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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (277)

She Got the Power

The Scapegracers  (Scapegracers, book 1)

By Hannah Abigail Clarke  

22 Sep, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2020’s The Scapegracers is the first volume in Hannah Abigail Clarke’s projected Scapegracers series. 

Offered forty dollars to spice up a pre-Halloween party with magic, social outcast Eloise Sideways” Pike takes what turns out to be the first step towards forming her own coven. Sideways’ magic is no sleight of hand. It is very real. 

Real magic always has consequences.


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When the World Is Breaking My Heart

The Midnight Bargain

By C. L. Polk  

31 Aug, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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C. L. Polk’s 2020 The Midnight Bargain is a secondary world fantasy, due out in October.

Beatrice Clayborn could be one of Chasland’s greatest magi — if only she were a man. But she is a woman and the only roles she’s allowed are those of wife and mother. Oh, she can do a little magic once she is too old to bear children, but even that permission is grudgingly given and strictly circumscribed. 

But women will hone their talents, disregarding patriarchal restrictions. There are grimoires intended for women, disguised but recognizable to those with talent. Beatrice, desperate to escape matrimony, has been methodically searching them out. The final volume she needs, the one that will permit her to summon a greater spirit and propose the pact of the great bargain,” thus becoming a mage of unquestionable power, is one quick purchase away. 

And then…

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The Bramble and the Rose

LaGuardia

By Nnedi Okorafor & Tana Ford  

3 Aug, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Nnedi Okorafor’s LaGuardia is a near-future/alternate-future comic. Art is by Tana Ford and lettering by Sal Cipriano; the colourist is James Devlin.

In 2010 the first extra-terrestrials arrived in Nigeria. Nigeria, or at least its national government, welcomed the aliens and benefited from imported technology. Other nations, like the United States, took a very different view. Let Nigeria have its aliens, only let them have their aliens far from America. 

Unsurprising since, as returning Nigerian-America doctor Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka knows all too well, this is more or less the position the US takes on people like her. 


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The Deepest Cuts Are Healed By Faith

The Old Guard

By Gina Prince-Bythewood & Greg Rucka  

16 Jul, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2020’s The Old Guard was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Greg Rucka, who also wrote the comic book of the same name (the film is based on the comic). The film stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The promising career of American Marine Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne) comes to a sudden and tragic end when the wounded Afghan insurgent whose life she is attempting to save [1] slits her throat. Nile bleeds to death in moments; her demise is a grim lesson in the cost of inattention.

Much to Nile’s surprise, and the surprise of those around her, this is not the end of her story.


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That Girl’s a Genius

Drowned Country  (Greenhollow, book 2)

By Emily Tesh  

29 Jun, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2020’s Drowned Country is a sequel to Emily Tesh’s secondary world fantasy, 2019’s Silver in the Wood.

Henry Silver, imbued with life everlasting and powers beyond mortal ken, has spent the last two years wallowing in lugubrious self-pity in Greenhollow Hall. It’s all very emo in a green and leafy way. The idyll is spoiled when Silver’s mother comes to call. Silver might have become a demi-god, but to his mother he is just Henry, her disappointing son. She has a task for him. 

Vampire hunting!

Note: if you haven’t read Silver in the Wood, you might want to stop here. Ensuing discussion contains likely SPOILERS.


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Fight the Power

Seven Devils  (Seven Devils, book 1)

By Laura Lam & Elizabeth May  

2 Jun, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Laura Lam and Elizabeth May’s 2020 Seven Devils is the first book in their projected Seven Devils series.

Tholosians support their Empire because the Empire gives them no choice in the matter. The vast majority are programmed from birth to dedicate their lives to the Empire. The few who are not programmed are confined to slums. Despite this regimentation, the Empire has thus far failed to prevail in its five-century war against the Evoli. 

There is a third faction in the conflict: the Resistance, who hope to overthrow the Empire and free its people.


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Sure to Lure Someone Bad

Burning Roses

By S L Huang  

13 May, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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S. L. Huang’s 2020 Burning Roses is a re-imagined fairy tale. Or rather, it is the intersection of two re-imagined fairy tales.

Her grandmother’s murder at the hands of the wolf-man confirmed everything that red-clad Rosa’s mother ever told Rosa about Grundwirgen—people who have both human and beast-forms — so rifle in hand, Rosa set out to cleanse the human world of the tainted race.

Rosa’s quest was so successful that she had to flee to the far side of the world to escape her crimes.

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To the Waters and the Wild

The Doors of Eden

By Adrian Tchaikovsky  

1 Apr, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Adrian Tchaikovsky’s 2020 The Doors of Eden is a stand-alone science fiction novel.

First-generation Brit Lisa Prior1 and posh Elsinore Mal” Mallory befriended each other in school thanks to a shared interest in Forteana. Over time they became more than friends, something that they kept secret from their families. How the relationship would have played out in the long run remains a mystery, because one day the two teens ventured out onto Bodmin Moor to look for cryptozoological treasure.

They found something. Only Lisa returned home from Bodmin Moor.

Four years later…

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A Distant Drum

Comet Weather

By Liz Williams  

31 Mar, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Liz Williams’ 2020 Comet Weather is a standalone contemporary fantasy novel.

The Fallow sisters — practical Bee, DJ Stella, fashion-designer Serena, and the peripatetic Luna — are unremarkable save for their whirlwind love-lives, their vanished mother Alys, and the stars who occasionally descend from the sky to manifest as humanoid incarnations in the Fallow home Mooncote. Oh, and the occasional ghost. 

With Lerninsky’s Comet soon to be visible in the sky, the sisters (and a few friends) gather at Mooncote.

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How’s My Stormy Weather Now?

The Drowning Eyes

By Emily Foster  

16 Mar, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Emily Foster’s 2016 The Drowning Eyes is a standalone secondary-universe fantasy.

Town after town has been sacked by the Dragon Ships. Widespread paranoia is cutting into the good ship Giggling Goats business; it’s much harder for Tazir to find passengers willing to book passage.

Still, no matter the danger, there is always someone anxious enough to pay well for transport across risky waters. It could be runaway bride,” person looking for a lost relative,” or murderer who needs to get away from the scene of the crime.” Tazir’s recruiting efforts pay off in the form of a young girl named Shina. She seems naïve and harmless, needs to travel quickly, and is willing to pay an impressively large fee.

All is not quite as it seems.


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