Sweep of the Blade: Badass Single Mother Integrates into Space Vampire Society

 

A woman wielding two swords stands with the background of planet behind her. The words read
Image: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban fantasy/sci-fi/romance

Synopsis: Maud was born into an Innkeeper family, and taught the customs of the varied alien races who used the inn as a waystation—or a safe house. But she left her family to marry a vampire, entering a society that viewed her as weak due to her humanity, despite her martial prowess. She had a daughter. And then her husband got all three of them exiled onto a dangerous planet where they had to fight to survive. Continue reading “Sweep of the Blade: Badass Single Mother Integrates into Space Vampire Society”

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones: The Broken Bond Between Two Sisters

An image of a desolate, gray, and rocky landscape with an opening chest and a leaf-less tree. Words read "A jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll's and C.S. Lewis' classics, even as it carves its own precocious space between them." - NPR on Every Heart a Doorway; "Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire, New York Times Bestselling Author."
Image: Tor

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/ YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Jack and Jill are twins, two young girls suffocating under the strain of living their parents’ expectations. Then they walk through a portal into a world of monsters and mad science, a dark, dangerous place–where they somehow belong. But their upbringing has shaped them, and they carry the consequences of that with them, even as they start to build new lives. Separate lives, nonetheless entwined together, for better or for worse. Continue reading “Down Among the Sticks and Bones: The Broken Bond Between Two Sisters”

Comment on American Gods, a Strange and Violent Contemporary Fantasy

I could’ve sworn I’d written a post on American Gods back when I watched the first two episodes of it, but I can’t find any evidence of that post existing. So I guess I never actually did it?

I didn’t get a chance to continue the show since then, but I did want to mention my first impressions.  Continue reading “Comment on American Gods, a Strange and Violent Contemporary Fantasy”

Terrestrial Magic Goes Live

I maybe, kinda, sorta am posting an urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic web serial online. So…surprise?

The first chapter has just gone up, it will post on Thursdays, and here’s the premise:

Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.

But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in. They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her. It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?

For those of you who know something about me, you’ll notice the premise incorporates a lot of elements that rely on my own particular knowledge: my scientific background, my semester abroad in Rome, and my study of ancient history. Hopefully, I’ve managed to take all of that and tie it into a decent story.

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

Character Journeys in Once Upon a Time: the Savior, the Evil Queen, and Rumplestiltskin

The last time I talked about Once Upon a Time, I posted an overview of the show’s pros and cons over its six season run. And there were plenty of both.

Now I’d like to get into more detail about the character journeys, and how I felt about their development. I’ll start off with the three characters who drive the show, the ones with the most agency. Emma Swan, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, the Savior who wields light magic. Regina, the Evil Queen who hates Snow White–and who unknowingly adopted Snow White’s biological grandson. And Rumplestiltskin, a dark wizard who’s always playing his own game. Continue reading “Character Journeys in Once Upon a Time: the Savior, the Evil Queen, and Rumplestiltskin”

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, A Ghost Story About Longing and Choices

A cornfield overlaying the image of skyscrapers in the background, lit by the light of day.
Image: Tor via Goodreads

Genre: Urban fantasy/ghost story

Synopsis: Following her sister’s suicide, Jenna dies in an accident before her time. She’ll remain as a ghost until she bleeds her remaining time from others–making them younger while making herself older, until she reaches her dying day, finally able to move on. Approaching that moment slowly, she’s adamant that she earn the time she takes. But she may never get the chance to move on, to find out if her sister is waiting for her. Because there are dangers in this world for ghosts who linger, and one of those dangers has come for the ghosts in Manhattan. Continue reading “Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, A Ghost Story About Longing and Choices”

Once Upon a Time: At Its Best When Breaking the Mold, at Its Worst When Following It

The face of a woman off to the side, with an apple in front of her, half black and half red. The words "Once Upon a Time" fill the other side of the image.
Image: ABC

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy tale retelling

Synopsis: Emma is living on her own and working as a bail bondsman, when the boy she’d given up for adoption at birth appears on her doorstep. There’s nothing for it but for her to bring the kid back to his adoptive mother–who he insists is the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen, who cast a curse on fairy tale characters, trapping them in our world with no memories of who they are. While Emma is supposed to be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, capable of breaking the curse. Continue reading “Once Upon a Time: At Its Best When Breaking the Mold, at Its Worst When Following It”

Every Heart a Doorway: The Painful Clarity of Not Fitting Into Your World

A forest with a door in front of it, not attached to any building. The words read, "Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author."
Image: Tor via Goodreads

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/ YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Sometimes children stumble through a hidden entrance in their world into another one, and often that world is right for them in a way their own never could be. The lucky ones stay, but others come back. They could spend their lives looking for a way back to their true home, the one they’d found once by luck, trapped somewhere they know they don’t belong.

A long time ago, Miss West was one of the children who came back. Locked out of that world, she’s created a school for teenagers like she used to be, somewhere they can be with others who understand their experiences. Who understand how badly they want to go back to a place that fits them. But with longing and desperation come dangers, and not long after new student Nancy arrives, her classmates begin turning up dead… Continue reading “Every Heart a Doorway: The Painful Clarity of Not Fitting Into Your World”

Urban Fantasy Follows

Most of my urban fantasy mainstays, the series that I’m still following loyally, are ones that I picked up before I began blogging. Which means whenever a new book comes out, I’m left thinking about whether to address the series or the book, or how to talk about a book further along in a series. So to put some of this out of the way, I’m throwing together a master post of the urban fantasy series I follow, along with their initial premises and my favorite aspects about them. Continue reading “Urban Fantasy Follows”