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Reviews in Project: Doing What the WFC Cannot Do (98)

Thy Fearful Symmetry

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain  (Singing Hills Cycle, book 2)

By Nghi Vo  

18 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

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Nghi Vo’s 2020 When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain is a secondary universe fantasy. It is the second volume in her Singing Hills Cycle.

Cleric Chih and their guide Si-yu ride on mammoth-back to an isolated way station. They hope to find a place to rest for the night. Instead, they find an unconscious man and three tigers. Tigers are generally bad news for travellers. These particular tigers are of the shape-shifting, talking variety, they are also very hungry tigers. 


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Turn Robber All on The Salt Sea

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

By Maggie Tokuda-Hall  

11 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

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Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s 2020 The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is a secondary universe fantasy. 

Lady Evelyn Hasegawa’s betrothal to wealthy officer Finn Callum promises financial security to her debt-ridden aristocratic parents. This is an arranged marriage; she’s never met her groom, who lives at a distant imperial outpost in the Floating Islands. Evelyn must take a long sea voyage to join him, a voyage from which she will almost certainly never return. 

⸮But this is a sacrifice her parents are willing to make.⸮ 

Evelyn and a casket full of worldly goods are sent off on the good ship Dove. She’s anxious, of course: a new land, an unknown husband. She would be even more anxious if she knew that Dove is captained by a complete villain and crewed by people who are just as bad.


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A War in My Mind

The Bone Shard Daughter  (Drowning Empire, book 1)

By Andrea Stewart  

4 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

4 comments

2020’s The Bone Shard Daughter is the first volume in Andrea Stewart’s projected Drowning Empire secondary-universe fantasy trilogy. It’s just published!

The Emperor protects his people from the Alanga, godlike beings who once plagued the Empire. All he asks is total obedience and a small token of his subjects’ gratitude. A trifle, really, just a small shard of skull bone, which grants the Emperor access to their life energy. He uses that to power the automatons through which he rules the Empire. Otherwise his subjects are free to pay their taxes and do as they are told until such time as they die from the side-effects of being used as a living battery. 

The Emperor is growing old and it isn’t clear what will happen when he dies.

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Where the Clear Winds Blow

Rider  (Rider, book 1)

By Joyce Chng  

28 Aug, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

2 comments

Joyce Chng’s 2013 Rider: A Novel of Jin is the first novel in her Rider trilogy.

Lifang would like to be a Rider, one of the fortunate elites partnered with a Quetz (the enormous pterodactyl-like natives of Jin). Her family, however, believes Lifang can do her bit for the struggling human community on the planet Jin as an agri-seer”. Which is to say, highly educated farmer.

If it were up to her family and her community, Lifang would not get the career she wants. Fate intervenes. 


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No Place to Go

Remote Control

By Nnedi Okorafor  

21 Aug, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment


Nnedi Okorafor’s 2021 Remote Control is an upcoming science fiction novella. Unless you’re reading this after January 2021, in which case strike upcoming.”

Sankofa wanders Ghana in the company of a fox, visiting community after community. The people she encounters fall over themselves providing her with food and clothing. In part, this is because Sankofa provides a useful service. In large part, it is because she can burn people down to their bones merely by willing it. 

Her story begins in the rural town of Wulugu, when she was just a sickly girl named Fatima.


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Count on Me

A Song Below Water

By Bethany C. Morrow  

14 Aug, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

5 comments

Bethany C. Morrow’s 2020 A Song Below Water: A Novel is a standalone contemporary fantasy novel.

Sisters-by-choice Tavia and Effie are African American teens (in uber-white Portland, Oregon), perpetually aware of the potential for casual abuse or worse from police. As stressful as this is, it could be far worse. Tavia has a secret: she is a siren. 

Sirens are feared for two reasons. Firstly, they can control people with the power of their voice. Secondly, all sirens are African American. Powerful African American women are to be feared and hated. Whatever the strict letter of the law might say about killing sirens, the practice is winked at, even lauded.

Take the case of the late Rhoda Taylor.


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Till Eternity Passes Away

Here and Now and Then

By Mike Chen  

7 Aug, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

Mike Chen’s 2019 Here and Now and Then is a standalone time-travel thriller.

The Temporal Corruption Bureau protects history from malicious tampering. Kin Stewart used to be a TCB field agent but, his beacon disabled in a fight with a perp, he can’t return to 2142. Marooned in the 1990s, he has no choice but to make a new life for himself. 

Eighteen years later in 2014….


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Footsteps Even Lighter

Forest of Souls  (Shamanborn, book 1)

By Lori M. Lee  

31 Jul, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

3 comments

2020’s Forest of Souls is the first volume in Lori M. Lee’s Shamanborn series.

Foundling Sirscha Ashwyn seems destined to spend an unremarkable life as servant to her betters. But Sirscha is too ambitious for that. She apprentices herself to Kendara the Shadow, master spy/assassin for the kingdom of Evewyn. 

Part of her training has consisted of service in the army. While there, she makes a friend, fellow soldier Saengo. She is dispatched on an errand by Kendara; Saengo accompanies her. It’s a trap; a shaman attacks with fire. Sirscha survives but Saengo does not. 

What happens next is unexpected and quite disquieting.


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Let It Shine

Between the Firmaments

By J Y Neon Yang  

17 Jul, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

3 comments


JY Neon Yang’s 2018 Between the Firmaments is a standalone fantasy novella.

Armed with sunmetal, the invading Blasphemers descended on Bariegh’s magic-rich world. The world was enslaved; its gods and enchanted creatures were bound and treated as expendable power sources. 

Bariegh of the Jungle is a god, but he takes great pains to conceal this from the Blasphemers. Life as a construction worker is one of brutal exploitation, but it’s better than being used as a battery, to be drained and discarded. Existing under cover also means that he can keep an eye on his great-great-grandniece, Sisu, who has no idea that divine blood flows through her veins.

Caution is for naught when Sunyol arrives.


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