James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Doing What the WFC Cannot Do (48)

Gonna Have to Serve Somebody

Realm of Ash  (Books of Ambha, book 2)

By Tasha Suri 

22 Nov, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


2019’s Realm of Ash is the second volume in Tasha Suri’s series, Books of Ambha.

Arwa’s family hoped that her marriage would raise the family’s diminished status. But a brutal massacre at Darez Fort left her a widow. Widowhood means loss of position, of status, of any chance of remarriage. She is banished to a secluded retreat for upper class widows.

Arwa has a secret. She believes the massacre was her fault and that she is cursed. She is, after all, not the proper Ambhan lady she appears to be.

Read more ➤

Need You to Need Me

The Gurkha And the Lord of Tuesday

By Saad Z. Hossain 

15 Nov, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Saad Z. Hossain’s 2019 The Gurkha And the Lord of Tuesday is a standalone science-fantasy novella.

Ambushed, coshed, bound by powerful spells, and sequestered in an out-of-the-way location, the boisterous djinn Melek Ahmar has slumbered for thousands of years. From the perspective of his attackers, the djinn is a problem solved.

For the humans and artificial intelligences of the era in which Melek Ahmar finally wakes, he is quite a different story.

Read more ➤

Until the World is Mine

Queen of the Conquered  (Islands of Blood and Storm, book 1)

By Kacen Callender 

8 Nov, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


2019’s Queen of the Conquered is the first volume in Kacen Callender’s Islands of Blood and Storm series.

Centuries ago the pale-skinned Fjern descended on the islands to plunder and rule. Those of the dark-skinned Islanders who resisted were killed. The survivors became slaves. The islander language was forbidden, islander culture suppressed, the islands themselves renamed in the language of the invaders.

The population of the islands has fallen by half since the invasion. Every slave who demonstrates even a hint of kraft (magic) ability is killed on the spot. Every uprising is brutally crushed. Liberation seems impossible.

Sigourney Rose is an anomaly, a dark-skinned person who nevertheless enjoys lofty social status and power. She lives as one of the Fjern but she identifies with the slaves. She is determined to overthrow the Fjern.

Read more ➤

Ain’t Demented

The Dragon Republic  (Poppy Wars, book 2)

By R. F. Kuang 

2 Nov, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

2019’s The Dragon Republic is the second volume in R. F. Kuang’s Poppy Wars series.

Reducing the Federation of Mugen to ashes and seared corpses has not earned Fang Rin” Runin the accolades of her native Nikan Empire. Empress Su Daji deems Rin and the rest of her team surplus to needs. Consequence: a price on all their heads. 

Luckily, the empire isn’t the only employer in town. Rin has other options.

Read more ➤

Lead Me Onward

The Firebird

By Nerine Dorman 

29 Oct, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Nerine Dorman’s The Firebird is a standalone fantasy novella. It won a Nommo award from the African Speculative Fiction Society.

Devout Unia, aghast that her brother Ailas was dabbling in forbidden magic and that her parents did nothing to stop him, saw no alternative but to alert the Fennarin, the order whose task it is to enforce righteousness. The results were not what Unia anticipated: Ailas fled, and having nobody else to punish, the Fennarin burned Ailas and Unia’s parents alive for their failure to denounce their son. Unia survived but only because she hid.

Ten years pass.

Read more ➤

Burn Brighter Than The Sun

War Girls

By Tochi Onyebuchi 

18 Oct, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Tochi Onyebuchi’s 2019 War Girls is a MilSF novel. 

The Western powers — the oyinbo — gave the world the gifts of climate change and nuclear war. In the aftermath of the war, nations like America and Britain established glittering space colonies. Many nations succumbed to fallout. Nigeria, on the border of the uninhabitable zone, home to mineral riches, fell back on the familiar habits of civil war: Biafra’s Igbo against everyone else. 

Young Onyii is already a seasoned veteran; the loss of an arm has only strengthened her desire to see Biafra free of Nigerian and oyinbo interference. Her only distraction from patriotic fervour is her adopted sister Ify, whom Onyii rescued after Ify was orphaned as an infant. The two sisters live in a camp hidden from Nigerian sensors. 

But not hidden well enough. 

Read more ➤