I loved this book so much it’s hard for me to write coherently about it. The language: dense, rich, vivid musical. The premise: yes, Eurovision in space, played for laughs, but not JUST for laughs, also a glorious, delirious refutation of “rare earth” and “habitable zones,” a dizzying celebration of near-infinite diversity. A plot twist,Continue reading “Catherynne M Valente: Space Opera”
Author Archives: therealsummervillain
Courtney Milan: After the Wedding
I very much appreciate how Courtney Milan inverts and subverts familiar romance tropes, and “After the Wedding” is no exception: it literally starts with a wedding, in which the principals are forced at gunpoint to marry, and their efforts to obtain an annulment, coupled with their inconveniently increasing mutual attraction, drive much of the plot.Continue reading “Courtney Milan: After the Wedding”
Alyssa Cole: A Princess in Theory
When Naledi gets exaggeratedly polite emails about being a long-lost royal bride of an African nation she very reasonably assumes they’re a phishing/identity theft attempt, but it’s all true, and “A Princess in Theory” unspools like a modern take on a classic screwball comedies, with assumed identities, disastrous coincidences, palace intrigue, and even a bitContinue reading “Alyssa Cole: A Princess in Theory”
Paul Krueger – Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
I’m leaving this rating here unaltered. I thought I’d written a review when I read this 3 years ago, but apparently I didn’t. I’m guessing that’s because even then, I was uneasy with how this novel portrays drinking – downing the perfect cocktail can give you literal superpowers, what?! – and how my sober friendsContinue reading “Paul Krueger – Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge”
Leigh Jenkins: Catherine the Inquisitor
Interesting, if not always compelling, alternate Tudor history tale. sometimes felt like Jenkins was more ingested in showing off research than telling a story, but I still had some problems maintaining suspension of disbelief. Narrator Henry’s voice convinced me, but he’s a bit dry.
Steven Erikson: Willful Child
I thought this started out very strong, but even though its episodic, aimless nature is explicitly part of the point, I was ready for it to be over well before it was.
Jennifer Weiner: The Guy Not Taken
I liked this short story collection much better than “Good in Bed.”
Jonathan Howard: Carter & Lovecraft
Entertaining collision of hardboiled PI and Lovecraft ‘s Mythos, with a dash of a metaphysics/ metatextualism. Already impatient for sequel.
Sara Benincasa: DC Trip
liked this better after I stopped worrying about the geographical inaccuracies and just went with the full-on zany. the framing device didn’t work for me, and some of the backstory digressions seemed a bit OTT, but I did like the alternating chapters from the kids’ perspectives and the chaperones’ perspectives. sweet (if a bit raunchy)Continue reading “Sara Benincasa: DC Trip”
Holly Messinger: The Curse of Jacob Tracy
Reminds me almost equally of TV’s Deadwood and Angel – impressively researched post-Civil War setting with a complex supernatural ecosystem in a series of nearly self-contained novellas that gradually advance a larger plot. Novel finds some degree of closure, but more seems indicated, and I’m eager for follow-on.