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Recommended Reading by Professionals…with A.M. Dellamonica

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by A.M. Dellamonica. She is the author of Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons, and in numerous anthologies; her 2005 alternate-history Joan of Arc story, “A Key to the Illuminated Heretic,” was shortlisted for the Sideways Award and the Nebula Award. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Her new book, CHILD OF THE HIDDEN SEA, just released this week!

  • Caitlin Sweet’s The Door in the Mountain really only qualifies as unknown because it’s brand new, but it’s a retelling of the myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur… from Ariadne’s point of view. This isn’t some sweet young victim of a princess, either. This book is inventive, scary, written in Sweet’s always amazing prose and very much a must-read, right now, don’t wait novel.(The only other thing I will say is that it’s also part one of two, so brace yourself to wait, perhaps quite anxiously, for the sequel. If you hurry, you can get in on the contest to name that second book! Email title suggestions to
  • Sarah Rayne’s Roots of Evil is a few years old now, but it is an almost perfect gothic thriller, set in the here and now. Once you get to know how Rayne constructs a story, it’s usually possible to tease out her ending before you get there, but this was my first, and it may be her most intricate. Roots of Evil is about the mystery surrounding a silent film star at the center of a horrific murder.Roots of Evil starts when one of the star’s few surviving relatives is contacted by a graduate student looking into the mystery of her death. Within days, the student herself is dead, murdered in the studio in a fashion that recalls the original crime. Unspooling the present mystery means challenging all the lies of the past. The story is supercharged with all the drama one expects of a gothic, but there’s a core of something very believable in it all, and the ending of the novel is genuinely surprising.
  • M.K. Hobson’s The Native Star made quite a splash when it was first released, garnering a Nebula nomination and great reviews, but I wonder how many people have followed this series since then? The Hidden Goddess takes feisty back-woods witch Emily Edwards to New York City, where she has to tangle with society matrons and a magical institute that wants to use her for their own murky ends. It all comes out reasonably well, but in The Warlock’s Curse, the beginning of a second Veneficas Americana duology, things get truly horrifying for Emily’s teenaged son.The alternate history of a magically-influenced turn of the century America is something Hobson calls “Bustlepunk,” but it’s so much more. These books have an ecofantasy sensibility, combining biological and ecosystems science with the magical system and coming up with an inventive, one-of-a-kind result. These are great, genre-stretching and hair-raising novels. The world needs more of them.

Stay tuned for the next post where we get reading recommendations from Sara Megibow!

About Kristin Centorcelli (842 Articles)
Kristin Centorcelli is the Associate Editor at SF Signal, proprietor of My Bookish Ways, a reviewer for Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and has also written for Crime Fiction Lover, Criminal Element, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She has been reviewing books since late 2010, in an effort to get through a rather immense personal library, while also discussing it with whoever will willingly sit still (and some that won’t).
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