(Presented in the order I reviewed them, beginning with the most recent.)
Miira (Book 1 of Innerscape), by A.C. Flory. The premise: a dying woman enters a virtual world that provides a perfect simulation of health and youth. It’s a clever concept and a fast-paced, fun read for fans of sci-fi and cyberpunk. Full review.
The Islands of the Gulf Vol. 1: The Journey, by Audrey Driscoll. The second book in the Herbert West series leaves Lovecraftian elements behind, but it’s brilliant in its own right. A fantastic work of literary fiction. Full Review.
Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, by Eileen Stephenson. A sweeping historical novel that explores every facet of life in the Byzantine Empire. Full Review.
Ocean Echoes, by Sheila Hurst. A dream-like journey into the mysteries of the ocean and the human psyche. A novel of science and magic whose scope is as large and mysterious as the ocean itself. Full Review.
The Prize, by Geoffrey M. Cooper. A fast-paced thriller set in the world of medical research. An ambitious scientist will stop at nothing to win the Nobel Prize by stealing the work of a rival in the field. Full Review.
The Bone Curse (Benjamin Oris Book #1), by Carrie Rubin. A supernatural medical thriller that follows Benjamin Oris, a medical student ensnared an ancient Vodou curse after injuring himself in the catacombs of Paris. A fast-paced page-turner. Full Review.
The Friendship of Mortals (Herbert West Series #1), by Audrey Driscoll. A re-imagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s original short story. Driscoll imbues Lovecraft’s mad scentist and his world with humanity and nuance that HPL would never attempt, all while remaining faithful to the universe he created. Full Review.
Human Sacrifices, by Patrick Prescott. An ambitious novel, whose main thread is an examination of different approaches to Christianity in the American southwest. Prescott takes on a number of controversial subjects, exploring each from the perspective of a thoughtful liberal protestant. Full Review.
One Night in Bridgeport, by Mark Paxson. A well-plotted legal thriller about an innocent—though not exactly sympathetic—man accused of a crime and his fight to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Full Review.
Eating Bull, by Carrie Rubin. Part thriller and part social problem novel, Eating Bull takes on the obesity epidemic, examining personal, socioeconomic and cultural factors that contribute to the disease. Likable heroes and an unbelievably twisted villain make the plot tick, while the thoughtful and detailed depiction of the medical subject matter make for a truly thought-provoking tale. Full Review.
Surreality, by Ben Trube. A neo-noir sci-fi mystery in which the intrigues in the eponymous virtual game world spill over into the real world. A novel of virtual reality that seems to only get more relevant with the passage of time. Full Review.
Tales of Byzantium, by Eileen Stephenson. Three short historical fiction stories set in medieval Byzantium. One is a romance, one is a war story, and one is a love letter to history itself. Full Review.