May 2020 archive

May 29 2020

Infernal Machines by John Hornor Jacobs

Infernal Machines

Now this is more like it! John Hornor Jacobs concludes his trilogy of cowboys and Romans with style and panache, picking up the pace, tightening the narrative, and never losing the joy of pulpy adventure even as he delivers more complex characters and greater depth in this alternate world. As Infernal Machines begins, longtime partners …

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May 28 2020

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to Pro and Con a book more than this one, at least in recent memory! Pro: the writing is really terrific! The book flows so smoothly, the events and timeline make sense and the prose is both modern and pretty. You feel like you’re really in Emily’s head as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/28/well-met-well-met-1-by-jen-deluca/

May 25 2020

Hope Island by Tim Major

This page-turner of a slow burn horror novel features one of the most original — and in hindsight, one of the most ubiquitous, after a fashion — villains I’ve ever read. I spent far too much time wrongly guessing what lay behind the bizarre behaviors of the residents of Hope Island, and was dead impressed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/25/hope-island-by-tim-major/

May 24 2020

The Fourth Crusade by Jonathan Phillips

The Fourth Crusade

Where Jonathan Riley-Smith provided an overview of crusading as a movement over many centuries, Jonathan Phillips looks closely at one particular crusade, with an eye toward answering the question of why an expedition intended to take Jerusalem and other sites in the Holy Land wound up instead besieging, conquering and sacking Constantinople. Apparently this was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/24/the-fourth-crusade-by-jonathan-phillips/

May 21 2020

Giants at the End of the World edited by Johanna Sinisalo and Toni Jerrman

Giants at the End of the World

Giants at the End of the World is a nifty artifact, its subtitle “A Showcase of Finnish Weird” telling part of the story, and the headline of the back jacket text “Worldcon 75 proudly presents” telling the rest. The slender and compact collection of 11 stories was a present to attending members of the 2017 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/21/giants-at-the-end-of-the-world-edited-by-johanna-sinisalo-and-toni-jerrman/

May 18 2020

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a long jag of perfectly fine to mediocre books, I start to wonder whether my reading skills are atrophying because I’m only managing 100 pages a day. But then I get a book like Becky Chambers’ The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet and crush all 500 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/18/the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet-wayfarers-1-by-becky-chambers/

May 17 2020

Saffron and Brimstone by Elizabeth Hand

Saffron and Brimstone by Elizabeth Hand

I zipped through the eight stories of Saffron and Brimstone in about a day and a half when I was in the hospital and looking for something fantastical to read. The tales — one novella, a quartet of connected short stories, and three other stand-alones — all bring fantastic or horrific elements into the mundane world, sometimes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/17/saffron-and-brimstone-by-elizabeth-hand/

May 16 2020

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

How could I resist a book that took my alma mater‘s motto as its epigraph? Of course I couldn’t, all the more so because I wanted to read something about knights and journeys and castles, and none of the fantasy that was close at hand was as immediately appealing. The version of Riley-Smith’s book that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/16/the-crusades-by-jonathan-riley-smith/

May 11 2020

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Ah, if only, if only. I’ve enjoyed enough romance novels to be able to differentiate between the wonderful modern-day version and the traditional version described by Sir Walter Scott, and only sometimes do the twain meet in ways more convincing than mere bad plotting. It’s bittersweet to feel that this charming tale of the First …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/11/red-white-royal-blue-by-casey-mcquiston/

May 07 2020

Threading The Labyrinth by Tiffani Angus

I’m at the stage of the stay-at-home order where I’m craving beauty but am too tired to do the gardening or art that I want to — homeschooling special needs 6 year-old twins is really, really hard, and God bless my 9 year-old for being remarkably fuss-free. So for these difficult times, a novel like …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/07/threading-the-labyrinth-by-tiffani-angus/