Category Archives: Reviews

Book, film, TV and other arts reviews.

Scattered telewitterings with a strong chance of historicals

Posted on August 11, 2015 by


So. what have all of you been watching this summer?

I often feel as though all the people I know are taking in a mighty pile of supercool media stuff I didn’t get to in a timely fashion. Sense8 and Daredevil were recent exceptions–I caught those more or less as everyone else did, and enjoyed them both. (Though I did kvetch a little about DD, I know).

I’ve seen Ant-Man, Mr. Holmes, Far from the Madding Crowd and Mad Max: Fury Road, which seems a pretty good haul of big screen stuff. I skipped Jurassic World, Fantastic Four, and all the actual cartoons involving minions and feels.

Lately the viewing at Chez Dua has been historical stuff: the excellent World War I nurse series, The Crimson Field, and a champagne-bubbly murder of the week thing from Australia, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. There’s also been a documentary called Life on the Reef about, naturally, the Great Barrier Reef. And, as a brush-up on general knowledge and cultural literacy, and an antidote to the wholly Euro-centric readings of history I absorbed as a tad, Crash Course World History, ten manic minutes of John Green delivering the goods on ye olde life and times.

Finally, Kelly and I are slowly closing in on the very end of Parks and Recreation.

The Lesser Dead, by Christopher Buehlman

Posted on November 4, 2014 by

bookzombieSo, everyone, what are you reading these days?

Christopher Buehlman’s The Lesser Dead has been out for about a month now, and if you like your horror horrible (as opposed to romantic, edgy, or cuddlesome) I cannot recommend it enough. Here’s my review at, in which I try to say more than “oohh, oooh, squee, squee!”

This week I am reading fourteen student novel openings and a book that won’t be out until 2015. Sneak peeks are one of the perks of the job, and I’m looking forward to telling you about this one closer to its release date.

Book Smugglers Review of Child, plus vacation…

Posted on September 2, 2014 by

imageThea of Book Smugglers says this about Child of a Hidden Sea:

Sophie is sympathetic and genuine, and her motivation to learn more about her origins and her family comes across as wholly believable. Her insecurities when compared to her siblings – her fierce half-sister Verena, and her genius adopted brother Bram – only enhance Sophie’s sympathetic nature, as she struggles with her own feelings of inadequacy and confidence.

I’ll be taking next week off to see a bunch of films at the Toronto International Film Festival (Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet, This is My Land, Luna, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Charlie’s Country, the Imitation Game, and Behavior, in case you’re wondering) and hang out with my lovely and wonderful cousins. So, you know–I’ll be online less. Write me if you  need me.

Which isn’t to say I won’t tweet a little about the movies, or any especially good food that comes my way. Because in the world of Instagram, my vacation is your vacation. Or something.

Novel Gazing Redux reviews Child of a Hidden Sea

Posted on July 3, 2014 by

imageOver at Novel Gazing Redux, Marissa Lingen says:

Sophie loves her adoptive family like crazy, but she’s still curious about her birth family. When she goes looking, things get wild very very quickly. There’s an angry birth mother who wants nothing to do with her, there’s an aunt who’s slightly more reasonable, there are people attacking the aunt, there’s transit to a watery world of ships and weird magic tech and different species of bug and bird and sea critter, with variable languages and national customs…and the variable languages and national customs matter. A lot. If you’ve ever complained about books where it was raining on such-and-such an entire planet, Dellamonica has your back.

Gardner Dozois may have had a hand in that. One of the things I remember most from Clarion West was his throwaway mention that too many writers imperfectly imagine their SF-nal settings, and that in particular they simply assume that each planet (sometimes each solar system, or galaxy!) will have one culture, one language, and one government. A lightbulb went off.

Anyway, now I have a planet with two hundred and fifty nations. Plus assorted languages, religions, official state sciences and other cultural ephemera.

Friday Review Trio

Posted on June 27, 2014 by

Yesterday I caught you up on all my guest bloggery, and today I am posting reviews, all quite glowy and gratifying.

NPR – “What Happens when Fantasyland Doesn’t Want You?

I was especially pleased that Paul Weimer of SF SIGNAL liked the book, because he’s been such a marvellously vocal fan:

… Sophie makes a believable and interesting protagonist. Given that she quickly learns her own foundling origins are on this world, her motivations and desire to learn more about Stormwrack rather than turn tail and forget her experience are completely believable and easy to identify with. Would I, in her place, start maxing out credit cards to obtain cameras and other equipment to document this world next door? Absolutely! Her stubbornness, her intelligence and her effusive appeal are palpable.

and Bookworm Blues says some great things, too!

And, as before, Kitten Pic!

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