kevin Hearne first came on to my attention in the last quarter of 2010 when I read about Hounded and the Iron Druid Chronicles on a blog. After happening upon the book’s description and learning about the quick release schedule of the series, I was entranced and wanted to see if Hounded would stack up against the hype it had been receiving.

Hounded begins with a soliloquy by Atticus O’Sullivan who is actually a 2100-year-old Irish druid, older than the world’s largest religion and apparently the last of his kind. His real name is Siodhachan O’Suileabhain, but for reasons revealed in the blurb, he chooses to modernize himself. He gives the reader his background history in a neat manner, while fending off an attack by five of the Fae. He also learns that this attack is orchestrated by Aenghus Og, the Celtic god of Love. He beats his attackers, but is put on alert by this event since he chose Arizona for its scarcity of Oak, Ash and Thorn, which are required for the Fae/Sidhe to cross over into our realm.

As Atticus contemplates their presence and the meaning of their attack, he’s interrupted by the appearance of Morrigan, the Irish War goddess and slayer of the chosen. She has been on friendly terms with Atticus since the origin of his feud, and warns him about dire omens and his impending death at the hands of Aenghus Og. The reasons for this particular feud are because Atticus, in his youth, stole the legendary sword Fragarach from Aenghus Og’s chosen champion. Atticus discusses his situation with Morrigan who inquires about his particular type of magic, which explains series’ title, and then extracts a promise from him without giving him a promise in return, leaving Atticus with a sense of foreboding.

Next, Atticus is visited by Flidais, the Celtic goddess of the hunt, who relates the same tale told by Morrigan, but with an alteration as to who else is coming. Here, there is a small but important info-dump which reveals the nature of Atticus’ lawyers Hauk (a werewolf) and Lief (a vampire). Atticus agrees to go on a hunt with Flidais and Oberon, an Irish wolfhound mentally bound to Atticus. Thus begins the events which fuel the tale that is Hounded.

Other subplots include a witch who requests Atticus’s apothecary skills in return for help/favour from her Coven, and the bartender Granuaile MacTiernan, who’s more than she appears to be.

Kevin Hearne’s writing is competent, led by skillful prose that adds to the book’s refreshing setting and protagonist. Atticus as the narrator particularly excels. Even though he’s the hero of the story, you can discern certain moral ambivalences from his actions since Atticus is a bit of a rogue when the situation demands it. For instance, Atticus relates his own versions of various historical moments, but these accounts seem a bit shady. Overall, Atticus is lovable and trustworthy, but he’s also the sort of chap you wouldn’t want as your enemy.

Humor is one of the major plus points in Hounded, with the dialogue/banter between Oberon and Atticus the highlight of the book. In particular, Oberon’s fascination with Genghis Khan, his love for Poodles and the ultimate allure of hunting, all of which increases the reader’s fun quotient.

Another promising front is the multitude of mythologies utilized in the book, which are reflective of the real world. The author’s use of mythology is very smartly executed, while providing enough of an explanation to satisfy the reader’s curiosity. Lastly, the pace of the book never lets up, with Atticus going from plot point to plot point with as few breaks as possible, thus creating a sense of urgency for the reader.

Negatively, the book has a bit of a PG-13 feel to it. For example, bad things occur, but the author has them wrapped up neatly to lessen their darkness. There is also quite a bit of info-dumping in the first fifty pages of the book, but since Hounded is the opening volume in a series, it was necessary for the author to lay out all this information for the reader. Plus, it was easy to overlook the info-dumping since it was presented in an entertaining manner through engaging character dialogue. Finally, urban fantasy stories tend to be predictable and Hounded does not differentiate much in that regard. It remains to be seen if Kevin Hearne will be able to deviate from the norm and give readers a more refreshing story throughout the rest of the series.

CONCLUSION: Despite a few deficiencies, Hounded is a very good debut which introduces a worthy and refreshing urban fantasy setting and a clever, yet morally dubious protagonist. I was especially amazed by how polished Kevin Hearne’s debut was and anxiously look forward to reading the remainder of the series ASAP!

BONUS REVIEW — “Clan Rathskeller”:

Clan Rathskeller is a free short story featured on the author’s website. It is twenty-six pages long and the events in the tale are set about ten months prior to Hounded. It will also be included in the e-book version of Hounded.

