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Review: “Blightborn,” Chuck Wendig

Pros: Very tense; the Blight is fascinating Cons: Stereotypes of various kinds Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Chuck Wendig’s Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy Book 2) is the sequel to Under the Empyrean Sky. Be sure to read this trilogy in

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Review: “Under the Empyrean Sky,” Chuck Wendig

Pros: Fascinating world-building Cons: My pet peeve cliche is back; shallow characters; some logic holes Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Chuck Wendig’s Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy Book 1) is a fascinating exercise in dystopian world-building. In the

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Review: “From a Certain Point of View,” various authors

Pros: Strong, intriguing stories from new directions Cons: Virtually no anthology is perfect Rating: 4.5 out of 5 From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars): “40 Stories Celebrating 40 Years of Star Wars” is a collection of 40 stories

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Review: “Invincible,” David Bruns

Pros: Interesting characters; great space battles Cons: The aliens seem stereotypical so far Rating: 4 out of 5 David Bruns’s Invincible: The First Swarm War Book One is an engrossing read. XO Addison Halsey, of the ISS Invincible, thinks something

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Review: “Lucky Invasion,” Joshua James

Pros: Wonderful action and characters Cons: A little forced Rating: 4 out of 5 Joshua James’s Lucky Invasion: Lucky’s Marines | Book Five is an excellent continuation of the series. Sergeant Lee “Lucky” Savage is once again sent on a

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Review: “Guilt in Innocence,” Keith R.A. DeCandido

Pros: Engrossing action and characters Cons: Telepathic abilities don’t feel consistent Rating: 4 out of 5 Keith R.A. DeCandido is the author of Guilt in Innocence (Tales of the Scattered Earth Book 4), Tales of the Olodumere Hegemony Book 1.

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Review: “Fiction River: Valor,” edited by Lee Allred

Pros: Excellent military science fiction stories Cons: As always in anthologies, some stories are better than others Rating: 4 out of 5 I was going to read the next Anatomy & Physiology chapter today. Somehow, Fiction River: Valor (Fiction River:

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Review: “Farm Land: Sentience,” G. Lawrence

Pros: Beautifully drawn Cons: So over-the-top black-and-white; endless sermonizing Rating: 3 out of 5 G. Lawrence’s Farm Land: Sentience (The Farm Land Trilogy Book 1) takes place far in the future, after climate change has drowned most of the land

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Review: “Them Bones,” Howard Waldrop

Pros: Fantastically original Cons: Meanders weirdly Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Howard Waldrop’s Them Bones is a bizarre and mystifying read. At a 1929 archaeological site in Louisiana, Dr. Kincaid and Bessie Level discover a thirteenth-century burial mound… with horses’

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Short Take: “Stealing from Pirates,” Stefon Mears

Pros: Interesting setup Cons: Kind of boring; feels unfinished Rating: 3 out of 5 In Stefon Mears’s Stealing from Pirates, pilot and captain Dara “Dare” Ross is indulging in a bit of low-risk smuggling. Unfortunately for her, someone has swapped

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