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Books Received, September 16 to September 22

23 Sep, 2023


The Serpent & the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent (December 2023)

The Hunger Games meets vampires in this heart-wrenching, epic fantasy romance of dark magic, and bloodthirsty intrigue from bestselling author Carissa Broadbent. 

For humans and vampires, the rules of survival are the same: never trust, never yield, and always – always – guard your heart. 

The adopted human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king, Oraya carved her place in a world designed to kill her. Her only chance to become something more than prey is entering the Kejari: a legendary tournament held by the goddess of death herself. 

But winning won’t be easy amongst the most vicious warriors from all three vampire houses. To survive, Oraya is forced to make an alliance with a mysterious rival. 

Everything about Raihn is dangerous. He is a ruthless vampire, an efficient killer, an enemy to her father’s crown… and her greatest competition. Yet, what terrifies Oraya most of all is that she finds herself oddly drawn to him. 

But there’s no room for compassion in the Kejari. War for the House of Night brews, shattering everything that Oraya thought she knew about her home. And Raihn may understand her more than anyone – but their blossoming attraction could be her downfall, in a kingdom where nothing is more deadly than love. 

The Serpent & the Wings of Night is the first book in the Crowns of Nyaxia series. 

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Books Received, September 9 to September 15

16 Sep, 2023


Liberty’s Daughter by Naomi Kritzer (November 2023)

Beck Garrison lives on a seastead — an archipelago of constructed platforms and old cruise ships, assembled by libertarian separatists a generation ago. She’s grown up comfortable and sheltered, but starts doing odd jobs for pocket money. 

To her surprise, she finds that she’s the only detective that a debt slave can afford to hire to track down the woman’s missing sister. When she tackles this investigation, she learns things about life on the other side of the waterline — not to mention about herself and her father — that she did not expect. And that some people will stop at nothing to keep her from talking about … 

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Books Received, September 2 to September 8

9 Sep, 2023

1 comment

Grievar’s Blood by Alexander Darwin (December 2023)

In a world where single combat determines the fate of nations, the Grievar fight in the Circles so that the rest can remain at peace. But given the stakes, things are never so simple. The Daimyo govern from the shadows and plot to gain an edge by unnaturally enhancing their Grievar Knights. Cego and his team return to the world’s most prestigious combat school, The Lyceum. Though he’d like to focus on his martial studies, Cego feels the pull of his mysterious past and two missing brothers. Solara Halberd, daughter of the fighting legend, embarks on her own quest to bury the past. She must utilize every lesson her father taught her to explore unknown lands where evil lurks in the shadows

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August 2023 in Review

2 Sep, 2023


Sorry for the delay. Had a massive attack of the no-energies.

August 2023

23 works reviewed. 12 by women (52%), 8 by men (35%), 2 by a non-binary author (9%), 1 by authors whose gender is unknown (4%), and 9 by POC (39%)

2023 to Date

174 works reviewed. 97 by women (56%), 70 by men (41%), 5 by a non-binary author (2%), 2 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 69 by POC (40%)

Grand Total to Date

2442 works reviewed. 1364 by women (56%), 1019 by men (42%), 39 by non-binary authors (2%), 20 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 745.75 by POC (30%).

Government Types August 2023

Total 23, Not Applicable 4 (19%), Unclear 0 (0%), Anarchy 2 (9%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 8 (35%), Oligarchy 9 (39%), Autocracy 0 (0%).

Government Type 2023 TD

Total 174, Not Applicable 25 (14%), Unclear 9 (6%), Anarchy 2 (1%), Pure democracy 1 (1%), Representative democracy 59 (34%), Oligarchy 71 (41%), Autocracy 7 (5%).

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Books Received, August 26 to September 1

2 Sep, 2023


The Road to Afropantheology edited by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki & Joshua Uchenna Omenga (October 2023)

A captivating collection of original stories and essays by award-winning authors that celebrates the richness and complexity of African mysticism. 

African literary scholars struggle to reconcile African mysticism with literary labels. Between Dystopias: The Road to Afropantheology encapsulates the essence of African mysticism and dystopia through original stories. 

Afropantheology explores various aspects of African mysticism and dystopia. Mother’s Love, Father’s Place’ and 02 Arena’ are examples. It acknowledges Africa’s journey from its origins to the future. The Deification of Igodo’ and A Dance with the Ancestors’ are stories that showcase the complexity of African mysticism. Land of the Awaiting Birth’ explores the link between theborn and the unborn. .Between Dystopias: The Road to Afropantheology is a celebration of African mysticism. The collection highlights the richness and complexity of African culture and traditions. It is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature, culture, and history. . 

