2023.04.01 06:32 Crav3s What's going on?
2023.04.01 05:50 fuzzyone06 AITA for refusing to pay for my son's wedding even though I can afford it?
2023.04.01 05:28 rufiothewolf I have a strange condition
2023.04.01 04:57 randomxfox MIL doesn't take fiance seriously
2023.04.01 04:24 draculadarcula AITA for wanting an expensive vehicle?
2023.04.01 04:21 littleblackraincl0ud Hot baths?
2023.04.01 03:43 parentalnaysayer720 Bro
|submitted by parentalnaysayer720 to meme [link] [comments]|
2023.04.01 03:05 HoldEquivalent The Junior still sucks (Spoilers)
2023.04.01 02:38 throwRAhomiehomehome I live next to junkies. I’ve found 3 needles in my yard in a week. Help.
Well, my 6 yr old niece found one of the needles I found the other today, I have cameras but it doesn’t catch them throwing it. I’m moving sometime in the next two months but every day they’re going through my yard on bikes or foot despite no trespassing signs. They have stolen my hot tub. I’ve called the cops but without hard proof they can’t do anything. I’ve told them I’ve had it, but they just say sorry and keep on…. What can I do? Please help with any ideas. My nerves are fried. USA Incase that helps?submitted by throwRAhomiehomehome to BadNeighbors [link] [comments]
2023.04.01 02:34 Karlythewonderdog Please help with my 8 night basic itinerary
2023.04.01 02:06 Staringatmyself Is there something wrong ?
2023.04.01 01:36 CivilDependent5073 May Surgery -- did i just ruin my summer?
2023.04.01 00:56 dragon_morgan I completed a bingo card with all indie/self published titles!
submitted by dragon_morgan to Fantasy [link] [comments]
bingo card in all its glory
For Bingo this year I thought it would be fun to complete a card using only self- or indie-published books. By definition of indie published I mostly mean anything that uses KDP or Ingram Spark or similar as their main distributor, but if someone from a very small trad press managed to sneak through my filter consider this covering my bum and saying I picked things that were indie “enough” :)
So then, without further ado, the mini reviews!
A Book from Fantasy’s Top LGBTQIA List
Substitution, but within the spirit of the thing: School Setting (2020)
The Enchanter by Tobias Begley
Hard Mode: N/A
Came up against a challenge on the very first square because the only indie published book on the somewhat limited list was Arcane Ascension, which I’d already read, and didn’t really want to use my one reread on that. So I started looking around for other LGBTQ books to use as my substitution and ended up picking up Enchanter, which turned out to be… a lot like Arcane Ascension, actually. Evander is a socially awkward young gay man who is off to magic school to become an enchanter. What he lacks in raw magical ability he makes up for in determination and cleverness, and he spends much of the book pushing the magic system to its absolute limit, all while meanwhile navigating a budding first romance with the handsome nobleman he met on the train. Meanwhile someone is letting eldritch horrors into the school grounds, and it’s up to Evander and his new boyfriend to figure out the mystery and avoid taking the blame themselves. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, though it leans heavily into a lot of the tropes of both the magic school and progression fantasy genres. I’d say if you enjoyed Arcane Ascension and Mother of Learning, you will probably definitely enjoy this one too.
Iron Truth by S.A. Tholin
Hard Mode: yes
Over a century ago, Joy Somerset entered cryogenic sleep and boarded a colony ship, expecting to awaken on an idyllic new world. Instead she wakes up on Cato, a dusty hellscape inhabited only by giant spiders, hostile locals, and red lichen that is probably definitely up to no good. Rigid and religiously devout military commander Cassimir from the theocratic Primaterre Protectorate seems like her ticket back to civilization, but neither of them will go anywhere until they can unravel Cato’s mysteries. This book won the first ever SPSFC contest and I can see why, because even though it was a somewhat long book, it kept me turning pages all the way through. Part space opera, part cosmic horror, I felt like I was racing to the end just to figure out what was going on. If I had any complaints it was that the romance felt a little bit forced — here is a hot girl, here is a hot guy, they are designated to end up together because the plot says so. In such a long book there ought to have been plenty of breathing room for their romance to grow organically but I never really felt like I got that, it was just hawtness at first sight and that was that. Still highly recommend to anyone who likes space opera.
