Serena’s Review: “Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame” by Meg Long

Publishing Info: Wednesday Books, January 2024

Where Did I Get this Book: Edelweiss+

Where Can You Get this Book: Amazon | IndieBound | WorldCat

Book Description: After a mission gone awry two years ago, Remy Castell has been desperately searching across worlds to find the friend she failed to save—the friend who changed her life by helping her overcome the brainwashing she was subjected to as a genetically engineered corporate agent.

Since then, she’s been chasing the only lead she has: fellow genopath Kiran Lore, the same secretive ex-squadmate who left her for dead when she compromised that mission. She nearly caught up to him on Tundar before joining the infamous sled race alongside outcast Sena and her wolf companion Iska. Now, all three of them have tracked Kiran back to Maraas, the jungle planet where Remy lost everything. But nothing on Maraas is how it was two years ago. Syndicates and scavvers alike are now trying to overthrow a megalomaniac corpo director, which Remy wants nothing to do with; fighting against corpos is as useless as trying to stay dry in the middle of the giant hellstorm that encircles the planet. But the storm—and the rebellion—are growing stronger by the minute.

When Remy finds Kiran, he doesn’t run away like she expects. Instead, he offers her a deal: help with the revolution and he’ll reunite her with her friend. But can she really trust the boy who betrayed her once before? With the entire planet on the edge of all-out war, Remy will have to decide just how far she’s willing to go to save one girl before the impending storm drowns them all.

Previously Reviewed: “Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves”

Review: I really liked “Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves” when I read it last January. Not only is January the perfect time to hole up inside next to a fire and read about someone else suffering the elements, but who can say no to a book that has a central relationship between a girl and her half-feral wolf? No one, that’s who. That book also introduced us to Remy, a side character who we learn is on the run from the corporation that made her. So I was thrilled when I saw that the author was releasing a companion novel that would focus on Remy’s story.

Remy has been on the run for two years after her ex-squadmate betrayed her and cost her everything she held dear. While running from the corporation that created her, she’s traced her away across the universe to hunt down the man who destroyed the fragile sense of self she had been building. Now, with her friend Sena and Sena’s wolf companion Iska alongside, Remy returns to the planet where it all began. But what she finds is a world transformed from the one she left behind. Still, in the midst of ongoing political and social strife, Remy is hopeful she can finally put her past to rest.

I won’t beat around the bush: I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as the first. Which was really too bad. But I can still see the bones of a good book and the strength of the writing that drew me to the first novel. The author is clearly skilled at creating interesting, alternative world environments, complete with their own weather systems, creatures, and societies. This one was just as interesting as the first. Whereas before we explored a brutal tundra world, here we dive into the sticky, hot, humidity of a jungle planet. Even more interesting, the planet is plagued by a massive storm system that circumnavigates the entire world every two weeks or so. This creates a very interesting culture and society where everything in the city is under a constant state of destruction and repair. We also see how this mindset influences who lives where (more protected areas vs less) and what materials they have access to for their construction, affecting how durable the buildings are in any certain community. This was all super interesting, and I really enjoyed everything we got with regards to the world building.

Further, I liked the politics and mystery at the heart of the story with regards to these dynamics. When we get to the motivations of the bad actors, it was all very believable and relatable, touching on some important themes and commentary about class and the environment in our own world. And, while I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to read “Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves” before you read this one, having read that one, I appreciated how the author further fleshed out the role of local syndicates and the interesting balance they strike between their own world’s population and the power of the corporations that essentially rule the universe.

But it all broke down for me with the main character and the love interest. I don’t really think it’s a spoiler to say that said ex-squadmate who “betrayed” her probably has more going on. But if you don’t want more details, suffice it to say that I found Remy’s understanding of this character to be so poor as to be almost laughable. For more details, continue reading!

Basically, this just comes down to a case of telling and not showing. From the beginning, Remy goes on repeated internal rants about her ex-squadmate who was controlling, always putting himself forward and making her look bad on their missions. The problem comes when we are shown flashbacks that make it painfully obvious what is going. Again and again, all we see is a man who clearly loves Remy and is protecting her in every way he can. In one case, he directly takes the blame for something Remy does and ends up in a torture session over it. And somehow…Remy not only doesn’t pick up on these super obvious clues, but spends large chunks of the book telling the reader how bad of a guy Kiran is. And that’s just not a recipe for success. I get having an unreliable narrator. But you have to have a reason for why they’re misleading the reader. And if that reason turns out to be “the protagonist is kind of a dunderhead and oblivious to the point of disbelief” that’s not good look for the protagonist or is incredibly frustrating for the reader.

Unfortunately, some of this obliviousness on Remy’s part showed up in many different ways. Not only is she repeatedly unable to understand how her actions impact others, but she also misreads many other characters’ motivations. It was tough to read, as I thought that Remy’s portrayal in the first book was so solid and interesting. But here, she immediately started to fall into some predictable YA female protagonist stereotypes. And this wasn’t helped by having Sena hanging around through a lot of it, reminding readers of just how likable a main character she was in her book.

Overall, this was kind of a mixed bag for me. My experience of this book really lived and died by my reaction to Remy as a main character. The world-building, writing, and themes were still incredibly strong. I just was too frustrated by Remy through much of it to truly enjoy my read. If you were a fan of the first book, however, I still might recommend a read through here. Your tastes may vary for a main character, and the author still had a lot of good story and commentary to offer with this book.

Rating 7: Excellent world-building and important themes regarding environmentalism and class were undermined by a rather frustrating main character.

Reader’s Advisory:

“Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame” can be found on this Goodreads list: Upcoming 2023 SFF Books With Female Leads or Co-Leads

Kate’s Review: “The Black Queen”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “The Black Queen” by Jumata Emill

Publishing Info: Delacorte Press, January 2023

Where Did I Get This Book: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

Where You Can Get This Book: WorldCat | Amazon | Indiebound

Book Description: Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy–her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.

No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t face the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova–and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.

Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her. But Tinsley has an agenda, too.

Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.

Review: Thank you to Delacorte Press for sending me an eARC of this novel via NetGalley!

