PositiveThe Barnes & Noble BlogGendry-Kim depicts Korea in gentle detail, using an increasingly dark and jagged style to represent conflict in her true-life story of the ways in which war changed both an entire way of life and a single individual.
RaveThe Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog\"Thompson’s style of storytelling can be daunting: the book tracks multiple threads over multiple timeframes, revealing Kaaro’s past alongside his present. At the outset, it reads as a deeply esoteric and complex bit of science fiction, but quickly comes down to earth as the story of Kaaro comes into focus. Thompson is adept at juggling all of it, and each plotline is engaging on its own, laden with carefully placed cliffhangers that propel the story forward. Still, this is one to read closely and with consideration. It is, on one level, an engaging future noir about a flawed protagonist falling into the role of reluctant hero while coming to grips with an alien mystery, and that alone would make for a solid read. But Thompson’s ambitions are greater, and alongside the complex puzzles and multiple mysteries, he has a great deal to say about the ways in which individuals, whatever their nations of origin, respond to oppressive governments.\
Cixin Liu, Trans. by Joel Martinsen
RaveBarnes and Noble ReviewNot only brilliant books in their own right, the Remembrance of Earth’s Past saga serves as a reminder of the presence of impressive and unique science fiction outside the English-speaking world ... another intriguing, cerebral scientific mystery ... Liu covers a lot of scientific and philosophical ground, and he’s not afraid to slow things down to allow his characters to discuss the real-world underpinnings of their work, or the virtues of, for example, pure versus practical research. Some might regard these dips in the pacing as a flaw, but for Liu, the digressions seem to be the point ... he builds tension as masterfully as ever.
PositiveBarnes and Noble Review[A] tremendous amount of worldbuilding went into [Summerland] ... In a manner that’s sometimes frustrating, but ultimately wise, Rajaniemi refuses to hand-hold readers, who are dropped into this alternate history and expected to catch up and keep up with characters little interested in exposition. The inclusion of real historical figures and events grounds the narrative somewhat... Rajaniemi blends them in impressively weird ways, crafting a spy caper that will expand your mind even as it pummels it into submission.
PositiveBarnes & NobleThis debut displays impressive range, jumping across decades. The scope inevitably means that some characters and storylines are only touched upon before they recede into the past, but it’s more than forgivable in a story with such scope. Burke celebrates the adventurous spirit of the colonists while challenging their ideals, and our own. And in a rare (if not unprecedented) feat, her most compelling character may the intelligent bamboo struggling to see things through the eyes of the humans. Semiosis is a fascinating exploration of community alongside truly stunning worldbuilding, making the case that our notion of 'community' can and should include much more than just the people next door.
RaveThe Barnes & Noble ReviewChristopher Brown’s Tropic of Kansas is very much the slap upside the head we need right now—a stark vision of a dystopian America that feels closer each day ... Brown’s dystopian view is rendered slightly more palatable by the action- and intrigue-packed middle section of the novel, as the rebellion races to stay one step ahead of the government. If the book wasn’t so provocative in its themes, we’d be talking about what an effective thriller it is. When it wants to be ... Brown’s vision of a deeply, deeply divided America under…let’s say controversial leadership has the ring of truth. Its stark vision won’t appeal to everyone (to put it mildly), but it’s a novel with a lot to say. This is science fiction doing the job science fiction does best: looking down a particular path, and suggesting we might want to think twice before heading that way.