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Review: “The Hollower,” Mary SanGiovanni

Pros: Builds up into something gorgeous Cons: Starts out a little mundane Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Mary SanGiovanni’s The Hollower (The Hollower Trilogy Book 1) introduces us to Max Feinstein, who sees an unearthly figure called the Hollower. It’s

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Short Take: “The Fading Place,” Mary SanGiovanni

Pros: Tense! Cons: Starts out a little slowly, but it works Rating: 4 out of 5 Mary SanGiovanni’s novella The Fading Place immediately sees Charlie Van Houten carjacked by Simone. Charlie has her baby Hayley in the back seat, and

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Review: “Thrall,” Mary SanGiovanni

Pros: Very alien Cons: Not easy to picture; one character Rating: 4 out of 5 Mary SanGiovanni’s Thrall takes place in the same occult-heavy universe as her Chills and Behind the Door, but the character of Kathy Ryan is not

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Review: “Behind the Door,” Mary SanGiovanni

Pros: Characterization, atmosphere, plot Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Mary SanGiovanni’s Behind the Door (A Kathy Ryan Novel Book 1) returns to the world in which Kathy Ryan, occult expert, aids the police in dealing with… unusual events.

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Review: “Chills,” Mary SanGiovanni

Pros: Wonderful icy horror! Cons: Some interminable monologues; one obvious bad guy Rating: 4 out of 5 A friend wrote a nice review of Mary SanGiovanni’s horror novel Chills, and I decided I had to give it a read. I’m

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Review: “Power of Magic,” Linsey Hall

Pros: Great action; tearful ending Cons: Books are formulaic; one important spot doesn’t hold up Rating: 4 out of 5 In book one of Linsey Hall’s “The Amazon” (book 26 of her “Dragon’s Gift” universe) Rowan had to keep her

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Review: “Lucky Revenge,” Joshua James

Pros: Plenty of machinations; great action Cons: A bit confusing Rating: 4 out of 5 In Joshua James’s Lucky Revenge: Lucky’s Marines | Book Six, the Cardinal Order has joined forces with the alien Dalmuk to attack the home world

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Review: “Connections in Death,” J.D. Robb

Pros: Vintage Robb style; wonderfully quotable text Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 My assessments of the “in Death” books by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) tend to range from 3 out of 5 to 5 out of 5; they

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Review: “Template,” Matthew Hughes

Pros: The last quarter of the book Cons: Dry, tedious; wooden main character; monolithic societies… Rating: 3 out of 5 Matthew Hughes’s Template: A Novel of the Archonate introduces us to Conn Labro, a famed duelist who’s indentured to a

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Review: “vN: The First Machine Dynasty,” Madeline Ashby

Pros: Fascinating look at sentient artificial humanoids Cons: Gets a bit confusing toward the end Rating: 4 out of 5 In Madeline Ashby’s vN: The First Machine Dynasty, self-replicating “von Neumann humanoids” have been created. Ostensibly they were created to

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