I love being taken surprise by a book. Whether it’s because I hadn’t heard of it before, or because a new author is on the scene and I’m totally unfamiliar, it’s a joy and a treat when one ends up in my hands, I have no expectations, and it ends up working for me and then some. That was my experience with “The Black Queen” by Jumata Emill. I hadn’t heard of the book until it was offered to me (thanks again, Delacorte Press!), and the premise was interesting and I was feeling up to trying something new. And then I ended up really, really enjoying it!

This story is told from two first person perspectives. The first is that of Duchess, a Black teenage girl in a Southern Community that is dealing with unofficial segregation and disparities for the Black community. Her best friend Nova is another Black girl, and is named the first Black Homecoming Queen the school has ever had. When Nova is murdered, Duchess is determined to prove that the privileged and wealthy Tinsley, a white classmate who wanted to be Homecoming Queen, is the culprit, as Tinsley was not only cruel to Nova during the race, but was also seen on TikTok making threats after the crowning. But the other perspective is actually of Tinsley, who is desperate to clear her name in the murder, and who is conducting her own investigation. Eventually, both girls team up despite the bad blood and past baggage, and it makes for a hell of a story. Not in the sense of ‘look at these two learning from each other’ kind of way, but because Emill doesn’t shy away from very uncomfortable moments regarding Tinsley’s character, and also explores lots of complexities with Duchess’s father, who is a police captain in town, and how his role has an effect on Duchess and her peers. Watching Tinsley be really difficult to like and slowly start to realize how terrible she has been, and how her race and privilege has made her entitled and venomous, is a very interesting choice to make with the character, and it was really neat to see that while we do get growth and remorse, she isn’t let off the hook for her really shitty actions. Watching her do the work first because she wants to clear her name, but then slowly start to realize that she has a lot to atone for was a fascinating character arc. I also like Duchess’s storyline and character growth, as she goes from making assumptions about things to then starting to find hard to reconcile nuances that make her question what she thinks she knows. It’s just really cool to see Emill delve into these deep issues about race in America and doesn’t water it down or package it in a way that some may think would be more palatable for a teen audience. She makes it easy to understand while still trusting the reader to be able to parse out a lot of complex, not so easy to answer questions.

The mystery at hand was very entertaining and pretty well put together. We know from the jump that Tinsley was guilty of being a shit head but not guilty of murder, so having her Duchess start to piece the mystery together separately and then together led to some good reveals and some good clue drops. There were a lot of facets to the story, and to Nova’s character, and many puzzle pieces that come together to give many options for why someone would have wanted her dead. Emill is fairly successful in pulling everything off and throwing readers off the trail here and there, and while I did kind of call one of the big solutions pretty early on in my read, there were a few well done red herrings that made me think ‘well maybe…?’, before they were revealed to be misdirections. But they were all plausible. The pace is kept fairly brisk and the plot moves in a way that keeps you interested, and I devoured this book in a couple of sittings because it was just that addictive.

So all in all “The Black Queen” was a well done YA thriller that successfully injects bigger, relevant issues into the plot. I really enjoyed it and I will be looking for more fiction from Jumata Emill in the future!

Rating 8: Some really good reveals, complex main characters, and a lot of relevant and important themes about race in America come together to make a well done YA thriller.

Reader’s Advisory:

“The Black Queen” isn’t included on many Goodreads lists as of yet, but I think it would fit in on “Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racist Books”and “Young Adult Thrillers”.

Not Just Books: January 2023

While we do love us some books, believe it not, we do have a life outside of reading. So to highlight our other pop culture interests, on the last Monday of each month, we each will highlight three other “happenings” from the last month. Big events on favorite TV shows, new movies we’ve watched, old movies we’ve “discovered,” etc. Pretty much whatever we found of particular interest outside of the book world during the last month. Share your own favorite things in the comments!

Serena’s Picks

Movie: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Count my husband and I in the group of people whose money Netflix lost by only releasing this movie in theaters for one weekend! I’m not sure what went on behind this poorly thought out decision, but I hope all the dollars they left on the table remind them that yes, some people still do want to actually go out to the theater! I mean, at this point, any excuse to escape my children sounds good. But the opportunity to watch a smart, hilarious, murder mystery as well? Definitely! Ah well. We still watched on Netflix the Friday it was released and enjoyed the heck out of it. Fans of the first movie are sure to love this one, as will those who are first timers to “Knives Out.”

Netflix Show: “The Recruit”

From a sure bet to a very questionable new release. Questionable because I really couldn’t tell what I was getting into after watching the trailer. Is this an action show? A comedy? Are we supposed to like this kind of ridiculous dude bro who seems to be a walking, talking 20-something stereotype? Well, yes to all of the above. And you have to give all the credit to Noah Centineo for this one. As I said, this is a character who you really should dislike. But Centineo’s charm and douchey charisma (is that a thing??) carry the entire thing. You find yourself rooting for this bumbling guy who seems to stumble from one disaster to another. I did struggle towards the end when one of the main female characters made some decisions that truly catapulted her into “too stupid to live” territory, but, again, my investment in Centineo’s character ultimately won me over.

TV Show: “Veronica Mars”

Yes, yes, I’m admitting to be very late to this show. Not only did I not watch it when it was originally on, but I really wasn’t even aware it was a thing until fairly recently when I went down a Kristen Bell rabbit hole and discovered it in her back catalog. I’ll also admit that I watched the first half of the first season over several months, still not understanding what all the fuss was about. And then Logan and Veronica kissed, and my little shipping heart was all in. Yes, I’m also unfortunately spoiled for the end, but that just means I can very tidily turn of my viewing experience before any…unpleasantness ruins my “happily ever after.”

