Shadowmarch #3 The March kingdoms are at war, and the royal Eddon family has splintered, in this continuation of Tad Williams Shadow series. 2 stars In brief: Too big an investment of time for too little return.
Magister Trilogy #3 Kamala, a magician with surprising powers, finds refuge in the north, discovering a dark, forgotten secret. 3 stars In brief: Doesn’t quite reach the same depths of darkness that are shown in the best of her prior work,
Plague of Angels #2 Xulai, the soul carrier for a foreign princess, tries to get back home from a post-apocalyptic America that is substantially covered by rising water 3 stars In brief: Good, but not Sherri Tepper’s best work.
Deepgate Codex #2 The sequel to Scar Night examines the politics and mechanisms of the hell that lies below Deepgate. 2.5 stars In brief: A reasonable if not stellar steampunk fantasy.
Grand Tour #13 Ben Bova revisits the curious, atmospheric creatures of Jupiter, in this continuation of his Grand Tour series. 3.5 stars In brief: A good book for hard-ish SF readers, and definitely good for Bova fans.
Thomas Cale #1 Three boys grow up almost entirely in an inland monastery, as does a girl from a similar convent, in post-apocalyptic America. 2 stars In brief: A fantasy written by someone with only a passing familiarity with the genre.
Firebird Anthologies #1 A collection of fantasy and science fiction stories. 4 stars In brief: well worth picking up.
Alcatraz #1 The title pretty much says it all. Young Alcatraz is faced with evil librarians and dinosaurs. 3 stars In brief: While the writing is clever, it’s not clever enough.
H. G. Wells thoughts on world peace and the single transferable vote. 3.5 stars In brief: Interesting, inspirational, troubling, and funny in turn.
Void #2 The second book in Peter Hamiltons complex story of galactic politics, religion, and aspiration. 3.5 stars In brief: A worthy successor to The Dreaming Void.