Monthly Recap February 2017

Hello everyone! This post is an overview of what I’ve reviewed this month, what I’m going to review next month, and other blog related news. This recap is also special, because this is the first time I’ve had posts published in another venue! Keep reading for more information.

As always, I’m starting this post out with the books I started and abandoned this month.


I requested Infernal Parade by Clive Barker on Netgalley because I wanted to start trying more authors who were new to me. The cover drew me to the book, and I still do love that cover art. However, I soon discovered that this collection of related short stories was horror themed. I’m not a horror reader. As a result, I kept putting off reading this collection. I finally gave it a go this month and made it about halfway through. The collection is six very short stories all relating to a man who’s tasked to lead a circus of hellish creatures and undead souls. For such a short book, I’m a bit ashamed that I didn’t finish it. But after picking up and reading three more books instead of returning to Infernal Parade, I think it’s time to admit that it’s a DNF.

15721155Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias is a dystopian novel based around American immigration that unfortunately feels all to plausible. I knew that it would be a challenging read, but I wanted to stick with it because I believe it’s an important story. But I’ve been having a resurgance in my anxiety issues right now, and I think I need a book that helps me get away from them, not makes them worse. Then a rape scene just ultimately made it too much for me to handle right now. I think Ink is a well written story that is still incredibly timely, despite being written several years ago. It’s possible that I might come back to it once I’m in a place I where I have more emotional energy.

572264I read about a hundred pages of Kynship by Daniel Heath Justice but was really struggling with it. There were way too many POV characters! I did like that there were so many female characters doing things, but I wish the focus had been narrowed down. I also felt like the plot was slow to get started, and there was more of a pulpy feel than I usually prefer in my fantasy. It’s too bad! I’d heard a lot of good things about this one.

I’ve got an exciting project for March. In honor of Women’s History month, I’ll be doing features on thirty-one female SFF authors. They’ll be posted in weekly batches, with the very first one this Saturday. My hope is that everyone will be able to find at least a few authors whose work they’re unfamiliar with.

Of course, I’ll be continuing with reviewing. I already have a review of Brimstone by Cherie Priest written and scheduled for posting. I am currently working on a review of Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron and am currently reading The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus. I’m immersed in midterms at the moment, so don’t expect to see much this week. Thankfully, I’ve got spring break next week so can catch up on reading and reviewing then.

There’s a lot of books that I meant to read and review in February but didn’t get around to. I still want to get to The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, but it might need to take a backseat to ARC reading. Top priority is going to The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus, Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman, and Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks. If I get to a good place review wise, I might try to work ahead on the ARCs for May also.


Reviews from February:

5 stars:

The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

4 1/2 stars:

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

4 stars:

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Witch Who Came in from the Cold by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis, Michael Swanwick

3 1/2 stars:

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Long Hidden edited by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older

3 stars:

Love Beyond Body, Space and Time

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

Clean by Alex Hughes

2 stars:

The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

This month brought some non-review posts here on the Illustrated Page.

” Spring 2017 Science Fiction and Fantasy Releases”

“Author Interview: Kameron Hurley”

“Ten Female Led SFF Novels Without Romance”

I’ve also begun to write for the Agnes Scott chapter of Her Campus, an online magazine aimed at college women. From now on some of my list type posts will likely be over there, but I’ll be writing about topics wider than books as well. I’m super excited! Here’s what I’ve written for Her Campus this month:

“Upcoming YA Fantasy” – A list post about YA fantasy books coming out in 2017.

“I Don’t Need Romance to Be Human” – So there was recently a article about how “romance brings the humanity to SFF.” After complaints from aro and ace people, Tor changed the title, but the article remained. Let’s be real, it’s not alone. I’ve seen sex and romance treated like the pinnacle of humanity to many times. This post is my response to that as an asexual reader. It’s probably more personal than anything else I’ve written.

As I mentioned before it’s possible that I might have to cut back on the frequency of reviews in the beginning of March. Midterms have taken a toll! But I’ll continue providing reviews and other book related content.

What will you be reading in March? Are there any good books that you think I’m missing out on? Let me know in the comments!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    I thought your article was very well written, and as someone who doesn’t know much about asexuality, I’m glad to learn more about it. And I’m insanely jealous of the amount of books you’re able to read and review each month! I have way too many March review books and I know I’ll end up picking and choosing:-)

    1. I actually only read six books in February! Most of the ones I reviewed this month I read in January, when I was able to read a lot over winter vacation.

      1. Tammy says:

        But still impressive, that’s quite a few reviews to write:-)

  2. Don’t feel bad about Infernal Parade, when I started that it didn’t take me long to figure out it wasn’t really for me either (though I love horror) but since it was so short I decided to just finish it anyway. Finding out the context helped somewhat, I learned that these were actually written for a McFarlane horror toyline back in the early 2000s which explains why they were such short little snippets.

    1. I loved how your review went into the context! I had no idea that it was from a toy line of all things.

  3. Ooh, I’m so excited to hear that you’re going to be doing all the lady SFF writers. What a superb programming idea. I can’t wait to hear about all the things.

  4. Glaiza says:

    I’m more excited to read Certain Dark Things + Chameleon Moon after your reviews! Though it will be a while (glances at netgalley pile). I need to widen my reading to include ace/aro spectrum SFF but grateful for the database:

    1. I hope you like them, but I totally understand about huge TBR piles! Mine’s worringly high at the moment.

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