logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: fantasy-and-sci-fi
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-01-20 10:15
Black Tom and Racism in Lovecraft's Mythos
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle

I think Victor Lavalle sums up perfectly the intent of this novella in its dedication - “For H.P. Lovecraft, with all my conflicted feelings.”

 

This story is set in New York in the 1920s. Charles Thomas Tester is a man from Harlem who earns money to support himself and his prematurely aging father by grifting. He has the reputation of being a go-to guy to fetch esoteric objects, and it is when he is hired to fetch a book for a white woman in Queens that the story begins.

 

It’s a tale of magic and power and the appropriation by whites of power paid for in black flesh. The streets of New York are toxic with hate, and a final tragedy, relating to the book, leads to Tester having nothing left to lose. A freedom that allows him to dare where others falter in fear.

 

It’s a beautiful narrative, taking the best and the worst from Lovecraft and showing it from the perspective of a person of colour. It’s full of gorgeous prose and leaves the reader feeling richer for the experience. Tester/Black Tom is constantly overlooked and underappreciated, but it is he who will triumph, albeit in a pyrrhic victory.

 

The opening of the book sets the stage perfectly -

 

“People who move to New York always make the same mistake. They can’t see the place… They come looking for magic; whether good or evil, and nothing will convince them it isn’t here.”

 

Other quotes I love -

 

“Nobody ever thinks of himself as a villain, does he? Even monsters hold high opinions of themselves.”

 

“The more I read, the more I listened, the more sure I became that a great and secret show had been playing throughout my life, throughout all our lives, but the mass of us were too ignorant, or too frightened, to raise our eyes and watch. Because to watch would be to understand the play isn’t being staged for us.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-20 07:15
When The Conqueror Meets the Sorceress, It's Magic

The Midwinter Mail-Order Bride (Mail-Order Brides, #4)The Midwinter Mail-Order Bride by Kati Wilde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Is barbarian fantasy romance a thing? Well anyway, this book was amazing! This is the second book by Kati Wilde I have read and I loved it just as much as the first. Kael the Conqueror won his kingdom the hard way, by killing those who enslaved him. Now, his people want him to be married. They've searched far and wide for a bride, but many woman fear him. Princess Anja of Ivermere offers to be his bride (with some ulterior motives), and she's turned down because Kael believes she can't really want him. Anja does, very much, even though she doesn't understand why. As Kael escorts Anja home through the treacherous, ensorcelled Dead Lands, he comes to realize that he doesn't want to let her go.

Anja is badass, gorgeous and very likable. Kael is HOT and strong and has a secret vulnerability in that he wants to be loved for who he is. I rooted for them to be together ever after.

Kati Wilde is excellent at writing sexual tension. And this book capitalizes on its short length by buying up the tension between Anja and Kael. The reader is treated to the couple falling deeply in love, with some good action and creative fantasy and magic along the way. I hope this is a series, because I would love to read more books set in this world.





View all my reviews

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-20 00:39
The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis - My Thoughts
The Guns Above - Robyn Bennis

So this was #4 of my Christmas books and while I did enjoy my read, I had been hoping for much more.  All the buzz on my social media was lauding the book to the skies as the best thing ever!  And so great to have a female main protagonist in a steampunk airship military fantasy book.  Well... yeah... okay... but it wasn't that great, folks. 

I liked it because the dialogue was witty, the characters fun and quite honestly, I'm a bit of an easy sell for a book about a tight group of soldiers/adventurers/scoundrels/whatevers fighting the odds, so to speak. 

Now, while I liked the characters, I sure would have liked more about them, what brought them to the point where they are in the story, what formed them, the whys of them, all that stuff.  Especially Josette, the female captain and Bernat - Bernie, the foppish spy/aristocrat/ne'er do well.  I loved their banter - I'm told it's rather Pratchett-esque, but having only read one Prachett book (aside from Good Omens), I can't say with any kind of certainty if that's right or not. 

There was a lot, an awful lot of battle narrative and even more description of the details of the airship. I mean... tons of details into all the nooks and crannies.  I would much rather have learned more about the characters and the society and the actual world of the story than all that minute stuff about the ship. 

So yeah, I don't get all the glowing blah-blah I read from people whose opinions I respect.  Just because the MC is a woman?  I mean, even that HUGE plot point is barely discussed or examined - far better we learn about fictitious airship mechanics.  I think we should be far past celebrations just because a woman leads a military/steampunk adventure fantasy.

So the book had great bones, but the meat of it was sadly lacking for me.  I'll check out the second book when it comes out, I'm sure, if only to see if there's more meat, so to speak. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-19 23:18
Bright Ruin by Vic James
Bright Ruin - Vic James

 

Book #3 in the Dark Gifts Trilogy 

 

๏ ๏ ๏ Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏

 
Alternate/Dystopian-ish Society
Magic
Fantastical Elements
Intrigue
Good Triumphing Over Evil
A Small Splish of Romance

Audiobook Narrated by Evita Jay
 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
What can I say...that was a satisfying ending to an intriguing series.  While I found the first book in this series hard to decipher with all the ginormous words that I never heard before being thrown around like everyday language,  I honestly didn't know if I would continue the series.  That is until I tried the Audio version with book #2.  With the easy to understand narration from Evita Jay, I found a way to like this sesquipedalian*writing style of Vic James.

The unique alternative slash dystopian-ish modern day British setting and the captivating characters...from the good to the bad and the completely unusual made this possible for me to really get into the story, despite being confused at times.  The ending was unexpected, but it completely worked.

*I totally looked that word up...and I think I used it correctly.
 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-
 
 
 
 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.2/5
Narration Performance⇝ 4.3/5
Main Characters⇝ 4/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4/5
The Feels⇝ 4/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 3.8/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 3.8/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 4.7/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nah...
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝  It's amazing...
Setting⇝ An Alternate Britain
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏
  

๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏

Kindle eBook | Audio

Add to Goodreads | Add to Booklikes 


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.



 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-19 20:01
In An Absent Dream, Wayward Children #4
In an Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire

This book kept staring at me from the new release shelves, and I couldn't resist it. The 'Wayward Children' series has entranced me even since I discovered it almost two years ago. McGuire uses the short length of the stories and the subject matter of the series itself to delve deep into the many facets of troubled childhoods.

 

I've had moments of disappointment with the series in the past, that's true, but only because I will always want deeper and more explicit answers than McGuire wants to give. Most storytelling, especially when it deals with the deep wells of adolescence and responsibility, requires a veil or two to coax the reader towards insight. Clear prose is desirable, bald prose not so much.

 

Sorry to be hedging around the point. 'In An Absent Dream' is the best entry yet in the series. McGuire tells the story of Lundy, a minor character in 'Every Heart a Doorway', and crafted a powerful story in her origins in our world and in the Goblin Market. More so than any other characters in this series I felt a sense of kinship with Lundy and sympathized with the choices she felt compelled to make.

 

Each of these stories can stand alone and publication order is almost always the most correct way to go about these things, but I wouldn't hold it against a reader if they wanted to read this one second.

 

Wayward Children

 

Next: ?

 

Previous: 'Beneath the Sugar Sky'

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?