The Brightest Fell, and the Beautiful Tragedy of Deals with the Fae

A woman stands in a forest, with butterflies flying around her. The text reads "New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire, Hugo Award nominated series, The Brightest Fell, an October Daye novel"

Image: Tor

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, half-fae and half-human, not quite belonging in either world. It’s been hard, but she’s finally carved out a home and family for herself. But when her estranged and massively powerful mother shows up, demanding that she find her sister August–who’s been missing for a century–that place in the world is threatened. And the consequences of mistakes made decades ago, before she was even born, might fall on Toby.  Continue reading

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The Gifted: I’ve Missed These Ensemble X-Men Works

Synopsis: The Struckers live in a world where mutants are heavily policed in the interests of public safety. Like most people, they never really think about it–not even the father, whose job is to prosecute mutants for using their powers. But then they find out both of the Strucker children are mutants, and will face the same scrutiny their own father has turned on people just like them. With the government closing in on them, the entire family is forced on the run–but they’ll never make it without the help of the mutant underground. Continue reading

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Revisiting the Horror Genre for Halloween

I’ve always thought that I didn’t like the horror genre. And it’s true that I don’t like a lot of what I generally expect to see in horror. But since I’ve unexpectedly found myself enjoying a few works in the genre right in time for Halloween, I’ve taken some time to think about what this means. Specifically, that I don’t like a lot of the tropes I associate with traditional American horror: lack of focus on characterization, shock value deaths, the notion that characters need to be punished. I’m not necessarily enamored with a work of fiction trying to scare me either, or reveling in the helplessness of the characters.

Still, while those things make up a lot of horror works, they don’t have to. Horror (especially psychological horror) can be character-focused. Every death can mean something, or alternatively, the threat of death could replace actual death. And while the entire point of the genre is to pit the protagonists against something far more powerful than themselves, that doesn’t mean the story can’t also be about them looking for ways to fight back. Continue reading

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Marvel’s Inhumans: I Wish It Made More Sense

A view of Earth and space, with the words "Marvel, Inhumans, A Marvel Television Series"

Image: ABC via TV Line

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: A kingdom of Inhumans–people with powers that can be activated through exposure to a substance–exists on the Moon, unbeknownst to the people of Earth. But the king is overthrown by his brother, and the royal family escapes to Hawaii. Now, they must not only survive the assassination attempts and life in an unfamiliar society, but also reclaim their place before the new king does something irreversible.  Continue reading

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The Finale of Critical Role, as the Epic Adventure Closes with Just the Right Amounts of Tragedy and Laughter

Genre: Fantasy RPG

Synopsis: A party of adventures called Vox Machina has achieved near god-like power towards the end of the campaign–so it’s only fitting they must save the realm from an actual god. The story is brought to life by a cast of professional voice actors, and the ever-present chance that bad planning or bad dice rolling will end their journey forever. Continue reading

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NYCC 2017: Experiencing the Agents of SHIELD Panel

I went to New York Comic Con this Saturday, and wonder of wonders, I actually got into the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD panel. I did not think that would happen. And it was relatively chill, too–we didn’t have to show up 5 hours beforehand to get a seat or anything (only, like 2-3 hours beforehand. But we ended up watching the earlier panel during that time, so it was cool). Continue reading

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Outlander S1.5: A WWII-era Englishwoman in 18th century Scotland

Genre: Historical/Drama/Romance

Synopsis: Claire, an English WWII nurse, gets mysteriously transported to 18th century Scotland. And thus ends up in the middle of the conflict between the Scots and the English. To protect herself from a particularly sleazy English soldier, she marries Jaime Fraser–a Scotsman, and a criminal with a price on his head.  Continue reading

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Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Synopsis: Jim and Aurora are passengers on a starship, kept in stasis inside hibernation pods during the journey. When they arrive at their destination, a good century would have passed, and they’d have reached a distant world. Except they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Without the ability to put themselves back to sleep, they’re looking at the rest of their lives spent alone, aboard the ship… Continue reading

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Sagas of Sundry: Dread, and the Chilling, Psychological Story of Five Friends Haunted by their Experiences

Genre: Mystery/supernatural/horror web series/RPG

Synopsis: A group of friends meet up a year after experiencing supernatural danger, to head back to the same place it happened the first time. None of them have truly managed to move on from it. No matter the consequences of going back, of tempting fate after they survived the last time, they all agree to go. In the hopes of discovering what actually happened to them, and of finding some sort of closure. Continue reading

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Sorcerer to the Crown: Navigating High Society in a Fantasy Regency England

An image of a dragon sitting on a box, screeching. Words read, "An enchanting cross between Georgette Heyer and Susanna Clarke, full of delights and surprises. - Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author; Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho"

Image: Ace via Zen Cho

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Taking place in Regency London, Sorcerer to the Crown follows the leader of the country’s magicians, Zacharias Wythe. Zacharias was bought and freed as a child by Sir Stephen Wythe, the Sorcerer Royal of Unnatural Philosophers. Sir Stephen trained him in magic and groomed him to take over his position. Now, after Sir Stephen’s death, Zacharias is suffering the difficulties of being a black man in a position of power over white gentlemen–no matter how polite and dutiful he remains, the country’s problems are blamed on him. The biggest of these problems is a general decline of magic in the country, which Zacharias is obligated to fix… Continue reading

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