The Maidens – A Murder Most Fair

Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient enjoyed more than a year on the NYT bestseller list for good reason. The thriller offered a deep look at intriguing characters united by a haunting mystery that culminated in a fantastic twist. Only fair, then, to assume his follow-up, The Maidens would dazzle in equal measure. I’m happy to…

The Fallen – I Get Knocked Down…And I Get Up Again

Earlier this year I read The Outside, a sleeper of a novel that I just simply adore. It explored neurodivergence with care, and thematically centered it against a backdrop of conformity. I eagerly awaited the sequel and I was not disappointed. The Fallen, by Ada Hoffmann, is a solid, if shorter, sequel that continues the…

Die – Dungeons And Dragons Meets Jumanji

Die Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen, has a fairly simple premise. It’s about a gritty tabletop RPG that sucks its players into the game and refuses to release them until they win, die, or decide to leave as a group. The concept alone was enough for me to give the graphic novel a…

The Hand Of The Sun King – Solar Power

Lately, there has been no shortage of Eastern-inspired fantasy, and I doubt we’re even close to a drought. There are countless epics, wuxia, and even more personal stories. However, I personally have not encountered a lot of fiction that dives into the philosophy of eastern traditions. Luckily, J.T. Greathouse wanted to throw his western hat…

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Black Water Sister – Take Control

Gangsters, ghosts, and gods. That’s what you’re up against in Black Water Sister by Zen Cho. Be prepared to deal with at least two threats at any given time. And when a god shows up, well, just start praying. Cho’s standalone story is a brilliant blend of reality and the supernatural set against the vibrancy…

Inside Man – Outside The Box

“As if Deadpool had slipped into the body of the Witcher Geralt,” reads the NYT book review of K.J. Parker’s Propser’s Demon. And the NYT is mostly correct in that description. We reviewed (and unilaterally enjoyed) Prosper’s Demon last year, going so far as to give the novella a perfect 10. Prosper’s Demon earned the…

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The Witch’s Heart – Motherhood Woes

I know next to nothing about Norse mythology. I don’t even have a basic idea of the stuff from Marvel because, well, I don’t follow anything from that universe. But even the Marvel stuff seems to be a liberal interpretation of the original source material. Needless to say, I stepped out of my comfort zone…

The World Gives Way – What The World Need Now, Is A New Hull

The World Gives Way, a debut novel by Marissa Levien, is a super depressing book that you probably shouldn’t read if you are in a bad place. This standalone story focuses on the idea of coping with your impending death, and not in a peaceful, fulfilled, going silently into the night sort of way. It's…

Dawn – Looking Directly Into The Sun

Last year around the same time Andrew read Butler’s Parables, I also embarked on a similar journey. I had heard about Butler’s work over the years, and felt it was high time I took a dive into her library, and landed on the Xenogenesis trilogy as my next read. It's a story about first contact,…

We’re In The Middle Of A Bardic Revolution

When I filled out Brandon Sanderson’s website contact form, I did it in the most bardic way I could: by unfurling a metaphorical scroll, standing in the town square, and shouting: “DO YOU HAVE A MOMENT TO TALK ABOUT BARDS?!”  And while he may not have had time to spin a tale longer than a…