REVIEWED: The Court Dancer

The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin (Historical Novel, 2018). Kyung-Sook Shin is one of South Korea’s most prominent and awarded novelists. She also hit the New York Times bestseller list with Please Look After Mom. Her newest book is a historical novel, evoking the last years of the 19th century. The previously isolationist Kingdom of Korea is slowly opening […]

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REVIEWED: Head On

Head On by John Scalzi (SF/Mystery Novel, April 2018). This novel takes place in Scalzi’s near-future universe introduced in his book Lock In. A strange plague called Haden’s Syndrome (after one of earliest, most famous victims) has left one percent of the world’s population physically and completely paralyzed, though they’re still mentally aware. Thus, Hadens are said […]

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REVIEWED: The Bags of Tricks Affair

The Bags of Tricks Affair by Bill Pronzini (Historical Crime/Mystery Novel, March 2018). Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are partners in a private detective agency based in San Francisco in the 1890s. They work well, together or apart, and their friendly banter masks the fact (that they’re only beginning to realize) that they love each other. […]

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REVIEWED: Song of Blood & Stone

Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope (Paranormal Fantasy Novel, May 2018). An award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance, L. Penelope kicks off a new series, The Earthsinger Chronicles, with this sweeping imaginary world novel. Two nations, ancient and bitter enemies, take centerstage here and face each other across an ancient magical wall. Caught […]

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REVIEWED: RAINBIRDS

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (Contemporary Novel, 2018). Ren Ishida heard of his sister’s violent and mysterious death just after finishing his graduate degree at one of the top universities in Japan. Keiko was long-estranged from the rest of the family, though she spoke to Ren through weekly phone calls. She’d been living in a smallish town […]

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REVIEWED: The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (Novel, 2018). Whether it’s the mood of the country/world, various authors responding to what’s in the news or just plain coinicidence, I’ve noted several recurrent themes in novels (and even nonfiction books) I’ve been reading. For one thing, I’ve been encountering plots involving women in either […]

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