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September 2023 Patreon Boost!

1 Sep, 2023


August is over, and another 23 works read and reviewed. This month’s high points include a brief website slowdown possibly due to someone scraping the site to feed their AIs, which I will call Jean Jacket for no particular reason. Also, I finally catalogued and reboxed all my stored books. Learned an important lesson: if several hours into such a project, one’s body starts protesting, that doesn’t mean push on until the last six cases are dealt with.

Interesting (to me) bit of data: while I’ve read lots of what I consider recent SF, and a fair number of books published in 2023, only six or seven of the books published in 2023 that I read thus far this year were SF. Need to work on that.

Over at the other site, Young People Read Old SFF came in third in its Aurora Award category. I am quite pleased. If any young people would like to join the Young People, please contact me at [email protected].

Continued thanks to those who commissioned reviews and to my legion of patrons, for whose continued support over the last nine or so years I am very grateful.

Patreon and donation links may be found here. Reviews may be commissioned here.

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Books Received, August 19 — August 25

26 Aug, 2023

1 comment

The Bittlemores by Jann Arden (November 2023)

A heartfelt, comic, and deeply satisfying debut novel from the #1 bestselling author, singer-songwriter, member of Canada’s Music Hall of Fame and star of her own hit TV sitcom. A little bit All Creatures Great and Small, a little bit Fargo and all Jann Arden!On mean Harp Bittlemore’s blighted farm, hidden away in the Backhills, nothing has gone right for a very long time. Crops don’t grow, the pigs and chickens stay skinny and the three aged dairy cows, Berle, Crilla and Dally, are so desperate they are plotting an escape. The one thing holding them back is the thought of abandoning young Willa, the single bright point in their life since her older sister, Margaret, ran away. But Willa Bittlemore, just turning 14, is planning her own rebellion. Something doesn’t add up in the story she’s been told about her missing sister, and she’s beginning to question if her horrible parents are even her parents at all. Just as things are really coming to a head, a bright young police officer starts investigating a cold case involving a baby stolen from a little rural hospital 28 years earlier, and Willa and the cows find out exactly how far the Bittlemores will go to protect a festering secret. Written with Jann’s trademark outrageous humour and full of her down-to-earth wisdom, The Bittlemores is a rural fairytale, a coming-of-age story and a prairie mystery all-in-one, saturated with her observations of the world she grew up in and her deep connection to the animals we exploit. This marvel of a first novel digs into how people come to be so cruel, but it also glories in the miracle of human kindness. 

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Books Received, August 12 — August 18

19 Aug, 2023


Shadow Baron by Davinia Evans (November 2023)

Siyon Velo might be acknowledged as the Alchemist. He may have even stabilized the planes and stopped Bezim from ever shaking into the sea again. But that doesn’t mean he has any idea what’s he doing-and it won’t be long before everyone knows it. Then mythical creatures once confined to operas and myths are spotted around Bezim. A djinn invades one of Zagiri’s garden parties, and whispers of a naga slithering through the Flower District are all Anahid hears at the card table. Magic is waking up in the Mundane. It’s up to Siyon to figure out a way to stop it, or everything he’s worked hard to save will come crashing down. 

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Books Received, August 5 to August 11

12 Aug, 2023


The Canopy Keepers by Veronica G. Henry (December 2023)

What happens when nature will no longer stand by and accept its destruction? A female fire chief discovers an ancient world rooted with secrets that can save – or destroy – in the newest fantasy by Veronica G. Henry, author of Bacchanal. Beneath the forest floor, they watch… Syrah Carthan doesn’t know why she accepted a job as the first female fire chief at Sequoia National Park, where, decades earlier, a forest fire killed her parents. That day, her brother, Romelo, disappeared, as if pulled into the scorched earth itself. Syrah has always had an uncanny affinity for the natural wonders of the park she protects, but after she sanctions a prescribed burn that goes terribly wrong, she quits her position in disgrace. However, when another devastating wildfire breaks out, Syrah, reluctantly pulled back into action, discovers an unknown world that has existed underground since the beginning of time. This secret society, built around the forest’s complex root system, is now divided into two factions. One is ruled by the Keeper, the giant sequoias’ benevolent caretaker. The other by a mysterious undoer, who’s determined to wage war on humanity. Through him, nature can retaliate and wipe out the earth’s careless ravagers for good. Torn between human loyalty and preserving the delicate balance of nature, Syrah must make a choice – one that will change both her destiny and that of the world above and below forever. 

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