Two or More Authors
NACL: Eye of the Storm by Allegra Pescatore and E. Sands
Hard Mode: no
Their planet seems like a perfect paradise, with one glaring flaw: the gods, when they created the world, forgot to include salt, an ingredient necessary for human life. In order to hastily cover up their mistake, they concentrated a world’s worth of salt in a giant pillar in the middle of the ocean, intending for it to distribute over time. But humans being humans, they unfortunately invented capitalism first, and now a corrupt corporation rigidly controls the salt pillar. Thanks to a meddlesome precog who might or might not himself be a god, a ragtag crew comes together, formed of an ex corporate slave, a grumpy doctor, a pair of pirates who smuggle salt to those in need, and a woman with dangerous magical powers who’d honestly rather just be left alone. Together, they hatch a plan to take down the corporation once and for all. They have to learn to trust each other first, though, and that is easier said than done. Well all right. If you know me you know I’m a sucker for a story about a ragtag crew that has to come together to defeat the big bad. This was a great story and it really delivered in that respect. My main complaint was that there are a lot of POV characters and many of them sort of blend together in the beginning. They all have their own reasons for being angry at the corporation but when you have multiple characters whose *main* personality trait is “GRR I HATE THE COMPANY” they kind of run together for the first act until they start to distinguish themselves. My nickname for this book while I was reading it was “Salty Bitches” for a reason. For real, though, I really did enjoy this one, and if you want a nice escapist fantasy about sticking it to the corporate man, this is the book for you.
Scales and Sensibility by Stephanie Burgis
Hard Mode: no, sigh, all I had to do was find something not set in one of two countries, and guess where this one is set
When Elinor’s parents died and left her and her sisters penniless, she has no choice but to move in with her obnoxious relatives and, Cinderella-like, work as a servant for her terrible cousin. She plans to abide this with determined British stoicness until she can finally leave and become a governess or something, but if there is one thing she cannot abide, it is dragon abuse. So she finds herself running from home with a stolen dragon and only a few coins to her name, and is nearly run off the road by a handsome gentleman off to court her very same horrible cousin. And that’s when the real shenanigans begin. This book was a delight from start to finish. It is one of the finalists for this year’s SPFBO which I think is incredibly well-deserved. It shares a lot in common with its fellow finalist Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide, making 2022 evidently a big year for downtrodden British ladies hiding dragons from their terrible relatives. I recommend this one to anyone who likes cozy fantasy, regency era, and fantasy of manners.
Set in Space
The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August
Hard Mode: I can’t honestly remember if the kids are from Earth or not but I’m going to go with yes, so no on the hard mode
When humans finally invented faster-than-light travel, they expected to be welcomed or mistrusted by a greater galactic community. What they found instead were hundreds of abandoned planets, remnants of a civilization wiped clean by some unknown catastrophe. Archaeologists are desperate to find out what went wrong, as are the corrupt corporations who control humanity, because what happened to one civilization could happen to ours, as well. The Last Gifts of the Universe stars Scout, a small-time independent archaeologist, and her younger brother, as they race to find precious recordings of the lost civilization before their corporate rivals can. Despite being set in the backdrop of a mystery that spans centuries and light years and potentially multiple-world-ending stakes, this story is really more about the more immediate human (and sentient-non-human) relationships of the characters. It is a story about Scout’s relationship with their brother, their complicated memories with their parents, and their growing frenemyship with the corporate soldier who wants the same things they do. It is also about Biryeena, the alien politician who lived centuries ago, leaving her recorded memories for future archaeologists to find. I enjoyed this book very much, but I think I might have enjoyed it a lot more if we were not presented with such galaxy-spanning stakes only to be told that those stakes were not the point. They could have just been ordinary space archaeologists without trying to solve Space Plague. I also wasn’t sure how I felt about the ancient alien civilization as it is presented. Making them very human-seeming made them more relatable to the reader, but I found it strained suspension of disbelief, just a little, that they would so closely follow a somewhat idealized version of modern Western civilization, in which the alien narrator goes to a four-year college, struggles to find a job upon graduation, gets married, and eventually runs for office in a vaguely democratic society. Still, I recommend this one to fans of Becky Chambers and anyone who wants a more intimate character-focused space opera.
