RaveSFFWorldI must admit that I wasn’t too impressed with the characters at first ... As the story unfolds and their respective backstories are revealed, I realised that this dysfunctionality is intentional. From all of this unpleasantness, I found that I actually began to like them, or at least understand the reasons for their behaviour. By the end Grady manages to turn our opinion as readers, whilst he is building up the tension. More interestingly, the book raises interesting questions, as it examines the culture that got us to this point and the idea of how do you survive in a culture of social media and constant surveillance ... ans will appreciate them, but you don’t have to get the references to grasp the story ... Entertaining, engaging and fiendishly clever, The Final Girls Support Group is a book that will draw you in and keep you reading long after it has got dark. (Or at least it did me.) Fans of the horror genre will not be disappointed. An unreservedly recommended novel, which would be a great beach-holiday read for the Summer.
George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus
RaveSFFWorldWritten in relatively short chapters, it is gripping from the start ... The results are gruesome and effective. For those who like their horror gory, there’s enough rending, gnashing, tearing and gobbling to keep you happy ... a remarkable distillation of the zombie genre which covers pretty much everything that a reader would want in a zombie novel. It is both chilling and effective. Can you tell who wrote what in this joint project? No, and that’s what impresses (although it seems clear in the Afterword that much of the graft was Daniel’s.) I’m fairly sure that the often lyrical nature of the prose is perhaps Kraus’s work. Generally, it works very well and there’s a level of detail that makes this feel like the authors know their stuff ... On the negative side of things, you may struggle to suspend disbelief at how all these disparate characters cross paths, although this is something that often happens in such novels ... Thankfully, such transgressions are few. The ending may please some readers and infuriate others ... There’s a weight and a depth to this that shows both respect for the material for Romero and for the genre. The authors know what readers want—and deliver. Pleasingly impressive.
PositiveSFF WorldAs a genre we often love an underdog, especially when we know that there’s more to them than at first meets the eye. On the winning side here is the level of snark that Luke manages to give Fetch. But at the same time, we are aware that Fetch is also suffering, a victim of what has gone before ... Luke manages to fill in more of the background in this book, the telling of which helps us work out who Fetch is and why he is in this state. The tone is never especially happy, but the reasons for things being this way help the reader understand why. The clever thing is that the characterisation is not too deep, yet more than the usual basic outline ... I enjoyed Dead Man more than the first novel, as the characters deepen, the situations become more varied and the author settles into the telling of the tale rather than having to do too much world-building. I would still read Last Smile first (although this book does stand-alone pretty well) but this one is good, and I read it through in a couple of sessions. I look forward to more in the future.
PositiveSFFWorld.comSoot is...an immersive experience, and effectively evokes a world that is dark, dirty and creepy. This is certainly not a sanitised book, and in that respect taps into those Dickensian combinations of social niceties and squalor. This may be in part because of the detailed and colourful descriptions of places being as much a part of the book as the characters. In terms of prose, Dan can really write, and his descriptions of people and places are top class. The characterisation is detailed and nuanced beyond the basics, with a depth that is beyond many novels ... the author manages that difficult feat of making the impossible seem credible. Soot covers the world, with sojourns to India, the USA and Britain, and this breadth draws you in to give a full picture. This depth is also helped by the fact that the worldbuilding and setting is vivid and memorable ... there are many details and side-plots that may not be entirely necessary. Whilst they are enjoyable, I can see that for some they may make the pace of Soot a tad too leisurely ... Its pacing and detail meant that I appreciated it more than I loved it, though it is such a richly meticulous novel that I suspect that it will be one I’ll be thinking about long after I finished it.
RaveSFF WorldThe world of Summerland is both eerie and strange, yet here is given a logical explanation. It may sound a little far-fetched, but it feels like it works, as everything unusual is as a logical consequence of this unique set up, and this creates a sense of reality that is usually absent from such novels ... Summerland is a triumph – a very different novel from those in the Quantum Thief series, but as complex and as engaging as its predecessors. For those who want an intellectual thought-experiment combined with a Cold War sensibility, an espionage story with a fantastic rationale merged into it, then you will love it.