‘Hell’s Half-Acre’ a Rich History of a Grisly Crime

There’s a heady mythos about life in the Wild West, of gunslingers and dusty trails and sun-weathered pioneers and opportunity as wide as the horizon, all wrapped up in a whole lot of unchecked colonialism. Truth and fiction informed each other in a very meta merry-go-round until the world caught up with the enterprising migrationContinue reading “‘Hell’s Half-Acre’ a Rich History of a Grisly Crime”

‘Thistlefoot’ Brings Extra Emotion to Folktales

Home is where the heart is. In the case of GennaRose Nethercott’s debut novel, Thistlefoot, home can be wherever home chooses to go. And along being the resting place for the heart, home is also where generational trauma from an entire community comes to roost. The Yaga siblings were once close. Helping their parents runContinue reading “‘Thistlefoot’ Brings Extra Emotion to Folktales”

‘Counterfeit’ a Thrilling Morality Test

Ages ago, I listened to a podcast series out of Princeton applying LSAT logic to everyday arguments and news. The host would end each episode by asking, “Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who cares? We’re more interested in the journey than the destination.” The podcast ended during the Obama administration, but I found myself considering thatContinue reading “‘Counterfeit’ a Thrilling Morality Test”

‘Marvellous Light’ A Magical Mystery

Regency era gets so much love, pun intended, when it comes to romance and reimagined history. The Victorians get all the credit for every beautiful—and weirdly oppressive—thing from the turn of the century. But in A Marvellous Light, author Freya Marske pours glamor, manners, magic, and more than a little longing into the Edwardian era.Continue reading “‘Marvellous Light’ A Magical Mystery”

‘Signal to Noise’ Full of Spellbinding Nostalgia

Way back in my childhood days, the 80s had passed recently enough that nothing about them was cool. The 70s, sure, but the 80s? As if. Time has a way of making old things new again, though, as evidenced by the Stranger Things kids and all the other 80s properties stirring up nostalgia and retroContinue reading “‘Signal to Noise’ Full of Spellbinding Nostalgia”

‘Tiger’ Brings High Stakes to Growing Up

The “coming of age” story usually refers to a teen growing up, but real life doesn’t have just one of those moments. And in my experience in young adulthood, finding out who I was happened much farther into my twenties than I’d like to admit—if it truly happened at all. In that way, the mainContinue reading “‘Tiger’ Brings High Stakes to Growing Up”

‘Sea of Tranquility’ Dizzying and Beautiful

I’ve heard raves about Station Eleven for years, as well as, more recently, The Glass Hotel. But my first attempt into Station Eleven didn’t get me far so I just assumed Emily St. John Mandel wasn’t a writer for me. I’m not sure how to quantify how wrong I was. Because within pages of Mandel’sContinue reading “‘Sea of Tranquility’ Dizzying and Beautiful”

‘Iron Widow’ Smashes Expectations and Patriarchy

There are some books that are quiet, meditative pieces on, say, the nature of love. The meaning of life. The depths of loneliness. How hope can soar and crash and rise again. Xiran Jay Zhao’s Iron Widow is none of these things, and it’s proud of it. Zetian has lived to make herself as unattractiveContinue reading “‘Iron Widow’ Smashes Expectations and Patriarchy”

‘The Fervor’ An Uncomfortably Relevant Horror

Good horror will send a shiver down your spine. Great horror will revisit you in your quiet moments, reminding you that you’re never quite safe. But the best use of horror is the one that both frightens its audience and shows that the things that go bump in the night are nothing compared to whatContinue reading “‘The Fervor’ An Uncomfortably Relevant Horror”

‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes

There’s been no shortage of fairy tale retellings or mythology reinterpreted lately. Alix E. Harrow‘s A Spindle Splintered is proof positive that another addition to a well-populated genre can still be done uniquely and oh-so-effectively. Zinnia Gray is doomed to die. She’s one of the last surviving members of an unfortunate club of kids whoContinue reading “‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes”