Speculative Fiction All Stars

Titles which received three or more starred reviews from major review sources.

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon
    Author:Ahmed, Saladin
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780756407117 Date: 2012
    starKirkus star LJ star PW
    The Crescent Moon Kingdoms are populated by Djenn and Ghuls, opulent wealth and grinding poverty. In this world, three heroes are drawn together by a series of brutal supernatural massacres. The companions soon learn that the magical murders and political upheaval are connected.
    Updated 1.14.12
  • Kushiel's Dart
    Author: Carey, Jacqueline
    Publisher: Tor $ 25.95 ISBN: 0312872380 Date: 2001
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    High intrigue and a fantastic heroine make for a tale of pagan splendor in Kushiel's Dart. Phedre is sold into slavery as a child, but she possesses a secret that can topple a kingdom and bring warlords to their knees.
  • Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure
    Author: Chabon, Michael
    Publisher: Del Rey $ 21.95 ISBN: 9780345501745 Date: 2007
    starKirkus star PW star LJ
    This rollicking saga by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is set 1,000 years ago along the ancient Silk Road, and tells the tale of two wandering adventurers and unlikely soul mates.
    Updated 10.23.07
  • Stories of Your Life and Others
    Author: Chiang, Ted
    Publisher: Forge $ 24.95 ISBN: 076530418x Date: 2002
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    Ted Chiang's first published story, "Tower of Babylon" , won the Nebula Award for 1990. Now, collected for the first time, are all seven of this extraordinary writer's extraordinary stories--plus a new story written especially for this volume.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
    Author: Clarke, Susanna
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 29.95 ISBN: 1582344167 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that it leaves readers longing for more.
    Suggested Reading: Magicians & Magic | Adult Books for Young Adults
    Updated 8.16.04
  • Acacia
    Author: Durham, David Anthony
    Publisher: Doubleday $ 26.95 ISBN: 9780385506069 Date: 2007
    ACACIA is a thrilling work of literary imagination that creates an all-enveloping and mythic world that will carry readers away. It is a timeless tale of heroism and betrayal, of treachery and revenge, of primal wrongs and ultimate redemption. David Durham has reimagined the epic narrative for our time in a book that will surely mark his breakthrough to a wide audience. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 5.31.07
  • Stardust
    Author: Gaiman, Neil
    Publisher: Avon $ 22 ISBN: 0380977281 Date:1999
    starBooklist star PW star Kirkus
    From the extraordinary imagination of Neil Gaiman - bestselling author of Neverwhere - comes a haunting fable of love, duty and magical lands.
  • Anansi Boys
    Author: Gaiman, Neil
    Publisher: Morrow $ 26.95 ISBN: 006051518x Date: 2005
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spirit of rebellion able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. When he dies on a karaoke stage, things get very interesting for Charlie.
    Suggested Reading: Legendary Characters
    Updated 8.15.05
  • Lord of the Silver Bow: Troy
    Author: Gemmell, David
    Publisher: Del Rey $ 24.95 ISBN: 0345458354 Date: 2005
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW
    This re-imagined Trojan War is the beginning of an epic trilogy. Readers will be introduced to Aeneas, Lord of the Silver Bow, a feared warrior who surrenders his heart to Andromache, who is betrothed to Hektor.
    Suggested Reading: Legendary Characters
    Updated 8.8.05
  • In War Times
    Author: Goonan, Kathleen Ann
    Publisher: Tor $ 25.95 ISBN: 9780765313553 Date: 2007
    Sam Dance is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother Keenan is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war. Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that. After his training, Sam is sent throughout Europe to solve both theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. He spends his free time playing jazz, and trying to construct the strange device. It's only much later that he discovers that it worked, but in a way that he could have never imagined. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 3.15.07
  • Black Ships
    Author: Graham, Jo
    Publisher: Orbit $ 14 ISBN: 9780316068000 Date: 2008
    star PW star LJ star Booklist
    Gull--chosen at the age of seven to be the voice of the Lady of the Dead--is destined to counsel kings. When nine black ships appear, captained by an exiled Trojan prince, Gull must decide whether to accept the life for which she has been chosen.
    Updated 2.26.08
  • The Dead Fathers Club
    Author: Haig, Matt
    Publisher: Viking $ 23.95 ISBN: 9780670038336 Date: 2007
    Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem. It all begins when his dad appears as a ghost at his own funeral and introduces Philip to the Dead Fathers Club. Philip learns the truth about ghosts: the only people who end up ghosts are MURDERED. So begins Philip's quest to avenge his dad. Hilariously funny, it is full of poignant insights into the strange workings of the world seen through the eyes of a child.
    Updated 12.1.06
  • Dragonshadow
    Author: Hambly, Barbara
    Publisher: Del Rey $ 24 ISBN: 0345421876 Date: 1999
    star Booklist star PW star Kirkus
    The eagerly awaited sequel to the classic fantasy Dragonsbane, by the bestselling author of Icefalcon's Quest. As sorceress Jenny Waynest, and Morkeleb, the dragon, battle for their freedom, John Aversin once again ventures to save the day.
  • Dune: House Atreides
    Author: Herbert, Brian & Kevin J. Anderson (Frank Herbert)
    Publisher: Bantam $ 27.50 ISBN: 0553110616 Date: 1999
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Capturing all the complexity and grand themes of the original Dune, this prequel weaves a new tapestry of terrible betrayal, grand passions, and momentous destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than 30 years ago.
  • The Inheritance and Other Stories
    Author: Hobb, Robin & Megan Lindholm
    $ 15.99 ISBN: 9780061561641 Date: 2011
    starBooklist star PW star Kirkus
