December 8, 2014

The Chronothon: A Review

The second in a projected three-story fantasy series by up and coming writer Nathan Van Coops, The Chronothon tells the story of a young man who is forced to compete in a dangerous race while trying to reunite with the daughter of the inventor of time travel. In Van Coops’ first book, In Times Like These, Benjamin Travers and friends are inadvertently transported back in time. The story tells of the adventures that befall them in their efforts to return to their own time and introduces Dr. Harold Quickly and his daughter Mym with whom Ben becomes enthralled. The Chronothon begins with Mym showing Ben around the world of time-travel, but when Ben gets separated from Mym, he innocently agrees […]
September 21, 2014

Reviews of Cherryth’s “Angel with the Sword” & McKillip’s “Winter Rose”

C.J. Cherryth, Angel with the Sword (1985) Caroline Janice Cherryth is an award winning science fiction/fantasy novelist whose oeuvre exceeds sixty books, including Hugo winners Downbelow Station (1981) and Cyteen (1988). Angel with the Sword is the initial book in the Merovingen Nights series to which other authors contributed. The setting is a fascinating city modeled somewhat on Vencie as it consists of Islands connected by canals and bridges. It is also a city dominated by class. The higher you live from the water, the wealthier and more powerful you are. The story is about Altair Jones, a 17-year old young canal rat whose life changes dramatically the day she rescues a man who is thrown into the river next […]
August 4, 2014

Fantasy That Lacks Tension: David & Leigh Eddings: The Dreamers

The Dreamers: Book One of The Elder Gods by David & Leigh Eddings (2003) The Dreamers by David & Leigh Eddings reads like it could have been published twenty or forty years ago rather than in 2003. There are no thematic references to the real world, which is not necessarily bad, but the story feels out of touch with modern fantasy fiction, which often uses fantastic elements to reflect on contemporary issues, such as the abuses of power or social stereotypes. In this case, the Eddings have created an alternative world with eight gods (with a small ‘g’), a hoard of monsters, and humans. The gods bring three groups of humans together to help them fight the monsters. One group […]