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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (269)

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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The Dream I Dream Takes Two

Start of Darkness

By Rich Burlew  

9 Jan, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

2 comments

Rich Burlew’s 2007 Start of Darkness is a book prequel to his long-running Dungeons-and-Dragons-inspired fantasy web-comic, The Order of the Stick.

How did an easily distracted sorcerer become one of his world’s Big Bads? Why did the goblin cleric Redcloak ally with someone who squanders goblin lives on a whim? The answer for that begins with a punitive raid on a small goblin village thirty-four years before Order of the Stick begins.


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Tick-Tock

Alice Payne Arrives  (Alice Payne, book 1)

By Kate Heartfield  

31 Dec, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2018’s Alice Payne Arrives is the first installment in Kate Heartfield’s Alice Payne series. 

Alice father Colonel Payne served for England in the American Revolutionary War; he returned home changed for the worse. Life at home is increasingly difficult for Alice. She could escape by marriage, if some well-heeled man were to overlook her mixed race heritage (which is not all that likely). But a staid, conventional, boring marriage has no appeal to Alice. She prefers to make a living as a dashing highwayman known as the Holy Ghost. She has a minion, an automaton named Laverna. (So, steampunk.)

Alice’s scheme to rob the odious Lord Ludderworth goes awry when Ludderworth, almost all of his servants, and his carriage vanish after the robbery. Highway robbery is common enough that it doesn’t draw a lot of attention, but a vanished aristocrat draws far more intense scrutiny. Alice may be hunted down and hanged. 

That’s bad enough, but, as Alice will discover, time travel makes everything worse.


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Why Such a Lonely Beach

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens  

26 Dec, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Charles Dickens 1843’s A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas is a standalone ghost story. Although the author failed to prosper in the science fiction and fantasy genres (in large part because they would not be codified until the following century), he enjoyed great success as a popular author.

Ebenezer Scrooge is living the dream: he has amassed an impressive fortune from which he derives a cold pleasure. He seems to have won at the game of life.

He discovers he has miscalculated the night that his long-dead business partner Jacob Marley visits him.


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With a Little Help From My Friends

Sisters of The Vast Black

By Lina Rather  

27 Nov, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Lina Rather’s 2019 Sisters of The Vast Black is a standalone science fiction novella.

The living starship Our Lady of Impossible Constellations conveys the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita between several extrasolar systems, where they minister to scattered human colonies. Their spiritual ministry often takes a back seat to medical assistance. Forty years ago the colonies cast off the rule of the Earth Central Governance. Freedom from ECG comes bundled with freedom from all the medical resources ECG once provided. 

During the revolution, the rebels scourged the Earth, executing some ECG leaders and driving the others into exile, For some time the wounded ECG let the colonies to go their own way. Now the ECG is looking outward again. This will affect the sisters on board Our Lady of Impossible Constellations.


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