aveline’s reviews

reviews | recommendations | my to-read list | review policy

Below you’ll find a list of reviews & recs from Aveline Reynard, specifically queer speculative fiction: in other words, books that have some kind of science fiction & fantasy element and prominently feature LGBTQIA+ characters. Occasionally I’ll read slightly outside of this, but that’s the vast majority of what I’m interested in reading. 

Check out my review policy for answers to questions like: How do I score my reviews? What do I warn for/how do I tag reviews? What do I particularly like or dislike? How do authors submit a book for me to review?

For book suggestions, please feel free to DM or mention me on Twitter! If you want to see if the book’s on my radar already, click here for my to-read list.

Reviews:

Please note that this is a work-in-progress! Some books I’ve read and rated but haven’t cleaned up a full review for the site; others should be coming soon. Review are organized first by Rating, then by Title.

Title Author Rating
Peter Darling Austin Chant ★★★★★
Swordspoint Ellen Kushner ★★★★★
The Raven Cycle (series) Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★
Junk Mage Elliot Cooper ★★★½
Timekeeper Tara Sim ★★★½
To Summon Nightmares J.K. Pendragon ★★★½
Willful Machines Tim Floreen ★★★
The Bone Key Sarah Monette ★★★★★
Captive Prince (series) C.S. Pacat ★★★★★
Caroline’s Heart Austin Chant ★★★★★
Champion of the Scarlet Wolf (series) Ginn Hale ★★★★★
Doctrine of Labyrinths (series) Sarah Monette ★★★★½
The Fire’s Stone Tanya Huff ★★★★½
Hexbreaker Jordan L. Hawk ★★★★½
Privilege of the Sword Ellen Kushner ★★★★½
Six of Crows (series) Leigh Bardugo ★★★★½
The Foxhole Court/All For The Game (series) Nora Sakavic ★★★★
Kirith Kirin Jim Grimsley ★★★★
The Last Herald-Mage (series)
Mercedes Lackey ★★★★
Lord of the White Hell (series) Ginn Hale ★★★★
The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal K.J. Charles Currently or soon-to-be reading
Winterglass Benjanun Sriduangkaew Currently or soon-to-be reading
Looking for Group Alexis Hall Currently or soon-to-be reading
Necromancer Chronicles (series)
Amanda Downum Currently or soon-to-be reading
Tournament of Losers Megan Derr Currently or soon-to-be reading
Shock of Survival Nicole Field Currently or soon-to-be reading
Hexslinger (series) Gemma Files Currently or soon-to-be reading

Recommendations:

Books (or otherwise!) that I haven’t written a full review for, but otherwise have read and will recommend! This might be books that fall outside of my genre of reviewing, books I read a while ago but just am not going to write a full review for (for one reason or another), or books written by friends and/or loved ones!

Title Details
Forward The Hunt by Lotus Oakes On the outside, a cute m/m romance featuring a dragon love interest. The part I found most interesting was actually that the romance wasn’t the primary focus of the book. There’s a lot about coming-of-age, specifically as the child of immigrants; the main character has to balance his own values against those of his parents and those of the country he’s living in. Very beautiful and thoughtful as the protagonist navigates the meaning of familial & romantic love and respect and grows into his own.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but this one was absolutely charming (and ended up on Meredith’s desks, so I just devoured it because it looked cute). A sweet story about a dressmaker hired to make dresses for a prince that likes to wear dresses, and the relationship that develops between them. The art is lovely, and the story is heartwarming – about being true to yourself and finding acceptance with those you love.
All books by Meredith Katz Obviously I’m a fan! Without going into too much detail, here’s a couple that I think everyone should read and why:

Smoke Signals (m/m) is a fun contemporary romance between a customer service rep and a haughty dragon that hoards… video games. If you’re looking for a fun read that’s all about vivid characters and their romantic development and deftly has them navigate differences and boundaries, this one’s for you. I have a particular fondness for the “useless lizard” aka the dragon love interest.

Empty Vessels (m/m/m) is a fantasy-horror novel that’s more creepy than scary; pretty #aesthetic, with a protagonist that can sense Others and ghosts. It features a polyamorous relationship and one of my favourite-ever characters, a manic pixie deer boy.

The Pandemonium Series can be read in any order! There’s M/M, F/F, trans & genderqueer characters. All stories take place in the world of Dolana, where demons and humans live together… in a variety of ways. If you like #demon aesthetic and some great fantasy worldbuilding, give these a try (and appreciating a lot of demon-banging helps, too).