Kate’s Picks

TV Show: “Trixie Motel”

One of my dearest friends, David, has been living outside Minnesota, spending his time on archaeological digs or out west working on his dissertation. But whenever he is in town we try to get together to relive our glory days of ordering in Chinese food and watching queer content (as this was how our friendship was solidified during our time working together at the Science Museum of Minnesota). For his winter visit we sat down and started “Trixie Motel”, a renovation show that is the project of hilarious drag queen/musician/comedian Trixie Mattel. I’ve been a Trixie fan since she was on “Drag Race” on Season 7, but seeing how she has expanded her brand over the years has been really fun. Now she and her partner have bought a motel in Palm Springs, and they are renovating it to make it campy and kitschy as well as fully functional and enjoyable. This show shows how the renovations went, and is humorous as well as really neat to see in terms of transformation. I’m not a big home renovation show person, but this one was VERY entertaining.

TV Show: “Bluey”

So this is a little bit the influence of my daughter at work, as right now she is VERY into “Bluey”, an Australian cartoon about a blue heeler puppy and her family. But if I am being totally honest, I, too, really really love “Bluey”! The show is little eight minute shorts following Bluey, her sister Bingo, and her parents Bandit and Chilli as they go through general family and childhood things. A lot of it is centered around imaginative play and family time, and it’s incredibly cute. But my husband and I also feel that it does a GREAT job of capturing some of the more silly but also very endearing aspects of childhood, and parenthood, and how sometimes we are all just doing our best out there. It’s been described as ‘a show for parents that kids just happen to like’ in a joking manner, but it hits the nail on the head in a lot of ways. And as someone with a very spirited toddler, it’s fun to cuddle up with her and be like ‘oh that is absolutely something she would do’ whenever Bluey or Bingo are being their sweet, sometimes frustrating, but hilarious and wonderful selves.

Film: “M3gan”

It was once again field trip time for the Terror Tuesday crew, and we had been much anticipating “M3gan”, the new killer doll horror film with an AI twist. The trailer alone was so unhinged that I sent it to the group chat the day it dropped with an ‘OMG????!!!!’ message. And “M3gan” lived up to the WTF-ness of the trailer and more. When Cady is orphaned in a terrible car accident, she is sent to live with her Aunt Gemma, who is a robotics and AI developer for a toy company. Gemma, hoping to help Cady but to also work on her newest creation, introduces her niece to M3gan, a robot doll that uses AI to learn, connect to, and provide care, teaching, and comfort to its owner. But as M3gan learns more, and Cady becomes more and more attached, things start to take a sinister turn. It’s part AI run amok, part creepy doll, and M3gan is a SUPER FUN AND VICIOUS villain. Our group had a serious hoot at the theater, as it has moments of genuine suspense, but also a lot of dark humor to round it all out.

A Brief History of Brandon Sanderson and the Introduction of My “Year of Sanderson” Series

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

“Year of Sanderson” is an on-going, monthly series that will post on the last Friday of each month in which I will cover various Brandon Sanderson-related things. This will largely be comprised of book reviews (some from his back catalog and some from the books being released this year), as well as assorted other topics like reviews of the items in the swag boxes that will be coming out as part of Sanderson’s Kickstarted campaign. Frankly, we’ll just have to see what we get from this series, very much like the Kickstarter itself!

General History

Brandon Sanderson first popped up on the fantasy book scene back in 2003 when he published his first novel “Elantris” through Tor publishing. He went on to write the “Mistborn” trilogy, which is his earliest best known work. From there he continued to pump out books at a prodigious rate, especially as an author who lived up to the stereotype of fantasy writers producing massive, multiple hundreds of pages long tomes. While most of his work has been for adult readers, he’s also ventured into middle grade and YA fantasy as well with series like “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians” (middle grade) and “Steelheart” (YA).

His name likely first became known to general readers outside of the fantasy genre in 2007 when he was selected to complete Robert Jordan’s massively popular “Wheel of Time” series. He wrote the final three novels in this series, which were well-received by fans and cemented his place as a powerhouse in the modern fantasy genre.

He has won numerous awards over the years, including the Hugo Award in 2013 for his novella “The Emperor’s Soul.” His books have also been on the New York Times Best-Seller list 15 times, speaking to the long-lasting popularity of his writing across several series. While “Wheel of Time” has been produced as a streaming show on Amazon Prime, it is still early in its run and nowhere near the seasons that would depict Sanderson’s entries to the series. However, DMG Entertainment has optioned his entire Cosmere universe for potential future projects. Speaking of the Cosmere…

Cosmere

Brandon Sanderon is also known for his unique approach to many of his fantasy books, both stand-alones and series. Like the Marcel Cinematic Universe, Sanderson has created a larger “universe” in which many of his books take place. Currently, none of his books from other series need to be read before jumping into a different, unconnected book or series, but there are many Easter Eggs left for the devoted fan who has read much of his work. Particularly, there are a few sort of “god level” characters who world-jump and will appear in multiple different books and series.

Sanderson is also well known for creating detailed and interesting magic systems. While all of the magic systems presented in his many fantasy novels are unique to themselves, books that take place within the Cosmere do feature systems that seem to operate on similar principles and are organized in similar fashions. Beyond this, Sanderson has mentioned that all worlds within the Cosmere feature the same creation myth.

The books that currently make up the Cosmere are “Elantris,” “Mistborn,” “Warbreaker,” “The Stormlight Archive,” “White Sand,” and anything from “Arcanum Unbounded.” While books like “Elantris” and “Warbreaker” are currently standalones (there is a “Warbreaker” sequel in the works), “Mistborn” and “The Stormlight Archive” are each long works that add hundreds upon thousands of pages to the ever-growing Cosmere. “The Stormlight Archives” is Sanderson’s current signature epic fantasy, comprised of four massive books (the most recent book, “Rhythm of War,” topped out at 1232 pages.)

Kickstarter Campaign

Back in the spring of 2022, Brandon Sanderson surprised fans by starting up a Kickstarter campaign. Per the usual for the fast-writing author, while other authors expressed struggles with writers block during the Covid pandemic, Sanderson managed to whip together four entirely new novels, and it was these four novels that comprised the heart of the campaign. However, the author didn’t stop there. While the four books would ship out on a quarterly basis starting in January of 2023, funders could also back the project further to receive monthly swag boxes over the entire 12 month period of 2023.

