Book Review: Jade City

I’m always nervous to start reading a book that I’m also going to review when that book has already received gobs of praise from other readers. I’m always worried that it will be a letdown for me and I’ll be that one guy who craps on what everybody else loves. Thankfully, in the case of Jade City this isn’t the case.

Jade City is a vivid, gritty, gangster fantasy. I seriously enjoyed this read.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Space Between Worlds

A beautifully written character driven story about place, belonging, and inequality that left me yearning for more. I can’t express how much I truly just fell into this novel, like sinking into a warm comfortable bed and never wanting to leave it.

Continue reading

Book Review: Chaos Vector

20201114_182342

Chaos Vector, Megan E. O’Keefe’s second offering in The Protectorate series is maybe more exciting than Velocity Weapon! The badass characters, thrilling action, sentient AI spaceships, politics, moral questions, they’re all here with the tempo cranked up a bit. Oh…and did I mention plot twists? Yeah, they’re back too. So strap in and lets talk about what has become one of my favorite new sci-fi series. Continue reading

Book Review: The Sword of Kaigen

img_7118

The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang is one of the most unique books I’ve read this year. Any one of the following is reason enough to read it; It’s imaginative and defies expected norms; It has elemental magic and one of the best set piece fight scenes I’ve ever read; It is one of the best non-western/Asian inspired fantasies I’ve come across; It’s very much a character driven book for those who love character driven books; It will hit you in the feels; It won the Fifth Annual Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).

So take your pick. Of the selling points I just listed what grabs your attention the most? Is it more than one? I’ll try to run through them and give you my thoughts. Here we go… Continue reading

Book Review: Shadow Debt

shadow-debt_ray_banner

Welcome to my stop on the Shadow Debt book tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour!

William Ray has done it again. By that I mean he’s offered readers another fantastic story in his Tales of The Verin Empire series. This one comes with gun slinging outlaws, a no-nonsense sheriff, a claim rich mining town, indigenous tribes chaffing at a colonial presence, fantastical monsters, and a dose of shadowy magic just to keep things interesting.

Continue reading

Short Story Review: The Sycamore and the Sybil

20201008_024302

I really ought to review more short stories. I mean yeah, sure, that would mean I’d have to read more short stories but that’s not the point. Well, it is kinda the point. Anyway, I want to tell you about a short story in the March/April 2020 issue of Uncanny written by Alix E. Harrow called “The Sycamore and the Sybil.”

It’s a story about a woman who turned herself into a Sycamore tree along the banks of the Big Sandy River, and another young woman named Kat who is pursued by a “wolf,” a man who isn’t the best of men. It’s a story about fighting for yourself, and women who aren’t going to let themselves be mistreated and abused anymore. It’s a story about women helping women. And it’s a story about spells and witchcraft and…well…magic.

I read “The Sycamore and the Sybil” when it was first published as I tend to read anything by Harrow as soon as I can get my hands on it. I loved it at the time and tweeted about it

20201007_211441

So that’s basically my review…

“It is painful and stunning and powerful. Harrow wields magic in her stories gifted by the muses. Read, dance, and burn it all down.”

What I didn’t know at the time was “The Sycamore and the Sybil” is set in the same world as The Once and Future Witches. 

20201007_211524

Yep…Harrow snuck something by us back in March, a quick peak into the witchy setting she created in her most recent novel set to be released later this month.

In my review of The Once and Future Witches I noted how it,is more like some of her short stories, poetic at times and still very rich, but more pointed and focused on a mood or emotion.” When I wrote that I was thinking partly about this story! It was sitting there in the back of my mind as one of a few examples of Harrow’s short work and how tightly focused they can be in relation to mood and emotion and the way they just hit you in the gut. Harrow was casting a little spell months in advance and we didn’t have a clue.

“The Sycamore and the Sybil” is set in Crow County along the Big Sandy, one of the locations of The Once and Future Witches. In it you’ll find a number of references to things in the novel, some overt and others very subtle. If you read the short story first you’ll get a hint of what’s in store for you when you read the book…but just a hint. If you read the book first then turn to the story you’ll find all manner of things to make you smile and maybe even shed a tear as you remember events and characters from the novel. Either way I recommend you read both because they are fantastic.

Anyway, just wanted to pass that along. Hope you enjoy the read.

– Jason