The Grandaddy of Vampire Stories: a Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

I have read little vampire fiction aside from Ms Kostova’s The Historian, the first Twilight book, and one of George R. R. Martin’s earlier published work, Fevre Dream, but vampires aren’t alien to me since they often pop up in other fantasy works as villains or side characters. Full disclosure: the Dracula I am mostContinue reading “The Grandaddy of Vampire Stories: a Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

British Warlocks Vs. Nazi Psychic Super Soldiers: a Review of Ian Tregillis’ Milkweed Tryptich

Last year, I read Mr Tregillis’ alternate history fantasy series The Alchemy Wars which was fun romp through a world where Dutch horologists discovered the secret to building clockwork automatons which made them the dominant power in the world while the French (with their metallurgical arts) fight a losing war against them. Before Mr TregillisContinue reading “British Warlocks Vs. Nazi Psychic Super Soldiers: a Review of Ian Tregillis’ Milkweed Tryptich”

Empress in the FRANXX: a Review of Xiran Jay Zhou’s Iron Widow

The pitch for the regular person on the street is that this is “a Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale reimagining of the rise of the only female emperor in Chinese history”. And even though that spoke to me, what spoke to me louder was the alternate pitch the author put out: it is moreContinue reading “Empress in the FRANXX: a Review of Xiran Jay Zhou’s Iron Widow”

A Fable of Auschwitz: a Review of John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Last year, John Boyne made the news for making the mistake of including ingredients from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild video game such as Octorok eyeball, hightail lizard, red lizalfo tail, and Hylian shrooms into his serious literary historical fiction novel, The Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom. It appeared that heContinue reading “A Fable of Auschwitz: a Review of John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”

A Warrior and Wife in an Upside Down World: a Review of M. L. Wang’s The Sword of Kaigen

I have never read a self-published book before and when I asked for recommendations, this one title floated above the rest. The Sword of Kaigen is a fantasy standalone book set in M. L. Wang’s Theonite sci-fi series, and all I knew about it going in is that it is a war story (as itContinue reading “A Warrior and Wife in an Upside Down World: a Review of M. L. Wang’s The Sword of Kaigen”

A Memento by Mori: a Review of Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Bloomsbury Circus must have had a surfeit of confidence in Ms Pulley’s debut novel to make such a handsome volume out of it. I assume it must have cost extra to punch that peephole in all the hardback covers, and I can see why they did it. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street has all theContinue reading “A Memento by Mori: a Review of Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street”

The Post-Apocalyptic Wild West of Great Britain: a Review of Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Jonathan Stroud is one of my favourite children and young adult writers working today, and the goodwill I feel towards him for writing the Bartimaeus books in the early 2000’s is still very much alive to this day. There is a “brand” I associate with Mr Stroud’s writing, and it is a brand characterised byContinue reading “The Post-Apocalyptic Wild West of Great Britain: a Review of Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne”

The Book that Dare Not Speak Its Genre: a Review of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

I love Margaret Atwood. I really do. I love The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, and enjoyed The Testaments, even if it fell short of my expectations. And I think she is one of the few authors I consider to be incapable of writing a bad book because even if a story of hers doesContinue reading “The Book that Dare Not Speak Its Genre: a Review of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake”

The Violence of the Lamb: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country

Evil turned out not to be a grand thing. Not sneering Emperors with their world-conquering designs. Not cackling demons plotting in the darkness beyond the world. It was small men with their small acts and their small reasons. It was selfishness and carelessness and waste. It was bad luck, incompetence, and stupidity. It was violenceContinue reading “The Violence of the Lamb: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country”

Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers

I can’t remember it’s provenance, but I once heard someone joked that Tolkien characters don’t exist from the waist down. No one fucks, shits or pisses in Middle-earth. Now, it is generally true in fiction that bodily functions are never mentioned unless they are relevant to the story, something that Mitchell and Webb made funContinue reading “Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers”

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