While this particular type of campaign (swag boxes, etc.) was a first for Sanderson, the author already had a foot firmly in the self-publishing field. Indeed, Sanderson already had his own publishing company, Dragonsteel Entertainment; previous to the Kickstarter, Dragonsteel was largely used to publish collector versions of Sanderson’s previously published works.

When the Kickstarter first went up, Sanderson’s goal was to hit $1 million, the amount estimated to produce and distribute the four books he wrote during the pandemic. He ended up breaking all of the records, ultimately topping out at $41 million dollars. According to an article by USA Today, “The campaign is the biggest project in Kickstarter history by pledge volume and is more than double the previous record holder. It also set a record for both the most money raised in the first 24 hours ($15.4 million) as well as the most funding and backers for the same time period.” Sanderson went on to pay it forward, donating to almost every other Kickstarter with a publishing focus that was currently running while his own was live.

My Fandom

I’ve been a fan of Brandon Sanderson almost from the beginning. While I didn’t catch “Elantris” when it was first published, I read the original “Mistborn” trilogy as it released. I’ve read almost everything else by the author to date (though I haven’ read all of his middle grade or YA fantasy). I own copies of most of his books, including said massive “Stormlight Archives” tomes, and even a few of the leather bound collector versions that were produced by Dragonsteel Entertainment. To this day, I point my husband in this direction if he’s looking for a last minute gift idea for me.

I got to meet Sanderson at an author event at the St. Paul children’s bookstore, “The Red Balloon.” It is a small space, but it was absolutely jam packed for this event, and for good reason. When listening to him speak, it’s impossible not to catch the infectious joy that he has not only for reading and writing, but for fantasy and fandom as well. After seeing that level of energy on display, it’s less difficult to understand his rate of publication.

When I saw that Sanderson had a Kickstarter up and running, I knew that I would have to join. I dithered for about a day over the kind of insane price of going the “swag box” route, but in the end, I decided “hey, what are credit card points for if not off-setting the ridiculous price of things you’d never ordinarily buy??” As I don’t know exactly what is coming in these swag boxes or much about the four books either (there are details out there for the books, but I’d rather just be surprised), I can’t say exactly what this post series will contain over the next year. Instead, it will be a fun surprise for us all! I hope you enjoy the ride with me!

Sources

Brandon Sanderon Website

Stormlight Archive

Kickstarter Campaign

Brandon Sanderson YouTube Channel

Tor.com

USA Today article about the Kickstarter campaign

Kate’s Review: “Unshod, Cackling, and Naked”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “Unshod, Cackling, and Naked” by Tamika Thompson

Publishing Info: Unnerving, January 2023

Where Did I Get This Book: I received an eARC.

Where You Can Get This Book: Amazon | Author’s Website

Book Description: A beauty pageant veteran appeases her mother by competing for one final crown, only to find herself trapped in a hand-sewn gown that cuts into her flesh. A journalist falls deeply in love with a mysterious woman but discovers his beloved can vanish and reappear hours later in the same spot, as if no time has passed at all. A cash-strapped college student agrees to work in a shop window as a mannequin but quickly learns she’s not free to break her pose. And what happens when the family pet decides it no longer wants to have “owners?”

In the grim and often horrific thirteen tales collected here, beauty is violent, and love and hate are the same feeling, laid bare by unbridled obsession. Entering worlds both strange and quotidian, and spanning horror landscapes both speculative and real, Unshod, Cackling, and Naked asks who among us is worthy of love and who deserves to die?

Review: Thank you to Beverly Bambury for sending me an eARC of this short story collection!

Even though I am typing this whilst looking at a VERY out of control book pile on my nightstand, I’m not lying when I say that I’m always on the lookout for something new in my reading rotations. Especially if that something new is something horror related. So when I was approached with “Unshod, Cackling, and Naked”, a collection of short horror stories by Tamika Thompson, I was quite interested in giving it a go! I like finding new to me horror authors to check out, and the title alone had a lot of promise. And while it’s true that short stories aren’t always reliable for me, I’ve had luck with them recently, so I was down to try more. And happily, that once again worked out pretty well!

As I always do with short stories collections I will talk about the three that I liked the best, and then talk about the collection as a whole.

“Under the Crown”: This is actually, to me, the least ‘horror’ horror story of the collection, though there are still aspects that make it tread that way. But at the end of the day I found it to be a really satisfying tale of self liberation. A woman has been competing in beauty pageants for most of her life at the behest of her mother, and she is starting to get tired of it. During a really important pageant that she never wanted to do in the first place, the various tricks of the trade to make her look pretty start to take their toll, as the dress itself feels like its biting into her skin. This story is more about the very real pain that some people go through for beauty, be it physical or emotional, and our protagonist has a lot of body horror moments that are rooted in truth (teeth whiteners that burn, a dress that is so uncomfortable it draws blood, and something involving jelly beans that made me cringe). Beauty pageants, beauty standards, and misogyny are all themes in this story and I thought it had some nice moments of dark humor too.

“Mannequin Model”: Way back when during an early season of Top Model one of the challenges was for the contestants to stand in store windows as living mannequins, and my mind immediately went to that when I started this story, but it would be if the contestants then had to endure a psychological torture session (moreso). A woman who is strapped for cash and needs money to support her family in crisis takes a job as a living mannequin at a store, told to stand perfectly still in the store window between two actual mannequins. But as the shift lingers on and on and she has to endure physical pain, the leers of onlookers, and a cruel boss, she starts to hear the mannequins talking to her. This one is very unnerving, a look at objectification, of bad labor practices, of misogyny and racism, and how it can all come together to take a serious toll.

“Abduction Near Knife Lake”: I think that this was my favorite story in the whole collection, and it was the last one so it made the book end with a bang. Remnants of a bridal party and driving in the backroads of Michigan after the wedding when an Amber Alert comes through on their phones, describing the abduction of a young Black girl. When bridesmaid Samiah thinks she sees the car she convinces groomsman and ex-boyfriend Will to try and help her save the girl, as help is far away and missing Black children aren’t prioritized. Their good samaritan choice, however, lands them in unexpected danger. There are so many tension points in this story, between the suspense of whether or not Samiah and Will are going to get caught by the possible abductor, to the tension of being in an isolated wilderness, so things perhaps not being as they seem. It’s a really fun scary story, one that stood out for all the right reasons.

