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Reviews from April 2023 (22)

The Master Magician

Silver Nitrate

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia  

28 Apr, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2023 Silver Nitrate is an upcoming occult thriller.

Film-obsessed friends Montserrat and Tristán ended up with very different careers in the Mexican film and television industries. Montserrat became one of very few women working sound. Tristán capitalized on his good looks to become an actor. By the mid-1990s, both struggle against financial precarity. A windfall would be welcome.

The collapse of Tristán’s latest doomed romance could provide them with the winning lottery ticket the pair craves. Or provide them both with an express trip to the graveyard.

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Destiny of Self

The Great Gods  (Time Wars, volume 1)

By Daniel Keys Moran  

27 Apr, 2023

Special Requests


2023’s The Great Gods is the first book in Daniel Keys Moran’s The Time Wars series. It shares a setting with such works as Emerald Eyes, The Long Run, The Last Dancer, and The Big Boost.

Camber Tremodian is a bright young boy connected to one of best families on the planet Domain. Domain has political institutions that should encourage peace, order, and good government. But in practice, politics has become a high stakes game and Camber is marked for death.

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Stars Above

Insomniacs After School, volume 2

By Makoto Ojiro  

26 Apr, 2023



2019’s Insomniacs After School, Volume Two is the second tankōbon of Makoto Ojiro’s manga series. Serialized in Shogakukan’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Big Comic Spirits, Insomniacs After School has been ongoing since May 2019. The English translation of Volume Two is slated to appear in 2023.

I previously reviewed Volume One of this manga and you can find the review here. But if you don’t want to read the older review, here’s a recap.

Teacher Kurashiki accepted insomniac students Ganta Nakami and Isaki Magari’s perfectly plausible explanation as to why the sleepless pair were hanging out together in their high school’s disused observatory1. She even provided the pair with a more acceptable reason to continue using the facility: re-start the school’s astronomy class.

There is a catch.

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No Escape That I Can See


By George O. Smith  

23 Apr, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


George O. Smith’s 1953 Hellflower is a stand-alone tale of interplanetary intrigue.

Charles Farradyne was scapegoated for the wreck of the Semiramide on Venus. Although he was not found guilty, the public believes him guilty of negligence and Farradyne was stripped of his pilot license. Four years after the Semiramide sank into the Bog, Farradyne is a bitter, desperate man making a meagre living on Venusian fungus farm.

Howard Clevis of the Solar Anti-Narcotics Department [SAND] dangles reinstatement in front of Farradyne. There is, of course, a catch.

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Your Ghost Story

Anna Dressed in Blood  (Anna Dressed in Blood, volume 1)

By Kendare Blake  

21 Apr, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


2012’s Anna Dressed in Blood is the first volume in Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood modern horror series.

Teenage Theseus Cassio Cass” Lowood was given three things by his father: 

  • a moderately embarrassing name, 
  • an athame, and
  • a determination to pursue his late father’s career as a ghost-hunter.

Cass transfers from high school to high school, chasing rumours of unquiet dead; he is supported in this mission by his widowed mother. He believes he is successful in his quest; he has dispatched many revenants with his inherited athame.

His latest quest will take him to Canada’s Thunder Bay, where Anna Dressed in Blood will turn his worldview upside down.

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Don’t Turn Your Back

Hellflower  (Hellflower, volume 1)

By Rosemary Edghill  

20 Apr, 2023

The End of History


1991’s Hellflower is the first volume in the Hellflower space opera series. Hellflower was written by Rosemary Edghill under the name eluki bes shahar1.

The Phoenix Empire rose from the ruins of the Federation to provide its subjects with peace, order, and good government. Each subject has their duly allotted role. Butterfly St. Cyr has an unallotted but crucial role: low-level smuggler, testing to see how long it takes the Empire to notice her and execute her for multiple capital crimes.

Butterfly being Butterfly, she will spend the book adding to the affronts for which the Empire might want her dead.

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Voices of the Dead

The Grief of Stones  (The Cemeteries of Amalo, volume 2)

By Katherine Addison  

18 Apr, 2023

Special Requests


The Grief of Stones is the second volume in Katherine Addison’s The Cemeteries of Amalo secondary universe fantasy series. The Cemeteries of Amalo share a setting with The Goblin Emperor.

The reward for competence is more work. Therefore, since Thara Celehar solved murders while fending off monsters in the previous volume, Thara is presented with more untimely deaths and even more ferocious undead. Not to mention an unrequested apprentice.

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