Showing posts from October, 2021


Firebreak Nicole Kornher-Stace, 2021 Premise: Sure, Mal has a weird obsession with one of the famous SecOps, but doesn't everyone? She's just trying to keep her head down and earn enough water to survive until she learns something she can't ignore. This book starts with the protagonist playing a video game, but unlike some books, this doesn't have any time for nostalgia or wish fulfillment. In a dystopia ruled by warring factions that evolved from corporations, resources are severely rationed or for sale at exorbitant prices, and the prevalence and importance of immersive video games (before power curfew, anyway) is clearly meant as the local "bread and circuses." The people are encouraged to idolize a small group of superpowered soldiers who fight in the constant war and have doppelgangers in the game. The plot kicks off when Mal and her friend and gaming partner Jessa are given some damning information about the origins of these soldiers. They end up hip-de

The Will Darling Adventures

The Will Darling Adventures ( Slippery Creatures, The Sugared Game, Subtle Blood) K.J. Charles, 2020, 2020, 2021 I've sung the praises of K.J. Charles here before, but not in proportion with how many of her books I've actually read. It's a lot. It might be all of them. It's definitely so many that I'm not 100% sure whether it's all of them.  I just love the way she balances romance with well-researched history and adventure. Her romance protagonists always face dire dangers as well as emotional struggles. This series is a romance trilogy that's also a 1920s action-spy-thriller.  Will Darling is many things, an ex-soldier, a reluctant "war hero," a man with a rather large knife he knows how to use, a man who unexpectedly came into possession of a bookshop, and bisexual. Kim Secretan is a dashing, effeminate nobleman who comes into Will's life just when he needs a friend and ally. It's clear from the start that Kim is full of secrets, though,