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Reviews from April 2022 (21)

Time and Mercy

Shadow Life

By Hiromi Goto & Ann Xu  

29 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Hiromi Goto’s 2021 Shadow Life is a stand-alone modern fantasy graphic novella. Illustrations are by Ann Xu.

Consigned to a retirement home by her well-meaning children, Komiko waits for a suitable moment, then slips away into the night, taking with her only a few reminders of her previous life. Komiko carefully conceals her new home — a bachelor apartment — from her alarmed children. They do not see her as a functioning adult and would only try to place her in another facility. 

As it happens, none of her children are the entity about whom she should be the most worried.

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All Around Black Ink Darkness

The Silent Tower  (The Windrose Trilogy, volume 1)

By Barbara Hambly  

28 Apr, 2022

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1986’s The Silent Tower is the first volume in Barbara Hambly’s Windrose trilogy.

Although his grandfather is the Archmage Salteris Solaris, Stonne Caris’ own magical gifts are quite limited. Thus the young man has embraced the Way of the Sasenna. Better to be a superlative warrior than a third-rate magician. 

Of late his meagre magical powers have disappeared, much to the swordsman’s alarm. He would investigate this but … other problems intervene. 

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They Say Time’s Supposed to Heal You

The Void Ascendant  (Beneath the Rising, volume 3)

By Premee Mohamed  

27 Apr, 2022

Cosmic Horror!

1 comment

2022’s The Void Ascendant is the third and final volume in Premee Mohamed’s Beneath the Rising trilogy.

Nick Prasad survived the destruction of Earth at the manipulative limbs of cosmic horrors. He survived tumbling through dimensions. Arriving on alien Aradec, he embraced the role of designated prophet. True, he has had to enable some terrible things, but as long as his superiors do not tire of him, playing prophet allows him to put off his death. It’s not much but it’s all Nick can hope for.

Now, it seems that even personal survival may be out of the question.

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Who Will Be The Witness

The Red Palace

By June Hur  

22 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


June Hur’s 2022 The Red Palace is a stand-alone mystery novel. 

Hyeon is the child of a high-ranked official and his peasant mistress; she cannot be legally acknowledged. Her prospects in 18th century Joseon-dynasty Korea would seem to be limited. But she’s bright and hard-working and has managed to train as a nurse. She’s even achieved a position as a palace nurse. 

Posts of honor can be perilous. 

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The Beast Within You

The Language of Roses

By Heather Rose Jones  

21 Apr, 2022

Special Requests


Heather Rose Jones’ 2022 The Language of Roses is a stand-alone fantasy novella retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Anton takes refuge from a storm at the manor of Bettencourt. It’s clearly an enchanted place with invisible overlords, so Anton is on his guard … but not sufficiently so. Anton foolishly plucks a rose as he tries to slip off the estate. This egregious sin enrages the Fée (Fae).

The overlords will let Anton leave only if he sends one of his three daughters to serve in the manor. 

Once home, he sends his most responsible daughter, Alys, to the manor. She will serve Lady Ice, a woman slowly turning to stone, and Lord Beast.

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Made a Wrong Turn Once or Twice

A Bride’s Story, volume 8

By Kaoru Mori  

20 Apr, 2022



2015’s A Bride’s Story, Volume 8 (retitled from the original Otoyomegatari) is the eighth tankōbon for Kaoru Mori’s historical manga series. The English translation lagged Japanese publication by almost a year.

Pausing only long enough to assure the reader that Anis, Sherine, and their doting husband are perfectly happy, the manga redirects its attention back to central Asia, where young Pariya is not only not perfectly happy, she is not happy at all.

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Direful Spectacle

Tempest-Tost  (Salterton Trilogy, volume 1)

By Robertson Davies  

19 Apr, 2022

Special Requests

1 comment

1952’s Tempest-Tost is the first volume in Robertson Davies’ Salterton Trilogy.

Talented actress Valentine Rich returns home to Salterton, Ontario, there to deal with her late grandfather’s estate. While in Salterton, she is offered an amateur theatre role for which she is seemingly well suited. But experience as a successful actress in far off America may not help her deal with Canadian amateur theatre. 

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All The Single Ladies

Ringworld  (Ringworld, volume 1)

By Larry Niven  

17 Apr, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1970’s Ringworld is the first volume in Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, which is set in Niven’s Known Space universe. 

Louis Wu’s teleport-booth-tour of an inexplicably backward-spinning 29th century Earth1 is interrupted when the ancient man is waylaid by Nessus, a Pierson’s Puppeteer. This is an unexpected development, not least because the Puppeteers have not been seen on Earth since they fled Known Space in the 27th century. 

Nessus is determined to hire Louis. The alien has just the right currency with which to purchase the ancient human’s time: a precious commodity that the bland, homogenized world that is Earth of 2850 cannot offer Wu: novelty.

Mind you, the chance to flee a doomed galaxy does not hurt. 

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