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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (320)

Bad Influence


By ND Stevenson  

30 Jun, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Nimona is a stand-alone science-fantasy graphic novel by author/artist ND Stevenson. First serialized online between 2012 and 2014, Nimona was published in book form in 2015

Lord Ballister Blackheart dreamed of becoming one of the kingdom’s heroes. After he lost an arm during a joust with Ambrosius Goldenloin, he also lost all hope of becoming a duly appointed hero. The Institution that rules the kingdom (de facto, but powerful nonetheless) used the injury as a pretext to eject him. 

Blackheart believes his maiming to be no accident and has devoted himself to opposing the Institution. Thus far, his schemes have been marvelous in every respect … save that of actual success.

Enter Nimona, aspiring sidekick. 

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Stand Me Up At The Gates Of Hell

A Half-Built Garden

By Ruthanna Emrys  

7 Jun, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Ruthanna Emrys’ 2022 A Half-Built Garden is a first-contact novel.

Judy Wallach-Stevens is alerted to soaring phosphate levels near Bear Island. Judy, wife Carol, and their infant Dori dutifully trundle off to see what is polluting the local watershed. The source could be some pre-Dandelion-Revolution industrial relic or perhaps someone who should know better is dumping chemicals improperly. The real reason? Aliens.

Judy and her family are now hip-wader deep in a first-contact situation.

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How Many Roads

Minor Mage

By T. Kingfisher  

26 May, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


T. Kingfisher’s 2019 Minor Mage is a stand-alone fantasy.

A drought is destroying a small town and its farmland. Perhaps it could be ended if someone were to trek the distant Rainblade mountains, there to petition the Cloud Herders for respite. But who will undertake this dangerous quest? Oliver’s neighbors are sure that he is the best chance the town has. Oliver is the town’s only mage. 

Oliver really really doesn’t want to go, but he is only twelve. Who cares what some kid thinks?

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Now Give Me Money

January Fifteenth

By Rachel Swirsky  

3 May, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Rachel Swirsky’s 2022 January Fifteenth is a stand-alone near-future science fiction novel1.

Every January 15th, Americans receive their annual Universal Basic Income check. Ostensibly this is to ensure all Americans, even the sub‑1 percent peons, have the minimum necessary funds necessary to survive with some degree of dignity and security. 

Never underestimate the propensity of humans to fuck up the implementation of simple ideas.

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Building a Mystery

The Dog Park Club

By Cynthia Robinson  

7 Apr, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

The Dog Park Club is the first of Cynthia Robinson’s Max Bravo books. It is a comedic mystery. 

Successful opera singer Max Bravo’s social life is as barren as his professional life is rich. Lovers, male and female, are all brief flings. The only two people he sees consistently are his aged grandmother, Baba, and Claudia Fiore, his long-time friend. When marital calamity upends Claudia’s life, Max steps in to care for her neglected dog, Asta. If nothing else, excursions with Asta will provide him with yet another means to avoid his Baba’s incessant efforts to find him a bride. 

Max would be the first to proclaim that he is an utterly self-centered, judgmental snob, the last person who should take an interest in solving a murder. However, clipping the leash onto Asta is the first step towards amateur sleuthing.

Warning: spoilers abound. 

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Remember What the Dormouse Said

Star Hunters  (Diadem, volume 5)

By Jo Clayton  

5 Apr, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Star Hunter sis the fifth book in Jo Clayton’s Diadem series. 

Half-Vrya Aleytys has reluctantly given up her child. Her life as an agent for Hunters, Inc. is too tumultuous; anyone close to her is in danger. She has broken with her long-term lover Grey and been abandoned by the psionics ghosts living within the Diadem. 

(The Diadem is a powerful magical artifact that she donned at the start of the series, an artifact that she found she cannot remove. For more backstory, check out this earlier JDN review.)

She’s temporarily at a loss. A mission is a welcome distraction. 

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I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know

The Unbalancing

By R. B. Lemberg  

17 Mar, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

R. B. Lemberg’s 2022 The Unbalancing is a secondary universe fantasy, set in Lemberg’s Bird universe. 

Erígra Lilún isn’t at ease in social situations. They would rather engage in solitary artistic pursuits. This doesn’t sit well with their ancestor Semberí, long a ghost, who has a strong conviction that Lilún should be the new keeper of the Unquiet Sleeper. What is that?” you ask. Let me explain.

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Many a Noble Deed


By Nicola Griffith  

10 Mar, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Nicola Griffith’s 2022 Spear is a stand-alone Arthurian fantasy.

The nameless girl yearns to know who she is … but her mother Elen won’t reveal her name or the name of her father. The pair hide in a cave in remote woods, far from any other habitation. Elen wields magic and owns a powerful artifact, but she lives in fear of discovery. The girl will never be belong to any community in post-Roman Britain if her mother has her way.

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A Wonder to Behold It Was

A Prayer for The Crown-shy  (Monk and Robot, volume 2)

By Becky Chambers  

24 Feb, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


2022’s A Prayer for The Crown-shy is the second volume in Becky Chamber’s Monk and Robot series. 

Until now, no existing robot has personally experienced human society. Mosscap has set out to rectify this omission. While accompanying the monk Sibling Dex on their rural journeys, the robot enthusiastically embraces the chance to witness human behavior in all its peculiar manifestations. The machine’s curiosity is matched only by its unfamiliarity with social conventions. 

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