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Reviews from May 2023 (22)

Savage Beauty

Eniale & Dewiela, volume 1

By Kamome Shirahama  

17 May, 2023



Eniale & Dewiela, Volume 1 is the first volume of three that collect Kamome Shirahama’s modern fantasy manga series. Eniale & Dewiela was serialized in Fellows! from 2012 to 2015. The English translation of volume 1 was published in 2020. Whereas Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier is a drama, Eniale & Dewiela is comedy.

Eniale is a low-ranked angel, forever determined to better the world. Dewiela is an equally low-ranked devil, forever determined to better herself. Playing as they do for opposing teams, their perpetual proximity must logically be due to their never-ending rivalry. Right?

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Uncomfortably Me

The Meister of Decimen City

By Brenna Raney  

16 May, 2023

Special Requests

1 comment

Brenna Raney’s 2023 debut, The Meister of Decimen City, is a superhero novel. Although perhaps superhero is the wrong word.

Decimen City’s resident genius ditz (Rex) combines brilliance and good intentions with a lack of social skills and an inability to foresee complications. However, thanks in part to the never-ending efforts of her lawyer Flora and an AI named Aya to manage Rex’s reputation, Rex is popular or at least tolerated. It helps that one of her projects produced a cure for cancer.

Heretofore, her status as a lovable knucklehead and her adherence to certain agreements with the city has protected her from the legal consequences of her wacky hijinks. The rampaging cloned intelligence-amplified dinosaurs … that was one misstep too many. Now Rex has to deal with the Superbeings Oversight Contingencies organization.

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Doctor Doctor

Major Operation  (Sector General, book 3)

By James White  

14 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Major Operation (first published in 1971) is the third of James White’s Sector General books. Like the first volume and unlike the second, Major Operation is a collection of short pieces. In this case, all involve the enigmatic planet Meatball.

Sector 12 General Hospital is a vast hospital space station. Located in deep space, Sector General is equipped to treat all known life forms and to make a good try at treating unknown beings as well. The staff is as diverse as its patients.

Warning: James Does Not Like Sector General as Much as Other People Do.

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In a Castle Dark

Ophie’s Ghosts

By Justina Ireland  

12 May, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


Justina Ireland’s 2022 Ophie’s Ghosts is a stand-alone historical occult novel.

After a white lynch mob murders her father and burns the family home to the ground, young Ophelia Ophie” Harrison and her mother flee Georgia for the comparative safety of Pittsburgh.

Trauma wakes in Ophie a rare ability, the ability to see and to speak to ghosts. Whether this is a gift or a burden is unclear.

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Dreaming of a Life of Ease

A Sleight of Shadows  (Unseen World, volume 2)

By Kat Howard  

11 May, 2023

Special Requests


2023’s A Sleight of Shadows is the second volume in Kat Howard’s Unseen World series. The first volume was An Unkindness of Magicians, whose review may be found here.

During the revolution called the Turning, Sydney sacrificed her magic to bring down the malevolent House of Shadows. Thanks to Sydney, the mages of the Unseen World can no longer draw their power from the slaves of the House of Shadows. They must draw on their own power. That’s painful.

Many sorcerers are unhappy with the new state of affairs. Spells may not work; using magic hurts. Ill-will is building. Can the Turning be reversed?

As it happens, the House of Shadows has begun reassembling itself without human intervention.

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Never Know I’m There

Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible, volume 1

By Nene Yukimori  

10 May, 2023



Nene Yukimori’s Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible, Volume One (Japanese: 久保さんは僕を許さない, Hepburn: Kubo-san wa Mobu o Yurusanai, Kubo Won’t Give Up the Mob (Is Me)) is the first of twelve volumes collecting Yukimori’s speculative fiction manga series. Prior to collection, it was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump from October 2019 to March 2023.

High school student Junta Shiraishi has turned being unremarkable into what would in other contexts be deemed a superpower. He is effectively invisible. Classmates speculate about his whereabouts in Junta’s presence. Even automatic doors have a hard time noticing Junta. Since Junta has no control over his lack of presence, his ability is more of a burden than a power.

Pretty and popular Nagisa Kubo has a curious immunity to Junta’s invisibility. This has consequences.

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Can’t You See

A Gift From Earth

By Larry Niven  

7 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1968’s A Gift from Earth by Larry Niven is a science fiction novel about a revolution. It is set in Niven’s Known Space timeline, just prior to the acquisition of faster-than-light travel.

The crew of the UN slowboat that settled Tau Ceti’s Earthlike world Plateau celebrated their arrival by establishing a brutal dictatorship, with the Crew at the top and the Colonists on the bottom. This elegant system has thrived for three centuries. Now it is imperiled by a cargo package from Earth and by miner Matt Keller’s desire to get laid.

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Long Way From Home

Darius the Great Is Not Okay  (Darius the Great, volume 1)

By Adib Khorram  

5 May, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Adib Khorram’s 2018 Darius the Great Is Not Okay is the first volume in the mainstream Darius the Great series.

Darius the Great — King of Kings, Great King, King of Persia, Babylon, and Egypt, architect of an Achaemenid golden age — accomplished great deeds that are still spoken of with awe millennia later. Darius Grover Kellner is named for Darius the Great but his accomplishments are far humbler. Thus far, Darius has succeeded in being a social outcast, the go-to target for school bullies.

His grandfather’s impending death will upend Darius’ life.

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Now That We’re Done

Mammoths at the Gates  (Singing Hills Cycle, volume 4)

By Nghi Vo  

4 May, 2023

Miscellaneous Reviews


Mammoths at the Gates is the fourth installment in Nghi Vo’s Singing Hill’s Cycle. Reviews of the previous three stories may be found here, here, and here.

Cleric Chih returns home to the Singing Hills abbey. Some say one can never go home again. In the case of Cleric Chih, one can go home. Sometimes, however, there is a pair of royal mammoths waiting for one.

Royal mammoths being able to easily flatten the gates and the monastery within, their presence is a matter of concern.

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