Battle Mage by Peter Flannery
Hard Mode: yes
Falco Dante longs to be a dragon rider and fight the demon hordes, but unfortunately, he is shunned by his community for being a sick weakling, and worse yet, being the son of a traitor who turned against the town. But when a dragon summoning goes horribly wrong and the townsfolk are forced to flee, he learns he has the rare potential to become a battle mage, and may be the one to repair the bond between humans and dragons and defeat the demons once and for all. Of course as many of you know I love a good training montage story, as well as “battle school” types of settings. And dragon riders. I love those two. So even going in I knew this book was going to be a good time. It is long, incredibly long, but I actually admire Flannery for keeping the story contained to one book, because it could have easily been a 10 book series full of doorstoppers if he wanted to stretch things out. I did think the pacing dragged a little bit in places, the blow-by-blow battle scenes were too frequent and drawn-out for my personal tastes, and the part where they’re fleeing the town in the beginning seemed to take forever when it really didn’t need to. If you’re a fan of a lot of the classic fantasy tropes, however, this is not one to miss.
Where Blood Runs Gold by A.C. Cross
Hard Mode: no
Errol Thorpe is your typical old west sheriff who refuses to take shit from anyone. He has his own strong moral compass, but will not hesitate to bust heads at the slightest provocation. This of course becomes both a strength and a complication when he finds himself in custody of a young woman he needs to keep safe, while also unraveling the mystery of the creepy magic dust that’s making people go crazy. This book is incredibly tightly plotted and had me eagerly turning pages all the way through. I think what I liked the most about it was the general voice to the writing, I really felt like I was getting into Sheriff Errol Thorpe’s head. If you’re a fan of gritty types of westerns like HBO’s Deadwood I think you’ll really enjoy Where Blood Runs Gold.
Book Club OR Readalong Book
The Wolf and the She-Bear by Morgan Stang (RAB December 2022)
Hard Mode: yes :)
“Retired” mercenary Samantha Redwyne just wants a quiet peaceful life in the middle of nowhere. But when a man from her past begs her help transporting some Probably Definitely Stolen Cargo, she reluctantly agrees. Naturally, trouble follows quickly at their heels. This book was both very fast paced and also novella length so it made for a very quick read. I kind of almost wish it had been a little bit longer, though, because I would have liked to get to know the characters a bit more, given them room to breathe. I feel like we never really get to know who Samantha is as a person, and so when big reveals are made about her past, they don’t quite pack the emotional punch they’re probably meant to. There are also two male POV characters, ostensibly on opposite sides, who badly run together to me as both of their chief personality traits are “murder everyone in sight.” I did enjoy one of the minor POV characters, a would-be housewife who has turned to banditry to support her family, because it was kind of intriguing how much she tells herself she’s better than those OTHER bandits when she really, really isn’t. Ultimately this book was either just a little too short or a little too grimdark for my tastes, but it was intriguing enough I can definitely see myself reading something else of Stang’s along the way.
Year of the Sword books 1-3 by Dakota Krout
Hard Mode: yes, the sword’s name is Sarge
okay I’m being a LITTLE bit cheaty here because what I actually read for bingo was Dokeshi March, book 3 in the series, but I feel like it makes more sense to do the mini-review of book 1, Lord January, so bear with me. This series. THIS SERIES. I’m not even really sure where to start. Many centuries ago, due to a conflict, the world was split into twelve districts, one for each month of the year. Each district has one defining trait that makes it stand out from the others. In District January, they grow all the food, and everyone is very much into eating as much as possible. The fatter you are, the more status you are perceived to have in January. February is the polar opposite, where everyone drinks wheatgrass smoothies and is obsessed with fitness. In March, everyone is into gambling, and so it goes. Our hero, Grant Leap, is ostracized from his native January District for only being a little bit fat and also being born on leap day which is a big no-no in Calendar Culture. All that changes, however, when he finds a magic talking sword, Sarge, who agrees to train him to become powerful, at a cost. If he doesn’t defeat all the calendar lords by the end of the year, his life is forfeit. If you think this premise sounds ridiculous, well, yes it is. It is 100% exactly as ridiculous as it sounds. And yet I could not for the life of me put it down. What can I say. I love training montages. This is a LitRPG-style progression fantasy with visible stat screens and leveling up, and I think it’s a fun, albeit ludicrous, addition to the genre. Unfortunately the series seems to be on hiatus currently while the author works on other projects, but I’ll definitely be continuing when it picks back up again.
