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Some Kind of Fairy Tale might just be the most apt title for any book published this year (or ever, for that matter). Because Graham Joyce’s latest novel is exactly what its title describes it to be. This is the first encounter I’ve had with any of Joyce’s work, and it did not leave me wanting. His worked generally being well reviewed, it was my interest in the slightly unusual plot description that led me to pick up Some Kind of Fairy Tale. Drawing heavily on traditional folklore, and a strong sense of setting, Joyce builds an entrancing tale of family, life and contradicting realities.

Dan Wells instantly became one of my favorite authors with his quirky debut novel I Am Not A Serial Killer, and further established himself as a writer to respect with its sequels. After indulging a side-jaunt into post-apocalyptic territory with his Partials novel, Wells returns with The Hollow City. After the psychopathy of John Cleaver (of I Am Not A Serial Killer), this latest novel delves into the confused mind of a suffering schizophrenic. With the same touches of dark humor as have become associated with him, Wells introduces us to a engaging character, and through him, to unique narrative perspective. Coupled with conspiracy-thriller and science-fiction overtones, The Hollow City emerges as a stand-out novel.

As much as it may feel like I’m repeating myself, now starting my eighth review of this series, I still cannot deny the greatness of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s books. Returning with The Air War, the start of the final segment of the story, he continues to impress with his volatile imagination, knack for characterization, and appreciation for the truly epic. Despite a meandering start, The Air War eventually showcases Tchaikovsky at the top of his form, and a story more action-packed and exhilarating than ever. With war against the Wasp Empire breaking out once more across the continent, we are treated to the finest battles and intrigue yet seen in the Shadows of the Apt series.

After first plunging into the literary universe of Christopher Priest with his latest novel, 2011’s cryptic yet fabulously entertaining The Islanders, I took a keen interest in exploring some of his other works. First came 1981’s The Affirmation (now one of Gollanz’s ‘Science Fiction Masterworks’) from which part of the concept behind The Islanders sprung, and then only recently I delved into The Separation. I can’t say quite what attracted me to this rather than any of his other books - though availability certainly played a part. Perhaps it was the link with the Olympic games that are currently enthralling the world, but I’m more inclined to think it’s because I’m a bit of a history nut. I relished the thought of a clever alternate history, and I was indeed rewarded with what is probably my favorite Priest book to date...

The Traitor Queen is the concluding volume in Trudi Canavan’s Traitor Spy Trilogy and, we are to assume, the final chapter of our adventures in Kyralia, a world first introduced in her Black Magician Trilogy. Six books deep into the story of Sonea and the Magician’s Guild (not counting The Magician’s Apprentice, a prequel novel), one could have hoped for more from this novel. Canavan’s characters and prose are as endearing as ever, but the whole The Traitor Queen delivers a shallow plot with little development. As a fan of her work I was still taken in by her writing and the fast pace of the novel, yet I would still have hoped for more.