The Fisherman, by John Langan
Another book in the folk horror genre. It was a wonderful story within a story with otherworldly eldritch dread. A story about grief—accepting it and dismissing it—a fisherman hobbyist tells how fishing saved him after his wife died, how it allowed him to help a colleague after the death of his family. The story within the story is about the horror of Dutch Creek—a history which spans a hundred years and more—and the door to another world that exists there. A world where dead loved ones don’t have to be dead. The narration style was interesting and I tend to really enjoy stories within stories. I liked this one a lot and definitely recommend it.
Winter’s Orbit, by Everina Maxwell
Space princes whose love can save their solar system. I’m in. The Iskat Empire is on the brink of destruction when Kiem and Jainan must marry to prevent a diplomatic crisis. The strangers stumble onto a plot that could lead to civil war and in investigating learn to love each other. It’s as good as it sounds. Part romance, part political thriller, with a touch of space opera, this one has it all.
False Colours, by Georgette Heyer
This was my first reread of this book. I liked it well enough the first time and really enjoyed it this read. It follows Kit Fancot as he pretends to be his identical twin, Evelyn, when he goes missing in order to secure his marriage to Cressy Stavely. Hijinx ensue. I’m not really into the main characters of this one, they are cookie cutter versions of Heyer’s most loved characters. Kit and Cressy are nice enough, but I love the secondary characters, Kit’s mother Lady Fancot and her cicisbeo Sir Bonamy. Their older person romance is pure delight.
Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu
A classic horror this time. Really good. Narrated by Laura, the daughter of an English gentleman who has set up house in a remote castle in southern Austria, the story is about a sudden houseguest who is the only friend of lonely Laura and who may be preying on local women. A quick read that really does vampires right. Much more interesting than Dracula. To be honest, much more interesting than most contemporary vampire stories.
Polaris Rising, Aurora Blazing, Chaos Reigning, by Jessie Mihalik
I was inspired to reread the Consortium Rebellion series after seeing Mihalik on a panel with Everina Maxwell (Winter’s Orbit). Plus, these books are major comfort reads and I needed those in February. All three really hold up and I’m sure I’ll read them again.
Delicious Dungeon, volumes 1 & 2, by Ryoko Kui
We were gifted this manga series for Christmas by a friend who knows me and my husband well. Ostensibly set in a Dungeon & Dragons-type world, the story follows a group of travelers who are traversing a huge dungeon for riches and to find one member’s lost sister. When they team up with a gourmet chef dwarf, who can make any of the creatures of the dungeon taste delicious, their searching becomes a lot more interesting and delicious. A fun read, especially if you are a D&D fan.
The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane
A nonfiction entry. I read this over a couple of months. It’s the kind of book that is best to savor. MacFarlane takes to walking and hiking the “old ways,” tracks, trails, paths, and ways that have been traversed by people for millennia. Through Scotland, including by boat, to Spain and the Himalayas, MacFarlane meditates on what these paths mean and how they can change us. Lovely book. It makes me wish that the “old ways” of the U.S. hadn’t been plowed over. I would love to take some myself.