As a collection it’s cohesive and pretty solid! I don’t think there were any stories that didn’t work for me, though some I enjoyed more than others. But overall I found Thompson’s voice and storytelling to be unique and engaging, and given that I tend to be hit or miss with short stories collections I’m always happy when there is a pretty clear ‘hit’.

I think that there is something for everyone in “Unshod, Cackling, and Naked”, so definitely give it a go if you are looking for some enjoyable horror short stories! Tamika Thompson is a fun horror voice, and I will be going back to read “Salamander Justice” this Spring for sure!

Rating 8: A solid horror collection of various sub genres that explore supernatural terrors, as well as the terrors of being a Black woman in racist and misogynistic societies.

Reader’s Advisory:

“Unshod, Cackling, and Naked” isn’t included on many Goodreads lists as of yet, but it would fit in on “Horror Short Stories by Authors of Color”, and “Great Reads for Halloween”.


Serena’s Review: “Queen Among the Dead”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “Queen Among the Dead” by Lesley Livingston

Publishing Info: Zando Young Readers, January 2023

Where Did I Get this Book: Edelweiss+

Where Can You Get this Book: Amazon | IndieBound | WorldCat

Book Description: In the kingdom of Eire, banshees chill the air, and water-wights lurk in the rivers. But magic is outlawed by the king, and jealously hoarded by his Druid priests.

Neve is the youngest daughter of the king, and Ronan is a Druid’s apprentice-turned-thief, making a living by selling stolen spells. They should be enemies, but their shared hatred of the Druids-and a dark magic that has marked them both-makes them unlikely, if uneasy, allies.

When Eire is threatened by a power struggle, Neve must seize the chance to take her rightful place on her family’s throne, with the help of Ronan and the realm’s most dangerous outcasts. Their journey takes them to the outskirts of Eire where magic still runs free . . . and where an outlaw and a warrior princess might carve out a future with spells and swords.

Review: Anyone who is familiar with this blog knows that I am a huge Juliet Marillier fan. I mean, I devoted an entire years-long running series to re-reading all of her books and reviewing them here. So it will come as no surprise that all it would take for me to request a book might be the barest hint of a book sounds similar to Marillier’s work. And such was the case here!

Long ago, Neve, the younger daughter of the king of Eire, met a strange boy and they fought a powerful and dangerous demon, only barely escaping with their lives. Through this experience, both have now grown to distrust the powerful Druid order that both outlawed magic but also hoarded it to themselves. When they meet again as adults, seeming enemies in the grand scheme of their society, they find that this similar distrust and their own hopes for their country tie them more closely together than they ever could have imagined. And when a powerful darkness begins to seep across the land, they find that, together, they possess a rare and powerful magic that is just what is needed to re-shape the future.

There was a lot to like about this book right from the very start. For one thing, it was apparent that the writing was excellent from the first page. It perfectly fit the tone of a historical fantasy story, being both lyrical but also clear enough to depict a world and culture that has one foot in the world we’re familiar with, but another foot clearly placed in a realm of magic and mystery. It’s a difficult balance, to capture both the historical tone and the whimsical. I also really liked the dialogue. Especially when we first see Neve and Ronan interacting as adults. It was funny and yet still felt natural to the characters, again balancing modern sensibilities of humor alongside a sort of pseudo-historical vocabulary.

Ronan and Neve were also very interesting characters in their own right. I enjoyed the duel mysteries regarding their different natures. It’s one thing to pull off one character with a “strange past,” but quite another to do it with both of your protagonists without one of them dropping in quality. I think I particularly liked Neve, however, if I had to choose between the two. Her character had to work through some very interesting family dynamics (even a few that came in the form of a nice twist towards the end), while also grappling with the restrictions on women and the unique history of Eire that lead to some of these restrictions. Ronan’s story is much more straight-forward in this regard, but still very enjoyable.

I will say, however, that the story stumbled when it came to their relationship. I saw this book billed as an “enemies to lovers” romance, and I just don’t think it really fits into that. I was never able to really identify the “enemies” portion of it, rather than a few brief instances where they each decide not to trust the other. Frankly, the primary emotion this relationship inspired was frustration. The characters made fairly random decisions to suddenly not trust one another, but then the very first second this decision would be tested, they’d be right back to working together and having all the feelings. Not only did the wishy-washy-ness feel unrealistic, but it didn’t serve any purpose to the story other than forced conflict (and like I said, even there, there wasn’t any real conflict, just talk of potential conflict that was immediately dismissed in reality).

Overall, while I think the story did have a weak romance and a bit of a pacing problem (there was a decent amount of the middle of the book that felt like it was dragging), I still came away feeling like this was a pretty solid historical fantasy. The mythology, in particular, was very interesting, and I do think it will appeal to readers who like books like those produced by Marilliar or other historical fantasy authors.

Rating 8: A bit rocky in the pacing and romance departments, but saved by its solid writing and interesting mythological history.

Reader’s Advisory:

“Queen Among the Dead” can be found on this Goodreads list: Ancient History Historical Fiction Published in 2023

Kate’s Review: “All Hallows”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “All Hallows” by Christopher Golden

Publishing Info: St. Martin’s Press, January 2023

Where Did I Get This Book: I received an eARC from NetGalley.

Where You Can Get This Book: WorldCat | Amazon | Indiebound

Book Description: With the 80’s nostalgia of Stranger Things, this horror drama from NYT bestselling author Christopher Golden follows neighborhood families and a mysterious, lurking evil on one Halloween day.

It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, horrifying secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?

New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales…but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.

All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask...

Review: Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel!

