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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (273)

That Girl’s a Genius

Drowned Country  (Greenhollow, book 2)

By Emily Tesh  

29 Jun, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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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

2 comments


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

1 comment

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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A Neighborly Day

The Night Girl

By James Bow  

25 Feb, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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James Bow’s 2019 The Night Girl is a standalone urban fantasy.

Perpetua Collins emigrates to Toronto with five hundred Canadian dollars in her pocket and high hopes. Her quest for work proves challenging; she is reduced to homelessness.

Then Toronto entrepreneur Earthenhouse offers the young woman a job. She has an edge over other applicants in that she did not run screaming from the office when she saw her potential employer. Few modern Torontonians are used to dealing with goblins like Earthenhouse.


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Throwing Punches Out Into The Black

Velveteen vs. the Multiverse  (Velveteen vs., book 2)

By Seanan McGuire  

4 Feb, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

4 comments

2013’s Velveteen vs. the Multiverse is the second volume in Seanan McGuire’s Velveteen vs. series.

Velma Velveteen” Martinez seeks refuge from her former crew, the Super Patriots, America’s paramount super-franchise. She moves to Oregon, the only state that hasn’t contracted with the franchise. She’s free to build a new life, with a new apartment, new adventures, and a new boyfriend. The Super Patriots’ predatory ways are behind her.

Just kidding. Cutting ties with the Super Patriots is an affront Marketing will never forgive. Harassment ensues.


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All the Vibes

Upright Women Wanted

By Sarah Gailey  

30 Jan, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Sarah Gailey’s Upright Women Wanted is a standalone near-future novella.

Esther knows she’s doomed. She’s been unable to resist her illicit sapphic urges; she’s engaged in a covert love affair with another woman. Everything she has been taught tells her that she will be outed and punished by fate itself. Nevertheless, she persists.

Esther’s best friend/lover Beatriz is executed for possession of seditious propaganda. Beatriz’s brutish fiancé needs a new woman and Esther’s father, the sheriff of Valor, Arizona, is happy to oblige. With Esther. 

Perhaps doom can be put off, even if it cannot be avoided. Esther stows away in a Librarian’s cart. If she can become a Librarian, she won’t be forced to marry. She can look forward to a life of chaste service to the State. 

Esther doesn’t know some things she should know about the Librarians.


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Creatures of the Underworld

An Illusion of Thieves

By Cate Glass  

11 Jan, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

3 comments

2019’s secondary world fantasy An Illusion of Thieves is the first volume in Cate Glass’ Chimera series. 

Cantagna has firm rules where sorcery is concerned. It is considered evidence of a demonic taint. Those born with magic are weighted down with chains and thrown in the nearest body of water. 

When Romy’s mother discovered Romy’s magical talent, she sold young Romy to a brothel. If Romy’s magic is ever discovered, it wouldn’t be her family’s problem.

Years later, Romy is Cataline of Moon House and one of the most famous courtesans in Cantagna. She is mistress to none other than Sandro, Cantagna’s Shadow Lord, the grand Padrone who rules the city. Sandro is married, of course (to Gilliette), but Romy is the one with whom Sandro spends his time. It’s the best life to which someone from Cantagna’s slums might aspire.

Happiness is evanescent.

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