Review of Rituals by Roz Kaveney

Rituals by Roz Kaveney. ★★★1/2 Are you looking for queer, unconventional fantasy centered around female characters? Than Rituals by Roz Kaveney is for you. Before I get into a plot synopsis, I think it’s necessary to explain the unusual structure of Rituals. It’s almost more like a collection of novellas or novelettes than a standard book. There’s not really a…

Review of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. ★★★1/2 I enjoyed Our Dark Duet less than I did its predecessor, This Savage Song, but I can’t tell if that’s on me or the book. Kate Harker has made a new life outside of Verity, hunting monsters. But a new and dangerous breed of monster will send her back hunting back to the…

Review of The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. ★★★ In Chicago, a serial killer hunts through time, targeting girls from “shining girls” from different eras. Then one of his victims survives. The Shining Girls was oddly forgettable. After reading Beukes nonfiction essay “All the Pretty Corpses,” I decided I had to read The Shining Girls. The essay burns with anger at…

Review of The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. ★★★1/2 While I found The Screaming Staircase a tad predictable, I enjoyed it nonetheless. For the last fifty years, England has been beset by a plague of supernatural spirits referred to as The Problem. Only children and teens are capable of seeing ghosts, so all agencies for dealing with hauntings rely on minors…

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 Clean by Alex Hughes

Clean by Alex Hughes. ★★★ It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that managed to give me so many mixed feelings! The narrator of Clean is a drug addicted telepath. After getting kicked out of the Telepath’s Guild, he makes a living by working for police, mainly by using his telepathic powers to tease information out of…

Review of Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace. ★★★ Lena and Darren are two down on their luck chefs who’ve been blackballed from most New York establishment. They are contemplating – horror of horrors – moving to Jersey when they get an unexpected job offer from a catering company they’ve never heard of. As they soon discover, Sin du…

Review of As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended by Robin Talley. ★★★1/2 As I Descended is a queer, paranormal, YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Basically I saw that description and thought I had to read this. While I don’t think it’s a novel that I’d revisit in the future, it did make a good spooky read for right around Halloween. Acheron Academy is a…

Review of A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith. ★★★★ Trigger warning: self harm, suicide  Reiko is carving a path of hatred. After a stint in a psychiatric hospital, Reiko’s been sent to stay with relatives in Japan and work on her emotional issues. But Reiko is still consumed with hatred and anger for all those who she perceives…

Review of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North. ★★★1/2 What is perfection? Is there such a thing as the perfect person? How do we arrive at our definition of such a thing? Hope Arden is a young woman with a peculiar condition – no one can remember her. She can hold a conversation with someone, start to…

Review of The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. ★★1/2 This was a let down. I was hoping I’d get something with a creepy atmosphere that would keep me turning the pages. Turns out I got a shambling mess of a book. Years ago, Elmbridge High School burned to the ground. Three people were killed and one went missing. Told through…

Review of Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley. ★★★★ Stiletto is the sequel to The Rook, and I’m happy to say that it’s just as much fun as its predecessor. The Checquy files feel like a breath of fresh air in urban fantasy. They’re funny and inventive, and I love how friendships between women are at the forefront. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me…