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Each version does a great job portraying the eerie and disturbing nature of the story, but if I had to choose just one, I would probably go with the Portuguese edition as the winner. Featuring a new standalone tale, Swarm and Steel brings readers back to this world in which magic is insanity and the more deranged you are the more powerful you get.

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This, my lovelies, is the realm of the Geisteskranken, home to those whose delusions are made real. The protagonist of this story is a woman named Zerfall, whose abilities are unique even in a world full of strange and uncanny Geisteskranken. Upon waking up in a dark alley, she does not remember how she got there, or anything about her past, for that matter. All she knows is that someone has sent an assassin on her trail, leading to a harrowing chase which ultimately ends in the desert with Zerfall gravely wounded and fighting for her life.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the desert, a young man named Jateko is fleeing for his life after accidentally killing another member of his own tribe. Completely smitten with Zerfall, he vows he will defeat and cannibalize their enemies in order to grow stronger, the better to fight by her side. I have to hand it to Fletcher. His ability to come up with the most crazy and messed up scenarios never ceases to amaze me, and I genuinely mean that as a compliment!

Having read his other Manifest Delusions novels, I thought I had seen it all, but somehow Fletcher always manages to raise the bar on himself and surpass it with every new book.

Learning about the different types of delusions and picking up the terminology will come in time though, as the narrative sets up backstories for both Zerfall and Jateko. Fletcher is flexing his writing muscles here, trying out new characters and developing new forms of relationships, and I also loved how this allowed for more unique circumstances and opportunities for action and dark humor. In time, I found myself gradually warming up to Zerfall and Jateko in spite of their unusual bond.

As always, Michael R. Oh, you know how much I love my tie-in novels. As a bonus, this book is also penned by none other than Seanan Mcguire, who will undoubtedly do the Weird West horror setting justice. Beware the pumpkin-headed corn stalker, lest it plant its roots in you! Annie Pearl is the keeper of oddities, the mistress of monsters. But Annie is also a woman running from her past.

Hoping to fill its coffers before winter sets in, the circus steers its wagons to The Clearing, a remote community deep in the Oregon wilderness, surrounded by an ominous dark wood. Word is that a traveling show can turn a tidy profit at The Clearing, but there are whispers, too, of unexplained disappearances that afflict one out of every four shows that pass through the town. The Clearing has it secrets, and so does Annie. The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter. The Massacre of Mankind is a book that wears several hats and for the most part wears them all well, serving as a sequel to H.

Taking place in , approximately 14 years after the events in the original classic, the story continues through the eyes of Julie Elphinstone who now begins her own account of a second invasion. While everyone knew that another invasion was possible, governments and armies thought they were prepared.

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They thought they knew how to beat the Martians and dismissed the warnings of the original narrator of The War of the Worlds —identified here as Walter Jenkins—who correctly predicted that the aliens would come back in force after adapting and developing new ways to avoid being defeated again.

Now things are looking very bad for Earth, with extinction threatening the human race once more. According to the description on the cover, The Massacre of Mankind is fully authorized by the H. Wells Estate. Presumably working under their direction and support, Stephen Baxter still nonetheless had some rather big shoes to fill, given the prominence of The War of the Worlds in popular culture and the staggering number of adaptations and retellings it has spawned since being published.

In writing this follow-up, Baxter had to tell an equally gripping story while staying true to the style and spirit of the original, with the added challenge of presenting something new to the table. Expanding the story from there, he puts forth what is also in many ways an alternate history of what might happen if the Martians had a second chance and were more prepared to dig in and set up a system for colonization.

As well, there are strong ties to characters and events in the original, such as the protagonist Julie, who appeared in The War of the Worlds and is written in this book as the former sister-in-law of Walter Jenkins. If I could do it all over again, I definitely would have refreshed my memory with a re-read of The War of the Worlds before tackling this one, because I think I would have enjoyed myself more if I had.

I also liked that we got to see this invasion play out on a more global scale, which I believe was an aspect that was lacking in the original.

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In sum, I believe reader experiences will vary depending on how well they know The War of the Worlds. With this caveat in mind, I would still recommend The Massacre of Mankind, which I thought was a well put-together novel and captivating in its own unique way. The story is still moving forward, but seemingly with more filler than usual in this one. Believing them to be the agents of the Great Library though, the Burners capture Jess and his group and threaten to kill them all unless Thomas, the genius inventor of the group, agrees to build the rebels a working printing press.

