All Posts By

John Mauro

John Mauro

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

REVIEW: Hills of Heather and Bone by K.E. Andrews

Hills of Heather and Bone is the dark yet delicate fantasy by K.E. Andrews, which finished a (very) close second place in Mark Lawrence’s ninth Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO9). The story revolves around a...

REVIEW: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a dark masterpiece of magical realism, establishing Japanese author Haruki Murakami as one of the world’s foremost voices in speculative fiction and a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize...

REVIEW: Murder at Spindle Manor by Morgan Stang

Murder at Spindle Manor is an ingeniously constructed murder mystery by Morgan Stang and winner of Mark Lawrence’s ninth Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO9). Set inside a creepy mansion in a dark gaslamp fantasy world,...

REVIEW: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

I stumbled upon a signed, limited-edition copy of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman during lunch at a café/used bookstore a few months ago. I wish I could say I found the book, but I...

REVIEW: Trial of the Alchemist by Trevor Melanson

Trial of the Alchemist is Trevor Melanson’s dark murder mystery set in a gaslamp fantasy world drenched in alchemy. The novel opens in a packed courtroom, with Alchemist Ortez on trial for murder. Ortez...

REVIEW: The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan

C.M. Caplan’s frenetic grimdark novel, The Fall Is All There Is, blends fantasy and science fiction in a brutal post-apocalyptic world dripping with familial drama. The first-person protagonist, Petre, is the youngest among quadruplets,...

REVIEW: Soul Cage by L.R. Schulz

Soul Cage imagines a world where magic is powered by souls and transmitted through death. This new dark fantasy by Australian indie author L.R. Schulz is equal parts exciting and thought-provoking. Soul Cage is...

An Interview with Lavanya Lakshminarayan

Lavanya Lakshminarayan is the award-winning author of The Ten Percent Thief, a dystopian science fiction novel set in a future version of Bangalore known as Apex City. Lavanya is a Locus Award finalist and...

REVIEW: Night’s Reign by Daan Katz

Night’s Reign is the elegantly written dark fantasy by Dutch author Daan Katz dealing with themes of trauma, disability, and mental health. The novel hinges on the relationship between its two lead protagonists. Niels...

REVIEW: Diavola by Jennifer Thorne

Jennifer Thorne brings supernatural terror to an already dysfunctional family vacation in Diavola, which follows the Pace family on their ill-fated Italian holiday. Although the family’s surname translates to “peace” in Italian, they are...