Revolutions and Rebellions
Blade’s Edge by Virginia McClain
Hard Mode: Sort of? The action is more human-focused, but they’d not get far without the rebellion
Centuries ago, Fantasy Not Quite Japan was a brutal monarchy, ruled by a violent and corrupt mage queen. After she was defeated, the pendulum swung the other way, and now women and girls are brutally subjugated, especially those who can use magic — when magic-using girls are admitted to exist at all. Mishi and Taka were best friends in their orphanage home, each dreading the day they would be separated to be sold into either servitude or a loveless and abusive marriage. As it happens, they are both taken away on the same day, though to neither of those things. When Taka’s secret magical abilities are revealed, she is shipped off to a brutal school where women with some small magical gift are taught to be healers and midwives, but not without going through a ton of abuse first. Mishi fares better, being adopted into a warrior family who works against the patriarchal government and trains women to fight in secret. Years later, the two friends meet again when Taka flees from her evil magic school and instead joins the rebellion. I quite enjoyed this book, the way the two girls’ stories diverge and then weave back together. The pacing is tight and intriguing and there was never any point where I felt bored, and yet we are also given the space to really get to know and care about the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Name in the Title
India Bones and the Ship of the Dead by Set Sytes
Hard Mode: yes
India Bones lives in a quiet portside town dreaming of a life of adventure like his famous pirate father who disappeared many years ago. His opportunity arrives when a ghost ship makes port and the ghosts and skeletons dance on the shore, and India sneaks off to join them. While he quickly finds that a ghost ship is no place for a living boy, this soon opens the door to discoveries about his past and new adventures ahead. This was a fun adventure romp, a bit disjointed as India is yanked from one misadventure to the next, but entertaining all the way through. The only slightly confusing thing about it was I was never quite sure what age group it was meant for. India himself is quite young and for a lot of the book it reads very much like a middle-grade novel, but it also has things like pre-teens getting drunk, presented uncritically. Still this made for a good pirate adventure and I plan to continue this series eventually.
Author Uses Initials
Heavy by J.J. Thorn
Hard Mode: I’m certain I have no idea
Everyone in the kingdom dreams of being granted an affinity when they turn 16 and going off to magic school. Terrence realizes that chances are he’ll never get any affinity at all, so he’s surprised and rather alarmed when he’s given a rare and unusual one: the ability to see and manipulate weight. Rarity is all well and good, but will it help him become a dungeon-crawler like he hopes? Heavy is another magic school LitRPG progression fantasy with stats and level-ups. I seemed to be big on those this Bingo. This is another book where I’m not really sure how to write a review for it. It’s definitely rough in places; the author seems to have some interesting ideas about how punctuation works, and the truth is not a whole lot HAPPENS in this book. There are hints of some sinister goings-on in the greater dungeon-delving community, but for the most part Terrence just goes to school, stands up to bullies, makes friends, and tries to figure out how to use his unusual weight powers. But you know what, despite all that, I really enjoyed this book. It was cosy and enjoyable and made me want to go to magic school, and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Published in 2022
The Blood of Crows by Alex C. Pierce
Hard Mode: yes
Ren thought his days of violence and bloodshed were over when someone finally bought out his indentured servitude as a state-sanctioned thief in a brutal army unit. Unfortunately, he was wrong. When one last thieving job goes terribly wrong and his friend and mentor goes missing, Ren finds himself framed for the murders of several prominent noblewomen. Now he has to solve the mystery and clear his name before it’s too late. This was a fun book with a fast-paced plot and a lit of twisty turns that I didn’t see coming, plus a protagonist who has a strong voice and is entertaining to read about. I liked the fact that the main character doesn’t have any magic powers in a world where everyone else does. There are some other series that do that, like Codex Alera, but it’s still rare enough to be refreshing. However it does this one thing that’s fairly common in this particular “snarky guy gets in trouble” subgenre where he simply cannot catch a break, ever, and I have to wonder how he has not collapsed from exhaustion already, not to mention how he manages to survive so many beatings. Still, a fun book and a good debut, highly recommend.
