What did I just read?! And I mean that in a good way. My mind is always blown when a brand new author debuts with a book so well-written that it feels like the work of a pro. Don’t get me wrong – this book is all over the place and will be hard for some readers to follow. But falling down the rabbit hole is also kind of the point.
It’s hard to say what this book is about or exactly what genre it falls into. The blurb does a better job explaining this than I can. “A cleverly diverting narrative that remixes folklore, pop culture, multiculturalism, gender roles, history, sci-fi, noir aesthetics, and urban decay.” All of those elements are mixed into a story centered around a combat veteran struggling to figure himself out as he navigates the world(s) around him.
I love flawed characters who are aware of their screwed-up-ness. What’s even better is when we see the flaws of society through that character’s eyes. A good writer is supposed to see the world around them and be able to point out what everybody knows in new and interesting ways, and that keen insight of the author/main character might be my favorite thing about the book. There is plenty of commentary about society, about different kinds of people, etc.
All of this is beautifully weaved into a story where the main character (and you as the reader) are trying to figure out what the heck is going on. At times, the book does get a bit bogged down in its own cleverness, distracting from the plot, but even these sort of side note bits were engaging and interesting insights into something about the world. The writing itself at times sounded in my head a bit like Dave Eggers and a bit like S.A. Hunt, another veteran author I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
If you’re into literature that pushes your brain, grab this book.
See it on Amazon!
I finished this collection the day after Valentine’s Day, which was kind of perfect. These are not your typical love stories, although “love” is the general theme connecting them. I was very impressed with each writer, and I didn’t feel like there was a weak story in the bunch. The writing is solid. The range of genres in the collection is cool, too. Most of these stories are so uniquely weird in their own way, and yet how the stories are organized makes them cohesive, like they naturally belong in the same collection.
A few of my favorites were “Heirloom” , “Dog Tired”, “The Heart of the Orchard,” and “Matchmaker.” Honestly, I liked something about almost every single story. Despite many being short, they packed emotional punches. The immediate weirdness of many drew me in and held my attention.
If you like your love stories a little on the dark side, definitely check out this collection.
See it on Amazon!
Some love heals. Some love consumes. Which love wins?
Learning the truth about the malevolenci war changes everything. The fairies, jinn, and vampires have already rebelled, and now zealots threaten to go a step further by siding with the enemy. Traitors are everywhere. Covert plots disrupt centuries of peace. Those still loyal to the Order must end the war quickly, or else there won’t be an Order left to save.
For Esme, their greatest ally’s reappearance is soul-shaking. She knows they must work together, but what does this mean for Esme and Owen’s relationship? And what is Esme’s place now that she’s not this world’s only protector? Do they even need her anymore…or want her?
By invading the heart of the malevolenci world, Esme and Owen have a chance to end this war once and for all. Their elite cavali team is ready to face the dangers of the demons’ hellscape, but the greatest threat is one they never see coming.