Throwback Thursday: The Gilda Stories by Jewelle L. Gomez

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez. ★★★ Trigger warning: sexual assault  This collection of black lesbian vampire stories is more focused on the idea of immortality than vampire lore. The Girl was born a slave in the American South. She escapes and is on the run when a slave catcher finds her and tries to rape her;…

Review of Weaver’s Lament by Emma Newman

Weaver’s Lament by Emma Newman. ★★★★ Weaver’s Lament is the second installment in a series of novellas set in a fantastical alternate history, where magic meets Victorian England. If your not familiar with the series, the first book is Brother’s Ruin. I would suggest reading the series in order. When Charlotte receives a letter from her brother Ben begging…

Review of Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng. ★★★★1/2 Under the Pendulum Sun is a darkly enchanting, Gothic tale of the fae. In an alternate version of nineteenth century England, trade has been established with Arcadia, the realm of the fae. And among those heading to Arcadia are Christian missionaries, one of whom is Catherine Helston’s brother Laon. But as…

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…