Science fiction and fantasy


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Film and Book Reviews for 2013

Films released in 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire directed by Francis Lawrence
5 star rating
Katniss may have survived the Hunger Games, but what can one person do to prevent the districts breaking out into open rebellion? The second film in The Hunger Games series.
Beautiful Creatures poster
Beautiful Creatures directed by Richard LaGravenese
4 star rating
A young man wants to leave his small town, until Lena arrives and brings magic and madness into his life. An adaptation of the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Elysium poster
Elysium directed by Neill Blomkamp
4 star rating
In the future the mega-rich live in luxury on a space station, whilst everyone else lives with poverty and disease on Earth, until one man gets the opportunity to change the system, if only he can survive long enough.
Star Trek: Into Darkness poster
Star Trek: Into Darkness directed by J.J. Abrams
4 star rating
Kirk and his crew face an adversary who seems to be better than them in every way. The second film set in the rebooted Star Trek universe.
Warm Bodies poster
Warm Bodies directed by Jonathan Levine
4 star rating
A zombie falls in love with a human. But can he protect her from the dead, and can she stop her father from shooting him, in this story of love across the boundary of life and death?
Oz The Great And Powerful poster
Oz The Great And Powerful directed by Sam Raimi
3 star rating
James Franco plays a magician who is struggling to convince anyone of his value, when he is swept away to the magical land of Oz.

Books published in 2013

Night School poster
Night School by Richard Wiseman
5 star rating
This book explores the science of sleep and offers tips on becoming a super sleeper.
Happy Hour In Hell poster
Happy Hour In Hell by Tad Williams
5 star rating
An angel descends into Hell to retrieve his demonic girlfriend, to find that the torment and monsters are only part of his problems. The second Bobby Dollar novel.
Copperhead poster
Copperhead by Tina Connolly
5 star rating
Helen is beautiful, but what good are perfect looks if people use them to keep her powerless? The sequel to Ironskin.
Cobweb Empire poster
Cobweb Empire by Vera Nazarian
5 star rating
Death has ceased in the kingdoms, but this is far from the only problem facing their inhabitants as their world is broken by growing dark magic. The second novel in the Cobweb Bride trilogy.
Between Two Thorns poster
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman
5 star rating
A young woman rebels against her family whilst trying to resist the will of the fae lord. The first novel in the Split Worlds series.
Apocalypse Now Now poster
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
5 star rating
Baxter is trying to lead a normal life as a high school racketeer when his girlfriend goes missing, and he has to hire a supernatural bounty hunter to retrieve her. The first in the Apocalypse Now Now series.
Any Other Name poster
Any Other Name by Emma Newman
5 star rating
Cathy feels trapped by marriage, whilst her friend Sam feels unable to save his own. The second book in the Split Worlds series.
All Is Fair poster
All Is Fair by Emma Newman
5 star rating
Cathy wants to change a magical society that has not altered for centuries, but she discovers that even those at the top are little more than puppets. The third volume in the Split Worlds series.
Across The Event Horizon poster
Across The Event Horizon by Mercurio D. Rivera
5 star rating
There's something quite classic about this collection of mostly science fiction stories. These short tales deal with aliens, bizarre futures and peculiar societies.
The Merchant of Dreams poster
The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle
4 star rating
Mal is sent to spy in Venice, a city where everyone wears a mask. But what is hidden in the dream world could be worse than any threat he has yet faced. The second in the Night's Masque series.
The Marching Dead poster
The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby
4 star rating
An army of the dead is rising up and taking over the lands of the living. The second novel in the Marius don Hellespont series.
The New Watch poster
The New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
4 star rating
Anton Gorodetsky saves a boy prophet, only to find that his intervention could endanger all magical beings.The fifth volume in the Night Watch series.
The Farm poster
The Farm by Emily McKay
4 star rating
Vampires have overrun America. Lily and her sister Mel are imprisoned on a farm where they are treated like cattle, but a botched escape will probably mean death.
The 5th Wave poster
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
4 star rating
Aliens have come to wipe out humankind in this post-apocalyptic novel. Cassie, Zombie, and a few other ill-equipped teenagers seem to be the last, fading hope of the human race.
Scatter, Adapt, And Remember poster
Scatter, Adapt, And Remember by Annalee Newitz
4 star rating
Annalee Newitz takes a close look at mass extinctions, and how humans might be able to survive the next apocalypse.
Saga: Volume Two poster
Saga: Volume Two by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
4 star rating
In this graphic novel a family flees from those who want them dead, and the hazards of outer space. Volume two of the Saga series.
Pros and Cons poster
Pros and Cons by Jenna Black
4 star rating
Nikki Glass searches for a man on behalf of a dishonest client. A novella.
Fuse poster
Fuse by Julianna Baggott
4 star rating
Pressia tries to unlock the mystery of the past, whilst her untainted brother plots to take over the Dome from within. The second novel in the Pure trilogy.
Fiend poster
Fiend by Peter Stenson
4 star rating
The zombie apocalypse had arrived, but all Chase cares about is where the next hit is coming from.
Entreat Me poster
Entreat Me by Grace Draven
4 star rating
A pair of sisters deal with a cursed lord and his heir in their isolated castle in this fantasy romance which has echoes of Beauty and the Beast.
Dark Secrets poster
Dark Secrets by Shona Husk
4 star rating
Haidyn is a whore, scorned by society. However his clients are unaware that all he ever sells them is an illusion.
Cobweb Forest poster
Cobweb Forest by Vera Nazarian
4 star rating
In the third part of the Cobweb Bride trilogy, parts of the world are disappearing and the the dead continue to walk the Earth.
Cobweb Bride poster
Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian
4 star rating
Death decides he wants a bride, and stops taking souls to the afterlife until he finds the one he is looking for. The first book in the Cobweb Bride trilogy.
Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom poster
Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom by Bill Willingham, Lauren Beukes, Inaki Miranda and Barry Kitson
3 star rating
After she gets a message about her children, Rapunzel travels to Japan to find them. But her search involves uncovering elements of her past which she would rather forget. The second graphic novel in the Fairest series.
Along The Watchtower poster
Along The Watchtower by David Litwack
3 star rating
An injured soldier fights to recover his future, whilst a prince must pass a number of tests to preserve his realm in this portal fantasy.

