Author: Kelly Link
February 3, 2015
Until leafing through this month’s BookPage I had never heard of Kelly Link, but Becky Ohlsen’s glowing review of Get in Trouble changed that. Ohlsen wrote that “Nobody writes stories like hers. Link’s fantastical worlds feel utterly real, partly because they’re intensely matter-of-fact. Her characters… never, ever make a big deal out of the fact that there are monsters, aliens, vampires, or ghosts hanging around, or that they might stumble into a pocket universe or some alternate dimension.” Color me intrigued.
Critics have drawn comparisons between Link and speculative fiction goddesses like Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, and Karen Russell. Her first short-story releases won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and made several Best of the Year lists. In other words, anyone that isn’t paying attention to her yet should get started before her bibliography gets any longer. Get in Trouble is another collection of her short stories and seems to be an excellent place to dive in to her catalog. The book is divided into nine sections that each explore everyday human nature with a paranormal backdrop. Alternate dimensions, bosses that never show themselves, ghost-hunting, human sized talking dolls, failed relationships, and weather anomalies are spliced together. The supernatural and the natural are inextricably mixed — it sounds like Flannery O’Connor’s short stories with a dose of dark magic, and there is everything to love about that.
February 10, 2015
It doesn’t feel like a full year since I first entered the Vampire Academy universe, but this month brings the end of Mead’s VA spin-off series, Bloodlines.
Mead’s worldbuilding is handled with a deft touch, and the mythology is logical and holds up to scrutiny. It provides a strong enough foundation to let her characters shine. Sydney and Adrian are some of my favourite characters, and I’ve enjoyed the way they’ve both grown over the course of the first five books. Mead draws them together and lets them learn and grow from their experiences. There’s a humour and an understanding that lights their relationship, and a very deep respect and admiration for each other. Even her supporting cast is memorable, and if Vampire Academy’s wrap up is any indication, The Ruby Circle will be an equally satisfying conclusion to the Bloodlines series.
February 24, 2015
When asked to name some of my favourite authors, Victoria Schwab always makes the list. Her books, such as The Archived and Vicious, are always so interesting and so unique. She has this incredible ability to build amazing and complex worlds and it is so easy to lose yourself in them.
A Darker Shade of Magic is the first book in her newest adult series. It’s the story of Kell, a young, time travelling magician who moves between parallel Londons. There’s a magic-less, Grey London that’s run by a mad king, Red London where magic rules supreme, a murderous, White London and last but not least Black London…which no one talks about anymore. This book has magic, time travel, murder and maddness a.k.a all of my favourite things.