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Edition 27: Book Review: The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Just when I thought familiar paranormal tropes couldn’t result in a unique story, Holly Messinger proved me wrong. This beginning to a series (though it’s not clear as on the cover) takes us back to the Old West, to cowboys, horses, ghosts and werewolves. Oh my. And even with these common elements, the rich tale woven around them makes it one interesting historical paranormal read.

The story begins in 1880 in St. Louis, when Civil War veteran and former almost-priest Jacob Tracy responds to a summons from a Miss Fairweather. He and his partner, Boz, normally work odd jobs like escorting supply lines out west, but there’s not much work to be had. Miss Fairweather promises some good pay for what seems like a very simple fetch and deliver task for a little trinket box she’s inherited from a deceased friend.

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Edition 27: Book Review: Apocalypse Machine by Jeremy Robinson

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Apocalypse Machine is the latest Kaiju Thriller option from Jeremy Robinson, who I initially discovered through reviewing SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 26: Book Review: The Eschatologist by Greg Chapman

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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In our time-poor society, novellas are becoming a mainstay of our literary diet: stories which can be told in manageable bite-sized chunks, ideal for bedtime reading or workday commutes. So, when Greg Chapman’s The Eschatologist came across my desk, just 96 pages of concentrated darkness, it didn’t languish on the pile for long.

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Edition 25: Book Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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The mere excerpt of Binti, published on the Tor.com website, drew this reader in. A Himba woman, painted in the clay of her homeland, Binti is leaving to take her place among the stars at Oozma University, leaving behind everything that has ever been important to her. She leaves behind a destiny in astrolabe creation and the familial and cultural confines of her loving family on Earth.

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Edition 25: Book Review: War God Rising by Tim Marquitz

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Once I’d happened upon a book billed as “Monty Python meets Gladiator”, purporting to combine my loves of absurd humour and gratuitous sword-and-sorcery violence, there was no way I was returning to my ever-teetering To Read pile without first giving War God Rising a go.

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Edition 25: Book Review: Everything is Fine by Grant Stone

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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I’ve edited some of Grant Stone’s work, appeared with him in a few anthologies, and seen him pick up a couple of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. So, when I saw he’d released this collection of stories and poems, I one-clicked immediately. Any book of Grant Stone’s is going to be a treat and Everything is Fine, a collection pulling together some of his best work, doesn’t disappoint.

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Edition 24: Book Review: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carrier

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Since my review of the first in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series back in Edition 8 of SQ Mag, I’ve loyally followed the misadventures of Sophronia Temminick aboard an airship finishing/espionage school. Our young heroine has learned quite a bit of deadly, yet mannerly knowledge since books two and three. She’s experienced both success and failure in trying to stop the nefarious deeds of various enemies. Now we come to the end, in a fourth book that wraps up the story quite nicely with exploding pastries, werewolves, and Picklemen. Oh my. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 24: Book Review: X’s For Eyes by Laird Barron

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Regular readers of cosmic horror will likely be familiar with Laird Barron. Before I tackled X’s For Eyes, however, I was entirely unfamiliar with his works, having picked up this novella on the back of a recommendation on Facebook. There’s a lesson here that can’t be driven home often enough-if you like a book or an author, give them a plug. The minor signal boost is invaluable for anyone who’s not J.K.Rowling or Stephen King, and it really works.

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Edition 23: Book Review: The Ghost of Matter by Octavia Cade

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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When The Ghost of Matter popped up in my social media feed,  shared by New Zealand writer friends as one of the soon to be released Paper Road Press Shortcuts series, both the title and the hauntingly stark cover intrigued me.

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Edition 23: Book Review: Little Girls by Ronald Malfi

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Like most of us, during the month of October, I enjoy spooky stories, movies, and TV programs. I like to feel the goosebumps, to keep looking over my shoulder at every little noise, to be afraid to turn off the light when I’m reading in bed. So this month, I chose a novel that was recommended in a Top 10 list on Best Horror Movies.com. Their listing described the book as “completely terrifying.” I’m sorry to say that the description did not hold true for me.

Little Girls is a modern story about a woman (Laurie) who travels to a rural town to oversee the sale of her recently deceased (and estranged) father’s estate. Her husband and daughter accompany her as well. As the story progresses, we learn that Laurie did not have a close relationship to her father, and left with her mother at a young age. We also learn about a childhood “friend” named Sadie, who wasn’t a friend at all, but tormented Laurie in very disturbing ways. Sadie died a tragic death on the property as a child , and as Laurie goes through the motions of tying up her father’s business, long-buried memories resurface about Sadie. Read the rest of this entry