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World Fantasy Awards
Jade City
Book Jacket   Fonda Lee
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316440868 Janloon, a city susceptible to typhoons, is better known throughout the modern world as Jade City because of how members of clan fiefdoms depend on the power of jade to give their bodies heightened senses and strength. Lan, the eldest Kaul brother, leads the No Peak clan, assisted by his fear-inducing 27-year-old brother. The Green Bone brothers are wary when their scorned younger sister returns home from a two-year exile, but they need her aid when the clan is attacked by Jade City's rival mafialike family. Shine, an illegal drug that allows all citizens to become empowered by jade, infiltrates the city, and all of the Kaul family members, including the youngest adopted brother still attending the Green Bone training academy, join forces to save their people. Lee, best known for the debut YA science fiction/mixed martial arts novel Zeroboxer, makes her adult debut here. The juxtaposition of modern technology (subways and television) against the ancient social structure of clans in an Asian-inspired city sets this fantasy apart. VERDICT Revenge killings will draw action readers, and the powerful and flawed relationship dynamics between the Kaul siblings will keep teens enthralled. Perfect for epic fantasy fans.-Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316440868 In this intrigue-packed adventure, first in a trilogy set in an Asia-inspired, alternate-world modern city (and the first book for adults from YA author Lee), warring clans battle for control of their island nation and the jade that empowers them to perform superhuman feats. For decades, the Green Bone warriors of the No Peak and Mountain clans have maintained a delicate peace, hewing to a rigid code of honor as they control Janloon's neighborhoods and industries. But ambition, treachery, and the rise of a new generation of leaders lead to open conflict between the factions. The members of No Peak must wage war on all fronts, including political and economic, but the real battle is in the streets, where their jade-enhanced champions fight to the death. As this ambitious and complex story unfolds, Lee (Exo) skillfully juggles a huge cast. Her action scenes are flashy, brutal, and cinematic, while the family dynamics hold their own weight and significance. This is an engaging blend of crime drama and Asian martial arts film tropes. At times, the modern elements-cars, televisions, guns-feel out of place in such a strongly envisioned world, but this remains an intense, satisfying experience. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary. (Nov.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316440868 For centuries, the Green Bone warriors defended the island of Kekon from foreign invasion by using jade to enhance their physical and mental abilities. But now the peace is disintegrating as rival families compete to control Janloon, the capital city. Heading the No Peak clan are the Kauls. Eldest son Lan leads as Pillar, but he struggles with health issues and his grandfather's efforts to seize control; sister Shae gave up her jade when she chose another path, but she has reluctantly been brought back into the family; youngest brother Hilo wields power as the Horn but is burdened by family issues. Yet as the Mountain clan, led by the notorious Ayt family, moves onto No Peak's territory, and the Kauls try to stop their inevitable slide into clan war, the siblings discover much more is wrong beneath the surface tensions. VERDICT Making her adult fiction debut, YA author Lee (Zeroboxer) draws on her Chinese heritage, passion for gangster stories, and strong writing to launch a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding. The result is terrific. [Previewed in Marlene Harris's "Galaxy Quests" sf/fantasy preview, LJ 4/15/17.]-KC Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316440868 Lee's launches an adult series and makes the transition from young adult to more mature audiences without a stumble. It's a mash-up urban fantasy-Mob story with some martial arts thrown in, with well-formed characters and impeccable world building. Protecting the island of Kekon from foreign invaders has been the duty of the Green Bones for centuries. These warriors enhance their abilities by channeling the magical properties of jade, and only some are allowed, or able, to wear the precious stone. But as the threat from without disappears, the threat from within intensifies between the Mafia-like families of the Green Bones. When a new drug emerges on the market, it is the spark that starts a war between these families. For those who enjoy both fantasy and urban fantasy, this book is an easy fit. But even for those who don't normally read the genre, the world and characters will be enough to draw them in and hold their attention.--Kuczwara, Dawn Copyright 2017 Booklist
The Sudden Appearance of Hope
Book Jacket   Claire North
The Chimes
 Anna Smaill
