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Review: “Imago,” Octavia E. Butler

Pros: Stunning look at complex alien/human relations Cons: End resolved a little quickly Rating: 4.5 out of 5 In Octavia Butler’s Imago (Xenogenesis Series book 3), the small human/alien colony thrives, largely through the efforts of Lilith, Tino, and Nikanj.

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Review: “Adulthood Rites,” Octavia E. Butler

Pros: A look at new conflicts that arise out of first contact Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Octavia Butler’s Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, Book Two)picks up after Dawn. Humans are making a life on what’s left of Earth. Lilith

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Review: “Dawn,” Octavia E. Butler

Pros: Stunning exploration of gender, group dynamics, and alien first contact Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 I’m so embarrassed to say this, but I’ve never actually read one of Octavia Butler’s books before! My first is Dawn (Xenogenesis,

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Review: “The Madness Season,” C.S. Friedman

Pros: Riveting! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 I know–I’m reviewing a book from the 1990s, which might seem pointless. I happened to remember that I’d only read one of C.S. Friedman’s books, and that it was amazing, so

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Review: “The Last Girl,” Joe Hart

Pros: Some interesting characters Cons: Things that didn’t make sense Rating: 2 out of 5 Joe Hart’s The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy) is about a world in which almost no female children are being born, and no one knows

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Review: “Sweep in Peace,” Ilona Andrews

Pros: Humor, long odds, intricate relationships Cons: … Rating: 4 out of 5 Ilona Andrews’s Sweep In Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles) (Volume 2) tells the story of Gertrude Hunt (a sentient inn, apparently) and her keeper, Dina. Gertrude only has one

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Short Take: “Black Noise,” W.E. Mitchell

Pros: Space and Lovecraftian goings on–taste great together! Cons: A few details that didn’t quite add up right Rating: 3.5 out of 5 W.E. Mitchell’s Black Noise is a novella about three astronauts sent to find out why Earth has

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Short Take: “The Hunt,” J.H. Dierking

Pros: Gets quite interesting Cons: Feels a little unbalanced/flat at first Rating: 3.5 out of 5 J.H. Dierking’s short story The Hunt has us accompany a human named Malcolm on his way to observe a hunt conducted by an alien

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Review: “The Terrans,” Jean Johnson

Pros: Exceedingly in-depth worldbuilding Cons: Has some issues Rating: 3 out of 5 The setup of Jean Johnson’s The Terrans (First Salik War) is simple: Earth makes first contact with near-human aliens, and finds out that they have a mutual

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Review: “Clean Sweep,” Ilona Andrews

Pros: Creative and fascinating Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Ilona Andrews’s Clean Sweep, the first book in a new series, reminds me superficially of Tanya Huff’s Keeper series. Dina runs a bed and breakfast that caters to unusual

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