Unreviewed books

Equoid cover
Equoid by Charles Stross
An agent in a secret government branch dealing with the uncanny travels to a farm where a unicorn outbreak is no cause for joy.

Elysian Fields cover
Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson
Wizard Drusilla Jaco faces an undead serial killer mimicking the Axeman of New Orleans turns up in the city. The third in the Sentinels of New Orleans series.

Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us cover
Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
An examination of the methods processed food manufacturers use to sell more food, and the effect on public health.

Lash cover
Lash by L. G. Castillo
When an angel saves a girl he was not supposed to he is cast out of heaven. Years later his decision comes back to haunt him when he is given a mission to protect a young woman. The first book in the Broken Angel series.

Fashionably Dead cover
Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman
Astrid attempts to quit smoking and ends up a vampire in this paranormal comedy. The first book in the Hot Damned series.

Halloween Magic And Mayhem cover
Halloween Magic And Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson
On her sixteenth birthday Emily Rand discovers unexpected magical powers in this urban fantasy.

You Are Mine cover
You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
In a world where women are owned by their fathers or husbands, and where only men use magic, one young woman looks for freedom. The first novel in the Mine series.

Soulless: The Manga: Volume Three cover
Soulless: The Manga: Volume Three by Gail Carriger and Rem
The soulless Alexia has fallen out with her werewolf husband, and leaves for Italy for adventure, answers to her questions, and the chance to clear her name.

Caledonia Dreamin' cover
Caledonia Dreamin' by Hal Duncan and Chris Kelso
A collection of strange short stories based around Scottish dialect terms and written by authors with a connection to Scotland.

