James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Blog > Post

Books Received, October 28 — November 3

4 Nov, 2023


The Black Madonna book 231023

Twilight: 2000 The Black Madonna by Frank Frey and Chris Keeling (October 2023)

The Free League remake of the classic GDW post-holocaust adventure. 

Girl by moonlight

Girl by Moonlight by Andrew Gillis (October 2023)

A game about the tragic struggles and defiant triumphs of a group of magical girls resisting an oppressive society. Girl by Moonlight explores the heartbreak of denying who you really are, and the transcendent power of relationships and community.

Locus November 2023

Locus, November 2023 published by Locus Publications (November 2023)

The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field 

Dissonant State

Dissonant State by Jo Miles (November 2023)

Kay Wilder despises Ravel Corporation, whose occupation of her home planet left Kay with a useful but debilitating ability to hear others’ emotions. Unlike her brother Jasper, an activist who fights corporate injustice, Kay has always stayed as far away from the corporate states as possible. 

Until now. Because Ravel has kidnapped her brother, and the only way Kay can help him is to go undercover working for the enemy. Assigned to help Ravel acquire a new member planet, Kay has to lie about what Ravel did to her home. It’s harder and lonelier than Kay could have imagined, until she finds an unexpected ally: a sentient ship who hates working for Ravel as much as she does, who will risk discovery and destruction to help their first and only friend. But the risks are far greater than Kay’s and Ship’s safety. Every day Kay works for Ravel takes them one step closer to completing the acquisition. To save Jasper, she may have to let another world suffer her home’s fate-and betray the cause her brother has risked his life for. 

A unique, hopeful, and compelling space opera, Dissonant State is sure to delight fans of Ann Leckie, Malka Older, and Martha Wells. 

The Ghosts of Beatrice Bird

The Ghosts of Beatrice Bird Louisa Morgan (November 2023)

The Ghosts of Beatrice Bird is an unforgettable story of obsession, redemption, and the magic of unexpected friendship, from the acclaimed author of A Secret History of Witches. Beatrice Bird is haunted by ghosts — a gift she’s had since she was a small child. Unfortunately, it’s an ability that has now grown more intense, shifting from flashes and feelings to physical manifestations she can’t escape. In a desperate attempt to find relief, Beatrice flees her home, her partner, and her psychology practice in San Francisco for a remote island with only nuns and a few cows for company. She doesn’t call home. She sees as few people as she possibly can. Then she meets Anne Iredale, a timid woman who has lost everything that matters to her. For the first time in a long time, Beatrice’s gift will be called on to help someone in need. But the ghosts have taken on an even darker edge — and there is something sinister lurking in the shadows. Beatrice may not be enough to stop what’s coming for them.

When Among Crows

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth (May 2024)

Step into a city where monsters feast on human emotions, knights split their souls to make their weapons, and witches always take more than they give. 

Pain is Dymitr’s calling. To slay the monsters he’s been raised to kill, he had to split his soul in half to make a sword from his own spine. Every time he draws it, he gets blood on his hands. 

Pain is Ala’s inheritance. When her mother died, a family curse to witness horrors committed by the Holy Order was passed onto her. The curse will claim her life, as it did her mother’s, unless she can find a cure. 

One fateful night in Chicago, Dymitr comes to Ala with a bargain: her help in finding the legendary witch Baba Jaga in exchange for an enchanted flower that just might cure her. Desperate, and unaware of what Dymitr really is, Ala agrees. 

But they only have one day before the flower dies … and Ala’s hopes of breaking the curse along with it. 

The Star and the Strange Moon

The Star and the Strange Moon by Constance Sayers (November 2023)

From the author of A Witch in Time comes a haunting tale of ambition, obsession, and the eternal mystery and magic of film. A vanished star. A haunted film. A mystery only love can unravel… 1968: Gemma Turner once dreamed of stardom. Now the actress is on the cusp of obscurity. When she’s offered the lead in a radical new horror film, Gemma believes her luck has changed — but her dream is about to turn into a nightmare. One night, between the shadows of an alleyway, Gemma disappears on set and is never seen again. Yet, Gemma is alive. She’s been pulled into the film. And the script — and the monsters within it — are coming to life. Gemma must play her role perfectly if she hopes to survive. 2007: Gemma Turner’s disappearance is one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries — one that’s captivated film student Christopher Kent ever since he saw L’Étrange Lune for the first time. The screenings only happen once a decade and each time there is new, impossible footage of Gemma that shouldn’t exist. Curiosity drives Christopher to unravel the truth. But answers to the film’s mystery may leave him trapped by it forever. 

The Dark Issue 102

The Dark Issue 102 edited by Sean Wallace (November 2023)

The Magazine of Dark Horror.