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Book Review: Deadly Curiosities, by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities, by Gail Z. MartinDeadly Curiosities is fantasy author Gail Z. Martin’s first step into the urban fantasy genre. The story follows Cassidy Kincaide, the psychic owner of Trifles and Folly — an antique shop specializing in the identification and neutralization of dangerous magical artifacts. When seemingly mundane objects trigger a wave of fresh hauntings across Charleston, South Carolina, it’s up to Cassidy and her allies to find out what’s fueling the dark magic, and stop it.

Cassidy is aided in her search by two friends. Teag, one of her employees, is a master of martial arts who can weave both information and energy to suit his needs. With them is Sorren, a vampire who has protected members of Cassidy’s family for generations. I was a little skeptical seeing another urban fantasy where the female lead tags along with a powerful vampire guardian. But for the most part Sorren stays in the background and avoids the worst of the cliches.

Martin is clearly in her element when bringing the ghosts of Charleston to life. Cassidy’s investigation is peppered with the stories of pirates and smugglers whose deaths are tied to the evil threatening the city. I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of ghost stories and I loved the touch of character Martin gave to her haunts.

Unfortunately, as the book progresses the pacing stalls out. Between the ghost stories and magic infused battles, the characters sit down again and again to rehash information and review their plans. The writing, which flows well enough during the book’s action scenes, becomes repetitive and clunky in these sections. It’s frustrating to see these problems from someone with as much experience as Martin, especially when they distract from an otherwise fun story.

Despite the bog-down in the middle, Cassidy’s investigation does come to a satisfying conclusion, and urban fantasy fans will likely enjoy this peek at the spookier side of Charleston.

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Review by Caitlin Seal

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (June 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781082332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781082331

Book Review: Riyria Revelations, by Michael J. Sullivan

Is it possible for a self-published book to sell a hundred thousand copies, be picked up by a major publishing house, and continue to sell so well that it launches the career of the author? Michael Sullivan with his series the Riyria Revelations answers this with a resounding YES!

Michael Sullivan has given several interviews and is quoted in many articles about how this came to pass, but a quick summary of his journey to writing this story can be summed up in just a few sentences: He gave up on writing as a career, and wrote the series primarily as something that he wanted to read. It was originally only going to be made available to his family and a few friends, but everybody who read it wanted it. So he published a few copies, then a few hundred, then a few thousand. And the then things really started to happen.

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Book Review: The Colony: Genesis, by Michaelbrent Collings

Review by Jon Clapier

TThe-Colony-GenesisHE COLONY: GENESIS, by Michaelbrent Collings, is another zombie end-of-the-world-apocalypse. Need I say more? Yes, I do, even at the risk of sounding slightly psychotic by answering my own apparently rhetorical question.

I have spent plenty of time in the slush pile of Fiction Vortex, occasionally finding myself agonizing over some wonderful ideas presented within the hundreds of stories that I have read, but often those excellent ideas were written without the skill to project them in a manner pleasing to the eye and mind. Read more

Book Review: Moon Hoax, by Paul Gillebaard

Moon Hoax Paul GillebaardReview by Jon Clapier

MOON HOAX by Paul Gillebaard is a novel that explores the unique idea of China trying to discredit the American moon landings by bringing forth ‘proof’ that they never really happened. I was skeptical, at first, that Mr. Gillebaard would be able to do so in a way that would be believable. To my pleasant surprise he did, coming up with a fairly plausible plot that incorporated the hints of old urban legends with new Chinese subterfuge. Despite my preconceptions, I began to sink into the story. And then things started going wrong.

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Book Review: ‘Year Zero: A Novel’ by Rob Reid

YEAR ZERO: A NOVEL – review by Dan HopeYear Zero: A Novel[dropdown_box expand_text=”Dan” show_more=”More About” show_less=”Less About” start=”hide”]Dan Hope, or the BSR as we call him, is Fiction Vortex’s resident sci-fi go to guy. Whether he is writing or reading it, sci-fi is his thing. Even if it is about space cows. Read more about Dan here. [/dropdown_box]

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