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[Book Review] How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

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How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse(Thorne Chronicles #1) / K. A. Eason

It turns out describing a book as "Princess Leia meets The Princess Bride" is pretty much a guaranteed way to get my interest.

The tale of Rory Thorne is an utterly delightful space romp told by a smart narrator with a sardonic sense of humor.  It takes on the mantle of a familiar fairy tale (with the titular character's last name of "Thorne" it's not a hard guess) and makes something new.  We have the "fairies" with their gifts, our royal princess, a curse - but noting quite as traditionally expected.

Rory's curse is not to die (nor is the amelioration to simply fall asleep), but instead she is cursed to always see the unvarnished truth of things, what people actually mean.  Considering how much of society runs due to polite fictions, that is no insignificant burden on a precocious child, particularly when among adults who may not believe in such things as "fair…

[Book Review] The Library of the Unwritten

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The Library of the Unwritten (A Novel from Hell’s Library) /  A. J. Hackwith

From the cover:
Join the Library.
Raise Hell. Well... that sure as shit hits me as a target demographic.

The Library of the Unwritten gives us a mythology infused contemporary fantasy as a Librarian and her assistants attempt to prevent a war between Heaven and Hell, and defend the library from those who would use it for their own gain.

The Ensemble we follow is made up of characters that don't so much grow as are revealed and discovered.  They also exist in shades of grey, with internally conflicting needs and wants, adding depth to the story.  The span of the book is not so long in time, and the cast is new to both the reader and to each other.  The story itself makes referential use to literary tropes, but does not rely heavily on pop culture to convey ideas.

Over all it was a very enjoyable read, one that I have not only recommended to friends but we have added it to the collection at the Library I work…

[Review] THIRSTY SWORD LESBIANS Beta Playtest

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If 7th Sea is a game of "What Would Errol Flynn Do?", Thirsty Sword Lesbians is "What Would Julie d'Aubigny Do?"

Confession, my first reaction to the the play test materials was "this is a game of 'What Would a Sapphic Errol Flynn Do?"  And then I remembered there was someone from history that was THE perfect fit for this game.  The swashbuckling high adventure ideals and the structure of the game built around relationships and story brought to mind the much popular game by John Wick... but for me in a much more comprehensible and to the heart package.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians is a rolepaying game for telling queer stories with friends. If you love angsty disaster lesbians with swords, you have come to the right place.

In this book, you’ll find:
Flirting, sword-fighting, and zingers in a system designed for both narrative drama and player safety.An innovative take on the Powered by the Apocalypse family of games.Nine character types, each focusing on …

[Book Review] Dune

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Dune (Deluxe Edition) / Frank Herbert

Dune is one of those books I don't know where to start.  There's little about this book that was idle creation, the first novel alone containing deep and deliberate lore, born in part out of the author's own work and study in ecology and environmentalism.  I have not read more than this first book, so I do not know if the story later loses its way, it's depth, or if it loses sight of the consequences of Paul's own actions.  But I am in awe as I periodically learn more and more about the book's genesis, depth, and impact on the genre.

That is not to say the book without flaw, the coding of Baron Harkonnen for example.  More that it's a significant body of work, and that flaws should be part of any higher or academic discussion of the novel.  I say academic b/c I would totally take a literature class that unpackaged Dune.

54 years after it's initial publication, it's not an unknown novel, and most things I could s…

[Book Review] Rosemary and Rue

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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)/ Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed:
Once Broken FaithThe Brightest FellNight and SilenceThe Unkindest Tide Wow.  10th Anniversary edition.  You've come a long way, Toby.

It's easy to forget that once Toby was not the first to run into danger, someone who was, to the best of her knowledge, so breakable and mortal.  At one point, she found the threat and then called in others to deal with it.

This is Toby before she came into herself, recovering from her life being stolen from her and being dumped out of time and out of place.  This is before she discovers the truth of her heritage or takes on a squire.  This is before she builds her network of allies and friends that becomes her family.

Toby is very different than the woman we've come to know and love, but the seeds are all there.

In some series, going back to the beginning, to the author's first book, can be a jarring reminder of how much the author has grown in their storytelling alo…

[Book Review] Fallen

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Fallen (Alex Verus #10) / Benedict Jacka

It's always a little awkward to jump into a series so far in, but I was looking for something new and I'm a fan of Urban Fantasy.  Cover blurb from Jim Butcher didn't hurt either.

Ten books in, there's a lot of action and history already past.  However, while I'm certain I've missed some finer points overall at no point did I feel lost.

The voice of the book falls into what I've come to expect as a standard tone for British Urban Fantasy, and should appeal to fans of Paul Cornell's London Falling or Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series.  Comparing to series at large, it have the edge of sardonic humor that fans of The Laundry Files, The Dresden Files, or October Daye are used to, with the story staying to a slightly more serious tone.

What will be familiar is the urgent pressure of the situation Alex Verus finds himself in, trying to succeed against a stacked deck.  Or protagonists build themselves teams…

[Book Review] The Unkindest Tide

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The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #12) / Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed:
Once Broken FaithThe Brightest FellNight and Silence I start this review like I did the last one... Oh, Toby.
We're solidly in what in my head can be classified as "Phase 2" of the series.  I have no clue if this is true, but we're several books past a tipping point as it were, we're seeing debts come due, and Toby is operating solidly in a heavier weight class than before.  Not that it makes the summons she must heed any easier.  It would appear that no good deed goes unpunished, and no one holds a grudge or stirs up trouble quite like the immortal.
The Luidaeg told the Selkies that she was coming to collect on a blood debt long due, told Toby that it would be her skills that would bring it to pass.... and when blood and magic and promises are knotted together, there is no escape.
Once Faire had the Roane, the Luidaeg's children, until mortals were tempted to immortality and killed the…