Reviews: Barnes, Steven

The Things I Do in Rage

Devil’s Wake — Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due
Devil's Wake, book 1

2012’s Devil’s Wake is the first volume in Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due’s Devil’s Wake series.

It didn’t take long for the plague of angry ghouls to sweep across America, because to be bitten by one of the infected is to become one of the infected. There is no cure and there is no vaccine. The only reliable prophylaxis is preparedness or simple dumb luck.

Given enough time, even the prepared run into something unexpected. Given time, the best luck in the world runs out.

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Back to Bilalistan

Zulu Heart — Steven Barnes
Bilalistan, book 2

Steven Barnes’ Zulu Heart is a follow-up to 2002’s Lion’s Blood. It is also the final volume (to date) in Barnes’ Bilalistan alternate history.

Four years after the events of Lion’s Blood, Walid Kai’s long-delayed marriage to his Zulu fiancée, Nandi, is finally at hand. This could become complicated … and not just due to Kai’s conflicted relationship with Nandi’s Zulu nation. Kai is already married to Lamiya. Will Nandi and Lamiya will cooperate … or quarrel?1. As if that weren’t enough drama, Kai’s position as Walid, or leader, is going to pose even greater challenges.


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Sail Away, Sail Away

Lion’s Blood — Steven Barnes
Bilalistan, book 1

In Steven Barnes’ 2002 novel Lion’s Blood, little Aiden O’Dere is rescued from a dismal life in a hidden Irish village when bold Viking entrepreneurs provide Aiden and those members of his village who survive the negotiation process (including his mother and his sister, but not his father) with free transportation to Bilalistan1, far across the ocean. There, the kindly Muslims provide the Irish with room and board, in exchange for such duties as their new masters deem appropriate.

Aiden proves inexplicably ungrateful, even though his new owner, the Wakil Abu Ali, is notoriously easy-going towards his property. Perhaps it’s the hard work, the beatings, the short lives many slaves face, the way slave women are used as sexual playthings, or simple white intransigence, but something about his new life does not sit entirely well with Aiden. There does not seem to be much that he can do about his situation.

Well, except


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