Oath Broken by Jarryd Smith
Hard Mode: Alas, no
Once a famed monster hunter, Kaleb just wants to leave that life behind and live a normal life. But when dragged against his will to his friend’s wedding, and discovering there’s definitely something suspicious about the bridal party, he is forcefully dragged back into a life he wanted little to do with. This was an enjoyable, quick read, although I wish there were just a bit more character development as some things feel rushed and I had to scramble to remember who was who. I think this series definitely shows potential, though, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Set in Africa
The Windweaver’s Storm by Antoine Bandele
Hard Mode: yes
This is the second book in the TJ Young and the Orishas series. The first one, The Gatekeeper’s Staff, takes place in the United States and therefore doesn’t qualify for the Africa bingo square, but this one takes place in Nigeria and therefore does. After getting up to all kinds of heroics at summer camp last year, TJ Young has at last been offered a place at the prestigious Ifa Academy. Unfortunately, he has a lot of challenges ahead of him as his power still behaves erratically, and he made a promise to a god that he might not be able to keep. I really enjoyed this follow-up to the first book, especially the depiction of the magic school. Hogwarts has absolutely nothing on how cool Ifa Academy is. I somehow ended up reading a lot of magic school stories this year and this one was by far my favorite. The main characters’ teenage drama, while exhausting in the way that teenage drama often is, was also nonetheless well-realized and fun to read about. My only slight complaint was that I felt the ending was a little rushed, and I wanted a better explanation of certain occurrences near the end. But if you’re interested in something similar to Harry Potter or Percy Jackson with a majority-POC cast, this is the book for you.
The Skin by J.E. Hannaford
Hard Mode: She does spend most of the book in human form so I’d say not really
When unscrupulous humans steal her sister’s skin, a young selkie sacrifices her own freedom so that her sister can go free. She is forced to work for the humans she despises, at least until she can win her way to freedom and get her sister’s skin back. This was a really unique book in that it combines ancient Celtic mythology with a post-apocalyptic setting, something I’d never really seen before. Also, it has selkies, who are among some of the coolest mythical creatures. But I like seals so I might be a bit biased. The story starts out with three separate timelines that then join together in the second act, and I thought that part of the storytelling was cleverly done. Selkie’s journey is a powerful one, because she starts out very angry and unwilling to trust anyone but eventually makes deep friendships as the story continues. If I were to have any nitpicks I’d say that things come together almost a little too cleanly at the end, and characters I was certain were sus turn out to be squeaky clean, but that’s hardly a massive flaw. I recommend this one to anyone who likes seals, boats, mythology, shapeshifters, or post-apocalyptic settings.
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey
Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair
Hard Mode: I’m not sure, probably not, there is some time travel
Michael Duckett is starting to get annoyed with his best friend and roommate Stephanie Dyer, who refuses to take life seriously. Whether it’s trying to get out of his dead end job or trying to find a girlfriend, it seems like she’s always ruining his plans with her antics. When they start getting contacted about an ad in the paper selling them as a pair of private detectives, he thinks it must be another prank. What he gets instead is a zany jaunt across the multiverse that will strain and perhaps save their friendship. This book was delightful overall, and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It never at any point takes itself too seriously so if you want a Super Serious Time Travel Book this probably isn’t the one for you. But it nevertheless has a lot of heart and I grew quite attached to both main characters by the end. I did think some of the multiverse destinations were just a little too zany as to strain my willing suspension of disbelief, however, such as the world with the giant hamburger monsters. Still, this book was great fun.
