Review – Maplecroft and Chaplewood

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches Book 2) - Kindle edition by Priest,  Cherie. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Cherie Priest blends cosmic horror ala H.P. Lovecraft with the story of Americana-cum-murder in Lizzie Borden to form THE BORDEN DISPATCHES (MAPLECROFT being Book 1, CHAPLEWOOD being Book 2).

MAPLECROFT stands out for hitting all the cosmic horror notes in exactly the right ways. It’s told in an epistolary fashion and as the letters and diary entries and errata pile up, the situation lurches inexorably toward a yawning doom that is just <chef’s kiss>

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches Book 1)

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches Book 2) (backordered)

Powell’s:

Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches Book 1)

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches Book 2) (no link at Powell’s, sorry)

Amazon:

Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches Book 1)

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches Book 2)

Review – Teeth Long and Sharp as Blades – A.C. Wise

A.C. Wise (twitter) crafted “Teeth Long and Sharp as Blades” a devastatingly sharp story that Pseudopod and narrator Tonia Ransom put into audio with frightening affect.

It’s not a long story, but it cuts right at the heart of the journey from victim to… something else. The narrator (of the story, not Tonia Ransom) is attacked and tells the story of the attack, its aftermath, and the place she ends up at whatever remove the story is being told from. There is an ambiguity about the events that are portrayed. Is the narrator reliable? Perhaps leaning on metaphor? Perhaps the attack was supernatural, or merely dressed up as such to allow the narrator to process her trauma? It all comes together wonderfully (if disconcertingly).

Review: The Nine and The Fall

Tracy Townsend crafted a rich mythology that is among the coolest concepts of anything I’ve ever come across, and there’s no way that I’ll do it justice. In the world of The Nine, there are nine people whose lives are being documented by some divine power who is running an experiment on humanity and using these nine as their sample. What happens when those experiment notes get discovered? (/terribly inadequate pitch)

The world is a vivid and complex vaguely steampunkish cityscape with weird and complicated societies, sentient plants, and a put-upon underclass of “monsters.” It all comes together in a satisfying and fantastic way.

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

The Nine (Thieves of Fate Book 1)

The Fall (Thieves of Fate Book 2)

Amazon:

The Nine (Thieves of Fate Book 1)

The Fall (Thieves of Fate Book 2)

Review – Big Damn Hero, The Magnificent Nine, The Ghost Machine, Generations, and Life Signs

Firefly needs no introduction, but my recomendation of these books relies almost entirely on the way it affects me. I discovered the show and fell in love with the characters, their chemistry, their banter, their hijinks, the whole bit. When I saw that novels were coming out in the Firefly Verse, I was excited, to put it mildly.

The books are fairly short, and give the feeling of being a series of long-ish episodes. Are they incredible, groundbreaking, life-changing stuff? No. But they gave me a chance to spend time with some old friends I’d never thought I’d get to see again. For that bit of escapism alone, they were worth the price of admission to me.

For what it’s worth, of the four that are out now THE MAGNIFICENT NINE felt the most like an episode of Firefly to me and GENERATIONS felt like the one that expanded the Verse the most (note: I’ve only watched the show and Serenity, so maybe the graphic novels and such might color your experience of the novels, sorry).

There are, at present, four novels in this extend Verse. James Lovegrove wrote the first three (but the “original story concept for BIG DAMN HERO was by Nancy Holder), and Tim Lebbon wrote the fourth. Lovegrove also wrote (is writing?) LIFE SIGNS, which has a release date set for Spring, 2021.

I’m just going to link to them all in one big linkfest here.

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (preorder)

Powell’s:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (currently listed as “out of stock”)

Amazon:

Firefly – Big Damn Hero

Firefly – The Magnificent Nine

Firefly – The Ghost Machine

Firefly – Generations

Firefly – Life Signs (preorder)

Review – Station Eleven

Station Eleven (Paperback) - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

Emily St. John Mandel’s STATION ELEVEN was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, so, again, not exactly a diamond in the rough book. But, its writing was gorgeous.

The opening is so understated, simple, sparse–a list of things that were lost when a global pandemic swept civilization aside and left only a few straggling survivors behind (yes, a tad on the nose for the current moment). It sets the tone for a deft weave of lives that weave together from the time before the pandemic strikes on through the world in the aftermath, and as the tapestry comes together the picture it forms is remarkable.

If it sounds good to you, check it out. If you’ve got a local independent bookseller, please give them your business in this difficult time. If it works, try using the Bookshop link, which tries to support independent booksellers. If your local library has it on the shelf, support libraries!

If Amazon is the what works for you to get books in the pandemic, use Amazon, that’s okay too!

Bookshop:

Station Eleven

Powell’s:

Station Eleven

Amazon:

Station Eleven