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M.L.N. Hanover

Daniel Abraham fantasy authorDaniel Abraham has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, and was awarded the International Horror Guild Award. He writes epic fantasy under his own name and writes urban fantasy under the name M.L.N. Hanover. He also writes with Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey (reviewed on our Corey page). Read excerpts of some of his books at Daniel Abraham’s website.


Find Daniel Abraham’s books here and James S.A. Corey’s books here.

The Black Sun’s Daughter

The Black Sun’s Daughter — Began in 2008. Publisher: In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can’t always play by the rules. Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn’t quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it’s all hers — and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College. Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric’s heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means — magical or mundane — so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life. Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions — Aubrey, Eric’s devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities — Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she’ll have to learn the new rules fast — or break them completely…

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Unclean Spirits: Daniel Abraham takes on urban fantasy

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Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover

Jayné Heller is feeling pretty alone in the world. She's estranged from her intolerant family. She has just dropped out of college, and her friends have moved on without her. The only dependable person left in her life is her black-sheep uncle Eric … and he's just been murdered.

When Jayné travels to Denver to settle Eric's accounts, she learns two things:
1. Eric was filthy rich and left it all to her.
2. He was killed by Randolph Coin, an evil magician.
Jayné is not so sure she believes in this magic stuff, but she knows Coin and his goons are bad news, and she reassembles Eric's evil-fighting team to deal with the situation.

M.L.N. Hanover does some interesting world-building here. In this universe, most supernatural nasties (vampires, werewolves, many magicians) are created by means of possess... Read More

Darker Angels: To heck with my inner curmudgeon

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Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover

My inner curmudgeon nearly set Darker Angels aside at about the halfway point. "I don't get this book!" said the curmudgeon. "The voodoo's all wrong. Legba isn't an evil serial killer! The good guys' plan doesn't quite add up, and is pretty unethical besides. And the interpersonal drama just ate the plot for lunch!"

"Sit down and shut up," said M.L.N. Hanover. "I'm telling a story here."

OK, so I've never met M.L.N. Hanover, and he didn't literally say that, but he might as well have. Because just as I was about to give up on Darker Angels, he threw in some twists that made me realize I was looking at it all wrong.

I must have been led astray by the extremely linear plot of Unclean Spirits. I was expecting this plot to be similar in ... Read More

Vicious Grace: What urban fantasy can be at its very best

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Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover

Have you ever been in one of those cobbled-together buildings where the 1st floor of the original structure opens onto the 3rd floor of the new wing, and you can only access the fourth floor by a staircase at the far end of that older building that got swallowed up into the whole mass at some point, and so on? I work in one, and after reading Vicious Grace, I don’t think I’ll ever see it the same way again! (Gee, thanks, M.L.N. Hanover, for making me scared of my own office building. *g*)

Vicious Grace is the third in Hanover’s urban fantasy series The Black Sun’s Daughter. This one’s set in Chicago, at labyrinthine Grace Memorial Hospital, where a sleep researcher has noticed an eerie anomaly in his latest study: all of his subjects have had the same dream of an inhuman creatur... Read More

Killing Rites: Full of action and ideas

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Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

M.L.N. Hanover’s series, THE BLACK SUN’S DAUGHTER, gets better with every book. The latest, Killing Rites, advances the story of Jayné Heller’s growth, but it also continues to build the world in which she operates. Metaphysical questions about the existence of God and the nature of the demons start to become integral to Heller’s life. Furthermore, Hanover refuses to ever take the easy way out, always choosing the most difficult — and most interesting — plot twists over the development that a reader in the urban fantasy genre would expect. Hanover’s decision to always up the ante makes this one of the best series in the field today.

As Killing Rites opens, Jayné is attempting to deal with her realization at the end of Vicious Grace, the third nove... Read More

Graveyard Child: Extraordinary depth of character

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Graveyard Child by M.L.N. Hanover

Warning: this review contains spoilers for the first four books in the series THE BLACK SUN’S DAUGHTER.

M.L.N. Hanover’s urban fantasy series, THE BLACK SUN’S DAUGHTER, gets better with every book. Graveyard Child has extraordinary depth of character and a plot that takes the series into ever more complicated waters. The voice of Hanover’s viewpoint character, Jayné Heller, is happy, angry, sad, confused, disappointed, frightened, determined and resigned in turn, but always clearly Jayné. Any reader who has stuck with her through this fifth tale feels like she or he has a friend — a friend who is possessed, constantly dodging occult forces that mean her ill, and manipulated into a life she never chose, but nonetheless unswervingly loyal to her friends regardless of the cost or circumstances. Jayné isn’t perfec... Read More

Songs of Love and Death: Tales of star-crossed lovers

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Songs of Love and Death edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of Love and Death is the third anthology that George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have edited together. Like Warriors and Songs of the Dying EarthSongs of Love and Death brings together some of the biggest names that SFF has to offer and they set these authors to work on a common theme.

Martin and Dozois offer a cross-genre anthology that ranges from Robin Hobb’s epic fantasy “Blue Boots,” which tells the story of a romance between a young serving girl and a silver-tongued minstrel, to  Read More

FanLit Asks… About style

We often post our chats with authors on Tuesdays, but we're trying something new today. Instead of asking one author several questions, we've asked several authors just one question. Please leave a comment and let us know how you like this format. We'll choose one commenter to win a copy of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver on audio CDs (or something else from our stacks).

Question: Which speculative fiction writer has had the greatest influence on your own writing style and what, specifically, do you find most inspirational about that writer’s style?

Daniel Abraham / M.L.N. Hanover: Read More