[Book Review] The House of Binding Thorns (Dominion of the Fallen #2)

Title: The House of Binding Thorns (Dominion of the Fallen #2)
Author: Aliette de Bodard
(Twitter)
RatingHighly Recommended
Genre: Fantasy,  Angels & Demons, Political Drama, Vietnamese Mythology/Culture
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Ace

Order at: AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and that’s what you’re all getting. There will be minor spoilers for character relationships in this book, but I’ll do my best not to dump any major spoilers.

The multi-award winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war…

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the Great Houses of Paris, ruled by fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.
House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Philippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic may be more than he can bear.

In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater Dragon Kingdom—and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…

As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength—or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.

Continue reading

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[Book Review] Zombies, Migrants, and Queers: Race and Crisis Capitalism in Pop Culture by Camilla Fojas

Zombies Migrants and QueersTitle: Zombies, Migrants, and Queers: Race and Crisis Capitalism in Pop Culture
Author: Camilla Fojas
Rating: Your Cup of Tea Maybe?
Genre: Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Media Criticism, Race/Racism
Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Order at: UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS | AMAZON

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and that’s absolutely what you’re getting.


At first glance, Zombies, Migrants, and Queers: Race and Crisis Capitalism in Pop Culture seems like it should be right up my alley. It’s about pop culture after all, and in-depth critiques of pop culture and placing into specific cultural contexts s kind of my thing.

Unfortunately, and I’m really bummed about this, this book didn’t hook me. Continue reading

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Breaking and Entering – Original Fiction

Notes: This original fantasy (almost romance) story has been in the works for a LONG time and I’m happy that I can finally share it with you all! The gorgeous art pieces in this post are all parts of a commission that I got from my awesome friend Vi (who also did lovely concept art of my two boys) who is super sweet and talented!


 

Breaking and Entering

Asra has spent much of his life alone, traveling across Anatea in search of the home he never had. On an unplanned return trip to the capital city’s God Quarter, Asra finds himself taking shelter from the rain in a seemingly abandoned temple. When Asra meets the god whose temple sits gathering dust in a lonely part of the God Quarter, he isn’t expecting much beyond a swift kick in the rear. He certainly isn’t expecting that he might finally find the home he’s always wanted to have.

❧❧❧❧ Continue reading

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Giveaway Result Placeholder

I was supposed to announced the giveaway winner yesterday along with posting the next giveaway but life is happening too fast. I’m basically back to work and stuck balancing a ton of coursework due like…now. Argh. 

Once I finish responding to the last two comments on the post, I’ll announce the winner on this one. There is a huge chance that that will be on Friday. 

I’m also…  Not doing another giveaway so soon after the first. I love doing giveaways and they’re fun, but they’re also disheartening for me because of reasons. They’re also expensive… I need to pause on the love train until I can do another guilt free giveaway. 

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Women of Color in Marvel Live Action Properties: Claire Temple

Women of Color in Marvel Live Action Properties is an essay series that will look closely at the portrayals of female characters of color by actresses of color in Marvel’s various franchises. I was inspired by the fact that a lot of these female characters don’t get anywhere as much love as white female characters in similar roles and that we’re not as likely to see fandom analyze why they’re empowering. They don’t get meta-fandom or essays unless it’s about placing them in relation to white characters. I want to celebrate the women of color that inhabit the same worlds as our favorite superheroes while looking at how and why they’re important to fans like me.


WOC in Marvel Live Action - Claire Temple.png

Sometimes, if you want justice you have to get it yourself.

Claire Temple in Luke Cage Season 1/Episode 7 “Manifest”

❧❧❧❧

Claire Temple is too good for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Claire Temple is one of the best characters in the MCU and she’s one of the few recurring female characters of color the franchise has had in the almost ten years of its history. She’s also Afro-Latina – as is actress Rosario Dawson – making her one of the few Black women to have a major recurring role in the MCU following Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Raina.

In a genre that’s spent much of the past decade finding newer and more popular white male actors (often named “Chris”) to play their heroes rather than focusing on female characters or characters of color, Claire Temple is an extra awesome rarity. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Insight by Santino Hassell

Insight Cover

Title: Insight (The Community #1)
Author:
Santino Hassell (Twitter)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Urban Fantasy, Psychics, Queer Romance/Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Suspense/Mystery
Release Date: March 13, 2017

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Order Here: RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in review are my own and there are mild spoilers.


