Princess Alethea’s Magical Elixir

New reviews are up at Intergalactic Medicine Show! (Actually, they’ve been up for a while, but every time I’ve tried to post about it, my site has been down. We’ve moved to a new server now, so all should be well.)

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
EAN: 9780312650087

When a publisher puts a Publisher’s Weekly quote like “For fans of The Hunger Games” on a book, those are some pretty big shoes to fill. I loved The Hunger Games and recommend it often, so my bar was set pretty high. Fortunately, this quote turns out to be quite true. It’s a dark, postapocalyptic story told from the first-person point of view of a fifteen year old girl. Enclave is also blessedly written in past tense, as opposed to the sometimes-awkward present tense that threw me out of The Hunger Games from time to time (thank you, Ann Aguirre). Read more…


Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier (translated from the German by Anthea Bell)
EAN: 9780805092523

Just as Grimm’s Fairy Tales hailed from Germany, so too did Kerstin Gier’s steampunkish time-travel fantasy Ruby Red, and with much the same beauty of style. I fell in instant love with every piece of this book: the gorgeous cover, the prologue (which I admit I went back and reread more than once during the course of the novel), the snippets taken from diaries and chronicles and the secret writings of Count Saint Germaine (which I flipped back to often as well – perhaps there should have been an appendix). I fell in love with sixteen-year-old Gwyneth Montrose, and the private school she attends in London, and her best friend Lesley, and James – the ghost she can see and talk to there. Read more…


Title: Touched By an Alien
Author: Gini Koch
EAN: 9780756406004

I’m always on the lookout for great new science fiction. It’s a tougher thing for me to find than one might think. I’m on a lot of review lists and I receive books all the time, but if it’s science fiction then it usually turns out to be either 1) hardcore military SF or 2) book 3 of 5 in a series. (Or Steampunk, which I still hesitate to call SF instead of Fantasy. Your thoughts?)

Now, I have no qualms about reading book 3 of 5 normally, but if that’s all my column turns into, you guys will get seriously turned off. And while I am anxiously awaiting Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops, most space marine stories typically make my eyes glaze over. So I took a trip to the bookstore and scanned the shelves, desperate for a title to jump out at me. Know what I found? Space marines. Book 3 of 5. Steampunk. And stuff I’d already read.

Just when I’d almost given up, my finger stopped on the spine of this book: Touched by an Alien. I laughed at the title and then the cover, which features a smoochy couple with guns surrounded by flying monsters and fighter jets and chaos. PERFECT. Read more…