Tress Of The Emerald Sea – Oceans Of Charm

When I eagerly await something—an upcoming trip, a new season of my favorite show, a long-anticipated social event—the hope runs rampant in my head. I feast on the image of the thing in my mind, considering all the ways it could be amazing, groundbreaking, spectacular. And then, when the thing arrives, that glistening sheen wears…

Welcome to the Cosmere

Welcome To The Cosmere: A Brandon Sanderson Reading Order Guide

Come one, come all to the Cosmere! That’s right folks, after years of Brandon Sanderson reviews and discussions, we’re finally laying down the law. Today, one and a half Brandon Sanderson experts (Andrew and Cole, respectively) shoulder the Herculean task of telling YOU the ideal Brandon Sanderson reading order.  A few clean-up notes before we…

Dragons, Ghost Dogs, and Doomslugs: What Are Your Favorite Fantasy Animal Companions?

This article originally appeared on Tor.com.  Warning: this post contains no deep interpretations of animal companions and their impact on story. I won’t philosophize on the essential nature of furry, fuzzy, or squishy familiars or ask why they exist in the first place. Bottom line: they’re cute as hell, and sometimes that’s enough. I’m writing…

SFF Archrivals

Every Young Hero Needs An Archrival: Do You Have What It Takes?

This article originally appeared on Tor.com. Hello there, and welcome to The SFF Rival Academy! We’re thrilled you’ve enrolled in our educational program for youngsters of the generic magical/scientific arts. Did you know a courageous avatar of pure goodness will be joining you this year? How amazing! They may draw all manner of evil entities…

Cytonic – Going Nowhere Fast

This review’s subtitle might throw you off if you haven’t read any of the Skyward series yet. Head to my review of the first book if you count yourself among the confused. For those of you who are caught up, we now turn to Cytonic the third installment in Brandon Sanderson’s high-flying, space-faring romp. Cytonic…

Starsight – Bigger, Not Quite Better

Brandon Sanderson’s Cytoverse, in which the Cytonic series takes place, just got a whole lot bigger. Starsight follows Skyward with another epic space adventure. There’s a lot to love in Starsight but the book suffers from some classic foibles.  After discovering The Krell are humanity’s galactic babysitters, Spensa and her plucky flight crew bust through…

Death Note Is The Perfect Beginner’s Guide To Hard Magic Systems

This post originally ran on Tor.com. There’s a lot to be said about the intersection of fantasy and the insanely large pantheon of anime content, to put it mildly. Today, I’d like to focus on Death Note and its smart, if a bit on-the-nose, use of a hard magic system to tell its story. My anime sample size…

Rhythm of War – Cosmere Crescendo

Seems only yesterday I reviewed The Way of Kings with the wide-eyed wonder of a freshly minted Cosmere initiate. Now, I've read all of the currently released Cosmere material, and I’m all in. Before I jump into my Rhythm of War review, I recommend you check out our full Cosmere Reading Order Guide.  Where do…