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781681445342 After an apocalyptic event known as the Allbreaking, most survivors are left unable to hold on to long-term memories, instead centering their communication on music, which seems to help them remember. Simon has traveled from his home outside of London to the city after his mother's death, carrying his memory objects in an old canvas sack. While given instructions on whom to talk to in London, Simon has forgotten the details and is left wandering near the Thames. There he meets and falls in with a gang of metal pickers, led by Lucien. Though blind, Lucien hears and sings the melodies that keep his crew safe. He also senses that Simon's recall is special, and if he could only recollect enough, together they could change their world. The novel's purposefully confusing beginning mirrors Simon's bewilderment, and patient readers will be well rewarded as the reality of Simon's world swims into focus and the story suddenly becomes gripping and impossible to put down. VERDICT One of a kind, both in its dystopian landscape and use of gorgeous language throughout (including clever musical terms), this debut takes time to digest but is worth the effort. Fans of the eloquence and imagery of Jeff -VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy and the spare desolation of Cormac -McCarthy's The Road will adore this original work.-MM Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781681445342 Simon is on a mission to find a person in London, and the only information he has is a song. Simon's goal makes more sense when one understands that the England of The Chimes is one controlled by music and memory loss. Every day, the enigmatic elite ruling class known as the Order plays a particular kind of music to wipe society's memory. To remember certain aspects of their past and daily life, citizens rely on their muscle memory and items they carry with them. Those that can't make it from the day-to-day or lose their memory items become zombie-like creatures called the memorylost. Without the ability to retain any sort of history, collective memory, or even written language, the culture is one that revolves around the preservation of the few memories possible and music. Sound seems to envelope the characters throughout the text, which is conveyed by wonderfully lyrical language and the consistent references to everything as beats or rhythm. This imaginative novel from poet Smaill was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.--Whitmore, Emily Copyright 2016 Booklist
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The Bone Clocks
 David Mitchell
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A Stranger in Olondria
Book Jacket   Sofia Samatar
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781931520768 Samatar weaves superstition, religion, politics, and a strong love of reading into a biography of Jissavet, a simple illiterate girl who has died young. The frame story depicts Jevick of Tyom's first trip to the country of Olondria after his father's death. A modern young man, Jevick can read and write, something most of his people in Tyom cannot do, and loves the time spent in Bain, the Incomparable City. When Jissavet's ghost begins haunting him, Jevick thinks he's going mad, the Olondrian priesthood thinks he's a fraud masquerading as a saint, and a group of religious fanatics become convinced he has magical powers. Somehow he has to navigate the warring factions in Olondria and work up the courage to listen to Jissavet, because it's the only way to help her soul and stop the haunting. Some of the religious and cultural terms are never clearly defined, and context is not always sufficient, but the country and the people are vividly painted. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Alif the Unseen
Book Jacket   G. Willow Wilson
 Lavie Tidhar
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Who Fears Death
 Nnedi Okorafor
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The City and The City
Book Jacket   China Mieville
The Shadow Year
Book Jacket   Jeffrey Ford
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780061231520 In his latest novel, the author of The Girl in the Glass (2005) and The Empire of Ice Cream (2007), among other genre-bending tales, takes us back in time to the 1960s, when strange doings are afoot in a small suburban community. A schoolboy has vanished; a stranger has appeared; a prowler (possibly a pervert) is lurking about; and a librarian is losing her grip on reality. Keeping track of it all are several young chums, including the sixth-grade narrator; his older brother, Jim; and their sister, Mary, who may somehow be affecting what's happening as she rearranges figures on the toy model of the community in her basement. Imagine a young-reader amateur-sleuth novel written by someone like Kafka, and you'll have a pretty good idea of this one: surreal, unsettling, and more than a little weird. Ford has a rare gift for evoking mood with just a few well-chosen words and for creating living, breathing characters with only a few lines of dialogue. Give this one to readers who appreciate the blending of literary fiction, fantasy, and mystery--Pitt, David Copyright 2008 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780061231520 In Edgar-winner Ford's disappointing sixth novel, the narrator-a nameless boy growing up on suburban Long Island in the mid-1960s-spends what remains of his summer vacation roaming the neighborhood with his older brother, Jim. At home, money is tight, forcing their father to work three jobs while their mother drinks herself to sleep every night. A prowler may be loose on the streets, and the narrator and Jim see a menacing man in a white car lurking near their house and school. When a local boy disappears soon after school starts, the narrator and Jim are sure "Mr. White" is responsible. They turn to their younger sister, Mary, for help, after she mysteriously moves figurines in the boys' model town, reflecting events before they've occurred. The stage is set for suspense, yet Ford (The Girl in the Glass) deflates it at every opportunity with his unresolved subplots. Instead of building to a thrilling climax, the story peters out and loose ends are either forgotten or tied up too neatly. