Description: After the previous team of Young Avengers fell apart, some of them have stayed away, and others are still out living that superhero life. But a new threat against the universe appears — an eldritch terror known as Mother, who has the ability to brainwash adults and is a parasite who is drawn to Billy’s reality-warping powers in the hopes of eating his soul, and maybe destroying the world in the process (all under the oblivious noses of adult superheroes). It’s Kid Loki who decides to get a new team together, bringing in the new members: America Chavez (a dimension-hopping lesbian Latina) and Noh-Varr (a disaffected Kree ex-soldier with a love for earth music), as well as pulling back some previous ones, such as Kate Bishop (rich girl with a bow and Hawkeye #2), Billy Kaplan (chaos-mage and son of the Scarlet Witch, Wiccan), and Teddy (a shape-shifting skrull-kree hybrid prince and Billy’s boyfriend, Hulkling). Joining them is David Alleyne aka Prodigy, an ex-mutant whose ability had been to learn everything.
I’m rereading a bunch of the Young Avengers content, which has won several GLAAD awards for the queer content it introduced. If you want to follow along, I made a Young Avengers reading guide over here to make it easier to understand the order, where to get the comics, and links to my other Young Avengers reviews (including reviews for marvel events & crossovers that I only posted on Goodreads).
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.
Description: When Tristan follows his boyfriend Mathias to Guardian Hill, he doesn’t expect to be made a sacrifice to the demon that dwells there. He certainly doesn’t expect to survive the experience with the demon’s help, but the fact that he does keeps drawing him back to that hill…
“”I leaned over him and felt as if I were staring into a seething cauldron, fires licking the rim of his face. Breathless, I kissed the maelstrom.”
– Kirith Kirin, Jim Grimsley
Genre: High Fantasy
Categories: M/M, wizards/magicians, royalty and political intrigue, fated lovers
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Significant age-gap between the romantic leads, in the way of “just-barely-of-age-fantasy-protagonist.”
Description: Told from the point-of-view of Jessex, a magician reflecting back on his youth and the series of events that caused him to pursue his fate. Kirith Kirin is very much high fantasy and floral prose—the kind of fantasy novel that has FIFTY PAGES OF APPENDICES with all the names and places and rules about magic.
The story follows Jessex, a simple farmboy, who learns that he has a secret magical lineage and a daunting fate. In this world, immortals known as Kirith Kirin and the Blue Queen regularly ‘take turns’ as rulers in order to maintain their immortality, but the Blue Queen has decided that she’s had enough of sharing and is plunging the world into chaos. Jessex makes his way to the side of Kirith Kirin, destined to be his faithful magician—and, you know. More.
The Blue Queen, upon resuming the throne while King Kirith Kirin’s eternality is renewed in the Arthen forest, has partnered with a magician of the dark arts. No longer does she need to leave the throne to renew her eternal nature. Swayed by promises of the magician, she has claimed the throne forever and is extending her influence to the far corners of the world.
Malleable grey clouds, sidewinding wind and intelligent lightning bolts made the trip across the vast Girdle nearly impossible. Out of nowhere, the Blue Queen’s Patrols made haste to kill the boy and the warrior before they could safely reach the deep forest of Arthen. Riding upon two magnificent stallions, one a royal Prince out of Queen Mnemarra, Jessex and his uncle Svisal reached Arthen despite the deadly storm that reeked of magic. Thus begins Jessex’s new life as he arrives in Arthen and enters into the royal court of Kirith Kirin.
Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Romance
Categories: M/M, mystery, eldritch
Content Warnings: Highlight to read: Abuse of the mentally ill. References to previous rapes, and an onscreen attempted rape.
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Description: Investigating a man’s murder is complicated enough without some god from the depths of the sea attempting to communicate with museum philologist Percival Whyborne. But that’s what he and his lover, the private investigator and ex-pinkerton Griffin Flaherty have to deal with, taking them to the horrors of the asylum and memories that Griffin can’t escape. And if that’s not enough, Griffin’s family have come to visit, making him have to pretend to live a normal, heterosexual life in front of them—and they’ve brought a young lady along for him to court.