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: Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (2014)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Contemporary, Superheroes
Categories: M/M, Queer characters
Content Warnings: N/A
Buy it at: Amazon (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3) | Barnes & Noble (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3)
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).
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: Peter Darling by Austin Chant (2017)
“That’s the trick of growing up. Nothing stays the same.” Hook sounded oddly sympathetic. “You see the faults in everything. Including yourself.”
– Peter Darling, Austin Chant
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale, romance
Categories: M/M, trans, enemies to lovers, fairy tale retelling
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Deals with societal & familial transphobia. Some death & violence but not graphic.
Description: A sumptuously gorgeous re-imagining of Peter Pan where the fairies are all the more strange and where Neverland—and your identity—is what you decide to make of it. Enemies-to-lovers Peter & Hook: if this is automatically selling point, great, you won’t be disappointed. If it makes you raise your eyebrows: trust me, the storytelling, characterization & development is so deftly woven that you also won’t be disappointed.
“Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.”