    From New York Times-bestselling master storyteller Robin Hobb--a.k.a. MeganLindholm--comes a new collection of short stories.
    Updated 7.1.11
  • The Tooth Fairy
    Author: Joyce, Graham
    Publisher: Tor Books $ 22.95 ISBN: 031286261X Date: 1998
    star BL star Kirkus star PW
    The award-winning author of Requiem returns with a blackly comic, disturbingly erotic tale of an ordinary boy named Sam - and the unearthly being only he can see. Is she real - or is she just a figment of his turbulent imagination? All Sam knows, as he grows from childhood to adolescence, is that she is never very far away.
    Suggested Reading: Contemporary Fantasy Stars
  • Hearts in Atlantis
    Author: King, Stephen
    Publisher: Scribner $ 28 ISBN: 0684853515 Date: 1999
    star BL star Kirkus star LJ
    In his strongest collection since Different Seasons, Stephen King confirms the power of his storytelling with four brilliant, disturbing tales of an America shadowed by Vietnam: "Low Men in Yellow Coats, " "Hearts in Atlantis, " "Blind Willie, " and "Why We're in Vietnam."
  • Dreamcatcher
    Author: King, Stephen
    Publisher: Scribner $ 28 ISBN: 0743211383 Date: 2001
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ
    America's most thrilling storyteller is at the height of his powers in this page-turning epic of haunted memories, heroism, and stark survival. Once upon a time in the haunted city of Derry (the site of It and Insomnia), four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Twenty-five years later, these men are plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past--and in the Dreamcatcher.
  • Lisey's Story
    Author: King, Stephen
    Publisher: Scribner $ 28 ISBN: 0743289412 Date: 2006
    starKirkusstar LJstar PW
    Every marriage has two hearts, one light and one dark, and Lisey Landon must confront both. King's most personal and powerful book to date is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love.
    Updated 8.28.06
  • The Cypress House
    Author: Kortya, Michael
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780316053723 Date: 2011
    starKirkus star LJ star PW
    A journey to Florida's coast becomes an inescapable nightmare in the newest supernatural thriller from international bestseller Koryta (So Cold the River).
    Updated 11.29.10
  • The Historian
    Author: Kostova, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 25.95 ISBN: 0316011770 Date: 2005
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    In this riveting debut novel, a young girl discovers her father's darkest secret and embarks on a harrowing journey across Europe to complete the quest he never could--the quest to find history's most legendary fiend: Dracula.
    Updated 4.25.05
  • The City & the City
    Author: Mieville, China
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780345497512 Date: 2009
    starBooklist starPW star Kirkus
    "New York Times"-bestselling author Mieville delivers an existential thriller set in a city that is unlike any other, real or imagined--a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.
    Updated 5.18.09
  • The Map of Time
    Author: Palma, Felix J.
    $ 26 ISBN: 9781439167397 Date: 2011
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    Palma delivers a page-turner in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time-travel and save lives.
    Updated 4.15.11
  • The Necessary Beggar
    Author: Palwick, Susan
    Publisher: Tor $ 24.95 ISBN: 076531097x Date: 2005
    star Booklist star PW star LJ
    A compelling new contemporary fantasy novel from the award-winning author of Flying in Place.
    Updated 10.24.05
  • The Quantum Thief
    Author: Rajanierni, Hanyu
    $ 24.99 ISBN: 9780765329493 Date: 2011
    starPW star LJ star Kirkus
    A brilliant first novel. The Quantum Thief, like so much of the best space opera of this century, is a prodigy house, where propositions are instant heritage, and arguments are eyeclick.--John Clute.
    Updated 3.27.11
  • Antartica
    Author: Robinson, Kim Stanley
    Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell $ 24.95 ISBN: 0553100637 Date: 1998
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW star BL
    Beneath its ice and frozen wastes, Antarctica contains great riches of mineral wealth. Antarctica tells the story of the greedy conflict of nations and political extremists who battle for control of the planet's final frontier.
  • Legends : Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy
    Author: Silverberg, Robert (Edt)/ Jordan, Robert/ Goodkind, Terry/ Card, Orson
    Publisher: Tor Books $ 27.95 ISBN: 0312867875 Date: 1998
    star Kirkus star PW star BL
    The greatest collection of original fantasy short novels ever - 11 of the most famous bestselling writers of epic fantasy tell new and original tales set in their bestselling worlds. Featured are works by Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. LeGuin, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Robert Silverberg, Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist, and, of course, the master of the macabre, Stephen King.
  • The Terror
    Author: Simmons, Dan
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 25.99 ISBN: 9780316017442 Date: 2007
    Based on the true story of two ice ships that disappeared in the Arctic Circle during the Sir John Franklin Expedition in 1845.
    Updated 12.29.06
  • Six Moon Dance
    Author: Tepper, Sheri S.
    Publisher: Eos $ 23 ISBN: 0380974797 Date: 1998
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    A nationally treasured fantasist returns with a wondrous and original tale of an imperiled distant world with a cruelly devastating past - and a future that depends on reviving dead mysteries and dancing.
  • Echoes of Honor : Conquer Hell--Or Die
    Author: Weber, David
    Publisher: Baen Books $ 24.00 ISBN: 0671878921 Date: 1998
    star Kirkus star PW star BL
    Stunned and infuriated by the execution of Commodore Honor Harrington, who had been at forefront of the war between the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the vastly more powerful People's Republic of Haven, the Manticorian Alliance vows revenge. Now, the war is about to enter a phase of unprecedented ferocity... and the Alliance is on the short end of the stick.

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

book mark Overbooked

Sign up for updates via the Overbooked mailing list