The Pirate Kings cover
The Pirate Kings by Alex Scarrow
The seventh novel in the Time Riders series.

Amped cover
Amped by Rob Lopez
His country has gone downhill and his army career is over but Alex will not stop fighting, whichever side of the law that leaves him. Book one in the Alien Infiltrators series.

Ice Forged cover
Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin
Blaine McFadden is condemned to an icy penal colony after a family shame ends in murder. When ships stop bringing supplies, colonists must choose between exile or returning to a kingdom in turmoil. Book one of the Ascendant Kingdoms.

The Secret Eater cover
The Secret Eater by Ros Jackson
A demoness of secrets takes on a fear demon in this novella of witches, magic, and dad dancing. The first in the Kenssie series.

Red Moon cover
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
Young people try to survive after America is rocked by werewolf attacks and lycans are treated as dangerous terrorists.

Emilie And The Hollow World cover
Emilie And The Hollow World by Martha Wells
A young stowaway encounters a whole new world of adventure when she chooses the wrong vessel to hide in.

Crash Wagon Book One: Family Ties cover
Crash Wagon Book One: Family Ties by Jason Eric Pryor
In the 26th century a rescue ship works between Earth and Mars, picking up spaceships in danger. But the chequered pasts of some of its crew members catch up with them in this science fiction novella.

Odd Men Out cover
Odd Men Out by Matt Betts
In a post-Civil War United States overrun by zombies, a group of government peacekeepers attempt to stop a military splinter group and a giant lizard from destroying the West Coast.

Clara cover
Clara by Suzanna J. Linton
A poor girl who is sold into a life of slavery has the ability to see the future. When she intervenes to prevent a murder she is embroiled in the politics of a country about to go to war. The first novel in the Stories of Lorst series.

Alex's Destiny cover
Alex's Destiny by A. K. Michaels
A vampire must protect a woman whose blood will keep the world safe from demons. The first novel in the Defender's Blood series.

It's Better This Way cover
It's Better This Way by Travis Hill
Bull aliens have invaded and destroyed the infrastructure on earth. Evan must learn to survive in this post-apocalyptic science fiction novella.

Conquest cover
Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard
Earth has been invaded and conquered by the Illyri, but some people are still fighting. Syl appears almost human, and she wants to escape the confines of the fortress that keeps her safe. But the Resistance are not all she need worry about.

The Bestiarum Vocabulum cover
The Bestiarum Vocabulum by Dean M. Drinkel
An anthology of stories about mythical beasts and monsters, from A to Z.

Urdaisunia cover
Urdaisunia by Kyra Halland
A young peasant woman living in a country the gods have forsaken must unite with a prince from the people who have conquered her own, in order to save the land they both love.

Meridian cover
Meridian by Terra Whiteman
Two factions are pitted against each other on an alternative human world, six hundred years after a nuclear war.

Valkyrie cover
Valkyrie by Kate O'Hearn
A young valkyrie is tasked with reaping the souls of the dead, but contact with the human world makes her want to risk her wings and abandon her mission. The first in the Valkyrie series.

Magic Unbound cover
Magic Unbound by Jill Nojack
When a fae disguised as a garden gnome shows up, a young American discovers her connection to Morgan Le Fae. She may be the last hope of the fae. The first in the Fae Unbound series.

Outcast cover
Outcast by Deborah A. Bailey
When an executive goes missing after a heist at a mine his playboy son goes looking for him with the help of a telekinetic in this space thriller. The first novel in the Hathor Legacy series.

Runes cover
Runes by Ednah Walters
An arrogant young man moves next door to a high school student whose father is missing, and there is something odd about him. The first novel in the Runes series.

Black Hellebore cover
Black Hellebore by Nicole Zoltack
A man returns to a small town to remember the dead, only to get involved with a laboratory accident in this superhero romance. The first in the Heroes of Falledge series.

