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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (326)

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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Some Other Time

A Psalm for the Wild-Built  (Robot and Monk)

By Becky Chambers  

17 Feb, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2021’s A Psalm for the Wild-Built is the first volume of Becky Chambers’ Robot and Monk series.

Although Panga’s only city (named City) is a fine city, it has no crickets. Sibling Dex wants to hear crickets. They leave urban monastic life behind to embrace the way of the tea monk. Learning how to be a proper tea monk will be just one delightful aspect of this new life.

There is, however, the matter of the rogue robots.

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A Horse With No Name

All the Horses of Iceland

By Sarah Tolmie  

27 Jan, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Sarah Tolmie’s 2022 All the Horses of Iceland is a historical fantasy.

The nameless horse’s 9th century1journey from Central Asia to Iceland began with religious conversion. More exactly, it began because a conversion was refused. Eyvind of Eyri, an Icelandic pagan and a sailor, finds Christian attempts to covert him unconvincing. When the captain of Eyvind’s ship converts to Christianity while docked in the Volga river trading community of Helmgard (modern Novgorod), only Eyvind refuses to follow the captain’s lead. Feeling out of place on the now Christian ship, Eyvind cashes in his shares and looks for other opportunities.

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Drop Them in a Teacup

Knot of Shadows  (Penric & Desdemona, volume 11)

By Lois McMaster Bujold  

18 Jan, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Knot of Shadows is the eleventh volume in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric and Desdemona series, which takes place in her Five Gods secondary fantasy universe. 

Drownings are not rare in Vilnoc, a port. Drowned men who stand up and try to escape the morgue, on the other hand, are unusual. Clearly the ambulatory corpse is a matter for a sorcerer. Physician Tolga asks Penric and his demon Desdemona to help.

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Welcome to the Black Parade

Elder Race

By Adrian Tchaikovsky  

23 Dec, 2021

Miscellaneous Reviews


Adrian Tchaikovsky’s 2021 Elder Race is a stand-alone science fiction novella. 

Plagued by demonic invasion, the people of Ordwood begged Lannesite for aid. Lannesite’s Queen decreed that Ordwood’s problems, while tragic, were not Lannesite’s problems. No aid would be forthcoming.

Outraged at her mother’s lack of compassion, the Queen’s least impressive offspring, Lynesse Fourth Daughter, convinced herself to embrace bold action. Nyrgoth Elder, last of the ancients, long ago promised that Lannesite could call on him in their hour of need. Whether the old sorcerer is still alive is unknown. Nobody has seen him in a lifetime. Nevertheless, Lynesse sets out for his isolated mountain tower. 

Old Nyrgoth is still alive, scarcely aged a day. However, he is no sorcerer.

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