26 Nov
“There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family” by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

“There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family” by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

  There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In is a new collection of novellas from Russian author Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.  Petrushevskaya’s prose is stark and honest, revealing characters’ thoughts and motivations, especially those not fit for polite society.  She writes about messy relationships and broken homes, breaking the illusion of the model Soviet society and presenting the stories that lie beneath the surface.  She’s not writing a generalization of Russian life, she’s presenting the stories of families that are fucked up and desperate and just can’t hang on any longer, and that type of […]

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24 Nov
“The Jewel” by Amy Ewing

“The Jewel” by Amy Ewing

  The Jewel is a young adult novel set in a world where the privileged social class has become so inbred that they can no longer have their own children.  However, some poor children are born with a genetic mutation that gives them the power to influence an object’s characteristics, including color and growth.  These girls are taken from their families and sent to a training facility where they are prepared to become surrogates for wealthy women in the Jewel, the city’s central district. Violet is one such surrogate.  Although she grew up impoverished, her family life was happy, and […]

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20 Nov
Write On Review-a-Thon: November Edition

Write On Review-a-Thon: November Edition

The Write On Review-a-Thon is a monthly event hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen to help bloggers catch up on reviewing.  I’ve got no posts scheduled whatsoever for the next week, which means I need to get writing! Here are the reviews I’m planning to write during the Review-a-Thon: There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back Home by Ludmila Petrushevskaya.  I finished this book two weeks ago, so there’s really no excuse for the fact that I haven’t written about it yet. The Jewel by Amy Ewing She Nailed a Stake Through His […]

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19 Nov
Review and Giveaway: “The Tree of Water” by Elizabeth Haydon

Review and Giveaway: “The Tree of Water” by Elizabeth Haydon

  The Tree of Water by Elizabeth Haydon is the fourth book in the young adult series “The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.”  Even though the book is later in the series, it works as a standalone because Haydon frames this book as one of many lost journals that tell tales of Ven’s adventures.  She presents the story as if she’s the compiler of the journal fragments, giving herself the role of a historian looking back on Ven’s life.  The story is connected to previous books, but there’s enough exposition that readers won’t feel lost if they jump right in. […]

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17 Nov
“The Beauty” by Aliya Whitely

“The Beauty” by Aliya Whitely

  One of the great things about being a book blogger is that you are introduced to books that you otherwise would never have heard of or considered reading.  I received a review request from a small speculative fiction publisher based out of the UK called Unsung Stories for a novella called The Beauty, which is quite possibly one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. The Beauty is a post-apocalyptic horror story set in a world without women.  A disease managed to wipe out every female human on the planet, and the surviving men know that they’re the […]

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14 Nov
New Acquisitions: 11/13/14

New Acquisitions: 11/13/14

New Acquisitions is a feature where I talk about recent books that I’ve purchased, borrowed, won, and/or received for review consideration. All book descriptions are taken from Goodreads. Last week a friend and I went to an event at one of the embassies in DC, and after a few glasses of wine, we ended up at a favorite used bookstore in the neighborhood (for you DC folks, it was Second Story).  I ended up purchasing three books, all of which I am excited to read.  In order from top to bottom, they are: Authority by Jeff Vandermeer I just finished […]

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12 Nov
“Prince of Thorns” by Mark Lawrence

“Prince of Thorns” by Mark Lawrence

  Do you ever come across a book that everybody tells you to read, but you don’t get around to for months or even years because there are so many other books on your TBR pile?  Prince of Thorns was one of those books.  It had been recommended to me by other bloggers, and then Mike read the whole series and has been waiting impatiently for me to read it so we could talk about it.  I FINALLY READ IT!  It’s every bit as amazing as you all said it would be, and I regret not having gotten to it […]

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10 Nov
“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer

“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer

  Annihilation, the first book in Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, is a horror/survival story in which mankind explores the site of a world-changing catastrophe. The premise reminds me a bit of Roadside Picnic in that there’s this zone where something seriously weird happened, and it changes the people who interact with it in mysterious ways.  The difference is that Roadside Picnic explores the way the fabric of society hangs together using the idea of the zone as a focal point, whereas Annihilation focuses much more heavily on the individual. Many years ago, an unknown but devastating environmental catastrophe created […]

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07 Nov
New Acquisitions: 11/7/2014

New Acquisitions: 11/7/2014

New Acquisitions is a feature where I talk about recent books that I’ve purchased, borrowed, won, and/or received for review consideration. All book descriptions are taken from Goodreads. For Review: The Tree of Water by Elizabeth Haydon Elizabeth Haydon’s novel Rhapsody was one of the first fantasy novels that I read as an adult, and it helped get me solidly hooked on the genre.  The Tree of Water is the fourth book in a young adult series, so I hope it can function reasonably well on its own.  I’m a big fan of the cover’s vintage feel. The epic voyages […]

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05 Nov
“The Tears of the Rose” by Jeffe Kennedy

“The Tears of the Rose” by Jeffe Kennedy

  The Tears of the Rose is the second book in Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms series, which is about three sisters who each come of age and must make difficult choices to find love and happiness.  Even though The Tears of the Rose is book two, it can function as a standalone because it has its own story arc.  However, this book opens with a major spoiler for the first book, so if you want to read them in order, let me direct you my review of The Mark of the Tala instead.  The Mark of the Tala features Princess […]

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