Camp Damascus, by Chuck Tingle
This book was fantastic. Gay conversion camps take on a whole new meaning when you add demons to it. Quick, tight read that follows Rose as she begins to realize she may not be straight and that she knew this at some previous point. If this plot in any way interests you then absolutely read the book. It was creepy fun.
The Grimmer, by Naben Ruthnam
I got this as an ALC and it snagged my interest. I loved it. Really well written and plotted YA about teenager Vish as he haphazardly gets sucked into working with a timeless witch, a drunken bookstore owner, and some friends to defeat an interdimensional evil. This books seems to be flying under the radar, but it has so much going for it.
Spirit Week, by Ira Marcks
This is an odd, but entertaining graphic novel. I think it is meant as an homage to The Shining, but with it’s own spin on an old hotel on a snowy mountain. Some bits didn’t quite make sense and I questioned why there were so many references to The Shining when the story is so completely different. It was a quick read and interesting enough.
The Galaxy & the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers
A reread. Also, a comfort read. This is the fourth and last book in the series that started with A Long Way From a Small Angry Planet, one of my favorites. This is a great story about four different species getting stuck for a few days at a waystation when the planet’s satellite configuration experiences massive failure. A quiet story about what it means to be a person in the universe.
The Jasad Heir, by Sara Hashem
Sylvie has spent ten years in hiding after Nizahl’s army destroyed her kingdom. When she is selected by the Nizahl heir to compete in the triannual gladiator-like competition between kingdoms, her hidden identity comes closer to the surface as her magic—long dormant—begins to break through. And there is a romantic thing. This book is well-written and fun. There are plot holes big enough to drive through, and the romance is kind WTF, but overall a worthwhile read. It is the first book in a series, and I don’t know how the author is going to be able to keep it interesting unless she changes the first-person POV. May read the next one, but probably not.
Aetherbound, by EK Johnston
A reread/listen, though I think I like the book version better than the audio. It is a compelling story and Pendt is a wonderful character. I had forgotten that there is an epilogue that indicates more from this world, but haven’t heard anything about a sequel, unfortunately.
The Ebony Gate, by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle
The description of the book says it’s like John Wick. That is an overblown description that takes away from the book. Emiko belongs to one of the eight magical families exiled from the Dragon Kingdom to the mundane world. She was trained as an assassin for her family and made a reputation for her bloody kills. Having left that world behind, she lives in San Francisco now as an antiques dealer, moonlighting as a monster killer. When a god of death calls in a blood favor, she has two days to locate the missing gate that blocks the passage to the underworld or hordes of the dead will be unleashed on her city. This book is fine. Emiko is a fun character, and the world is interesting (except for the love interests, which feel like afterthoughts). I might pick up the next book, as there is a hint about Emiko’s magic that I’m curious about, but we’ll see what I feel like when it comes out.