PositivePasteCaptures that sense of endless hope that readers have on behalf of their characters ... Where noir tales are traditionally heavily masculine...Polk places the majority of the story’s agency in the hands of its women ... Polk’s heart-wrenching, gorgeous story is the type to stick with readers long after they turn the last page. The prose itself is luminous ... Even as readers think they know what’s coming next, there are surprises and twists ... Evocative prose and their mysterious tale of bargains and risks ... The journey to get to the ending is worth it.
RavePasteA heist is central to the plot, but the objective isn’t wealth or glory; by the end, the goal is saving the people who are in the thick of this world with them, facing the same prejudice and discrimination, no matter how rich or poor ... Brightly painted with hues and shades of magic, set against a backdrop of jazz music and drag balls, Penelope has taken a specific historical place and moment and made them feel vibrantly alive. She expertly weaves threads of folklore, mythology, and Bible stories into the tapestry of the setting, creating a texture that ties the story to this world and its history while allowing the fantastic to breathe and flow. By giving readers Clara Johnson, a seer born with sight into the Other World who is nevertheless deeply grounded in the material world, she provides the perfect guide into this alternate moment in history ... while the fantasy heist setup sits at the core of the novel, and the story works within its confines, that label fails to capture the richness of both the story and the artfulness of Penelope’s writing. Like a jazz number that comes back to a chorus, changing the notes a bit each time, Penelope frequently flashes back to the childhood of one of the principal characters ... The setting sparkles and sings, and Clara’s no-nonsense, prickly attitude are heightened by the wonder that surrounds her—while at the same time, they’re grounded in the realities that many of her community face, whether at the hands of the Enigmas or poverty. And though she doesn’t intend to, Clara again emerges as a hero, simply from her determination to help those in need.
RavePaste MagazineFrom the glorious cover and the hook in the back of book text, The Ballad of Perilous Graves gets off on the right foot: a failed magician, a New Orleans that runs on the magic of song, and a quest that requires facing off against the Haint of all Haints...Everything about this description is true—but like Nola herself, there are so many more secrets to uncover in Alex Jannings’s gorgeous new novel...You have to dance into the first pages and let the city carry you, even while she’s threatened by the Storm, the spirit of every hurricane that New Orleans has ever faced...The novel ends—but like life, it doesn’t. We leave the characters in a new and different place, but there are stories yet to tell, and fates yet to be resolved. The Storm will always return, after all, and it will be a true delight to revisit Nola if she comes back around again for an encore.
Rachael Jones and Anna Zee
RaveDen of GeeksJones turns ideas and metaphors into living, breathing characters. She designs an underbelly to a university town that’s both underworld and a chance for redemption, maybe in the same breath ... For the sheer beauty of the prose, and for the reinvention of American mythology, Every River Runs To Salt is well worth the read.
PositiveDen of GeeksMagic Triumphs begins with a short prologue chapter showing Kate giving birth to the son previously revealed to her in visions. And, as happens if you’re the daughter of the greatest power in the world since magic reawakened, Kate’s father tries to steal the baby when Kate’s at her weakest. But, as also happens when you’re the daughter of the greatest power in the world, Kate’s no slouch and, even post-labor, she’s not willing to give in ... While some of the plot is straight forward, the relationships among the various characters, some of whom have taken nine previous novels (plus multiple short stories and novellas) to get to know, depend on having background. If you take the plot out of the context of these relationships, the book won\'t be remarkable. It’s the relationships that make this series so worthwhile.
PositiveDen of Geek!Dresden Files fans, this is the book you\'ve been waiting for ... Brief Cases, a collection of several of Butcher\'s excellent short stories and novellas from within the universe of Harry Dresden, offers not only excellent short narratives that dabble between the scenes of the novels, it provides a new story ... the collection isn\'t just for Dresden fans—readers who only know a little about the setting are quickly brought up to speed and can enjoy ... Dresden Files fans are sure to get joy out of having these previously anthologized pieces together all in one cover ... Newcomers to the series will find plenty to keep them engaged with the world ... worth picking up.