I’m a person who holds Halloween in my heart all year round, so it’s not a huge stretch for me to pick up a Halloween themed novel or movie or what have you any month of the year. But I think that there’s just something that hits different if you read a certain book during a certain season, and boy am I kicking myself for not picking up my eARC of “All Hallows” by Christopher Golden during October. I’m by no means saying to delay reading this book until NEXT Halloween (don’t sleep on this book until then, it’s super enjoyable and horror fans should read it ASAP), but man oh MAN is this just the perfect Halloween book. It’s the kind of book that makes you feel like you can feel the crisp air of an autumn night, or that you can smell the leaves and woodsmoke in the air. It just screams Halloween, and that isn’t just because it takes place on Halloween in 1984. The aesthetic of masked children running around for tricks and treats after dark jumps off the page, and it feels like a love letter to my favorite holiday. Especially since some of these masked children are, perhaps, not what they seem.

Sam would fit right in. (source)

In the description there is a comparison to “Stranger Things”, and I think that that is correct in the sense of “Stranger Things” feeling like a 1980s Spielberg/”Goonies”/”Stand By Me” vibe of kids being realistic kids in the face of danger or adventure. More danger, in this case. I really loved all of the kids in this book, as we’d shift from one perspective to another and see how they are spending this momentous Halloween in which all their lives are going to be changed. Whether it’s punk and closeted lesbian Vanessa, or earnest and serious Rick, or kind and a bit downtrodden Julia, all of the kids out on Halloween are grappling with their own baggage even before mysterious masked children they haven’t met before start infiltrating their evenings, and begging them for help to protect them from ‘The Cunning Man’. The neighborhood kids can kind of tell that something is off with these new kids, whether it’s their weird behavior or their vague pleadings, but they know that kids have to stick together, and it makes for a camaraderie that may or may not be a good thing. I loved all of the neighbor kids and got a good feel for them, and I liked the building unease surrounding the stranger children, and not knowing just what their deal was. It did feel like a nostalgic take on childhood friendships at the precipice of everything changing, and I really liked how that affected how we cared about these characters.

The other big component of this book that I really liked was the way that Golden focused in on the ennui, dissatisfaction, and toxic aspects of 1980s suburban life. While the kids are running around on Halloween night, encountering strange masked children, the adults are so focused in on their own dysfunction brought on by their troubled lives and relationships that they are a bit distracted during a dangerous time. Whether it’s Barb, whose husband Donnie is a drunk and a philanderer and whom she has just thrown out, or Tony and Alice, who run the neighborhood haunted attraction and are about to lose their home due to financial issues, to the mysterious Zach and Ruth who are the only childless couple and seem… off, Golden has created some suburban drama that fits in the story’s greater themes of how adults can fail the children in their communities and the consequences that can bring. You could just see how this was all going to come to a head and it was very unnerving.

And finally, the more supernatural horrors. Golden really knows how to create creepy moments, characters, and aesthetics. We don’t know just what the Cunning Man is, and we don’t know why he wants these mysterious children who have just appeared, and as we slowly learn more and more we get some very disturbing and scary beats here and there. And even when we think we know something, Golden will pull the rug out from under us and it will be something else completely. I do think that I could have used a little more world building, or at least mythos building, when it came to the supernatural forces at work. I definitely liked how Golden created a scenario that could so easily be turned upon its head through misdirection and clever hints here and there, but once we did get one of the more surprising reveals thrown out there, I felt like we didn’t really focus too much on what exactly the driving force was and how we got to where we were. I know this sounds strange, but I do want to be vague because I don’t want to wreck or ruin anything, plot wise. It’s worth having all the tricks that Golden is hiding revealed in their own time! I just wanted a bit more explanation on some things.

“All Hallows” is a very twisty horror story that will surely send chills up a reader’s spine. Maybe break out some candy and a Fall themed candle to set the mood while reading it, as it will give you all the Halloween feels and everything that implies.

Rating 7: Creepy and nostalgia driven with some pretty good surprises, “All Hallows” has tricks and treats in store.

Reader’s Advisory:

“All Hallows” is included on the Goodreads lists “Horror To Look Forward To in 2023”, and “Recommended by Seanan McGuire”.

Author Q & A: Kendare Blake

We have a really, really exciting post today, dear readers. We are so grateful and honored that Kendare Blake, author of “In Every Generation”, the upcoming “One Girl In All the World”, “All These Bodies”, “Anna Dressed In Blood” and so many more amazing horror and dark fantasy novels, has agreed to participate in a Q and A. Kate has been loving her new “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” books, and in anticipation of the newest “One Girl In All the World” we have some fun questions and answers about horror fiction, historical influences, and, of course so many things “Buffy”. A special thanks to Kendare Blake for being willing to do this, and to Hanna Lindsley for arranging it all!

Q: What first got you interested in the dark fantasy and horror genres?

A: I don’t know, actually! My favorite fantasy movies as a kid were “The Neverending Story” and “The Last Unicorn”, which both have some dark themes/moments, so that probably had something to do with it. Also the fact that I loved Freddy Krueger on sight and picked up my first Stephen King book at age 10.

Q: In other YA horror books you have written, you have used influences from historical events to shape some aspects of the story (The Countess Bathory in “In Every Generation”; Starkweather and The Clutter Murders in “All These Bodies”). What is it like melding historical fact with horror fiction during your writing process?

A: I have a thing about re-examining women in history who I think may have gotten a bad rap. Caril Ann Fugate, who was Charlie Starkweather’s hostage or accomplice, who served as inspiration in my novel “All These Bodies”.  Cassandra of Troy, who I used in my “Antigoddess” series. And Countess Bathory in “In Every Generation”. Of course sometimes in my re-examining I end up making things worse, like making the Countess a Big Bad in Sunnydale. But I hope I made her a fabulous big bad, and I did want to make sure that someone mentioned the possibility that she was historically completely innocent, and the claims against her were invented to get her out of the way for those who wanted her lands and titles.

Q: Besides “Buffy”, what other vampire lore and stories have influenced you in your work?

A: Besides “Buffy”, the vampires of my youth were Anne Rice’s, and that 80s hair band of vamps from “The Lost Boys”.

