Blog Tour + Review: Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty

Bookburners (Bookburners #1.1-1.16)
Title: Bookburners
Author: Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery
Publication Date:  February 7, 2017
Publisher: Saga Press
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Age Group: Upper Young Adult/Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time! Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label. Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.

Coming in at approximately 800 pages, I can see how this book would scare any reader into running the other way. But, the book is broken into 16 different "episodes." So if you read it like me, you can read one or two episodes every day so it doesn't feel daunting. And it won't. Because this is such a high-paced read that you'll want to binge a little - just like those Netflix shows.

Sal Brooks is the newest team member of Team Three, a group set on finding all the books that contain magic-wielding powers that are able to destroy people, cities, and even the world. Their mission is to gather all these books to lock them up in the Vatican's black archives. Sal is a detective is thus a natural fit to the team who consists of Liam (a funny tech specialist), Father Menchu (a priest), Grace (a marshal artist), and Ashanti (librarian of the archives).

The perpetual good versus evil theme is consistent throughout the entire narrative and the battle human beings employ to utilize both. Like any show on television, each episode contributes to the overall story of the season but each is a standalone, having its own arc and focuses on the different characters so we get to know the background of each of the members of Team Three. It's interesting to see the story told from Sal, who is consistently flawed, but then to turn to the next episode to see perspectives from other characters. Throughout, we get to see demons, scary monsters, bookstores vanishing, and other major events that keeps you literally, at the edge of your seat.

This is such a fun read and I love stories that incorporate a team of people who are so different from each other. Books written by many authors tend to feel a bit disjointed but I definitely didn't feel it in this one. The episodes flowed naturally with a slight issue with pacing that didn't really bother me. But it felt that the authors have a great foundation for season 2 and I cannot wait for that one because there are definitely things left to be developed and explored.

I recommend this fun set-in-our-world fantasy. And if you're curious for more stories published in this format, I would check out serial box dot com, which is where this story was originally published.

MAX GLADSTONE has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone. Bookburners, which he wrote with Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

Before joining the Bookburners, MARGARET DUNLAP wrote for ABC Family’s cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy’s Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

MUR LAFFERTY is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including the Netfix-optioned The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.

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