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Reviews in Project: Miscellaneous Reviews (333)

Baby, Remember My Name

We’ll Always Have Parrots  (Meg Langslow, # 5)

By Donna Andrews  

2 Aug, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


2004’s We’ll Always Have Parrots is the fifth of Donna Andrews’ more than thirty Meg Langslow mysteries. 

Blacksmith Meg Langslow’s academic boyfriend Michael’s has an acting side-gig. He has a role on the cult favourite TV show, Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle. This gig is not without its drawbacks. Michael’s contract warranted a closer look than it got before Michael signed it. Thanks to its onerous conditions, Michael is forced to attend the Friends of Amblyopia (the show’s fan club) very first East Coast convention.

Meg accompanies Michael. Perhaps she will be able to recoup the costs by selling show-themed weapons at the con. Or perhaps she will find herself entangled in yet another murder mystery…. 

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Where the Scenery is Lush

Tread of Angels

By Rebecca Roanhorse  

21 Jul, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


Rebecca Roanhorse’s 2022 Tread of Angels is an upcoming fantasy novel. 

Eons ago, the demons lost their war and the survivors fled to Hell. Abaddon was not a survivor. Struck down by Azrael, the demon-leader’s massive corpse became the foundation of Abaddon’s Mountain. 

Humans being humans, they view the demon’s remains not as the relic of a world-shaping war but rather as a resource. The town of Goetia’s economy depends on mining and selling Abaddon’s remains. Upon this basis, a thriving community lives, a community divided, as human societies generally are, into the favoured (the Elect, descended from the victors) and the disfavoured (the Fallen, descended from the losers). 

Celeste Semyaza is Fallen. She makes her living dealing cards at the Eden. Circumstances will force her into a new and unwanted role: one part lawyer and one part private investigator. 

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A New Life

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

By Travis Baldree  

7 Jul, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Travis Baldree’s 2022 Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes is a secondary-world fantasy novel. 

Life for orc barbarians like Viv is a sequence of small wounds leading up to the final, fatal blow. Viv rejects this time-honored career path. Having successfully held up her end of the Old Final Job, she takes her share of the wealth — a Scalvert Stone — and walks away from the dungeoneering life. 

New adventures await in the thriving field of food services. 

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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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