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Reviews from September 2022 (22)

Who Goes There?

Weird Kid

By Greg van Eekhout  

30 Sep, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Greg Van Eekhout’s 2021 Weird Kid is a stand-alone middle school science fiction novel.

Jake Wind is a student at Cedar Creek View’s1 middle school. It’s his first day at middle school and it is going to be stressful. This is true for most of the new kids there but it’s extra-super-true for him. Like most kids his age, he’s experiencing unfamiliar physical changes. Unlike most kids, he is subject to transformations that are both rapid and extreme. Jake, you see, is a shape-shifting space monster from beyond the stars2!

Inadvertent shape-shifting aside, however, Jake is just a kid so it’s off to school for him.

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And Oh So Bright

The Merlin of St. Gilles’ Well  (Joan of Arc Tapestries, volume 1)

By Ann Chamberlin  

29 Sep, 2022

Special Requests

0 comments

1999’s The Merlin of St. Gilles’ Well is the first volume in Ann Chamberlin’s Joan of Arc Tapestries series. 

Joan of Arc is a legendary figure; author Chamberlin has used her legend as a setting for a heroic fantasy. This story begins with a boy named Yann (by Bretons, Jean by the French) Le Dapier and his boyhood associate, Gilles de Rais.

The story begins with a violent incident in the woods.

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In A Shady Meadow Green

A Bride’s Story, volume 13

By Kaoru Mori  

28 Sep, 2022

Translation

0 comments

2020’s A Bride’s Story, Vol. 13 is the thirteenth tankōbon in Kaoru Mori’s historical manga, which is titled Otoyomegatari in the original Japanese. The English translation of this volume appeared in 2022.

Mr. Smith, his new wife Talas, guide Ali, and guard Nikolovsky retrace Smith and Ali’s earlier journey across Central Asia in reverse. Old friends await, as do untoward developments.

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Hypnotized By Your Destiny

Destinies, April-June 1979  (Destinies, # 3)

 Edited by Jim Baen 

25 Sep, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

4 comments

Destinies, April-June 1979 was the third issue in the first volume of Destinies, the paperback magazine of science fiction and speculative fact1.”

As previously established, Destinies is a long-defunct magazine for which I have memories both fond and spotty. Those two characteristics may be linked. This is one of the issues for which I have no particular memories on looking at the cover. Enticement to look inside!

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We’ve Got Us

Monstress, volume 7

By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda  

23 Sep, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

0 comments

Monstress, Volume 7: Devourer is the seventh volume in Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s ongoing secondary-universe cosmic-horror fantasy graphic novel series. Volume 7 collects Monstress issues 36 to 41.

The ongoing war between humans and Ancient-descended Arcanics has provided the humans with ample opportunity to show just how despicable humans can be. Now there’s an equal opportunity for the semi-divine Ancients to prove that they too are complete monsters to their own descendants.

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Going Through Changes

Delicious in Dungeon, volume 5

By Ryōko Kui  

21 Sep, 2022

Translation

4 comments

2017’s Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 5 is the fifth tankōbon for Ryoko Kui’s secondary universe comedic ecological fantasy manga. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta. Volume 5 was translated into English in 2018.

Despite the long odds against success, Laios and his companions (half-elf mage Marcille, halfling security expert Chilchuck, and dwarf fighter Senshi) tracked down and defeated the red dragon that ate Laios’ sister Falin. Having retrieved the bits of Falin as yet undigested, Marcille has resurrected Falin. Victory all round, which may lead some readers to wonder why the series did not end with volume 4, rather than continuing for at least eight more volumes.

As Laios and company discover, there are some unforeseen complications.

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Perfect Harmony

The Gate of Ivory  (Gate of Ivory, volume 1)

By Doris Egan  

20 Sep, 2022

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

1989’s The Gate of Ivory is the first volume in Doris Egan’s cozy science fantasy, the Gate of Ivory trilogy. Rather unexpectedly, the trilogy consists of exactly three books. 

The human inhabitants of the planet Ivory are famous for their amusing delusion that magic works on Ivory. The chance to visit exotic Ivory was too enticing for cultural anthropologist Theodora (Theo) to pass up … although Theo might have been better off if she had turned it down.

Having been rolled by a cunning Ivoran, Theo missed her ship off Ivory. The Athenan ambassador declined to help an ID-less Theo. Having no other option, Theo has spent the two years since her failed flight making a meagre living reading Tarot cards. She is saving her pennies in the hope that one day she will be able to afford the small fortune required to return to Athena and her academic life. 

Ivory aristocrat Ran Cormallon has a use for a woman without friends, family, or wealth.

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