Review of Brimstone by Cherie Priest

Brimstone by Cherie Priest. ★★★ I’ve been following Cherie Priest’s work for years, so it was with not a little anticipation I picked up this newest outing from her. Unfortunately, I was expecting and desiring a historical fantasy story, but I found Brimstone to be more horror with a Southern Gothic twist. Alice Dartle is descended from a long line…

Review of Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman. ★★★★ Brother’s Ruin is the first in a planned series of historical fantasy novellas. Charlotte Gunn is the daughter of a lower middle income family in 1850 England. Her father barely scrapes by as an illustrator, but Charlotte has her own secret artistic career that she’s using to help her older brother pay…

Review of Long Hidden edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older

Long Hidden edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older. ★★★ 1/2 Long Hidden is a speculative fiction anthology focusing on the those marginalized by history – people of color, queer people, disabled people, women, ect. The stories are set in different periods and locals throughout Earth’s history, and all of them involve some fantastical element. Long Hidden was…

Review of The Witch Who Came in from the Cold: Season One

The Witch Who Came in from the Cold by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis, Michael Swanwick.★★★★ The Witch Who Came in from the Cold mixes Cold War intrigue with urban fantasy to create a fantastic and original story. Before I say anything else, I should note that The Witch Who Came in from the…

Review of Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages. ★★★ 1/2 Trigger warning: Suicide Passing Strange is an enchanting tale of queer women and their love in 1940 San Francisco. This novella begins in the modern day, with an elderly woman named Helen retrieving a piece of artwork she had secreted away in an abandoned building. We soon find that the drawing…

Review of Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. ★★★★1/2 I loved this book a lot more than I ever could have predicted. If you have any interest at all in a YA historical fantasy with a focus on female friendship, you should read this book. Ada Navarra and Corinne Wells are best of friends who preform together at the Cast Iron…

Review of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. ★★1/2 Trigger warning – rape The Bear and the Nightingale is one of those books that everyone seems to love… except me. Vasya’s grandmother was a wild woman with strange powers, and Vasya has inherited some of her ability. She can see and speak to the spirits of the hearth…

Review of Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston

Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston. ★★★1/2 Will Do Magic for Small Change feels like Octavia Butler crossed with Charles de Lint. It mixes genres, with aliens and magic, and explores themes such as race, gender, sexuality, and family history. It’s one of the most original SFF novels I’ve read in years. Will Do Magic…

Review of Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal. ★★★ Ghost Talkers is a historical fantasy novel that speculates that during World War I, the British army uses mediums to gather intelligence from dead soldiers. Ginger Stuyvesant and her fellow mediums work tirelessly on behalf of the British army, channeling the dead soldiers and living through memory after memory of death. The…

Review of The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. ★★★★ Li Lan is the seventeen year old daughter of a declining Chinese merchant family in colonial Malaysia. Her mother’s dead, the family business close to nonexistent, and her father’s addicted to opium. Then, Li Lan receives a marriage offer from the wealthy Lim family – for their dead son. Their marriage…

Review of Wise Child by Monica Furlong

Wise Child by Monica Furlong. ★★★ Wise Child is a quiet fantasy story set in medieval Scotland. A nine year old girl called Wise Child is taken in by Juniper, the isolated village witch. When Wise Child’s mother, a sorceress who uses her powers for her own gain, reappears, Wise Child will have to choose between two ways of…

Review of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. ★★★1/2 I liked The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but I feel like I’ve read other of Claire North’s books where she better handles the same thematic material regarding humanity and immortality. Regardless, there’s still a lot that’s good about this historical science fiction literary mashup. Harry…