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Mini reviews: SF, Historical, Horror

The Darwin Elevator Jason M. Hough

The world has one outpost free of the plague. It’s in Darwin, Australia, where a mysterious and alien-built space elevator allows humanity to keep technology alive in a devolving world. This exciting premise is fleshed out with memorable characters and a  hard-driving and edgy plot. I haven’t read much science fiction lately. This one reminds me why I love it.

Benedict Hall Cate Campbell

It is Seattle in the 1920’s. The Great War is over, but is it? Returning soldiers carry wounds on their bodies and in their hearts, none more so than Preston Benedict. His hatred of his sister Margot and her success as a woman doctor leads to a conspiracy that drives the book’s tense plot. The story brims with fascinating high society glimpses and a superb Downton Abbey-like cast.

American Elsewhere Robert Jackson Bennett

I’ve never read such a smart, original, nuanced horror novel! Bennett has a phenomenal mastery of suspense, dialogue and characterization. Despite the slow-build first quarter, the characters and smart writing kept me hooked. This author’s command of scenes is superb. A scary thriller with literary sensibilities. Don’t read it alone.



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