Q: What was it like writing new characters for “Buffy” and having them interact with some well-loved characters from the source material? Did you find it challenging to bring them together for the story you are trying to tell?

A: Haha, sometimes scenes would get crowded. Like, I felt the weight of the TV writers, who need to have everyone in the scene for story purposes but then also have to give the actors something to do? Like, I felt pressure to give everyone a good, quippy line or something. 

At first, I was worried how the new Scoobies (Noobies?) would fit in with the OGs, but as it turned out, Hailey and Sigmund felt like they were Scoobs from way back. And of course Frankie and Jake felt like Scoobies by virtue of their last names alone. 

Q: Who has been your favorite “Buffy” character to write in your books so far? Has that lined up with a favorite character from the series?

A: When I first watched the series, Willow was my favorite. But she’s surprisingly hard to write! Alyson Hannigan does A LOT with her facial expressions, and the tempo and cadence of her voice. And even beyond that, Willow is a complex character with a lot of layers and a weighty past. She and I had some growing pains together as we tried to figure out her new role as a slayer’s mom, and a John-Wick-witch-coming-out-of-retirement. 

But one character who has been a complete delight has been Spike. Thanks to the range of James Marsters, Spike can do anything. He can go from the heights of clever insightfulness to the basement of whiny baby-man in the space of a page and it’s all in character. I wish there’d been more page time to give him more of an arc–I had wishes for arcs for all of the OGs–but these books were for Frankie and the New Scoobies, and unfortunately some of that just had to be cut.

Q: What is your favorite “Buffy” episode?

A: An impossible question! Band Candy. No. The musical. No. Life Serial. No. Becoming, parts 1 and 2! No. Band Candy! No. Something Blue. No–

Q: Are there any other classic fantasy or sci-fi series you would love to write new stories for?

A: Not really? There are very few properties that I feel like I have the street cred to write for. “Buffy” was one. “Gargoyles”, might be another. And they might be the only two. 

A deep and heartfelt thanks again to Kendare Blake for taking the time to answer these questions! Look for Kate’s Review of “One Girl in All the World” next week, and take a look at her previous reviews of “In Every Generation” and “All These Bodies”!

Serena’s Review: “Things Not Seen”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “Things Not Seen” by Monica Boothe

Publishing Info: Peniel Press, January 2023

Where Did I Get this Book: from the author!

Where Can You Get this Book: Amazon | IndieBound | WorldCat

Book Description: 17-year-old Kristin has selective blindness. She can’t see, hear, feel, or smell, her brother. This doesn’t stop them from becoming best friends, turning his unique invisibility into a game, but when the two of them are stranded alone during a blizzard, it doesn’t feel like a game anymore. Kristin will do everything she can to keep her little brother alive, but she’s the least qualified person in the world to do so.

Review: I always enjoy supporting lesser known authors when I get the chance. And after Boothe send me an excerpt to this book, I knew I wanted to check out the entire thing. The concept alone sounds very unique, and it was clear from even the first few chapters that the author had a solid foundation for her main character and the relationship she has to her invisible brother that forms the basis for this story. Add in a snow storm, and you have a primed set! Let’s dive in.

Kristin knows she has a younger brother. She just can’t see, hear, or feel him. But everyone else can, so she has had to find unique ways to connect and exist with this invisible sibling. Through these extra hurdles, however, the two have formed a particularly close relationship largely managed through texts and the small context clues that Kristin uses to locate her brother out and about in the world. But when a snow storm strikes while Kristin and Josh are home alone, an entire new set of circumstances highlights the challenges of their unique relationship.

I really enjoyed this YA novel. As I’ve mentioned before, I really like books that focus on sibling relationships, as I think there are a lot of interesting dynamics to be mined there. Here, we see two very close siblings, but their relationship is largely defined by the challenges of Kristin not being able to see, here or feel Josh. As the story is told from her perspective, we see how this loss has shaped her every thought and action. Everyone else around her can see Josh, and it is decided that she as what is called “selective blindness” where he is concerned. The book wisely doesn’t get too far into the weeds on this condition, but instead uses it mostly as a platform for the plot and the character work.

For Kristin’s part, we see how this condition has lead her to increased levels of anxiety about the dangers she could pose to her brother. But equally, we see how defined her life has become by this relationship, especially considering the extra work that has been necessary to create and maintain their connection. As she faces decisions about college, these anxieties and changes to how she must order and center her new life would be very relatable to many teen readers, regardless of the fantastical circumstances of the invisible brother.

I also really liked that we got to understand a bit more about how this relationship has affected Josh. For him, it is largely like having a deaf and blind sister. But as the story is told from Kristin’s POV, these realizations, that her condition affects Josh just as much as it does her, are slow to come and hard won.

As I’ve just spent two paragraphs talking about the characters and their relationships, I think it will come as no surprise when I say that the strength of this story really comes down to how well-drawn these characters are. Kristin’s voice is very approachable and relatable. And I fully drawn in to the complexities and turmoil of this sibling dynamic. It all felt very real and natural (or as much as it can with an invisible character at play!).

When it came down to some of the more factual bits of the story, I struggled a bit more. I grew up in northern Idaho and currently live in Minnesota. So I’m very familiar with blizzards and large quantities of snow. A central portion of this story is defined by Kristin and Josh trying to deal with a blizzard and a power outage. And…I just really struggled with some of the details here. Blowing snow, yes, can make visuals difficult and reduce sight lines. But unless you’re in a completely new location, this isn’t going to have much of an affect on travelling short distances. In this book, Kristin is walking (not even driving at any kind of speed where visibility needs to be far reaching) outside her family home. I just couldn’t buy the fact that she would get this disoriented or lost. We are also told at one point the specific amount on the ground (I believe it was around 8 inches or so) and this is just not much at all, in the grand scheme of things. But, again, this probably only stood out to me so much due to my own very specific experiences with snow (let me tell you later about having to snowmobile 3 miles to our house all winter) and also my, admittedly annoying, over-fixation on accuracy in survival situations (re: all the my past reviews of survival stories where I go crazy over the stupidest little details or inaccuracies).

