Category: Urban Fantasy

Feb 02 2018

California Bones by Greg van Eekhout

This was fun. It wasn’t deep, but it was fun. California Bones is set in an alternative present in which magic of various kinds works, and California is split into two independent polities — inexplicably not nicknamed Lo Cal and No Cal, although it is implied that southern California is colloquially known as the magic …

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Dec 13 2017

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

If this novel were about, say, Donna Troy, I would be all in. It’s a fun exploration of the Amazon myth, about a young Amazon who doesn’t feel she quite belongs on Themyscira, who feels like her mother spends more time being queen than being mom, who sets out to prove herself and maybe save …

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Dec 08 2017

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

What has stayed with me in the months since I read The Ballad of Black Tom? The sense of teeming New York in the 1920s, the deft characterizations of the divides among black and white, the delicious irony of seeing an H.P. Lovecraft tale told from a black point of view. The story is eventually …

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Nov 27 2017

Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Definitely enjoyed this better than Akata Witch, especially since the magic is explained a step better than in AWitch. I really wish Nnedi Okorafor wasn’t so laser-focused on having the third-person narrative stay strictly from Sunny’s point of view, though. I felt like Akata Warrior missed out on so many cool dramatic scenes, particularly in …

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Oct 27 2017

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa et al

I’m incredibly impressed by how this book makes me care about the Inhumans. And also how it makes me like Agents Of SHIELD more, despite my extremely mixed feelings about that show. The Loki story was fun, but Kamala’s First Crush was better, and I’m totally looking forward to the day when her older brother …

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Oct 13 2017

Her Nightly Embrace (Ravi PI #1) by Adi Tantimedh

Okay, I love the idea of this book. And when I started reading it, it was just as charming as advertised (and who doesn’t need more Sendhil Ramamurthy in their lives?) The twists and turns are entertaining (with one very large exception that I’ll get to in a minute) and Adi Tantimedh’s inclusion of a …

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Oct 02 2017

Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

It was so nice to read something really new for a change, a fresh perspective, to me at least, on the traditional fantasy coming-of-age novel. The Nigerian setting is terrific, and I loved the magic systems and cultural information that came bursting out of this book like the delicious, nourishing flesh of a perfectly ripe …

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May 08 2017

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

One of the things I particularly liked about All the Birds in the Sky is how Charlie Jane Anders chose to break up the story. It’s a two-sided, save-the-world story, and all of the basics are there: interesting leads, good counterparts, quick pacing, fun dialog, and so forth. She’s strong enough on the essentials even …

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May 07 2017

“The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin

“The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin should win this year’s Hugo for short story. The conceit of the story is that great human cities have a life of their own. Maybe that life awakens quickly, maybe it takes centuries or millennia, but at some point the genius loci becomes a thing in itself. Birth …

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Mar 12 2017

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant/Rivers Of London #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

This series just gets better with each book! The depth and complexity of Ben Aaronovitch’s mystical London really comes into its own here, as we delve deeper into the overarching plot with the reveal of The Faceless Man’s true identity (whom I figured out perhaps half a beat before Mr Aaronovitch intended for the reader …

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