Five SFF Short Stories
The Alchemy of Sorrow by Various
Hard Mode: Yes
I find it hard to review short story collections because there are so many of them and each is going to have their own strengths and weaknesses. However this is one of the best short story collections I’ve read in awhile. There was not a single story in it that I found dragged at any point; I enjoyed all of them immensely and found a lot of new authors whose work I will definitely be checking out. The theme of the anthology is dealing with grief so just by definition a lot of these stories will rip your heart out and stomp on it, but there is also an undercurrent of hope throughout. 5/5, highly recommend.
Features Mental Health
The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming by Sienna Tristen
Hard Mode: Yes
This book. OH BOY THIS BOOK. I had actually hoped to read the second book in the duology for this square but I didn’t quite finish in time, but thankfully I reread book 1 to refresh my memory going in, so I’m going to use that as my one allowed reread. Consider this a mini-review for both books, however, with the caveat that I am still working on reading the ending. Ronoah Genoveffa Ellizzi-Denna Pilanovani suffers from a lot of anxiety and self doubt. After failing as both a priest and a scholar, Ronoah finds himself lost in a foreign coffee shop, unsure what to do or how to face the future. Enter Reilin, a mysterious stranger who offers to take him to the beautiful and sacred Pilgrim State — as long as he follows a specific set of rules. Ronoah’s journey takes him half way across the world, where he encounters vibrant cultures, wonderful friends, and mysterious ancient ruins, while almost in passing discovering the lost secrets of the fallen Shalledrim empire. But if you’re looking for action and adventure around every corner, this is probably not the book for you. Ronoah’s journey is internal far more than it is external, all about figuring out who he is and what is important to him and how, at last, to have faith in himself. I fully admit that Ronoah is not the protagonist for everyone, as his internal monologue and negative self talk can be A LOT, especially in the first book. But this series is one of the most beautiful pieces of character work I’ve read in a long time, all told via beautiful, poetic prose that almost seems to sing from the page. I’d say fans of Robin Hobb will also enjoy this series.
Self-Published or Indie Publisher
Dreams of Dust by Lily Anne Crow
Hard Mode: Yes
Technically all of these books would count for this square but I will go with this one because as of typing this it only has two Goodreads reviews, one of which is mine, which is a crying shame because this book deserves better, but also means it handily counts for hard mode. Pampered city kid Thaniel Swift has studied long and hard to be a wayfinder, creating maps with his beautiful magic atlas. He’s beyond thrilled to get to go on his first expedition, only to find out he still has a lot to learn when they get sucked into a missing person investigation and find themselves pit against an undead queen who is willing to destroy the world to end her grief. This book has all the things I enjoy most in a fantasy story: secret ancient ruins, a colorful cast of characters who are suspicious of each other at first but eventually come together like family, and scary evil bad guys who commit their atrocities out of misplaced love. The world building is absolutely top notch, with a setting that feels lived in. I really wish more people would read this series so I could gush about it more.
Award Finalist, But Not Won
Shadow of a Dead God by Patrick Samphire
Hard Mode: Yes
Shadow of a Dead God was a SPFBO finalist a few years ago. It features Mennik Thorne, a down on his luck mage who gave up a life of privilege to try and make it on his own. This goes about as well as you might expect, when a routine probably-not-legal job for his oldest and best friend blows up in his face and he winds up with half the city out to get him. This book shares a lot of similarities with the Blood of Crows, reviewed above — snarky guy has a routine job go terribly wrong, gets roped into a conspiracy, and survives far more beatings than is healthy. But if I were to assign comp titles to this book I’d say it’s like the Dresden Files meets Locke Lamora. Mennik is a delightful character overall and I enjoyed being in his sarcastic head.