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780061231520 Strange things are happening in a small Long Island community-a child disappears, a large, white car no one recognizes is seen creeping around, there's a smell of pipe smoke at odd times, and a Peeping Tom is scaring women at night. When the narrator, an introspective sixth-grade boy who likes detective stories, and his older brother decide to track the culprit, they set up a model of their town in the basement only to discover that their younger sister is predicting future events by moving the figures around. Edgar Award-winning author Ford (Girl in the Glass) perfectly captures life in small-town America in 1960, when the harsh realities of urban life-murder, child abduction, alcoholism, latchkey children-began affecting families like the narrator's. Spooky and hypnotic, this thoroughly enjoyable page-turner may remind some readers of Robert McCammon's Boy's Life, which evokes a similar nostalgic feel of the time period along with a corresponding mystery element to resolve. Recommended for all public libraries.-Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
 Guy Gavriel Kay
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780451461292 In Kay's eagerly awaited new book set mostly in twenty-first-century Aix-en-Provence, 15-year-old Ned Marriner is spending a spring vacation with his celebrated photographer father during a shoot of the Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur. His mother, a physician with Doctors without Borders, is in the Sudan, so Ned and Dad are extremely worried. Exploring Saint-Sauveur, Ned meets American exchange-student Kate Wenger, who knows a lot about the history of Aix. The two surprise a knife-carrying, scar-faced stranger in the cathedral, who tells them, I think you ought to go. . . . You have blundered into the corner of a very old story. Ned and Kate, then the rest of his family, including the aunt and uncle from England and his mother, are drawn into an ancient conflict with the shades of Celtic spirits. Kay characterizes Ned superbly as he matures amid fantastic circumstances until he is able to make the final sacrifice; reader disbelief is unimperiled, and psychobabble unindulged. Outstanding characters, folklore, and action add up to another Kay must-read. --Frieda Murray Copyright 2007 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780451461292 Ned Marriner joins his father, the famous photographer Edward Marriner, for an extended stay in Provence, an area of France steeped in both Celtic and Roman history. Then, a visit to Saint-Sauveur Cathedral in the town of Aix brings Ned together with Kate Wenger, an American exchange student, and a man who appears to be much, much older than one would think-and both Ned and Kate become caught up in another time where the reenactment of an old story draws the two young people into a cycle of myths and legends in which truth, love, courage, and sacrifice are the only things that matter. An explorer of history and myths, Kay (The Last Light of the Sun) has a special affinity for the people behind the larger-than-life legends that persist through time. His latest fantasy blends time and place in a crossing of worlds and universal truths. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780451461292 Kay (The Last Light of the Sun) departs from his usual historical fantasies to connect the ancient, violent history of France to the present day in this entrancing contemporary fantasy. Fifteen-year-old Canadian Ned Marriner accompanies his famous photographer father, Edward, on a shoot at Aix-en-Provence's Saint-Saveur Cathedral while his physician mother, Meghan, braves the civil war zone in Sudan with Doctors Without Borders. As Ned explores the old cathedral, he meets Kate Wenger, a geeky but attractive American girl who's a walking encyclopedia of history. In the ancient baptistry, the pair are surprised by a mysterious, scarred man wielding a knife who warns that they've "blundered into a corner of a very old story. It is no place for children." But Ned and Kate can't avoid becoming dangerously entangled in a 2,500-year-old love triangle among mythic figures. Kay also weaves in a secondary mystery about Ned's family and his mother's motivation behind her risky, noble work. The author's historical detail, evocative writing and fascinating characters-both ancient and modern-will enthrall mainstream as well as fantasy readers. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Soldier of Sidon
 Gene Wolfe
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