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Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (42)

Just a Little Breeze

Cradle and Grave

By Anya Ow  

15 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Anya Ow’s 2020 Cradle and Grave is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic dungeon-crawl adventure. 

Even after an apocalypse, people still need to work. Dar Lien needs to work. She’s a scout, an experienced guide to the wastelands. Wastelands into which no sensible person would venture, had they a choice.

Servetu and Yusef (a halfer, his man’s torso grafted onto a horse’s body) want a guide to take them into and out of the Scab. Dar Lien hesitates. She’d be willing to do this with folks she knows and trusts, but not with two complete strangers. What tips the scale is the fact she is terminally ill. Her would-be employers are offering her fifteen thousand taels, which would pay for a treatment that could save her life. 

Desperation trumps caution.


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In Brightest Day

Far Sector

By N. K. Jemisin & Jamal Campbell  

8 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

N. K. Jemisin’s Far Sector is a stand-alone limited-run comic book series set in the DC comic universe. Illustrations are by Jamal Campbell. The original run was from 2019 – 2020. The collection came out as a book in 2021

Sojourner Jo” Mullein is a newly minted Green Lantern, armed by a Guardian of Oa with an innovative version of the famous Green Lantern ring [1]. She has been an interstellar cop for the last half year. So far, not a busy cop; she’s been assigned to a beat in a distant community, one famous for having no violent crime. 

The vast space structure known as the City Enduring is home to twenty billion people from three species: the nigh-human Nah, the AI @at (pronounced at-at”), and the carnivorous vegetable keh-Topli. Maintaining the peace between cultures is challenging enough. Maintaining it between species more so. Past failures left two worlds in ruins. For the past five centuries, the city government has mandated that every one of its emotionally volatile citizens install an emotional damper known as the Emotion Exploit.

The system performs flawlessly, which raises this question: why, in a city without homicide, is Jo looking at the half-eaten corpse of a murder victim?

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For Whom These Vile Shackles

The Bone Shard Emperor  (The Drowning Empire, volume 2)

By Andrea Stewart  

4 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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The Bone Shard Emperor is the second volume in Andrea Stewart’s The Drowning Empire series.

Lin Sukai outmaneuvered her abusive father, killed him, and took his place as emperor. Eschewing the old man’s dubious methods, she is determined to be a just, kind ruler rather than rule as did her father. The Empire’s problems are solved!

Or are they?

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Looks Like Freedom

Trickster Drift  (Trickster, volume 2)

By Eden Robinson  

24 Sep, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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2018’s Trickster Drift is the second volume in Eden Robinson’s Trickster trilogy.

Seventeen-year-old Jared Martin has been sober for the last year; he’s ready for college. He leaves Kitimat for Vancouver, intending to study at the British Columbia School of Technology. 

Necessary backstory: Jared’s mother is a witch, while Jared himself is the son of Wee’git the Trickster. In modern day Canada, however, neither inborn supernatural talents nor learned magical skills are much help in finding a place to stay in Vancouver. 

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A Rare and Precious Metal

The Bones of Ruin

By Sarah Raughley  

17 Sep, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Sarah Raughley’s 2021 The Bones of Ruin is a historical fantasy novel. 

Iris is the Coolie Company’s star attraction; she’s a daredevil ropewalker who appears utterly blind to the risks she takes far above the audience’s heads. In fact, the amnesiac African woman takes no risks at all. Unbeknownst to the audience and her employer, Mr. Coolie, Iris has a great secret. She cannot be killed. 

This is a knack that makes Iris and persons like Iris very valuable to members of the Enlightenment Committee.

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Who Has Seen The Wind?

Noor

By Nnedi Okorafor  

3 Sep, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Nnedi Okorafor’s 2021 Noor is a stand-alone near-future Africanfuturist novel.

Ultimate Corp transformed Africa, lavishing Africans with a bounty of modern luxuries in return for which it asks only … lots and lots of money. Oh yes, and for Africans to abandon any beliefs or customs that might prevent them from accepting Ultimate’s terms and conditions.

In AO Oju’s case, Ultimate transformed AO’s deformed and injured body into a cybernetic marvel. Unexpected consequence: this marked her as a demon to her Nigerian neighbours. Her new capabilities allowed AO to kill five over-confident would-be vigilantes. 

Suspecting, with good reason, that self-defence will be seen as murder, AO flees north towards the Red Eye, a nigh-Jovian-scale1 permanent windstorm. 

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Perfect Murder

Monkey Around

By Jadie Jang  

27 Aug, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Jadie Jang’s 2021 debut Monkey Around is an urban fantasy novel.

Maya MacQueen was left at a fire station when she was only two months old; she was raised by foster parents. She has no idea who her parents were nor any idea why she’s a shape-changer who is particularly good at turning into a monkey. All she knows is that she is both Asian-American and part of the Bay Area’s supernatural population. 

Now grown, she divides her time between serving coffee, running errands for occult expert and problem solver Dr. Ayo Espinoza, and serving activism and great justice in the Bay Area. With the Bay Area’s answer to Occupy Wall Street reaching its apex, there’s lots for her to do. A string of unsolved murders represents yet one more thing to do. It’s all too much.

[!!!Spoiler warning for something the ads give away!!!]

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Turn And Face The Strange

I Am Not Starfire

By Mariko Tamaki & Yoshi Yoshitani  

20 Aug, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

7 comments

Mariko Tamaki’s 2021 I Am Not Starfire is a graphic novel set in the DC Universe. Illustrations are by Yoshi Yoshitani. 

Koriand’r, better known as Starfire of the Titans, is a statuesque alien woman imbued with marvelous superpowers. Starfire is as famous for her cheerful superheroic exploits as for her preference for skimpy costumes. As protagonists go, Starfire would be the perfect person around whom to construct a thrilling narrative. 

Starfire is not the protagonist of this story. Mandy, her teenage daughter, is. Mandy has no superpowers. Mandy is a grumpy, anti-social goth teen lesbian who would like people to stop comparing her to her mother or at least stop speculating about the carefully hidden identity of her father. As the novel starts, Mandy is dealing with the whole going-off-to-college thing. This is a welcome distraction from her angst at her non-existent love life.

Mandy has a scheme regarding college worthy of Kite Man himself! 

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Most Heinous of Crimes

The Vow  (Monstress, volume 6)

By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda  

13 Aug, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Marjorie Liu’s 2021 Monstress, Volume 6: The Vow collects Monstress: Talk-Stories #1 – 2 and Monstress #31 – 35.

When we left our characters, the (mainly human) Federation of Man was once again at war with the Arcanics, whom the humans consider to be useful magical fuel. Too bad the fuel is contained within monsters who don’t want to be destroyed in processing. 

Next on the Federation’s list for conquest: the city of Ravenna. Understandably reluctant to be painfully converted to lilium (the magical fuel), the Arcanics put up a heated defense. 

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