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Reviews from July 2018 (22)

Silent in the Trees

Changer’s Moon  (Duel of Sorcery, book 3)

By Jo Clayton 

30 Jul, 2018

Special Requests

1 comment

1985’s Changer’s Moon is the third and final novel in Jo Clayton’s Duel of Sorcery trilogy. 

Ser Noris, bored and powerful beyond reason, is nearing the end of his game with the Goddess. At stake is an entire world. Noris has succeeded in bending all but a few of the world’s mages to his will, and subjecting most of the world to his cruel, misogynistic theocracy. True, the Biserica Valley (refuge of the Goddess followers) is still holding out … but surely its fall is only a matter of time. 

Standing between the Goddess and the jaded wizard is a mortal woman, a green-skinned mutant sorceress named Serroi. 

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A Debt to the Devil, Willie Must Pay

Kitty’s House of Horrors  (Kitty Norville, book 7)

By Ca Vaughn 

27 Jul, 2018

A Variety of Vaughns

1 comment

2010’s Kitty’s House of Horrors is the seventh installment in Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. 

Thanks to her late night radio show, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty Norville has become the voice of America’s eldritch community. Hollywood hotshots Joey Provost and Ron Valenti want to turn her into the face of the weird as well — or at least one of the faces. Kitty is the most recent supernatural figure to be invited onto Provost and Valenti’s proposed reality show. 

Provost and Valenti’s previous shows have been low-common-denominator schlock like Jailbird Moms, Cheerleader Sorority House, and Stripper Idol. This show, they promise, will be totally classy, featuring name celebrities. Despite her misgivings, Kitty agrees to appear on the show. 

Provost and Valenti (and co-producer Eli Cabe) definitely deliver a show quite unlike their previous offerings. 

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No Guilt To Haunt Me

We Could Be Villains  (Valentine & Hart, book 1)

By Missy Meyer 

26 Jul, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews

4 comments

2014’s We Could Be Villains is the first volume in Missy Meyer’s Valentine & Hart series. 

Sarah Valentine has an unrewarding job working for Seattle software company WonderPop. Her social life isn’t too hot either. Small wonder that when she meets personable mail room employee Nathan Anderson, she embraces the opportunity for a dalliance. She is rather disgruntled when Nathan suddenly vanishes without so much as a goodbye. 

Next: Sarah finds herself collateral damage when Seattle’s own super-hero team, the Ultimate Faction, takes an interest in WonderPop. 

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Everybody Knows The Good Guys Lost

The Armageddon Crazy

By Mick Farren 

24 Jul, 2018

Special Requests

1 comment

1989’s The Armageddon Crazy is a standalone near-future novel by Mick Farren. 

The Crash of 1998 was deliberately engineered by banks who hoped to unseat the Democrats. The Panic of 1999 was an unintended consequence. A surprisingly fragile economy imploded. The consequence of that: President Faithful’s victory in 2000. No longer do Americans have to languish under a two party system! Now they can enjoy living under a brutal theocracy. 

A brutal, incompetent theocracy. 

Spoilers for a book well out of print. 


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Angels in the Wilderness

Five Against Venus  (Winston Science Fiction, book 3)

By Philip Latham 

22 Jul, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

0 comments

Philip Latham’s 1952 Five Against Venus was the third novel published in Winston’s SF line.

Although a member of his high school’s Space Club, sixteen-year-old Bruce Robinson has never been to space himself. His father, Mr. Robinson, is cheerful, endlessly optimistic, and consistently unsuccessful. His family lives in genteel poverty on Pico street. An expensive trip to the Moon … not gonna happen. 

This changes when Mr. Robinson is hired as Tycho City’s new public relations manager. Tycho City as in Tycho Crater as in ON THE MOON. The family will become comparatively well-to-do and they will get to live on the Moon! 

That’s the plan, anyway. The reality is different. 

(spoilers)


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Put Your Hands Up High

Heroine’s Journey  (Heroine Complex, book 3)

By Sarah Kuhn 

21 Jul, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2018’s Heroine’s Journey is the third instalment in Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex series. 

Like her sister Evie and her sister’s best friend, Aveda Jupiter, Beatrice Bea” Tanaka has bona-fide superpowers. However … 

The ten-year age difference between Evie and Bea means that Evie sees Bea as a kid sister. Not only that, she’s the kid sister whom Evie raised after the death of their mother. Evie cannot see Bea as anything but a child and relegates her sister to support roles. 

Evie is also suspicious of Bea’s superpowers. Bea can control other people’s emotions, which is a super-villainous sort of power. (It doesn’t help that Bea once sided with a black hat.) True, Bea can also scream loudly enough to shatter solid objects, but it’s not at all clear that she can use this superpower in an emergency or that it will even be useful when used. 

Bea is afraid that Evie will never accept her as an equal; she is less and less interested in helping Evie and Aveda. 

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The Blackest Day

Memory  (Miles Vorkosigan, book 8)

By Lois McMaster Bujold 

20 Jul, 2018

A Bunch of Bujolds

3 comments

Memory is the eighth1 book in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series. 

Killed by an enemy grenade in a previous book, Miles turned out to be only mostly dead. After an extended recovery (and some complications) he returned to his role as Admiral Naismith of the Dendarii Mercenaries. But there were lingering health effects from his injuries. Simple prudence should have kept Miles off battlefields. It didn’t.

One day Miles wakes from a seizure to discover that he had inadvertently lopped off the legs of the man his team was trying to rescue. Unwilling to admit to error or damaged health, Miles compounds his error by writing a false report on the incident and sending it to his boss, spymaster and ImpSec Chief Simon Illyan. 

The consequences are immediate and dire. 

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Two Suns in the Sunset

Vestiges  (QuanTika, book 1)

By Laurence Suhner 

18 Jul, 2018

Translation

0 comments

Vestiges is the first volume in Laurence Suhner’s QuanTika trilogy. Although Suhner writes in French, I was able to find an English translation of at least this first volume.

Having failed to terraform Mars, humanity transfers its colonizing enthusiasm to the nearby AltaMira system. Only six and a half light years from the Solar System, AltaMira is within reach of sub-light starships. Like the Solar System, it has an Earth-like world with a breathable atmosphere in the double star’s habitable zone. More or less. The or less” is thanks to an eccentric orbit that dooms the world to snowball status for most of its year. 

It is also the site of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization — or rather, the relics of one. A structure dubbed the Great Arch orbits Gemma and is clearly artificial. It is also seemingly inert and impenetrable. Its secrets have been well hidden. That is about to change. 

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