V.E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic

I feel a little mean for not liking this more. I liked the general mood of derring-do, and I liked the two principal characters (especially after they met and started interacting directly). There are some fun set pieces (many of which feel like they would translate well to film). But I found the relationship ofContinue reading “V.E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic”

Alix E. Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Absolutely stunning. “Ten Thousand Doors of January” uses the familiar trope of hidden doorways to another worlds to tell a story about the power of creativity to disrupt oppressive power structures (like white supremacy). Although it has some serious things to say, it’s also terrifically entertaining, and emotionally involving, with some twists I foresaw, andContinue reading “Alix E. Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January”

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Gods of Jade and Shadow

Both the 1920’s Mexican setting and the underpinning of Mayan myth set “Gods of Jade and Shadow” apart from the vast majority of fantasy fiction; the combination lends this novel firmly in “not like anything else I’ve ever read” territory. Even when the bones of the plot feel (appropriately!) familiar, the way it unfolds isContinue reading “Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Gods of Jade and Shadow”

Andrea Beatriz Arango: Westwood Monster Patrol

I really enjoyed Andrea Beatriz Arango’s modernized take on “A Christmas Carol,” and I was eager to read anything else I could get my hands on, enough to read a little out of my comfort zone. And I’m glad I took a chance on this, it’s completely unlike any other supernatural-themed YA I’ve read. TheContinue reading “Andrea Beatriz Arango: Westwood Monster Patrol”

Grady Hendrix: Horrorstör

The physical design of this book is fantastic. The faux-Ikea descriptions and illustrations are pitch-perfect, right up to the point they turn sinister and twisted. I enjoyed the earlier, funnier, half more than the second, but a lot of that is due to my personal preferences. I wanted the protagonists’ economic stresses to play intoContinue reading “Grady Hendrix: Horrorstör”

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”

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.