White Night by Jim Butcher
Bottom Line: After nine Dresden books, Butcher’s supernatural Chicago holds little mystique, only endless rules and relationships explained ad nauseam in his hero’s irksome inner monologue.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Bottom Line: This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology.
Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert
Bottom Line: Mostert creates a taut, sexy thriller from disparate sci-fi and fantasy ingredients.
Zig Zag by José Carlos Somoza
Bottom Line: Zig Zag could’ve been a bad Chrichton tech-thriller knockoff, but the Spanish author displays an unhurried style and a refreshing appreciation for advanced science.