Review: “Death in the Mouth: Original Horror by People of Color” edited by Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart

Release Date: October 1, 2022
Genre: Anthologies, Horror

Description

What is horror to those living in the margins?

Where terror is systematized and in the very air everyone happily breathes?

A misheard word.

The thud of boots.

An impossible color.

A foreign growth.

Death in the Mouth is a collection of horror stories and art showcasing BIPOC and ethnically marginalized storytellers from around the world. You’ll read stories featuring grotesque manifestations of dread, the enveloping sludge of grief, and the insectoid itch of deep-seated fear. Embodiments of mania and displacements of faith. Harrowing ecstasy and debilitating hope. Transgressions of the body, the spirit, and the community. Unique and terrifying alien mythology from the future. Quiet, creeping absurdities. Weird urban legends from secondary worlds.

In this anthology, Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart bring you an incredible range of stories and illustrations that celebrate the voices of those overlooked to show you the terrifying and exquisite scope of what horror can be.

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A Compelling Romance and an Unsatisfying Mystery: A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

Release Date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Tordotcom
Genre: Fantasy

Description

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court–the body-father of the queen’s new child–in an altercation which results in his humiliation.

To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.

Continue reading A Compelling Romance and an Unsatisfying Mystery: A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

Review: “In the Serpent’s Wake” by Rachel Hartman

Release Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: Tess of the Road #2
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

MIND OF THE WORLD,

OPEN YOUR EYES.At the bottom of the world lies a Serpent, the last of its kind.

Finding the Serpent will change lives.Tess is a girl on a mission to save a friend.

Spira is a dragon seeking a new identity.

Marga is an explorer staking her claim on a man’s world.

Jacomo is a priest searching for his soul.There are those who would give their lives to keep it hidden.

And those who would destroy it.But the only people who will truly find the Serpent are those who have awakened to the world around them–with eyes open to the wondrous, the terrible, and the just.

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Review: “The Sleepless” by Victor Manibo

Release Date: August 23, 2022
Publisher: Erewhon
Genre: Science Fiction

Description

Journalist Jamie Vega is Sleepless: he can’t sleep, nor does he need to. When his boss dies on the eve of a controversial corporate takeover, Jamie doesn’t buy the too-convenient explanation of suicide, and launches an investigation of his own.

But everything goes awry when Jamie discovers that he was the last person who saw Simon alive. Not only do the police suspect him, Jamie himself has no memory of that night. Alarmingly, his memory loss may have to do with how he became Sleepless: not naturally, like other Sleepless people, but through a risky and illegal biohacking process.

As Jamie delves deeper into Simon’s final days, he tangles with extremist organizations and powerful corporate interests, all while confronting past traumas and unforeseen consequences of his medical experimentation. But Jamie soon faces the most dangerous decision of all as he uncovers a terrifying truth about Sleeplessness that imperils him–and all of humanity.

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Mini Review: “We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow: and Other Stories” by Margaret Killjoy

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: AK Press
Genre: Anthologies

Description

Spaceships, man-eating mermaids, swords, demons, ghouls, thieves, hitchhikers, and life in the margins.Margaret Killjoy’s stories have appeared for years in science fiction and fantasy magazines both major and indie. Here, we have collected the best previously published work along with brand new material. Ranging in theme and tone, these imaginative tales bring the reader on a wild and moving ride. They’ll encounter a hacker who programs drones to troll CEOs into quitting; a group of LARPers who decide to live as orcs in the burned forests of Oregon; queer, teen love in a death cult; the terraforming of a climate-changed Earth; polyamorous love on an anarchist tea farm during the apocalypse; and much more. Killjoy writes fearless, mind-expanding fiction.

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Mini Review: “The Unbalancing” by R.B. Lemberg

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Genre: Fantasy

Description

Beneath the waters by the islands of Gelle-Geu, a star sleeps restlessly. The celebrated new starkeeper Ranra Kekeri, who is preoccupied by the increasing tremors, confronts the problems left behind by her predecessor.

Meanwhile, the poet Erígra Lilún, who merely wants to be left alone, is repeatedly asked by their ancestor Semberi to take over the starkeeping helm. Semberi insists upon telling Lilun mysterious tales of the deliverance of the stars by the goddess Bird.

When Ranra and Lilun meet, sparks begin to fly. An unforeseen configuration of their magical deepnames illuminates the trouble under the tides. For Ranra and Lilun, their story is just beginning; for the people of Gelle-Geu, it may well be too late to save their home.

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Review: “This Wicked Fate” by Kalynn Bayron

Release Date: June 21, 2022
Series: This Poison Heart #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description

Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate to save the ones you love? Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she’ll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. To locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she’s never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage.

But Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Strengthened by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?

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What Is Your Damage, Mars?: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Release Date: August 16, 2022
Publisher: PUSH
Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Description

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.

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Untameable Magic: Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Release Date: June 28, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description

The suburbs, right now . . .
Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a burning question: What if there’s more to her mother than meets the eye?

The city, back then . . .
Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point. Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

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Review: “The Lost Dreamer” by Lizz Huerta

Release Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Series: Lost Dreamer #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end–an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir’s world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive.

Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer–she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter’s gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they’re running from something. Almost as if they’re being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift–and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she’s ever known, Saya will do what she’s never done before, go where she’s never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.

With a detailed, supernaturally-charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power and female strength, Lizz Huerta’s The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.

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