Overall, I think this was a very strong book about the joys and challenges of sibling relationships. I was really impressed by the way the author had thought out the ins and outs of her central premise, that one sibling can’t see/feel/hear the other. Kristin was also a very relatable teenage character, and I think she will speak to a lot of teenage readers. Yes, I struggled with the snow storm stuff. But I still came away from it having really enjoyed my read.

And don’t forget to enter to a win a copy of this book!

Rating 8: An intimate and relatable portrayal of sibling relationships with a a compelling and sympathetic teenage protagonist.

Reader’s Advisory:

“Things Not Seen” isn’t on any Goodreads lists yet, but it should be onYA Contemporary Books with Great Portrayals of Relationships.

Kate’s Review: “American Vampire: Vol. 6”

This post may contain affiliate links for books we recommend.  Read the full disclosure here.

Book: “American Vampire: Vol. 6” by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque (Ill.), et al.

Publishing Info: Vertigo, March 2014

Where Did I Get This Book: I own it.

Where You Can Get This Book: WorldCat | Amazon | Indiebound

Book Description: This volume of American Vampire collects eight amazing stories set in the world of American Vampire, with “lost tales,” new characters and old favorites. Don’t miss these stories brought to you by series creators Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, as well as other awesome comics talent like Becky Cloonan (Batman), Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon (Daytripper), Jeff Lemire (i>Sweet Tooth), Greg Rucka (The Punisher, Batwoman), Gail Simone (Batgirl) and many more! Also collected here is the stand alone tale of Fan-favorite character Travis Kidd–the vampire hunter who likes to “bite them back”.

Review: So during my first read-through of “American Vampire”, there is a clear shift that I remember that kind of started after “Volume 5”. I looked into “Volume 6”, saw that it was a short stories anthology, and decided that I was going to skip it. After all, I wanted more plot. I wanted to see the aftermath of Pearl losing Henry, and the aftermath of Felicia and Gus going up against the Carpathians. I didn’t want a bunch of short stories that didn’t seem to progress anything. But since I’m doing the full read this time around, I got myself a copy of “Volume 6”, and figured I’d just grin and bear it. But I was such a fool, guys, because I actually ended up really liking the anthology series that is “American Vampire: Volume 6”.

While it’s true that these stories don’t really progress the main plot forward after the huge changes and aftermaths of the previous collection, it actually ended up being nice to have a breather after all the things that happened. It also serves as a way to see some more explored characterizations of some familiar faces, while also introducing characters from the past who end up tying into characters that we recognize, and how vampires have touched the family lines decades or even centuries previously. Since this is a short stories collection, I will do my usual thing of talking about my favorite three in depth, and then expanding upon the collection as a whole.

“The Long Road to Hell” by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque (Ill.) : This is another Travis Kidd offshoot story, and while Travis hasn’t ingratiated himself TOO much into our main characters timelines as of yet, I thought this was not only a good way to show another, more empathetic side of him, while also showing the inherent tragedy of some vampires. Young lovers Billy Bob and Jolene are in love and running scams of unsuspecting people, when they are targeted and turned by a vampire gang in hopes of using their thievery skills. But Billy Bob and Jolene run, and are desperate to find a cure of their new conditions. On the road they pick up a transient little boy who can read people’s personalities, and try their best to keep their monstrous nature at bay. Then they run afoul Travis Kidd, vampire killer, and they have a choice to make. I loved how tragic this one was, with two really likable and scrappy lovers just doing their best in a world that has kicked them down, only to be doomed because of bad luck. I just adored Billy Bob and Jolene, and seeing Travis have to reckon with the fact that not all vampires are soulless killers was some good growth for him as well.

“Bleeding Kansas” by Rafael Albuquerque and Ivo Milazzo (Ill): Albuquerque shifts roles from illustrator to author, and while I didn’t REALLY like the art design, I really loved the concept of the story. Gil and Marie Jones are a young married couple with abolitionist ideals, hoping to move to Kansas to help build a new state that shares their dreams for social justice and equality. But when they arrive to find a hostile town filled with slave owners and sellers, who are hiding other secrets about themselves. I HIGHLY enjoyed the references to the future pro-slavery vs abolitionist violence and conflicts that were going to come up in Kansas later, the most famous probably being John Brown, and I liked seeing some of Pearl’s ancestors (grandmother and grandfather I believe) having to go head to head with the kinds of creatures their granddaughter would ultimately become.

“Essence of Life” by Gail Simone and Tula Lotay (Ill): This is my favorite story in the collection, and it centers of secondary antagonist Hattie, Pearl’s old roommate turned femme fatale vampire. In this story we get to see the life she was living in Hollywood before she met Pearl, where she is so desperate for stardom that she trusts in the wrong people. She’s now writing a letter to Pearl to explain why she did what she did, and to tell her that she felt like she really had no choice after everything she’d been through. I love that Gail Simone was the author for this one, because she does a stupendous job of turning Hattie from simple backstabbing jealous bitch into a somewhat sympathetic, but still very vile, villainess. It’s hard not to feel for her when you see the horrible crap that happened to her, just as it’s hard not to let out a shout of ‘GOOD FOR HER!’ when you get to the rage-filled and cathartic conclusion.

Forgive the bad photo, I needed this one specifically. (source: Vertigo)

The other stories have their strengths and weaknesses. I don’t really feel like I ever need to know more about Skinner Sweet (I’m still on the anti-Skinner train!), so I kind of skimmed his stories. But I did like seeing other villains get some background, as well as more explorations about race, class, and American violence. All in all, it’s a solid collection!

Don’t make the same mistake I did, friends! If you are reading “American Vampire”, don’t skip over “Volume 6”! It expands things in ways that make the story richer.

Rating 8: This is a pretty solid set of tales within the “American Vampire” universe, with some expansions on character connections, characterizations, and general vampire lore and history inside the universe.

Reader’s Advisory:

“American Vampire: Vol. 6” is included on the Goodreads lists “Vampire Anthologies”, and “Best Comics Series Since 2000”.

Previously Reviewed:

%d bloggers like this: