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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (333)

Gotta Have Faith

The Thousand Eyes  (Serpent Gates, volume 2)

By A. K. Larkwood  

23 Feb, 2023

Miscellaneous Reviews


2022’s The Thousand Eyes is the second and final book in A. K. Larkwood’s secondary-universe sword-and-sorcery Serpent Gates duology.

Having survived the thrilling events of The Unspoken Name, retired divine sacrifice Csorwe, her lover (the scholar-mage Qanwa Shuthmili), and their duelist pal Talasseres Charossa have become murder-hobos for hire, protecting the inquisitive as they foolishly commit archaeology in a multiverse filled with things about which mortals are happier not knowing1.

Currently, their employer is one Dr. Ilver Tvelujan, an ambitious historian with an underdeveloped sense of self-preservation. Tvelujan won’t be making past the next paragraph.

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Flood Waters Rise

Sounding Dark  (Calpurnian Wars, volume 1)

By Jo Graham  

24 Jan, 2023

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2021’s Sounding Dark is the first volume in Jo Graham’s Calpurnian Wars series.

Interstellar great power Calpurnia eschews subtle hints when brute force will do as well. Thus, the initial indications that the matter of Eresh is once again occupying an autocrat’s mind come when two Eresh ships are ambushed and annihilated by a Calpurnian task force.

Arriving too late to intervene, the officers and crew of Steel Nine search for survivors. They find one. However, the survivor is neither from Eresh nor Calpurnia. Bister is Tainted, born and raised on the interdicted world of Inanna, around which the space facility Eresh orbits. They have no business being in space.

This is not Bister’s most unusual characteristic.

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Wait and See

The Keeper’s Six

By Kate Elliott  

29 Dec, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Kate Elliott’s 2023’s The Keeper’s Six is an upcoming (in only one month!) fantasy novel. 

Although few on Earth are aware of this, Earth is but one minor realm among many. Venture through the alien and deadly Beyond and any number of other worlds may be accessed. Although Earth is a primitive backwater, it is the source of a few goods that are available only on Earth. Thus, it has its own Keeps, through which Earth may be accessed and trade items acquired. The Keeps allow intermittent contact with the other worlds scattered through the Beyond.

Esther and the other members of her magical Hex used to wander the Beyond. Forbidden to do so in punishment for her transgressions, Esther is stuck on Earth. Crisis will force her to break the terms of her sentence.

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In Search of a Hidden Truth

The Foreign Exchange  (Mambo Reina, volume 2)

By Veronica G. Henry  

30 Nov, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


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


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


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


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


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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