Category: Urban Fantasy

Nov 17 2020

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

So there are some really good bits in Chloe Gong’s retelling of Romeo And Juliet, set in 1920s Shanghai and featuring the scions of two rival gang families needing to team up to defeat a supernatural threat to the city. First and foremost is the lived-in character of Juliette Cai, heir to the Scarlet Gang, …

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Oct 20 2020

Shadows Of The Short Days by Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson

Imagine Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus crossed with Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist, filtered through a China Mieville sensibility of industrial magic set firmly in the history and myths of Iceland. That’s what you’re getting in Shadows Of The Short Days, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson’s wildly inventive, deeply thoughtful debut novel, which he translated himself from its …

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Oct 09 2020

The Dragon Warrior (The Dragon Warrior #1) by Katie Zhao

Oh, wow, a book that updates Chinese mythology for young Western readers! You know, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Chinese deities beyond Kwan Yin, aspects of Buddha and what I remember from absorbing various tales of the Monkey God via TV and comics (as well as the usual prominent holiday-related mythologies) so …

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Jul 28 2020

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

I need P Djeli Clark to write me some meaty 300+ page books! He’s definitely doing great things with shorter works: 2019’s The Haunting Of Tram Car 015 felt fully realized despite its brevity, and I can only imagine that this year’s Ring Shout will only showcase his increasing command of the novella form. Unfortunately, …

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Jul 22 2020

Middlegame (Middlegame #1) by Seanan McGuire

Finished reading this last Hugo nominee for Best Novel right before the buzzer, and wow is my brain tired! So many interesting concepts and some really great, fun writing throughout the many books and stories I’ve covered for/off this slate. My right eye is still twitching even as I type these words, tho some of …

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Jun 30 2020

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 9: Okay by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson & Clayton Cowles

Semi-tangent before I get into my review: my 9 year-old and I have taken to saying “okay” to each other in the voice of Princess Daisy from Super Mario Party. It’s a weird in-joke. My kid is the best. Anyhoo, I had to sit and think about this volume for a while before I could …

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Jun 29 2020

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 5-8 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson & Clayton Cowles

Post the stunning story arc of Vols 1-4, our Pantheon has now entered their Imperial Phase, at the height of their powers and looking down at a slow decline towards death. With Ananke out of the picture, the surviving gods are free to do as they please… or is there more afoot than our troubled …

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Jun 26 2020

The Wicked + The Divine: Vol. 1-4 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson & Clayton Cowles

I had the weirdest visceral reaction after reading the first four volumes of this comic book and that is this: I felt young again, like a 20-something again, all over-sexed and full of energy and the certainty that I’m being misunderstood. Reading The Wicked + The Divine reminded me of waiting outside clubs in the …

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Jun 13 2020

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker

Nova is a young hearing-impaired witch of Asian-American heritage, who helps her grandmas run the Black Cat Bookstore in their small New England town. When her childhood friend, Tam, comes back to town, their return sets off a tale of magical adventure, family conflict and sweet romance. This is a gentle, charming tale that reads …

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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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