The Barney for best appearance by a chaos demon goes too…
‘Eisenhorn’ by Dan Abnett. I am not above reading the occasional tie-in or trash fiction novel. Once in a while an author really stands out from the pack though. Dan Abnett writes real smart sci-fi under the Warhammer 40k name. The ‘Eisenhorn’ omnibus and its follow up, ‘Ravenor’ are the best books I have read in the world of tie-ins by quite a long ways. Expect a review of the follow up to these two series in the near future, I always keep an eye on Abnett’s growing library.
The Barney for best all-the-things-I-hate goes to…
Thorn by Intisar Khanani
So this is YA, it’s a romance, it’s about a princess who doesn’t quite fit in, it’s a fairy tale, it’s written in first person present tense and it features a talking horse… it only lacked zombies to hit all my not-for-me buttons. And guess what, it turned out to be one of my most enjoyable reads of the year. Some great characters, who behave believably and a brilliantly unexpected and intelligent ending, and it addresses some profound questions, too. If all YA fantasy is like this, I need to read more of it.
Full review on Pauline’s other blog here.
I would like to take this time to welcome in a new reviewer. Anachronist is not new to the blogging game, putting reviews and more on her wonderful site Portable Pieces of Thoughts. We are thrilled to have her posting fantasy reviews at Fantasy Review Barn as well.
While no one here is locked into one genre, Anachronist will add a new dimension to the site. Expect more Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reviews than before. Our desire to be a diverse, one-stop review site for all of the speculative fiction genre is closer than ever to becoming reality.
I would like to thank her personally for joining our small team, and look forward to what she adds to our growing site! With more idea sharing than ever, expect the site to evolve and improve every day. As always, thanks to our readers for giving us your time.
The Barney for Best Scrabble Reference goes to…..
‘Gods Behaving Badly’ by Marie Phillips. Not my usual read, an urban fantasy with romantic elements. But show me Greek gods in the modern world and I am intrigued. A tight, mostly light hearted story in which Gods mess with mortals, mess with each other, and almost kill the world. Geeky, mortal love may be needed to save the day. Good stuff all around.
The Barney for best inter-species sex goes to…
Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
This is a riot of sci-fi/fantasy fusion, with portals, gods and demi-gods, fey folk, were-beasts, lizardy things, caterpillary things, you name it. Saddest were the fades, who didn’t quite make it through a portal. And there’s sex. Lots of sex, everyone having sex with everyone else, furred, scaled or feathered, male, female or hermaphrodite. So if you think mildly graphic lizard/human sex would turn your stomach, this is not the book for you. Beneath the inventive surface is an excellent multi-layered story with a feisty female protagonist, and a nicely humorous writing style.
Full review at Pauline’s other blog here
The Barney for best monster made entirely from trash goes to……
‘A Madness of Angels’ by Kate Griffin.
With a lot of similarities to Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere,” this is one of the more enjoyable urban fantasy novels I have read. I felt the book is worth reading for the prologue alone, which even alone would have been short story. Mathew Swift and the Angels from the title have a relationship completely unique in my reading. While the first in a series, the book can be read as a stand alone.
The Barney for best use of a magically evil shrub goes to…
Champion of the Rose by Andrea K Höst
Strictly speaking, it’s not really evil so much as pursuing its own agenda, and if you’ve never encountered a rose bush with its own agenda before, it’s very creepy. It gives the main character some neat abilities, but at a terrible price. This is an original, intelligent and quirky story, with characters who act in sensible, believable ways. And completely gender neutral, which is a rare trick to pull off. A terrific pacy read, which I highly recommend.
Full review on Pauline’s other blog here