Santino Hassell’s Insight is an incredible look at a community of marginalized people — some psychics, some people of color, all incredibly fascinating — who live in NYC on an Earth that seems just like ours. It’s also got a murder-mystery and conspiracy slant to it while also serving up some complicated psychic love and tension so thick that you could cut it with a spoon.

Straight up, I love this book. Continue reading

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Giveaway Post #1 – Strange Special Interests

This is the first of several giveaway posts meant to celebrate the second anniversary of my website and share the things I’ve been focused on this past year.


Giveaway Post 1

I have a ton of strange special interests.

For the past six or seven months, one of my most obnoxious interests has been cannibalism in fiction and nature. Normally, I’m a big baby. I can’t watch most horror movies and only made it three episodes into the Hannibal series before I had to turn it off. I don’t do body horror.

But then, I had two back to back hits with fictional cannibals and hello new conversation topic that made the people around me incredibly uncomfortable. Continue reading

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[Stitch Links to Stuff] Joyful Reads

Joyful Reads Image.png

Joyful Reads is the brainchild of blogger Kristen Carter. A book subscription service in its infancy, Joyful Reads will serve the purpose of gettng diverse Young Adult literature into the hands of teenage and young adult readers.

This is a labor of love and an attempt at diversifying the very white landscape of book subscription boxes that I think has a lot of potential. I’ve been book buddies with Kristen for over a year and they’re pretty awesome!

Right now, the subscription service is set for a May 2017 launch.

You can support Kristen and Joyful Reads on her GoFundMe where you can find out more about the service, as her questions, and help her afford a website designer, social media manager, and shipping supplies for the first set of subscriptions.

(And if you can’t contribute financially but want to see Joyful Reads get off the ground to get diverse books into the hands of eager readers, you should always consider talking to Kristen and seeing if there are other ways that you can help her with this endeavor!)


To find out more about Kristen and Joyful Reads, visit the following webpages:

Kristen’s Twitter: HERE

Joyful Reads Webpage (which is in-progress):  HERE

Joyful Reads Twitter: HERE

Joyful Reads GoFundMe: HERE

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[Book Review] The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon

the-caped-crusade-glen-weldonTitle: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture
Author: Glen Weldon (Twitter)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Nonfiction, Batman, Comic Book
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Order Here: AMAZON  (PAPERBACK)| AMAZON (KINDLE) 

Note: This review was originally written for a graduate level course I took last semester where we had to write a review for a scholarly book that was related to our thesis. As this book actually inspired my current thesis project (about queer readings of a queer-coded Joker and the role that homophobia plays in these readings), I couldn’t pass up on the chance to review this book.


A regular panelist on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Glen Weldon is probably the best author that could have ever been drafted to write a book about how Batman’s creation shaped the development of nerd culture and fandom as it exists right now.

His book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture seeks to put Batman into a certain cultural context, looking at the way that the character’s history has shaped generations of fans, comic and film creators, and the fans that would grow up to become these creators. Weldon looks at how, over the course of the past seventy-seven years, Batman and nerd culture have participated in certain cycles that alternated between “camp and cheery” and “grim-dark and gritty”.

In The Caped Crusade, Weldon approaches the heterocentric canon of Batman’s various texts through a perspective that only a gay man can bring to the table. In his close queer reading of Batman’s history, canon text throughout the decades, and the fan community (or fandom) that sprawled up around him, Weldon looks at how queerphobia shaped Batman’s trajectory and inspired hundreds of thousands of fans to eschew the very idea of a queer Batman while queer fans clung to the potential opened up for them by the subtext embedded within the character. Continue reading

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Updates for Upcoming Writing

One problem with grad school is that there’s only so much I can do to get my academic and nerdy interests to collide. As a full-time grad student and a freelance, my output here has plummeted because I’m busy trying to get my assignments in and not mess up at work.

But I am always thinking of things I can write for you all and so right now, there are some things that are definitely on the menu for upcoming months.


Continue reading

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