Important note: we have switched servers and things may be a little glitchy for the next day or two as we sort out some lingering issues. Please do not be alarmed!

James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (117)

Waitin’ For the Day Your Ship’ll Come In

Far from the Light of Heaven

By Tade Thompson  

19 Nov, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Tade Thompson’s 2021 Far from the Light of Heaven is a stand-alone science fiction novel. 

Starflight is challenging but routine. Michelle Shell” Campion’s father may have made the history books by vanishing mysteriously in space; but Shell does not expect to earn even a footnote. And why should she? Shell may be second-in-command on Ragtime but this is a sinecure. Starship Ragtimes captain is an infallible AI and there will be no need for human input. 

Shell’s expectations are too humble. She makes the history books, in the worst way possible.

Read more ➤

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

& This Is How to Stay Alive

By Shingai Njeri Kagunda  

12 Nov, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Shingai Njeri Kagunda’s & This Is How to Stay Alive is a standalone fantasy novel. 

When Nyokabi’s brother Baraka commits suicide, Nyokabi sees only way to go forward: become the responsible surviving sibling. She will make sure that her brother’s funeral is done properly, as her grief-stricken mother cannot manage. 

It is not the only option open to her.

Read more ➤

Everyday Superhero

Hollywood Heroine  (Heroine, volume 5)

By Sarah Kuhn  

5 Nov, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s Hollywood Heroine is the fifth volume in Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine superhero series.

Bay Area superheroes Aveda Jupiter and Evie Tanaka head off on another field trip, this time to Hollywood. Having sold the TV rights to their adventures, they think it would be fun to watch the filming. 

John Godfrey Saxe once said Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” Much the same could be said of television shows that are based on one’s own experiences.

Read more ➤


Meet Myself There  (Edge to Center, book 2)

By Brenda W. Clough  

29 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

2019’s Meet Myself There is the second volume in Brenda W. Clough’s Edge to Center time-travel series.

President Calla Ang of Jalanesia and her husband Colonel Bencasilat Ben” Ming are enjoying a quiet day at home when a time-travelling assassin — Frances Fanny” Allen-Forstyth née Wragsland — appears and murders their daughter Lilias and her nanny Sala before she is gunned down by a quick-thinking Ben. Very tragic but also in no way the end of the matter. 

Read more ➤

Old Trees Just Grow Stronger

Jade Legacy  (Green Bone Saga, volume 3)

By Fonda Lee  

25 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s Jade Legacy is the third volume in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga. 

Ayt Mada has a grand plan to unify Kekon against external enemies. Unfortunately for the surviving Kaul siblings, Hiloshudon (Hilo) and Shaelinsan (Shae), their No Peak clan is an impediment to Mada’s grand plan. There have been years of bloody conflict between Ayt Mada’s Mountain clan and the Kaul’s No Peak clan. Worse yet, Lan, the Kaul sibling who would have been the best choice to lead No Peak to victory, has been dead since the first volume. This has left poor Hilo to struggle in Lan’s place. 

The larger context: great powers Ygutan and Espenia have intruded into Kekon’s bucolic world of bioenergetic jade-enhanced clan warfare. The clans have returned the favour. Conflict is endemic … and expensive. Both Kekon clans need cash, which overseas ventures might provide. 

Read more ➤

Just a Little Breeze

Cradle and Grave

By Anya Ow  

15 Oct, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


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.

Read more ➤

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?

Read more ➤

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


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?

Read more ➤

Looks Like Freedom

Trickster Drift  (Trickster, volume 2)

By Eden Robinson  

24 Sep, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


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. 

Read more ➤

A Rare and Precious Metal

The Bones of Ruin

By Sarah Raughley  

17 Sep, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

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.

Read more ➤