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J Wilbanks

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Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction

Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction published on 4 Comments on Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction
I read these books anytime, anywhere.
I read these books anytime, anywhere.

The very first time I read a Dresden File, I was twenty years old, and the middle of a Maryland winter. I was serving in the Navy at the time, and about twice a year, the stars would align poorly, and we would be forced to survive three weekends on one paycheck. That third weekend saw me cooped up in the barracks, eating galley food, and in desperate need of something new to read. My friend tossed me a paperback, and told me to go away and read it, he was working on some coding. I used the last of my cash to buy a bottle of Sutter Home Moscato (priorities), and settled down to read.

Storm Front

That was Storm Front. The next day, I went and borrowed Fool Moon and Grave Peril, read them both in about five hours, then went back to poor Miller’s door. “This is the last one I have, another friend’s got the next two,” he told me, and handed me Summer Knight. It was this book that had me fall in love with the series. If I’d never read it, I would have counted the first three as a pretty decent way to pass the time until I had money again, and could spend it to buy books I am too ashamed to admit here. But I read Summer Knight, and realized that what Jim Butcher was doing was pretty extraordinary.

I read it in a marathon session – think Bob with the latest Harlequin Blaze. I finished it a little after eleven, and did not even think of waiting until the next day (and a more appropriate hour). Instead, I put on my shoes, neglected a coat, and headed out the door toward the Marine Corps barracks. Read more

Custom Artwork!

Custom Artwork! published on

We are pleased to announce that we have custom artwork coming right around the time of the site launch. More details to come. We can’t wait for the reveal!

You Didn’t Hear It From Us, But… (An Explanation)

You Didn’t Hear It From Us, But… (An Explanation) published on

I have a weakness for gossip.

I like to know things that not everyone else knows, I like to know things before everyone else knows them, and I don’t like not knowing something. This will be my outlet for sharing all the information I’ve gleaned from generally butting my nose in where others are too circumspect to do so.

Curiosity, it is a burden.

The first tidbits I will share include (but are not limited to) 1) what Jacqueline Carey has been secretly been working on the last year (hint: it’s a retelling of a famous Shakespeare play!); 2) will the first volume of Tad Williams’s new trilogy be released next year? (hint: the truth is an unhappy one); and 3) Which famous kid lit author just sold a five book series for a serious amount of cash.

I plan to write up a gossip post whenever I have juicy enough information to share.

I hope you’ll join me!

Upcoming Reviews

Upcoming Reviews published on


september first collage

First of all, pardon the dust, peculiar stains, and loud noises. This site doesn’t technically launch until September 1. In the meantime, you’ll probably hear lots of machinery running, see plenty of ominous but imminently practical plastic sheeting, maybe view some dark cars with their headlights shuttered, coming and going in the middle of the night. But we’re, uh. Definitely working on the website.


These are exciting times, folks! We’re currently working on upcoming reviews for several beautiful, action-packed books. Our current list includes several ARCS (advanced reader copies). You can hear all about these ARCs here about a week or two before (or on the day of, in some cases) the books are released for public consumption. We’re hitting the nostalgia nectar pretty heavily this month, with both Mercedes Lackey and R.L. Stine on the menu. Yum, nectar.

We will also be reviewing books from the past couple of months that might have slipped under your radar. Just, you know, squeezed right under your little radio waves there. And that’s okay. We’ll help boost your signal so you don’t miss as many great books.

Read on to see some of the works we’re reviewing for September. Updates to come!


The Aeronaut’s Windlass – by Jim Butcher.

Published by Orbit 9/29/2015.

We’re writing dueling reviews on this one. What did we think about Butcher’s foray into the steampunk realm? How many books are expected in this series? What’s a windlass? Is that a talking cat? This is the first book in Butcher’s new The Cinder Spires series.


The Lost Girl: A Fear Street Novel – by R.L. Stine.

Published by St. Martin’s Press Griffin on 9/29/2015.

This book series brings back a lot of memories. We’re writing a retrospective on the long-running YA horror series, including a review of this latest installment.



Hunter – by Mercedes Lackey.

Published by Disney-Hyperion on 9/1/2015.

If you’re under forty and you read fantasy and science fiction as a little fox, you have probably read Lackey. She’s out with an eclectic dystopian novel that checks all the boxes: teen female protagonist, a destroyed nation, a final hope for the human race. Big guns, psychic powers, magic, and religious zealots. Reality television, insulated perspectives, and duels. It’s all here. Oh yeah, and all of those fairy tale creatures are real. And they’re trying to destroy us.



Twelve Kings in Sharakhai – by Brad P. Beaulieu.

Published by DAW on 12/1/2015.

Aside from the obvious – he’s got a lot of vowels in his name! I just have the one. I’m not jealous, really, I’m not – what really stands out about established novelist Beaulieu is that he’s got a nice ear for the English language and his novel flows smoothly. There’s a ton of action, opening with a gladiator arena and moving us quickly forward into the larger world of a city ruled over by twelve kings cursed/blessed by the magic to protect their city, and a young gladiator who is more than she appears to be. This is the first book in the The Song of the Shattered Sands series.




The Dragon Engine – by Andy Remic.

Published by Angry Robot on 9/1/2015. 

This one is about five war heroes who get drunk one night and make one of those decisions that war heroes make when they get drunk: they sign a hastily planned contract to head off to Karamakkos in search of the Five Havens. If I had a nickel for every time I signed a hastily planned contract to head off to Karamakkos in search of the Five Havens…

This is the first book in the The Blood Dragon Empire series.





Influx – by Tim Marquitz.

Published by Ragnarok Publications on 6/30/2015.

This is an interesting one, bringing an alien presence (we’re dealing with a real-life doppelganger) into an urban fantasy setting. With a dark anti-hero, lots of weaponry, and a large body count, what’s not to love? Marquitz writes fast and furious fiction, and this one does not disappoint.

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