First, the good: I like how each book is bringing more to the table in terms of character development, adding layers to established personalities and relationships. This is where Ash and Quill really shines. While the story is punctuate with occasional bursts of action, I generally preferred the quieter moments where we got to see the characters interact and find out more about their origins and family life. Who knew Dario came from such an illustrious family, for example?

As one of the few adult characters, Wolf continues to be my favorite, and I really appreciated this book giving his relationship with Santi some extra attention.

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  • Such a bummer when we finally get to follow the characters to a different city—an exotic place, in their eyes—and they end up spending most of their time there as prisoners listening to their Burner captors rant and rave. I feel there was a missed opportunity here to show a more multifaceted picture of a place that was in full revolt against the Great Library, but instead we barely got to scratch the surface. Would I still recommend this series though? You bet.

    I received a review copy from the author. The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley. That said, I really enjoyed it. The story is not just about war and fighting, as the description had initially led me to believe. Amidst the action, we also have a lot of adventure and intrigue, as well as a number of unexpected twists in perspective and moments of pure emotion.

    The story follows Task, a creature known as a Windcut Stone Golem. Built to be weapon of war by a long-ago creator, he is the last of his kind but also unlike any that came before or after him, for deep within that flinty exterior is a very real heart and soul. Task feels. He thinks. He dreams.

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    However, for as long as he can remember, he has been suppressing that part of him in order to serve his purpose as a killing machine. For four hundred years, Task has been passed from army to army, bound by an ancient magic to obey the commands of his masters. He has fought in many wars, taken countless lives in battle, and seen enough examples of human avarice to know that this cycle of violence will never end.

    For a long time, he has believe that it is best to simply keep to himself and do as he is ordered. But now, Task has been brought out once more to serve a new master in a bitter civil war between the crown and a fractured group of rebel nobles. Fighting on the side of the Royalists, he winds up being under the command of Huff Dartridge, a ruthless general who will go to any length to achieve victory over the enemy Fading.

    Not to be cowed though, the other side also has a secret weapon, acquiring the services of the Knight of Dawn whose reputation as a dragon slayer is sure to make him a formidable foe against a stone golem. In spite of himself, he also finds himself growing emotionally attached to some of the men and women he fights with. In particular, he strikes up a friendship with a young stable girl named Lesky, who teaches Task that there may be more to his existence than simply destruction and killing, and for the first time in centuries, Task finds himself pondering his purpose and questioning the nature of the war he is forced to fight.

    It is especially important in a novel like this, which features a non-human protagonist made of magic and stone. The people around Task may dismiss him as a mindless beast, but in truth, he possesses far more humanity than even some of the actual human characters in this book. It was a pleasure to get to know him, seeing through his eyes and finding out his deepest thoughts and desires. I also really liked the plot. In fact, I found these quieter moments to be just as important as the action, if not more so, since so much of this book was about Task discovering himself and learning to be his own master.

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    I had a great time watching the relationships develop between him and the other characters, especially the special bond he has with Lesky, who was one of my favorites. All told, Heart of Stone is a solidly written and fascinating dark fantasy novel, one I would highly recommend to readers who enjoy character driven stories and reading about compelling non-human protagonists. Despite my quibbles about the pacing, ultimately this is a very engaging, unique, and wonderful book.

    Ben Galley has a real knack for this, and I look forward to reading more by him in the future. Received for Review Thank you to the publishers and authors for the following review copies received.

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    Reviews are coming soon! What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Steff Mogsy , Tiara and Wendy are proud moms, geeks, gamers and bibliophiles. We're always reading and yet, there never seem to be enough books! Our Goodreads lists are an eclectic assortment of genres -- and we love to share our thoughts. The BiblioSanctum is a home for our absolute love of reading. Posts by Popular Posts.

    I am so glad I found this author, I really enjoy her books. This was a great read and I couldn't put it down, I wish it came in paperback also. Cried my eyes out in the end, what a twist that was. Go to Amazon. Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Audible Download Audiobooks. DPReview Digital Photography. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

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