February 2021 archive

Feb 27 2021

The Swimmers by Marian Womack

It’s kind of hilarious how the back cover of this volume calls it a reimagining of Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea even as Marian Womack’s afterword candidly discusses how she doesn’t want to compare The Swimmers to what was for her a seminal text. And I can see for both arguments: the comparison is a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/27/the-swimmers-by-marian-womack/

Feb 25 2021

The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley

I first read this novella over two years ago, courtesy of the lovely people at Unsung Stories, one of the finest British independent purveyors of weird fiction today. I very much enjoyed it at the time, so when Titan Books told me they were publishing it for the first time in America, I leapt at …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/25/the-loosening-skin-by-aliya-whiteley-2/

Feb 23 2021

The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3) by Charlaine Harris

Hurray, Lizbeth Rose is finally on her way west! Unfortunately, she’s going after receiving news that her one-time partner Eli — or Prince Ilya Savarov to the rest of the denizens of the Holy Russian Empire — has been thrown into jail for reasons unknown. The news has been conveyed to her via a coded …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/23/the-russian-cage-gunnie-rose-3-by-charlaine-harris/

Feb 22 2021

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen

The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, Poisoner of Underpants, Autocrat of Some of the Russias, in Gessen’s reckoning probably the son of a secret policeman, was born in Leningrad in 1952. Like any proper villain — but also like anyone born in that place in that year — he has a tragic backstory. Hitler’s army completed its encirclement of Leningrad …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/22/the-man-without-a-face-the-unlikely-rise-of-vladimir-putin-by-masha-gessen/

Feb 18 2021

A Longer Fall (Gunnie Rose #2) by Charlaine Harris

The hallmark of a successful second novel in a series, I feel, is that you turn the pages even faster than you did the first one. While I very much enjoyed An Easy Death, the series debut, it did feel like a lot of time was spent introducing the alternate history 1930s milieu. With the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/18/a-longer-fall-gunnie-rose-2-by-charlaine-harris/

Feb 16 2021

X-Venture Xplorers #2: Clash of the Titans by Slaium, Meng & The Black Ink Team

Another lighthearted, if educational, look at animals and world conservation, told through the eyes of six children and their two adult mentors, the easily riled and super buff Dr Darwin and his long-suffering assistant Mr Smith. This volume opens with Taizen, the Sumatran kid who grew up in the wild, being dropped off to spend …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/16/x-venture-xplorers-2-clash-of-the-titans-by-slaium-meng-the-black-ink-team/

Feb 15 2021

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

Honestly, this reads like J. D. Salinger fanfic. But, y’know, I didn’t think I’d like Joanna Rakoff’s My Salinger Year either, especially with its dreadful prologue, and I’ve since taken to evangelizing that excellent memoir and hoping the upcoming movie does it justice. Ashley Schumacher’s Amelia Unabridged shares a tendency towards gorgeous writing with Ms …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/15/amelia-unabridged-by-ashley-schumacher/

Feb 14 2021

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Yes, Boromir failed. But he was far from alone. Denethor failed in sending a war leader on a mission meant for a diplomat. Aragorn and Gandalf failed to give him his due, and after that they failed to recognize that they were freezing out their proud companion. Despite their supposed wisdom, they did not see …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/14/the-two-towers-by-j-r-r-tolkien/

Feb 12 2021

An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose #1) by Charlaine Harris

I always vastly underestimate the amount of reading I need to do for work, but I did bet on the fact that I’d be able to catch up easily on Books 1 and 2 of the Gunnie Rose series ahead of the impending release of Book 3, due solely to the fact that Charlaine Harris …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/12/an-easy-death-gunnie-rose-1-by-charlaine-harris/

Feb 11 2021

The Future Is Yours by Dan Frey

The reading experience of this was really interesting to me: I spent maybe the first and last fifteen percent of the book deeply skeptical but was absolutely immersed in everything in between. The premise is simple, for a science fiction novel. Two best friends from college found a Silicon Valley startup after one of them …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/11/the-future-is-yours-by-dan-frey/