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Reviews: Books

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Still catching up on my review backlog.


Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole (self published?, 2014)

As I hope it will become apparent, I'm trying to get caught up on a bunch of reviews that are on my to-do list. ("Hope" because I haven't actually gotten caught up on writing them all.) The hardest part (other than getting the "round to-it") is trying to make up plausible reading dates to insert in the Goodreads version of the reviews. I know the general period in which I read these things, but specific dates are non-recoverable.


Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole (self-published, 2018)

Murder on the Titania by Alex Acks (Queen of Swords Press, 2018)

I had a show I wanted to do about five reasons why the English Regency is an excellent setting for lesbian romance novels, with examples of five books that take advantage of those reasons. I didn't have a good place to schedule it on my own show, but Tara invited me onto her show, Les Do Books. Here are the show notes and link:

I've long had a peculiar love for Regency romances (ask me about my complete collection of Georgette Heyer). Every time I've gotten wind of a Regency featuring a romance between women, I've done my best to track it down. Some have been very enjoyable, some have been adequate, some have been disappointing. But I now have a reigning favorite in this admittedly small genre: Jeannelle M. Ferreira's The Covert Captain: Or, a Marriage of Equals.

In this second novel in de Bodard's "Dominion of the Fallen" world, that world expands much further to encompass the dragon empire under the Seine and its political complexities and entanglements with the Houses ruled by fallen angels. As before, we get a dystopia of ruthless power and magic and the precarious position of ordinary mortals whose only safety is to tie their allegiance to a stronger being.

“The Price of Meat” is a horror novelette set in a mildly alt-historical London with casual inclusion of both female and male same-sex couples while definitely not being a romance in format. The setting and characters have the feel of being spun off of an existing alternate history setting--as if we’re expected to be familiar with the two men and their backstory, and with the points of historical divergence established economically in the opening paragraph--but the author indicates otherwise.

The musical Hamilton has quite deservedly stirred up a lot of interest in the Revolutionary War era and, from a separate angle, in history as experienced through lives that don’t fit the straight white male Christian default.

My impressions of this book shifted a lot during the process or reading it. For much of the middle, I was afraid it was going to be one of those “liked but didn’t love” books, and then things really ramped up in the last couple of chapters. Ramped up almost too quickly, in fact, but the shift meant that I was left with a much stronger liking for the book than I thought I would.

I bought Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns based on the response of various advance reviewers that boiled down to “lesbian space pirates; what more could you want?” Well, evidently I want more. Barbary Station appears to be a competently written space opera involving pirates, malevolent AIs, and bionically-enhanced cyber-hacking engineers. The central protagonists are a same-sex couple in a pre-existing and utterly taken for granted relationship. But having gotten four chapters in, I have yet to find myself caring what happens to them or whether they succeed.

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