FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
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Anthologies A - R
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Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
The Books of Jack Yeovil

Jack Yeovil aka Kim Newman stepped into the world of the Warhammer franchise in the late 80s and with his stories of the vibrant vampire Genevieve rapidly became the franchise's most popular writers.
Average Review Score: 4.3 out of 5 (4 books)

The first of the Genevieve books, this one is also the best.  In fact, it's the best book of the entire Warhammer novel franchise.  The story begins with a mixed group of adventurers entering a sinister castle to face the ancient sorcerer Constant Drachenfels.  Twenty five years later, one of the adventurers, a rich noble, hires the playwrite Detlef Sierck to stage a recreation of the adventure in the remains of Castle Drachenfels.  There is constant tension throughout this book, kept up by the clever way in which Yeovil introduces us to the hidden villains of the piece early on, but manages to do so without revealing who they really are.  The story is by turns funny, tragic, romantic and chilling, with the author constantly finding ways to surprise you.  Detlef is a very likeable and human main character and Gene is an oddly endearing mixture of fair maid and cold killer.  The twist at the end was something I figured out beforehand, but that didn't spoil it's affect much.  It's unfortunate that many people will pass this book over simply because of the stigma attached to the Warhammer brand.
5 out of 5
'The first Genevieve Dieudonne knew of the treachery of Ueli the dwarf was the prod of a blade-end in her right side, just above the hip.'
Beasts In Velvet
The second (chronologically) novel to feature the vampire Genevieve.  Yeovil's great talent is the way he reveals his sinister villains early on, but never gives away enough to spoil the whodunnit nature of the stories, this one in particular.  The hard-edged noble Johann von Mecklenberg, the Altdor watchman Harald Kleindeinst and the scryer Rosanna Ophuls hunt for clues or witnesses to the gruesome murders committed by 'The Beast'.  The author brilliantly ups the tension of the story time and again as the city of Altdorf becomes more paranoid and more violent, boiling towards a climax that repeatedly disabuses you of what you think you've figured out (I will reveal that gender confusion is an issue!).  There was only one thing that annoyed me about this book; Kleindeinst is known as Filthy Harald and carries a Magnim knife (in case I need to spell it out to you - Dirty Harry and his magnum), which seemed a bit of a cheap reference to me.
4 out of 5
'Her last pfennigs had gone on gin and now all she had to warm her was the sting in her throat.'
Genevieve Undead
The third Genevieve book.  Rather than a full-length novel like 'Drachenfels', this book contains three novellas that follow on chronologically from one another.  The first is by far the best as, in 'Stage Blood', we are taken into the world of Detlef Sierck and his playhouse before the opening of his new masterpiece.  There is tension between the staff of the playhouse, which is increased by the mutant Trapdoor Demon and the arrival of the Animus, a relic of Constant Drachenfels' evil.  The best element of the story is the way in which Detlef wrestles with the darkness within his own soul, almost becoming the monster he plays on stage.  'The Cold Stark House' wasn't a favourite of mine, as (after having watched too much TV sci-fi) I don't like things that have familiar characers acting like people they're not, with the details of how the brainwashing came about to follow.  The final novella, 'Unicorn Ivory' is largely an unremarkable story about a cruel noble, but throughout it there's the inference that there is a terrible link between his wife's death and his love of the hunt, giving the story a wonderfully sinister tone.
4 out of 5
'He had a name once, but hadn't heard it spoken in years.'
Silver Nails
A collection of Yeovil's short stories which feature characters such as Johann von Mecklenberg, Filthy Harald, Rosanna Ophuls, Detlef Sierck and Genevieve.  'Red Thirst', set after the first adventure in Castle Drachenfels, sees Gene and the warrior Vukotich having to foil a chaos plot to destroy the city of Zhufbar.  The tension between the two main characters makes the story as they each dislike and distrust one another, but cannot deny a certain attraction.  'No Gold In The Grey Mountains' is a classic Yeovil story, in which the villain is shown throughout but not truly revealed until the very end.  I wasn't so keen on 'The Ignorant Armies', which features Johann and a much older Vukotich, because it reminded me too much of the action packed dross that makes up the large percentage of Warhammer fiction.  'The Warhawk' is another excellent whodunnit, although at times it is just a little too like 'Beasts In Velvet'.  The best offering in this little anthology is the ridiculously named 'The Ibby The Fish Factor'.  It's an excellent story about social paranoia, religious dogma and institutionalised bigotry, however, the twist is that it is the living dead who are being persecuted.  It's a real gem that prompts you to consider issues far removed from the gothic fantasy of the Warhammer world.
4 out of 5
'Eventually, Vukotich was awoken by the steady rumbling of the wheels and the clatter of the chains.'

If you liked Yeovil:
You should try out the other major Warhammer series, the Gotrek and Felix novels of William King.

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