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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: “Wild Fyre,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Fascinating Cons: A couple of mild glitches Rating: 4 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Wild Fyre is about an AI created to predict human behavior and needs. For instance, it might order cat food online before you even realize

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Review: “Arena,” Holly Jennings

Pros: Fascinating world and characters Cons: Shaking a serious addiction seemed to come a little too easily Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Holly Jennings’ Arena takes us to the 2050s, when virtual reality gaming has become a huge sport. A

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Review: “Extinct,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Interesting setup Cons: Too many leaps of logic; feels rather random Rating: 2 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Extinct is part one of a three-book series, but I don’t plan to read the next two books. Of the handful

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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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Review: “Madelyn’s Nephew,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Completely fascinating from start to finish! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Madelyn’s Nephew, by Ike Hamill, is my favorite so far of the books I’ve read by this author (I think I’ve read six or seven of

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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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Review: “Accidental Evil,” Ike Hamill

Pros: I love the idea of performing ‘accidental’ evil Cons: The tech angle doesn’t quite mesh with the rest of it Rating: 3 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s Accidental Evil is about fifteen-year-old Ricky, who really wants to amaze people

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