The short story begins with Atticus and Oberon chilling in the Tempe Market place. Amidst their banter, Oberon notes that there’s something inhuman about the Santa giving out presents to the kids assembled. A quick glance by Atticus reveals that Santa’s helper elves aren’t elves at all, but gnomes. His curiosity overrides his safety instincts and he instructs Oberon to fetch one of the gnomes who then reveals its identity in return for Atticus’s own. They also reveal that they are awaiting a certain member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and thought Atticus was doing the same. From here, the reasons for the gnomes’ presence is laid bare and Atticus & Oberon have to decide whether they wish to get involved or not.

Clan Rathskeller” is well-paced and readers without any knowledge of the series will be able to jump right in and understand what’s going on. Kevin Hearne manages to insert enough of the characters’ background in the story to make it feel a part of the larger series, but it also works well as a short introduction to Atticus O’Sullivan and the urban fantasy world he inhabits.

Overall, “Clan Rathskeller” is a very enjoyable read and I would ask readers to give this short story a try before deciding on Hounded and the rest of the series, since it encapsulates very well the nature of the books. And now onto Hexed & Hammered!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Camera Obscura" by Lavie Tidhar (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)


Official Lavie Tidhar Webpage
Order "Camera Obscura" HERE
Read FBC Review of The Bookman

INTRODUCTION: Before reading The Bookman, I have heard of Lavie Tidhar in connection with his short fiction published in various places, so the fact that I enjoyed quite a lot his debut novel of last year was not surprising. When the second novel in his steampunk alt-history milieu was announced with totally different characters and set mostly in France this time, I was a bit apprehensive since I really liked Orphan and the cast of The Bookman.

"How will the books connect, will the series keep cohesiveness, will the milieu stand expansion?" - were several of the questions I was thinking about when I read the blurb below:


"CAN'T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself. "

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: I liked the author's debut The Bookman for its many references to popular 19th century culture, the imaginative steampunk setting and the main character Orphan, though I found it lacking balance on occasion. Camera Obscura is set in the same milieu some 3 years later but features mostly completely different characters and takes place largely in France's sort-of republican society as opposed to the Imperial Britain of Les Lesards - sort-of since AI's as embodied in the Council lead there after the Quiet Revolution.

The references naturally are Dumas first and foremost - Milady as agent of the Council, the Gascon - aka D'Artagnan as police officer of all things - the Monsignor aka the Cardinal as a Council AI - but also Poe's Rue Morgue locked room mystery and oddly enough, Winnetou makes an unexpected appearance later as agent of the Vespuccian state whose president is Sitting Bull.

The Island of Dr. Moreau - though the doctor is in retirement for now - and the (in)famous Marquis de Sade - sort of but with all his parts intact as he points out to Milady - are among other attractions as is the Chicagoland fair in Vespuccia and much more.

Camera Obscura is much tighter than The Bookman and has the essential structure of a steampunk thriller with its McGuffin - the object that will change the world as the heroes know it, etc, etc - and for which brutal murders are committed and agents from everyone who is anyone in the world compete.

So we have the Chinese Imperial court represented by polite Colonel Xing and striking Madame Linlin, Les Lezards represented by Mycroft Holmes, rogue Council agents, Vespuccian agents, mystic Chinese triads, though of course our heroine, the Dahomey former circus girl that is now known as Milady de Winter - after her last sadly deceased husband - and who is a rough and tough agent of the Council is leading the charge to get to the magic piece of jade that is our McGuffin here and she is mostly irresistible.

While starting as a murder investigation - of course a locked room mystery as the Rue Morgue hint makes it clear, and to top it all for those who read the original Poe, the ape possibility is mentioned too here - Camera Obscura picks up speed soon and becomes a really thrilling adventure in which you got to buckle up and enjoy the ride with the occasional over the top moments just adding to the fun. Sade at Charenton and Ampere's "toys" are among other highlights of the first half beside the ones mentioned earlier.

The context above which fits very well the story the author tells and the characters he uses for it, took the novel one level above the usual fast and fun adventure and the flamboyant Milady made as great a lead as Orphan in The Bookman.

Overall, Camera Obscura (A+/A++) was quite a positive surprise in some ways - I hoped for an entertaining volume on par with The Bookman or at least one that was not too repetitive or with too much "middle volume" syndrome - and instead I got a superb more-or-less standalone volume that expands the inventiveness of the debut while keeping the story better focused and having as great a character cast as there. Camera Obscura raised the Lesards series to a must for me since now with more backstory and higher stakes I am truly curious where Lavie Tidhar will take it next.

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