Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (2019)
“There should not be a sheet of cream-colored paper, clean save a single line in a long, trailing hand: Burn before reading.
Red likes to feel. It is a fetish. Now she feels fear. And eagerness.
She was right.”
– This Is How You Lose The Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Categories: F/F, time travel
Description: A post-apocalyptic time travel novel written in a swapping-point-of-view style, featuring letters between the protagonists. Red and Blue are operatives from different factions of time travelling organizations trying to manipulate the worlds and their timelines to their own ends. They’re both the best at what they do, and recognize each other’s skill—leading to them starting to secretly, covertly exchange letters, and slowly start to care about each other. Obviously, that has consequences.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. And thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Review: The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) by KJ Charles (2013)
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Categories: M/M, Wizards/Witches, Nobility
Content Warnings: Highlight to read: Magically-induced attempted suicide, offscreen/pre-novel suicides, reference to previous rapes by now-deceased characters.
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Description: When Lord Crane, Lucien Vaudrey, is being forced through dark magic to attempt to take his own life, he hires a magician to help protect him. The magician, Stephen Day, has good reason to hate Crane’s family, but Stephen is devoted to his duty to protect people from harmful magic. Still, Crane is nothing like his father or brother, and as the case becomes even more complicated and unpleasant than it seemed, the two are drawn closely together.
Review: Beyond the Pale (The Last Rune #1) by Mark Anthony (1998)
Genre: High Fantasy
Categories: Fairies, Royalty/Nobility, Multiple Worlds, Witches/Wizards
Content Warnings: Highlight to read: Reference to previous child sexual abuse. Onscreen attempted rape. Some instances of homophobic dialogue. Some instances of ableist language. Only black character (also only POC) dies.
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Description: ER doctor Grace Beckett and small-town saloon owner Travis Wilder are both normal citizens of Colorado. They don’t know each other, and they’ve never dealt with magic…at least, that they acknowledge. But when evil attacks them in their separate towns, they find themselves transported to the fantastical world of Eldh, where they must make new, strange companions and gain powers that will help them save their new world.
Review: Possibilities (A King’s Council #1) by Nicole Field (2018)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Categories: Non-binary (genderfluid), Trans, Royalty & Nobility, Arranged Marriage
Content Warnings: N/A
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Less Than Three Press
Description: When Prince Ernest unexpectedly becomes King Ernest, he quickly finds that it’s lonely at the top — until the appointment of his new court jester, Drel, gives him some company. But he quickly finds himself deeply attracted to them. Would an affair with the Court Jester weaken his reign? Or can they find a way to make it strengthen it instead?
Review: To Summon Nightmares by J.K. Pendragon (2014)
“With the last sound, his mouth became unstopped like a bottle, and it was as if all sound hissed from the room. The candles blew out, the darkness expanded to envelop all. And then the darkness receded. The candles flickered back to light, and the sound came back into the room.
In the middle of the circle stood a man.”
– To Summon Nightmares, J.K. Pendragon
Genre: Paranormal, contemporary, romance
Categories: M/M, trans, demons
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Transphobia. Graphic descriptions of dysphoria, self-harm attempts. References to torture, child abuse.
Description: A gothic-horror contemporary story set in rural Ireland. Cohen, a Jewish trans writer, finds himself unexpectedly involved in the life of Niall—a gorgeous man suspected of murder, on the run from a haunting past involving demon summoning, and possessing incredible magic powers. There’s a secret organization and a very unpleasant ex-boyfriend involved. And all Cohen wanted was a quiet place to write…
“When he inherits an old house in the country, Cohen sees it as a perfect opportunity to escape the press and work on his new book. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in a small town murder mystery and falling for the primary suspect, a man whose reality makes Cohen’s fantasy books seem like child’s play…”