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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (320)

In Search of a Hidden Truth

The Foreign Exchange  (Mambo Reina, volume 2)

By Veronica G. Henry  

30 Nov, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

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The Foreign Exchange is the second volume in Veronica G. Henry’s Mambo Reina modern fantasy series.

Evangeline Vangie” Stiles discovers unexpected deposits in the family bank account. Vangie asks her husband Arthur for an explanation, but Arthur is cagey about the source and purpose of the money. Vangie is alarmed and turns to her hairdressing client Mambo Reina for help.

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So This is Oregon

The Secret Skin

By Wendy N. Wagner  

18 Oct, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Wendy N. Wagner’s 2021 The Secret Skin is a stand-alone horror novella.

June Vogel of the Oregon Vogels escaped wealth (and exacting, impossible expectations) for the austere but rewarding life of a spinster artist. Escape proves temporary; her brother Frederick asks for her help. Having found a suitable replacement for his late wife Blanche, Frederick intends to enjoy a honeymoon with his new bride, Lillian.

That leaves the matter of Abigail. Who is to care for Frederick’s daughter while he is having fun? Not a nanny, for those tend to flee the family estate as soon as they can.

Duty overrides preference and prudence. June packs her things and journeys to the Vogel Estate, Storm Break.


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Boundless Gratitude

Seven Dead Sisters

By Jen Williams  

13 Oct, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

7 comments

Jen Williams’ 2022 Seven Dead Sistersis a stand-alone horror novella.

Although the menfolk of Alizon Grey’s village are disinclined to waste effort on women, whom the men see as one-part domestic animal and one-part sinful Daughters of Eve, in Alizon’s case the men enthusiastically apply themselves to the task of transporting Alizon to Demdike Hill. 

The men do like a public burning, after all, and Demdike Hill is the traditional execution ground on which transgressors like Alizon are burned alive. 

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All That Mystery

Desert Creatures

By Kay Chronister  

6 Oct, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Kay Chronister’s 2022 Desert Creatures is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic horror novel.

Nine-year-old Magdala, trying to deflect neighborly hostility, spun a marvelous tale of her father’s supernatural powers. Her fables did not had the effect that Magdala intended. Rather than being cowed into leaving father and daughter alone, the terrified townsfolk have driven the club-footed girl and her father out into the desert.

It’s a grim existence and likely to be a short one.

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Stars, Won’t You Hide Me?

Station Eternity  (Midsolar Murders, volume 1)

By Mur Lafferty  

8 Sep, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

7 comments

2022’s Station Eternity is the first volume in Mur Lafferty’s Midsolar Murders science fiction mystery series. 

Mallory Viridian has a knack for murder. More accurately, she has a tendency to find herself in the vicinity of violent death. Fortunately, she also has an uncanny ability to figure out who did it.

Alas, her repeated involvement in murder cases has not won her any accolades. Police suspect the murders were no coincidence; folks fear to invite her to social functions lest a brutal death follow. She has become a pariah. She has managed to eke out a living writing mysteries inspired by her cases; she won’t starve. But life on Earth has become unremittingly grim. Offered the chance to live elsewhere, Mallory jumps at the opportunity to immigrate to Eternity Station.

This space station is where humans and aliens meet. There are just three humans on the station: Mallory (who earns her keep by allowing aliens to study her), alien abductee Xan, and Ambassador Casserly-Berry. All the other inhabitants are aliens. So far the aliens have been immune to Mallory’s lethal penumbra. 

But if more humans were to visit the station the murder hiatus might end. 

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#1 Crush

Seven Days in Silverglen

By Walkingnorth  

6 Sep, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

3 comments

Walkingnorth’s 2022 Seven Days in Silverglen is a new secondary-world fantasy webtoon. (Note: I still don’t really understand the distinction between a webcomic and a webtoon.)

Tess lives in a world seemingly like the modern world. Appearances are deceiving. Tess’ world is fantasy world, filled with many folk known to us only from legend. Some, like the dryads, are popular. Others, like gorgons, are dismissed as monsters.” This social quirk has personal implications for Tess, whose painful shyness is complicated by the fact she is a gorgon.

Consequently Tess has some interesting coping mechanisms.

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Baby, Remember My Name

We’ll Always Have Parrots  (Meg Langslow, # 5)

By Donna Andrews  

2 Aug, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

8 comments

2004’s We’ll Always Have Parrots is the fifth of Donna Andrews’ more than thirty Meg Langslow mysteries. 

Blacksmith Meg Langslow’s academic boyfriend Michael’s has an acting side-gig. He has a role on the cult favourite TV show, Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle. This gig is not without its drawbacks. Michael’s contract warranted a closer look than it got before Michael signed it. Thanks to its onerous conditions, Michael is forced to attend the Friends of Amblyopia (the show’s fan club) very first East Coast convention.

Meg accompanies Michael. Perhaps she will be able to recoup the costs by selling show-themed weapons at the con. Or perhaps she will find herself entangled in yet another murder mystery…. 

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Where the Scenery is Lush

Tread of Angels

By Rebecca Roanhorse  

21 Jul, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Rebecca Roanhorse’s 2022 Tread of Angels is an upcoming fantasy novel. 

Eons ago, the demons lost their war and the survivors fled to Hell. Abaddon was not a survivor. Struck down by Azrael, the demon-leader’s massive corpse became the foundation of Abaddon’s Mountain. 

Humans being humans, they view the demon’s remains not as the relic of a world-shaping war but rather as a resource. The town of Goetia’s economy depends on mining and selling Abaddon’s remains. Upon this basis, a thriving community lives, a community divided, as human societies generally are, into the favoured (the Elect, descended from the victors) and the disfavoured (the Fallen, descended from the losers). 

Celeste Semyaza is Fallen. She makes her living dealing cards at the Eden. Circumstances will force her into a new and unwanted role: one part lawyer and one part private investigator. 

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A New Life

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

By Travis Baldree  

7 Jul, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Travis Baldree’s 2022 Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes is a secondary-world fantasy novel. 

Life for orc barbarians like Viv is a sequence of small wounds leading up to the final, fatal blow. Viv rejects this time-honored career path. Having successfully held up her end of the Old Final Job, she takes her share of the wealth — a Scalvert Stone — and walks away from the dungeoneering life. 

New adventures await in the thriving field of food services. 

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