Category: Book reviews

Reviews: horror, non-fiction, and a novel in verse

Paradise by Lizzie Johnson. 5/5 This is a compelling and very clear account of the Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, California. Johnson has done enormous amounts of research to get the human details of this story right, and

Reviews: mysteries, writing, autism

This Shining Life by Harriet Kline. 1/5 My Recommendation This is a despicable book, full of the kind of thinking that leads parents and other caregivers to kill their autistic children and themselves. I read this on the International Disability

reviews: Indigenous lit, beautiful horror, and more

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott. This is a smart and well-crafted retelling of Jane Eyre in the period immediately before Covid-19. Jane, a writer needing work, takes on a job tutoring Sophia, daughter of the wealthy Evan Rochester. This

Book reviews: Best of 2020

The past year’s 5-star books from Net Galley. Fiction Bear, Elizabeth. Machine. Bojalian, Chris. Hour of the Witch. Brooks, Max. Devolution. Butler, Octavia E. Kindred. Fledgling, Collected Stories (LOA #338). Burdick, Serena. Find Me in Havana. Campisi, Megan. Sin Eater.

Reviews: secrets, journeys, history

Dearest Josephine by Caroline George. 1/5 Not my cup of tea. The characters’ immaturity, oblivious consumption of material goods, and overall privilege turned me off immediately. The language of their emails was laughable and entirely unrealistic, and the author’s epistolary

Reviews: Charlaine Harris, women’s history, and new horror

Queens of the Crusades by Alison Weir. 4/5 Written in Weir’s now well-known informative voice, this tome covers the lives of powerful women of the Plantagenet dynasty: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Berengaria of Navarre; Isabella of Angoulême; Alienor of Provence; and

Reviews: a great gothic novella for Halloween and much much more

The Blind Light by Stuart Evers. 2/5 I almost gave up on this, and am still not sure I shouldn’t have. This is a novel about time and trust and the slow building and erosion of that trust. Two men

Reviews: Black Futures, The Photographer of Mauthausen, and more

Half Life by Jillian Cantor. 1/5 I really wish people writing about music and musicians had actual musicians read their work before publishing it. Most orchestras don’t call the pianist the “principal piano,” and being the pianist for an orchestra

Reviews: werewolf bites, hollow places, and a badass Final Girl

Kitty’s Mix-Tape by by Carrie Vaughn. 5/5 This is a fun collection of short stories set in the fabulous world of Kitty Neville, werewolf extraordinaire. Readers will enjoy stories of established characters like Rick, Kitty, and Ben, as well as

Reviews: New SFF, the cities we live in, and drama

The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1 ed. Jonathan Strahan. 5/5 An excellent collection of short SFF stories from writers who are now very well known and others who deserve to be. What’s especially nice about this anthology is the

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