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Joined 2 years, 10 months ago

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Tak!'s books

Currently Reading

Lilith Saintcrow: Steelflower (2008, Samhain Publishing) 4 stars

Thief, assassin, sellsword—Kaia Steelflower is famous. Well, mostly famous, and mostly for the wrong reasons. …


4 stars

Steelflower was kind of a rollercoaster for me.

The world-building was nice, and I like that it avoided both the elves/orcs/humans/hobbits and fantasy-china/fantasy-italy/etc. tropes - I particularly enjoy the habit the author has of reconstructing words from their components (e.g. telescope => farseer).

I got really annoyed with the main character's level of melodrama and self-victimization around halfway in - I get that it was probably intentional, but I still found it aggravating. Overall I do enjoy that the characters are complex and that the protagonist isn't a perfect chosen one.

I don't feel like there was a whole lot of conclusion at the end, it kind of just segues into the next book without anything really being resolved. …so I immediately started the next book. 🙂

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Lee Mandelo: The Woods All Black (EBook, 2024, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

The Woods All Black is equal parts historical horror, trans romance, and blood-soaked revenge, all …

The Woods All Black

4 stars

The Woods All Black is a queer and trans 1920's story about a nurse named Leslie being called out to help the small Appalachian town of Spar Creek. The initial foreground of trying to provide services to chilly and creepy Christian townsfolk is backgrounded by both gothic and body horror, as well as some romance.

One element of this book that I thought was done well is that it deals with Leslie's wartime trauma (and homophobia trauma). In this aspect, it echoes a lot of the things I liked about T. Kingfisher's What Feasts at Night, about somebody trying to understand what they can trust about their own perceptions in a strange and disturbing environment.

I love the queer solidarity in this book, about people trying to be themselves while being torn down by the airquotes community around them. The feeling of being somewhere unwelcoming and magnetically being pulled …