Book Review: Becoming Cliterate – Why Orgasm Equality Matters And How to Get It by Laurie Mintz
I love reading non-fiction books that teach me something. I generally read three books at once, usually I’ve got a fantasy book, a non-fiction book and a random genre book going at the same time.
Recently, I listened to the audiobook of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari which was great. But then I read Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz and WHOAH. It was brilliant. Super interesting and illuminating. I recommended it to all my female friends who love reading, and here I am recommending it to you!
So, the fourth Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO) contest has come to an end! 300 standalone or first-in-a-series fantasy novels entered back in spring 2018 and only a mere ten reached the final. The scores are in, and one tale out of that handful has been crowned victorious.
My novel Melokai (In the Heart of the Mountains #1) was picked as a semi-finalist, but alas, my journey was to end there. Listed below, however, are those that made it to the very top.
From sword and sorcery to steampunk, urban fantasy to gritty grimdark, there's plenty to pick from and enjoy.
Book Review and Author Interview: Bloodrush (The Scarlett Star Trilogy #1) by Ben Galley
The author Ben Galley kindly agreed to answer some of my questions! So, below is my review and following is the interview.
Bloodrush is a weird west fantasy is set in the frontier town of Fell Falls, America. It’s on the edges of a dusty, desolate desert. There are guns, wild locals, and monsters called railwraiths that eat up the railway workers attempting to lay tracks to expand the empire. There’s also blood magic and faeries. Yep, faeries!
Author Richard Writhen writes a fusion of horror and fantasy. Specifically, weird fiction, cosmic horror and gothic fiction presented as fantasy, and all with a dark atmosphere and grimdark feel. Sounds utterly delicious doesn’t it!
Well, Richard has a new release out called The Angel of the Grave and he’s agreed to not only answer some of my questions but also provide me with an excerpt of his latest novel for you all to feast your voracious reading eyes upon!
Audiobook Review: Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie
This science fiction novel first came to my attention when I was looking into science fiction and fantasy with matriarchal societies (see the blog post here). Although Ancillary Justice is not set in a matriarchal society, it does have an interesting take on gender and that led me to researching other SFF books which handle gender differently or have unique gender systems. You can read that blog post here.
Book Review: Kurintor Nyusi by Aaron-Michael Hall
This epic fantasy novel is full of diverse and well-realised characters, intriguing worldbuilding, vivid and descriptive writing, as well as fun-to-read dialogue. It tells the tale of one girl’s self-discovery and ‘awakening’. This is just in time for a looming battle with a wayward demon goddess who tricked a god a while back and is still making trouble.
Book Review: Light Dawning by Ty Arthur
This fantasy is definitely on the darker side with ruthless fight scenes, some arachnid-type creatures (urgh, shivers) and a bleak backdrop. Set in an occupied city called Cestia, the population is brutalised and oppressed by the occupiers from the south, who, after three years, still haven’t moved on.
My short story The Clash at Jagged Canyon is included in the Beyond the Shadows grimdark fantasy short story anthology.
Matthew Johnson, my fellow short story author – also known by the moniker Professor Grimdark – kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about his story in the anthology, his latest writing projects and just who is Professor Grimdark.
“You stink. You could do with a wash.”
Captain Breeya stood next to a glistening swimming hole and undid her sword belt. Captain Sanya didn’t move, didn’t reply. Instead, she pursed her lips and stared at Bree. San held up her fist to the six warriors behind her. None moved.
Book Review: We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire #1) by Devin Madson
Well. This is by far my favourite read of 2018. It was B R I L L I A N T. It knocked the socks off everything I’ve read this year, and that’s saying something as I’ve read a lot of great books in the past 12 months. So, why was We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson that good? Let me explain…
Book Review and Author Interview: Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy #2) by Dyrk Ashton
The author Dyrk Ashton kindly agreed to answer some of my questions! So, below is my review and following is the interview.
I listened to the audiobook of the first book in the trilogy, Paternus: Rise of Gods, and absolutely loved it (read my review here), so I was super excited for book two. I read this one as an ebook and absolutely loved it too. Hurrah!
Book Review and Author Interview: Darkmage (The Rhenwars Saga #1) by M.L. Spencer
The author M.L. Spencer kindly agreed to answer some of my questions! So, below is my review and following is the interview.
This grimdark fantasy book follows the story of Darien Lauchlin, a rebellious but honourable mage who returns to his hometown to take his official mage oath only to see the city, and his loved ones, destroyed by his wicked brother. Said brother opens a portal to the netherworld and unleashes all kinds of hellish creatures on the real world. Darien must regain control, even if that means he has to break the oath he holds so dear…
The Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO) is in it’s fourth year. It is a contest hosted by author Mark Lawrence that brings together 300 self-published fantasy books and ten book blogs. Each blog (which may have more than one reviewer) receives 30 books to read. They must choose one from their batch that goes into the finals.
Book Review: The Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills by Patrick Rogers
This travel memoir details one man’s adventures in the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya in north east India. This is a rainy land of dense jungles, waterfalls and where many ancient living bridges can be found. These living bridges have been grown from the roots of trees and bound and manipulated by the ancestors of those who currently live there to provide crossing places during the rainy season floods and over deep ravines.
Book Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
The Poppy War is an Asian-inspired epic fantasy that is influenced by the real-world events of the Second Sino-Japanese war and the 1937 Rape of Nanjing. It tells the story of Rin, a war orphan fostered by the local drug dealers in a country town, and her remarkable journey from there to the number one military school, and after as a soldier.
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