Dream Student cover
Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto
A student is plagued by nightmares that begin to have worrying echoes in her real life. The first book in the Dream series.

Creatus cover
Creatus by Carmen DeSousa
A member of a secret supernatural race falls for a desperate young woman, against the wishes of his people. The first novel in the Creatus series.

Starship Conquest cover
Starship Conquest by David VanDyke
In the 22nd century a spaceship crew light years from Earth battle to save humanity against a hostile alien race. The first in the Stellar Conquest series.

Sworn To Raise cover
Sworn To Raise by Terah Edun
A teenage cleaner with no family travels to the court of the Emperor and a high position, provided she has the skills, and lands in a world of intrigue and magic. The first in the Courtlight series.

A Spirited Manor cover
A Spirited Manor by Kate Danley
Clara, a widow mourning her husband, accepts an invitation to a country house gathering to explore the possibility of making contact with ghosts with the help of a medium.

Planet Urth cover
Planet Urth by Jennifer and Christopher Martucci
A young woman living in a cave with her sister struggles for survival in a world where humans have evolved into something else or died out.

Before Midnight cover
Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream
An oppressed young woman cursed with a werewolf bite meets a shifter prince who is cursed in a different way. The first in the Blood Prince series.

Judge Dredd: Trifecta cover
Judge Dredd: Trifecta by Al Ewing, Simon Spurrier, Rob Williams, Simon Coleby and Henry Flint
The Mega-City One Justice Department is threatened by a coup from within. Meanwhile the simping detective Jack Point is given a mysterious doll to take care of, and Dirty Frank finds himself on the moon and wearing a suit.

Age Of Ultron cover
Age Of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Brandon Peterson and Carlos Pacheco
This graphic novel brings together the Marvel superheroes in a last-ditch attempt to save the world from an artificial intelligence that wants to wipe out all human life.

Ki Book One cover
Ki Book One by Odette C. Bell
A young woman falls through the clouds, bringing high technology and questions to the world below. A farm hand has to decide whether to treat her as the enemy.

Affliction cover
Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake is called to investigate zombie attacks that leave victims with a rotting infection, whilst she juggles her increasingly complex love life. The twenty-second novel in the Anita Blake series.

Dead Ever After cover
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Sookie is already feeling uneasy because her vampire boyfriend is keeping his distance, and she suspects their relationship is in trouble. Then Sookie is arrested for a murder. The thirteenth Sookie Stackhouse novel.

Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom cover
Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom by Brian Olsen
A young temp and his friends investigate strange unexpected deaths at a vast company where people are discouraged from working hard and asking questions. The first in the series The Future Next Door.

Flutter cover
Flutter by Jennie Wood and Jeff McComsey
A teenager shapeshifts from female to male to get the girl, but the plotting of spies and assassins has made her family fugitives. A graphic novel.

Anarchy cover
Anarchy by James Treadwell
Magic is loose in the world, and it has left the modern world in chaos. The second novel in the Advent series.

The Path Of Anger cover
The Path Of Anger by Antoine Rouand
A bitter old general gets involved in a search for a sword as someone sets about assassinating his former friends. Translated from the French by Tom Clegg.

Unreviewed films

Pacific Rim cover
Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo Del Toro
When alien monsters emerge from the Pacific and start destroying cities, mankind sends giant robots piloted by neuro-connected soldiers to fight them.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug cover
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug directed by Peter Jackson
Bilbo accompanies some dwarves on their quest to reclaim their homeland of Erebor. But the dragon Smaug will not let anyone touch the gold under the mountain.

Oblivion cover
Oblivion directed by Joseph Kosinski
A man whose memory has been wiped maintains defensive drones on a devastated Earth, while waiting for his chance to join the rest of humanity off planet.

Riddick cover
Riddick directed by David Twohy
The antihero Riddick is left for dead on a hostile planet amondst deadly aliens, and his distress beacon brings mercenaries after his head. The third film in the series.