Bingo Mini-Reviews: Row 4!

Without further fuss, here’s the fourth row of Bingo mini reviews! You can read my reviews for row 1 here, row 2 here, and row 3 here.

Any r/fantasy Book Club Book of the Month or Read-Along

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Hard Mode: Unfortunately no; I was unable to participate in the discussion this time

I originally read Strange Practice for the Vampires square, but I decided to use it for this one instead. Strange Practice stars Greta Helsing, a medical doctor in London who has an unusual discipline: healing the city’s undead. But when a mysterious cult starts causing mayhem, Greta gets pulled into an conspiracy that may be over her head. This book had a gothy sort of feeling without being truly scary, and I loved the mythology around the undead and the demons and the evil cultists...

Read More

Book Bingo Mini-Reviews: Row 3

Welcome to the third row of Bingo wrap up! You can read my mini-reviews for the first row here and the second row here.

Second Chance

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

Hard Mode: n/a (no hard mode for this square)

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit I’d never read LOTR all the way through before now. Of course I liked the movies in high school, but who didn’t? The Hobbit was one of my favorite books in college. In grad school, I even went so far as to read the Silmarillion and enjoyed it. I probably have read Fellowship of the Ring a half a dozen times over the years, but every time I try to read the rest of the books, I end up putting it down somewhere in the middle of the Two Towers. I felt like a sham, a fake, a poser. But no longer...

Read More

Book Bingo Mini-Reviews: Row 2

Hello again! Returning today with mini reviews of the second row of my r/fantasy book bingo card. For those just joining in, you can read my mini-reviews of the first row here.

Novel Featuring Vampires

Fat Vampire by Johnny B Truant

Fat Vampire (Fat Vampire, #1)

Hard Mode: Yes. The main character is a vampire. A fat one, even.

I’m not saying I picked this one up entirely because of the title, but yes, okay, I picked this one up entirely because of the title...

Read More

Book Bingo Mini-Reviews: Row 1

r/fantasy book bingo is almost over for the year, so I thought it would be fun to do a quick recap of all the books I read for the card since last April. This year’s bingo introduced me to a lot of really great books I might not have read otherwise. To prevent overwhelming you all with a tl;dr of mini-reviews, I’ll be posting these one Bingo Row at a time, probably about once a day or every couple days as time allows.

Small-Scale/Slice of Life Fantasy

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen

The Infinite Noise (The Bright Sessions #1)

Hard mode: yes, this book is not, in fact, Record of a Spaceborn Few

Anyone who knows me knows that a book featuring a jock/nerd romance is an instant buy for me, especially if they are queer. I was therefore extremely excited to read this book...

Read More

Morgan Watches MCU: Ironman and Ironman 2

Yes, I know, I run a book blog, not titled themoviewyrm, but I want to try something a little different anyway. I’ve actually not seen most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Shocking, I know. I’ll hand in my nerd card. I’ve seen several of them; all of phase 1 and a handful of some of the later ones, but mostly I feel like I live under a rock where these movies are concerned. I’ve also started to hear a lot more critique about these movies and the messages they’re sending, which actually makes me kind of curious to view them under a slightly more critical lens. Therefore I decided to watch all the ones available on streaming, in release order, and blog about my impressions.

This is going to contain explicit spoilers of all the movies so if you haven’t seen them and want to do so uns...

Read More

SFBO 2019 Review: Never Die by Rob J Hayes

Cover art for Never Die by Rob Hayes

Hello friends, it’s almost a new year and that means a whole new crop of SPFBO top 10 finalists have been, well, finalized. I had so much fun reviewing the 10 finalists last year so I thought this year I’d do it again. Again usual disclaimer that I am not affiliated with the contest, and my review will have no bearing on the contest’s outcome.

Never Die is gained its fair share of buzz and popularity earlier this year, partially but not exclusively because it’s the next project by a previous SPFBO winner. The cover also won this year’s SPFBO cover art contest, which goes to show sometimes you can judge a book by its cover (heh, bet you never heard that one before).

The story begins when swordswoman Itami Cho dies in an attempt to saveĀ  a city from violent bandits...

Read More

Review: The Burning White by Brent Weeks

Burning White Cover Image

This is it! The big one! The one we’ve all been waiting for!

Anyone who knows me can attest that I have been absolutely in love with Brent Weeks’s Lightbringer series since I first learned of its existence in 2016. That summer I devoured the first three volumes the way Kip claimed he devoured pie back in his hometown. I eagerly waited a couple months for The Blood Mirror, and then devoured that one, too. And then I waited what seemed like an interminable number of years for the conclusion.

This is not a dig against Weeks’s writing speed. Three years, in the scheme of time between fantasy epics, isn’t really all that long...

Read More

Bingo Review (Afrofuturism): Binti the Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

Cover art for Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

I admit I’ve been a terrible blogger again ever since I finished reading the SPFBO finalists, but I’m back! And I promise to be more diligent about reviewing the books I’ve read for Reddit Fantasy’s Bingo Challenge.

For the Afrofuturism square, I read the very excellent Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor. I expect this one will be a popular choice for the Bingo challenge — the first Novella won the Nebula and Hugo awards for best Novella in 2015 and 2016, respectively. But I’d heard so many good things about this series, and I was lucky enough to find a signed omnibus at one of the dealer’s tables at comicon, so I was quite excited to dig into the story.

I would probably say it doesn’t count for hard mode (under 1000 Goodreads ratings) because the individual novellas have plenty more ratings ...

Read More

SPFBO Review: Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike

cover of Orconomics by J Zachary Pike

Well, here we are! The very last entry in my series of reviews of the top 10 SPFBO 2018 finalists. I was not affiliated with the contest in any way, but I very much enjoyed reading and reviewing all these excellent books. Alas, now I am done. There will be no more SPFBO finalist reviews after this one. At least not until they announce the finalists of this year’s contest.

Orconomics was the winner of the 2018 SPFBO contest, and I have to say that it was extremely well deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed quite a number of the books I read this year, and I think several of them would have been extremely worthy winners. But among them, Orconomics really does shine.

Orconomics begins with the premise, “what are the actual economic implications of a world where adventuring heroes make a career of tr...

Read More

SPFBO Review: Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer

Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer cover

This is the latest in a continuing series of unofficial reviews for the top ten finalists of the 2018 SPFBO contest. The contest is over and done but I am still working through the finalists and writing reviews. This review be my second-to-last one of this series — only the ultimate winner, Orconomics, left after this one. The current book, however, came in third, and I found it very enjoyable overall.

Admittedly, I was a little bit wary going in to this one. I hate to be person who judges a book by its cover, but I’m afraid in this case I am guilty of judging a book by its cover. That is not to say it’s a bad cover! In fact, it’s an excellent cover, and even placed third in this year’s cover contest...

Read More