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Remember those interviews I promised would be back? Well here's a new one. Joining me for this Q&A is Mark Hodder, author of the brilliant The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack. See my review for why you should check his book out. After reading his book I was extremely excited to get to ask him some questions and I'm delighted by how it turned out. Click through or scroll down for the complete interview. Enjoy.



The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack is the extraordinary debut from British writer Mark Hodder. This exciting tale of Victorian London gone wild makes for a nearly perfect read. Hodder’s first book is smart, witty and as fun as a novel can ever be. Already I can say that this book is easily among my top reads of the year. It also is the beginning of an all new series, Burton & Swinburne, which promises many great things. If Pyr’s immensely beautiful cover design wasn’t enough to convince you to read this then let this do so: The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack is one hell of a debut. Actually, no, scratch that. It is one fucking hell of a debut.


The Usurper is the third and final entry in Rowena Cory Daniells’ The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin. Published at the beginning of the month in succession after its predecessors, The King’s Bastard (review here) in July and The Uncrowned King (review here) in August, this book brings this strong series to a satisfying close. Once again, readers will be delighted by Daniells’ skillful plot manipulation and the book’s exciting action and lovable characters.


So as some of you might have noticed, things have slowed down a bit on LBR the past few weeks what with nigh more than a single post a week for the past two weeks. You'll be happy to know that will change.

I plan on returning to my more normal and frequent posting schedule with my average of two reviews a week plus the occasional bit of news, covert art, etc. Already this afternoon I'll have a fresh new review for you. Also, interviews have been sadly absent on the blog since July and that too will hopefully change, so expect those to come as soon as I can possibly make them.

Other than that I have lined up quite a few books for review, all the way into October, even. All of those, I hope, will be great ones. It's a varied bunch I have selected and I'm very much looking forward to them.

So that's that. Thanks to you readers for sticking through slower times. Now on to more great speculative books.


The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice is a new YA offering from Adamantine Palace and King of the Crags author Stephen Deas. Staying away from dragons this time around, Deas’ third novel begins an all new fantasy trilogy set in a richly envisioned environment populated by an entertaining bunch of characters. This first foray into YA is largely a success in that it nicely bridges YA and adult fantasy to offer more mature, meatier content to potential younger readers and a lighter, adventurous read for older readers. It’s not perfect, but The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice is a solid novel that bodes well for what is to come in this series.


Adrian Tchaikovsky brings us the fifth volume in his excellent Shadows of the Apt series. The Scarab Path continues the story of the world of the Lowlands and begins a new three-book arc in the overall series. I didn’t think it possible after Salute the Dark, the previous novel, but Tchaikovsky outdone himself once more and by a large margin. This fifth book is a more mature and personal offering that diverges in direction slightly (in a good way) from its predecessors. Things just keep getting better and better in this series...