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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire By Delilah S. Dawson
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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Galaxy’s Edge – Book 2
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by January LaVoy
Publisher: Del Rey | Random House Audio
Release date: August 27, 2019

In the second book of Disney’s new Star Wars series related to the Galaxy’s Edge theme park, Black Spire focuses on spy Vi Moradi’s attempts to resuscitate a flagging Resistance in the days immediately following the eighth film, The Last Jedi. With the New Republic’s central government destroyed by Starkiller Base and their forces all but defeated, Vi is sent by her mentor, General Leia Organa, to seek promising new worlds on which to re-kickstart the Resistance. To help her, Leia sends along Archex, a man with an intimate knowledge of the First Order. You see, he was not only a former Stormtrooper Captain known as Cardinal, but he and Moradi have a history all their own… Cardinal tortured Moradi after capturing her. During their torture sessions, though, Moradi discovered a weakness in Cardinal/Archex and exploited it. This allowed her to not only escape the clutches of the First Order, but also rescue a Stormtrooper was now able to see the error of his ways.

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Book Review: Violet By Scott Thomas
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Violet by Scott Thomas

Violet
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Scott Thomas
Publisher: Inkshares
Release date: September 24, 2019

In the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, Kill Creek, author Scott Thomas brings us a much more deliberate and slow-building terror in Violet. Kris Barlow, in an attempt to escape from the platitudes of friends, family, and strangers after a car accident claims the life of her husband, takes her daughter to a house on Lost Lake that has been owned by her family for decades, and that she hasn’t visited since she was about her daughter’s age.

Unfortunately, the best of intentions rarely go as you’d expect and the same happens here. Kris has forgotten that the reason why she hasn’t visited the house is because of things that happened to her family so many years prior. While she hasn’t thought about them in decades, those “things” never left the lake house. They’ve been lying in wait for Kris. And now they’re about to make themselves known again.

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Book Review: Fallen: Alex Verus (Book 10) By Benedict Jacka
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Fallen: An Alex Verus Novel header

Fallen: An Alex Verus Novel
Alex Verus Book 10
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Benedict Jacka
Publisher: Ace (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Release Date: September 24, 2019

I am a fairly new fan of Benedict Jacka‘s Alex Verus series. As a longtime reader of urban fantasy, I cannot fathom how I ever failed to pick these up until last year. But life is funny like that. I chewed through the first nine books in the series fairly quickly and was stoked beyond words when I saw that this one, Fallen, was coming out soon. I literally inhaled it when I received it. In fact, the guy who got me started on these books was so jealous that it took all I had not to tease him with some spoilers. But I persevered and he remains oblivious to the story. Sorry, Patrick. But it is better this way. Anyway, let me fill you in one some of the basics about the book without ruining the overall plot. Okay? Okay.

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Book Review: Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
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Monster She Wrote book cover banner

Monster, She Wrote
The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: September 17, 2019

They’re the queens of horror fiction — gothic horror’s founding mother Mary Shelley, haunted house maven Shirley Jackson, and vampire queen of the damned Anne Rice. But did you know that there have been and still are many other women writers like them contributing to the genre for centuries, most of whom wrote under repressive circumstances? Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, a new non-fiction book from Quirk Books, gives these women and their works a spotlight.

In this 352-page compendium, authors Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson dig deep into the feminine roots of the gothic horror genre, beginning with its precursors Margaret Cavendish and Ann Radcliffe before moving on to the creator herself, Mary Shelley, author of the early 19th century classic Frankenstein.

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Book Review: Echoes Of War: Book 1 In The Echoes Trilogy By Cheryl Campbell
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Echoes of War Header

Echoes of War
Book 1 in the Echoes Trilogy
Paperback | Kindle
By Cheryl Campbell
Publisher: SparkPress
Paperback release date: September 10, 2019

Dani’s whole world implodes when she discovers she is not human, but an Echo, a race of aliens that can regenerate after death to a younger age. A member of the Brigands, survivors who scavenge to live, she is in danger of falling into the hands of the Wardens. The Wardens are aliens like her who want to brainwash Echoes who are not a part of their mission, and kill all the humans. She also has to worry about MP raids, the human police group. This apocalyptic life was what she knew until she saved a little boy from death. Inspired by the boy, Dani wonders if there is not more that can be done to stop the Wardens from destroying MPs and Brigands alike, no matter if human or Echo. If that is not enough, Dani is also the object of deadly obsession of one of the Wardens, of whom Dani had humiliated and wounded in one of her previous lives.

More below on Echoes of War by Cheryl Campbell.

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Book Review: A Hero Born By Jin Yong
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A Hero Born by Jin Yong

A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Legends of the Condor Heroes: Book 1
Written by Jin Yong
Translated by Anna Holmwood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release date: September 17, 2019

Set during China’s Song Dynasty, approximately 1200 AD, A Hero Born, the first in the celebrated Chinese Legends of the Condor Heroes book series, starts when two sworn brothers are confronted with a terrible choice after being charged with treason by the local government: argue their innocence before a corrupt magistrate that will likely condemn them to death or try to make a run for it with their wives and sons in tow, fighting their way through soldiers who have come to arrest them.

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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
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Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: September 17, 2019

Well, what in the Nine Hells has Wizards Of The Coast released now, you might ask. Okay, so if you literally phrased it like that, then you pretty much answered your own question. Because the newest Dungeons & Dragons release is called Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus and it is all about making your way from one of the most notable cities on the prime Material plane to the first layer of the Nine Hells. This journey is obviously dangerous, but few understand exactly how perilous it can be!

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Book Review: A Little Hatred By Joe Abercrombie
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A Little Hatred
The Age of Madness Book 1
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Joe Abercrombie
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: September 17, 2019

I first discovered Joe Abercrombie’s novels back in 2010, with his fantasy revenge story Best Served Cold set in his First Law world. The book was grim – about as grim as they get – with a cast of despicable characters you can’t help but root for despite their questionable morals and actions. It was due to his ability to write incredible character-driven fiction that I continued on, quickly devouring his other First Law novels. Now, almost six years since the publication of his last book set in that same universe (Red Country), Abercrombie has released A Little Hatred, the first book in the new Age of Madness trilogy that brings readers back to the world of the First Law and solidifies Abercrombie as, what his acolytes call him, “the Lord of Grimdark.”

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova
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Star Wars Galaxy's Edge A Crash Of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge book 1
Written by Zoraida Cordova
Narrated by Brittany Pressley
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press | Listening Library
Release date: August 6, 2019

In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate, the first of a new series of books centered around the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, Jules and Izzy are the best of friends. They do everything together. And when you’re six and five years old, respectively, living in the last known habitable outpost on the edge of wildspace, you come to rely on having that friend. You need each other.

When Izzy’s family up and leaves in the middle of the night with no warning whatsoever and no chance for the kids to say good-bye, to say your life has been upended is an understatement.

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Book Review: Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments
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Finnish Nightmares book cover

Finnish Nightmares
An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments
Hardcover | Kindle
By Karoliina Korhonen
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release date: August 20, 2019

Finnish comic strip character Matti gets an American debut with Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments, a new hardcover collection published by Ten Speed Press.

Matti is described as a “mild-mannered and typical Finn,” and being an American with little knowledge of what the average Finn is like, I’ll just have to take creator Karoliina Korhonen‘s word for it. But going through these cartoon strips that depict Matti’s every day life, it seems like his experiences are not exclusive to native Finns. His fears of awkward social gatherings, hectic commutes, and running out of coffee have global resonance.

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