Posts Tagged: Released 2013

Necromancer Lawyers and the Existential Dread of Privilege

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Fantasy, we’re told, is escapist. Moribund. Dragons and rakshasa and princesses in tall towers providing a sumptuous divertissement from quotidian banality. Fantasy is junk food for those unwilling or unable to digest the dense virtuosity of Joyce or Faulkner. Urban fantasy, the trenchcoat-wearing, revolver-toting ghetto of magical PIs and shapeshifter femmes fatales, is even less… Read more »

Round-up of older titles read recently (and one new one)

#1) Jhereg by Steven Brust Somehow I’ve gone 25 years of genre without reading Steven Brust. I remember very distinctly  buying The Phoenix Guards at a middle-school book fair, but found it not to my tastes at the time. Jhereg, Brust’s first novel, is nothing like how I remember that first foray. Stripped to the bare essentials,… Read more »

Announcement: The Oathbreaker’s Shadow lands a US deal

Earlier this year I read Amy McCulloch’s The Oathbreaker’s Shadow. Unfortunately, because the book had no publisher stateside, I had to threaten a bunny’s life to get a copy. I’m not proud, but I did it. After reading the novel, I immediately spent several hours (ok, more like many five minute increments because… Twitter) lamenting… Read more »

A Quartet of Reviews: ‘Cause I Need to Catch Up

She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky I’ve come to the conclusion that Daniel Polansky is a writer’s writer. By that I mean writers love his work. It isn’t to say that the average reader won’t enjoy She Who Waits or Straight Razor Cure, or Tomorrow the Killing, but that writers will enjoy them more. The… Read more »

Masks by E.C. Blake

Masks is the functional equivalent of the YA dystopia in a traditional epic fantasy setting. At the age of fifteen, citizens are recognized as adults and must don magic Masks on orders from the all powerful Autarch. To maintain his grip on the kingdom, the Masks reveal any treasonous thoughts or actions to the Autarch’s ever vigilant Watchers. At her coming of age ceremony, Mara, daughter of the Master Maskmaker, is rejected by her Mask. Banished into slavery, she’s forced to confront the rotten core that supports the Autarch’s reign.

A Political Comparison: Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch and Up Against It by MJ Locke

Scott Lynch tackles something in Republic of Thieves that falls flat on its face. Politics.  This doesn’t mean the novel fails. It’s actually a wonderful addition to a series that continues to excel with Lynch’s unique voice and kinetic narratives. Where Republic of Thieves falls short, MJ Locke’s Up Against It knocks it out of the park with the best portrayal… Read more »

Parasite by Mira Grant (Guess who’s back?)

It’s been a long time since I used this particular trick. Cheryl is back. Why do I use Cheryl? Because I tend to finish everything I start. If I only read things that I enjoy, how will I ever stretch myself? I’m also loathe to spend 800 words eviscerating someone’s baby. Thus, Cheryl was born. Cheryl… Read more »

Review Catch-up of Recent Reads

As I’ve been moving lately, I find my writing time has declined somewhat. I’m sure things will settle down soon. Until then, here’s three quick reviews of some recently read stuff. * Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach Rachel Bach is also Rachel Aaron, author of the more young adult oriented Eli Monpress Trilogy. She’s taken the… Read more »

The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar’s The Violent Century has done for World War II what The Watchmen did for the Cold War (and should have done for the Vietnam War). I make that comparison not because both feature humans with superpowers, but because they offer an opportunity to look at real events through a hyperbolic layer. Tidhar, like… Read more »

The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

Whenever I see the name Wesley, I think of Carey Elwes (Dread Pirate Roberts!), which inevitably leads me to Robin Hood Men in Tights.  RHMT, as I call it, is quite possibly the finest spoof film of our time. In it, Robin Hood is captured during the Crusades and is imprisoned at Khalil Prison in Jerusalem…. Read more »