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8/10
Review: The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville
Reviews / December 5, 2016

“The purest surrealist act is walking into a crowd with a loaded gun and firing into it randomly.” – Andrė Breton The Arc de Triomphe secretes urine and the Eiffel tower floats on no grounded support. The mechanical elephant Celebes, once only a famed surrealist art piece, travels in occupied Paris and not alone. Manifestations of surrealist artwork, both famed and unknown, fight the Nazi occupation along with what is left of the resistance. “Liberation was fucked up,’ according to protagonist Thibaut. And that is before the reluctant forces of hell are thrown in. China Miėvelle is always ambitions; as one of the leading names in New Weird his works always live up the genres’ name. His writing will make a reader work and having Wikipedia, the dictionary, and possible a Harvard English professor around wouldn’t hurt when reading. Yet despite the absurdity of the premise, the Easter eggs of surrealist works most have never seen nor heard of, and an author secure in the knowledge that he is the smartest person in the room his works are surprisingly accessible. Last Days of New Paris is no different. A reader doesn’t need to know anything about surrealism to see this…

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8/10
Review: The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer
Reviews / December 9, 2015

I almost didn’t write a review. I wasn’t sure if I should be reviewing something that was important enough to me that I contributed to a kickstarter for the first time.   But upon reflection I realized that was pretty silly; of course it is ok for me to review The Labyrinth of Flame. After all I am not profiting from it and in reality my contribution just amounted to a long term pre-order of the e-book. That said, consider this a disclosure for those who may think one was needed. A quick rundown for those not in the know. The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer is the third book of the series The Shattered Sigil. Despite getting rave reviews from everyone that matters (oops, personal bias coming through) the series was unfortunately caught in the fiasco that came from Night Shade shutting down; two books released and one short of a finished story.   For various reason Schafer decided to take the self-published route for book three. This series has always been a buddy adventure taken to an extreme level.   It is the story of Dev and Kiran, best friends after two books who will do anything for each other,…

Giveaway: Updraft by Fran Wilde
Giveaway / November 6, 2015

Another great day, another chance to win a great book!  Updraft has been out for a little while now and this is a reminder that perhaps you should read it.   If you live in the U.S. or Canada be sure to enter to win a copy.   Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage. Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother’s side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City. As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever – if…

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10/10
Review: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
Reviews / October 12, 2015

Amazing, if you think about it, how quickly the new and strange can be adjusted to. Ancillary Justice came out and took the genre by storm; I personally called it a glorious mindfuck for the way it played around with language and perception. This was a book that was lauded for many things: a great story, a unique take on immortality, and the ancillaries of a single mind in constant communication. Yet the conversation quickly narrowed in on one aspect of Leckie’s writing; the universal use of feminine pronouns. It was something of a shame too. Because while the game of trying to guess which characters were male and which were female before realizing how little it actually matters was a great experience it wasn’t the entirety of the book. But detractors quickly classified the book as a gimmick, fans often found themselves on their heels defending this specific aspect of the book, and amusingly certain groups with political agendas decided the book was everything wrong with speculative fiction when they fixated on ‘the gender thing.’ Ultimately the series got what it deserved; winning awards all over the place. And now here we sit with the trilogies conclusion. All of…