“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today/ I don’t know what it is” crooned Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the band’s seminal 90’s hit Livin’ on the Edge. Those opening lines, a cry against the changing and harsh world, are as true today as they were in that almost 30 year gone decade. Turning on the news, reading a Facebook article, or, perhaps, tuning into the Twitterverse will tell you “somethin’ ain’t right.” And while that’s concerning, even downright scary, the art that is produced in these times of hardship is often beautiful, uplifting, and a call-to-action. It tells us to make a change or else. The writers and editors of Engen’s collection of short stories, Dystopia From the Rock, have certainly embodied this movement. Continue reading Livin’ on the Edge: Engen’s Dystopia from the Rock | Jon Dobbin’s Blog
Great reviews keep coming in for Jacobi Street, the August release from Matthew LeDrew! The Youtube channel Coates and Jackets did an excellent piece on it (above), and a reader named Jeff wrote the following insightful piece on Goodreads on October 30 2017:
Full disclosure: I’ve never read anything in the Engen Universe before, nor anything by Matthew Ledrew for that matter, save for his three entries in Sci-Fi From The Rock (2016). Also, my only interactions with the author were observing him at the last few The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever panels at Sci-Fi On The Rock (and I hope he’s recovered from his laryngitis).
Given all the above, I was a tad trepidatious going into this offering; would I be lost without prior EU knowledge? Can this guy really write an interesting horror story?
The answers to those questions are a resounding no and absolutely, respectively. Continue reading Great reviews keep coming in for Jacobi Street!
Copies are ordered and will first be available at Avalon Expo, along with a simultaneous digital release for those who just can’t wait, but the early reviews for Jacobi Street are coming and have blown our expectations out of the water! But don’t take out word for it: look and see!
“Jacobi Street paints a vivid picture of everyday life in a bohemian neighborhood. By the time you realize everything isn’t what it seems, it’ll be too late to put the book down. While it might not be the place to settle down, Jacobi Street is definitely worth the visit.”
— Amanda Labonté, Call of the Sea
The Six Elemental is suspenseful and engaging YA novel by Ali House. It’s so engaging that I started reading it in the airport in Windsor, Ontario en route to Newfoundland and had it nearly finished by the time the plane touched down in St. John’s. That included a flight change in Toronto!
The setting and plot are both realized quite well and the political spectrum of the island nations has surprising depth for a YA novel. (Or at least the ones I’ve read) The main character, Kit Tyler is brought to life quite vividly and her journey through the fantastical, dystopian world filled with magical super-humans delves into subjects that run parallel to issues faced by young adults in our own world. Continue reading The Six Elemental | Review by Christopher Walsh
Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches live in harmony with humans, although the majority of humans don’t realize it. Liesel Andrews is a pre-med student who can see supernatural beings for what they truly are, making her the perfect choice to work at the local supernatural hospital. However, her busy-yet-mundane life gets interrupted when she’s called upon to investigate a mysterious illness affecting the vampire community.
Labonté adds to the pre-existing mythology of vampires, giving it some new blood (pun intended), and adding a level of curiosity to the virus (just… how?). As the first installment, Going Viral sets up the world and introduces key characters, giving you enough information to understand what’s going on, while leaving enough unanswered questions to keep you curious. Continue reading Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House
“Through her reluctant heroine, Canning explores the privacy costs of the new necessity to keep up via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever. When does that participation equal surrendering our privacy?”
“Fantasy had its beginnings in mythology and, by extension, religion. In addition to faith, though, fantasy also challenges belief. This collection is very much in tune with both of these sides of fantasy. Social order, tradition, the world and our place in it, humanity, daily life, even the nature of stories — beliefs about all of these are challenged in Fantasy from the Rock. So celebrate the fairies and other miracles you find in its pages, but look for the challenges and reversals. It’s enlightening, and a great deal of fun” — Matthew Daniels, author of Healer’s Hoards and Living and Learning.