Guns of Penance by Mari Kurisato
Hard Mode: Yes, Mari is Nakawē Ojibwe indigenous
One of the really nice things about Bingo is that it seems like every year there’s a book I might not have necessarily picked up on my own but end up thoroughly enjoying. This book isn’t in my usual wheelhouse — ultra-violent post-apocalyptic settings are usually too edgy for me — but I’d purchased the book awhile back in order to support the author, and since I had it on my kindle anyway and it qualified for hard mode, I decided to give it a go. Wow! For a book about people murdering each other in a post-nuclear wasteland, this book was actually a ton of fun. There are four main female POV characters, whose stories weave in and out of each other: a computer scientist on the run after a major discovery, her rich heiress ex girlfriend, a drug addicted gangster looking to make a clean start, and a retired mercenary who is getting too old for this nonsense. Since all of these women are in somewhat violent roles I was worried they would start to blur together but each has a very distinct voice and was thoroughly enjoyable to read about. Highly recommended if you’re after a more diverse and female-led version of Mad Max.
Sidetracked by S.K. Kelley
Hard mode: yes
I received this book as part of an indie author Secret Santa exchange last December. Studious and socially awkward, Jayde wonders how she’s going to survive her first summer vacation in college alone without her more extroverted best friend and roommate. Her summer takes a surprising turn when she meets an attractive stranger named Ice, who turns out to be, of all things, a cat shapeshifter. She is then dragged into a complicated world of hidden supernatural happenings and soon realizes she might be well in over her head. This book starts off seeming like a fairly boilerplate supernatural romance in the vein of Twilight — awkward every-woman falls in love with super hot supernatural dude. However it becomes increasingly clear as the story goes on that this is not that kind of story. Watching the story turn from paranormal romance to paranormal thriller was really fascinating and I found myself staying up late reading just to find out what was going on. This story is incredibly slow-burn, and I worry that some potential readers might give up too soon. But I absolutely can’t wait to continue this series.
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts
No Land for Heroes by Cal Black
Hard Mode: Yes
I had to scan the list of forbidden words like six times to confirm it fits but I’m pretty sure it does. Anyway, this was an enjoyable weird western. Elven Deputy Berry is willing to do anything, even bend the law she is ostensibly sworn to protect, in order to keep her small town and her chosen family safe. But when a train robbery gone wrong pulls her back into a past she’d rather forget, she must face her demons once and for all. For the most part I really enjoyed this story throughout. There were a couple aspects that I was ehhhh on; for instance, in this setting elves take the place of Native Americans, leading me to wonder why there are no actual Native Americans (there are white and Black humans in this setting, so why not Indigenous?). I also would have liked more fantasy in my fantasy — despite there being elves and dragons and Legally Distinct Tieflings, those things almost feel like window dressing on what could have otherwise been perfectly excellent historical fiction. But No Land for Heroes nevertheless had excellent characters and an excellent plot and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.
Awakening the Gods by Kristin Gleeson
Hard Mode: …it’s complicated
Saoirse’s life has gone downhill since she graduated from university. Unable to hold down a series of dead end jobs, the only times she truly feels alive is when she is playing music at her favorite pub in Dublin. Everything is turned on its head when her father mysteriously passes away, and a woman claiming to be her grandmother offers to let her stay with her in rural Cork. There, she meets a hot blacksmith, and comes to learn that her entire life might have been constructed on lies and that she is, in fact, the reincarnation of the goddess Brigid. Unfortunately, Balor, the ancient enemy of the Irish gods, is also back in the picture, and ready to cause trouble. My favorite aspect of this book was the way it really made the setting come to life. I felt like I was there in Ireland with the characters. The romance was also well done, though I found myself getting frustrated as certain characters get angry at each other for reasons that seem irrational to the reader and aren’t explained. Still, this is a great book for anyone who likes Irish mythology, urban fantasy, and romance.
2023.04.01 00:16 ladymeowskers Narcissistic, gaslighting father (m63) me(f31)
2023.03.31 23:51 RainbowSmuggler I (27F) called two guys 40+ times while drunk....I could delete the logs of one of these, but I guess I'm looking crazy either way?
2023.03.31 23:42 cometmom This week is hard.
2023.03.31 23:36 ChasingItAlways Fraud by car rental