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Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (100)

Pretty Happy

Face

By Joma West  

2 Dec, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Joma West’s 2022 Face is a near-future science fiction novel.

The society of tomorrow has learned how to meet all of its material needs. It now faces only social challenges. Which have proven to be intractable. Humans are very creative in finding ways to hurt and oppress each other. Even the rich (there are still rich) feel anxious and miserable.

Reproductive technology has added to the discontent.

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Your Light in the Mist

The Night Tiger

By Yangsze Choo  

25 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Yangsze Choo’s 2019 The Night Tiger is a historical fantasy set in 1930s Malaya.

Before Dr. MacFarlane died, he charged his faithful servant Ren with a vital task. Locate MacFarlane’s finger and bury it with the doctor within forty-nine days of the doctor’s death. If Ren fails, MacFarlane’s spirit will be cursed to wander the earth.

Although MacFarlane has a good idea where his finger might be, it’s an absurd responsibility with which to saddle a thirteen-year-old servant. Ren lied about his age. He is actually eleven.

Meanwhile, in nearby Ipoh, dance-hall girl Ji Lin has gained an extra finger.


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Happier Than Ever

Walking in Two Worlds

By Wab Kinew  

18 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Wab Kinew’s 2022 Walking in Two Worlds is a near-future science fiction novel.

Recurring pandemics have forced North American society to embrace hitherto unknown or unpopular ways to cope with disruption. However, some fundamentals of North American1 life remain unchanged. There are still sequestered territories, Rez, for Indigenous people. Teens living on them are required to attend school, and school is for many teens an exercise in awkward discomfort.

Luckily for Anishinaabe teen Bagonegiizhigok Bugz” Holiday, she has another life, in the Floraverse.


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Mon Amou

Bitter Medicine

By Mia Tsai  

11 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Mia Tsai’s 2023 Bitter Medicine is a stand-alone urban fantasy. 

Elle is a purveyor of arcane glyphs; her occupation brings her into contact with many members of the world’s diverse supernatural community. She herself is a descendant of Shénnóng, the Chinese god of medicine, and is comfortable rubbing shoulders with such entities. One customer, however, has caught her attention. He’s attractive.


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You Don’t Know Me

Strike the Zither  (Kingdom of Three, volume 1)

By Joan He  

4 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

2022’s Strike the Zither is the first volume in Joan He’s Kingdom of Three series.

The Xin Empire is eternal and indivisible. Or so its elite believes. It has recently suffered setbacks: the elite have split into factions and several regional governments have rashly decided to go it alone. But thanks to the hard work of Prime Ministeress Miasma, in whose resolute care the Empress Xin Bao resides, the Empire is well on its way back to its ordained unity. Or so the ruling faction believes.

This would be wonderful news to strategist Rising Zephyr (Pan Qilin) were she one of Miasma’s retainers. As she is strategist to Xin Ren, the least powerful leader of the remaining elite factions, life is a sequence of narrow escapes from Miasma’s superior forces.

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On Golden Sands

Meru

By S. B. Divya  

28 Oct, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

3 comments

S. B. Divya’s 2023 Meru is a stand-alone science fiction novel whose publication date I only just noticed. ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) — the perks of being a reviewer.

The Constructed Democracy of Sol provides stratified equality to all in accordance with their capacity, with constructs and human-derived cyborgs (Alloys) at the top and bumbling humans somewhat lower down the scale. For the last five centuries, humans have been assisted by their superior cousins to embrace appropriate roles — Earth-bound, limited in numbers, and unambitious — but now a new discovery may change that.

Exo-planets are hardly rare but until now, all of the known worlds have been such that a baseline human would perish without significant technological assistance. Meru may be an exception, a world where humans could survive, even prosper. Should they be allowed to do so? Human history suggests not.

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Just That The Time Was Wrong

Serpentine  (Serpentine, volume 1)

By Cindy Pon  

21 Oct, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

2015’s Serpentine is the first of two books in Cindy Pon’s Serpentine historical fantasy duology.

While young, both Zhen Ni and Skybright know full well the path their lives must take. Aristocratic Zhen Ni will be married off to the suitable highborn man her parents choose for her. When Zhen Ni leaves her parent’s household, her handmaid Skybright will accompany her. Married life will follow, as might children, and eventually death. Zhen Ni and Skybright’s happiness is irrelevant.

Their lives will take a different turn.


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When You Worry

We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel

By Quan Barry  

14 Oct, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Quan Barry’s 2020 We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel is a supernatural historical comedy coming-of-age novel. [Editor: quite a pile-up of adjectives there!]

Considered separately, high school students Abby Putnam, Girl Cory, Boy Cory, Mel Boucher, Jen Fiorenz, Sue Yoon, Amy Little Smitty” Smith, Julie Kaling, Becca Bjelica, Heather Houston, and AJ Johnson are ordinary teenagers. Together they are the Danvers Falcons field hockey team, whose failed teamwork is matched only by their appalling performance on the field. If the Danvers Falcons are not the worst team in the 1989 season, it’s not for lack of trying. 

A shockingly awful field hockey team is not their town’s only claim to fame. Danvers, Massachusetts, is the town that many of the Salem Witch Trial accusers called home. It is to this occult heritage a desperate Mel Boucher turns. Perhaps hockey success can be found in a mystical pledge to an infernal entity known only as … Emilio! 

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Down These Mean Streets

The Quarter Storm  (Mambo Reina, volume 1)

By Veronica G. Henry  

7 Oct, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

2022’s The Quarter Storm is the first of Veronica G. Henry’s Mambo Reina occult mystery novels. 

Reina Dumond is a mambo priestess pledged to Erzulie; she follows traditions that date to a time before her ancestors were kidnapped and dragged from Benin to Haiti. Her father having brought his family from Haiti to the United States, Reina is also an American. She uses her holy calling to make a living. 

New Orleans provides Reina with a multitude of potential clients. Many of them operate under a misunderstanding about the purposes to which Vodou may be put. Some of her would-be clients are downright sketchy. Take young Sophie Thibault, for example. 

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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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