More Anthologies

These are the most recent anthologies I’ve read.

1—Witch High

Edited by Denise Little

Stories set in Salem Township Public High School #4, they range from the humorous to the thoughtful, from scary to mournful. A truly diverse set of stories all linked by the common theme of witches in high school.

2—Naked City

Edited by Ellen Datlow

Another diverse collection this time under the common thread of urban fantasy, in the broadest sense of it. All the stories center on two things—cities and magic. Some are happy, some are haunting, and a few I just didn’t get but I still enjoyed.

3—Shadowed souls

Edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes

These are dark stories. Look for no happy endings here. Even the happy-ish endings are sad or otherwise bittersweet.These stories are about morally grey areas and people. Also magic. Where does the person leave off and the monster begin?

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Charming—Knights and Valkyries and Vampires, Oh My

Charming by Elliot James book cover
Charming by Elliott James

Charming, by Elliott James, is an urban fantasy and volume one of the Pax Arcana series. John Charming, former modern-day Knight Templar and current fugitive, is just trying to get by without trouble when trouble comes walking into his bar and sweeps him up in a much larger adventure.

1—Narration

Charming is told in first-person smartass, a trope I particularly like. Mr. James is good at weaving the worldbuilding in through John’s observations, and there’s a lot of worldbuilding to be done. John’s observations of the world color the narrative, as this is essentially his journal. There’s a Prelude and an Interlude to help explain how the Pax Arcana works, but they’re amusing. For the most part though, information is woven into the narrative. Continue reading “Charming—Knights and Valkyries and Vampires, Oh My”

The Girl With Ghost Eyes—Immersed in the Spirit World

The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson book cover
The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson

The Girl With Ghost Eyes, by M. H. Boroson, is an urban fantasy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1898. Told from the first person viewpoint of Xian Li-lin, a Daoshi exorcist and young widow, and the titular girl with yin eyes. The book is full of spirits, rituals, and mayhem.

1—A World Between Worlds

Chinatown on the cusp of the twentieth century is very much its own world and Mr. Boroson draws us into that world. It’s a world of gangsters and priests, spirits and monsters. It’s a world caught between the traditions of the old and the temptations of the new, between China and America. And Li-lin’s world is that caught between the human and the monstrous. Continue reading “The Girl With Ghost Eyes—Immersed in the Spirit World”

The Magicians—Pacing Issues

The Magicians is a tv show about students at a college for magicians. I’ve only gotten an episode and a half in. The pacing feels off to me and hasn’t allowed time for me to get attached to the characters. That said, the effects are great and it looks like an intriguing world. There’s a freaky moth-faced villain and a storyline focusing on the main character’s best friend who’s learning to be a hedge-witch after failing to get into magic college. Also be aware that the show is violent—someone’s already had their eyes plucked out. I may give it another shot but maybe not.

My apologies for not having a more well-rounded review this week. It’s the end of the semester and school and holiday/family stuffs are taking the bulk of my time. I should have a proper post next week.

Moana—A Spirited Tale

Disney's Moana
Disney’s Moana

Disney’s latest movie, Moana, is an adventure film. It follows the titular young woman as she sails off to recruit the demigod Maui to help her save her people by restoring the heart of Te Fiti .

1—Great Effects

Moana is a beautiful film, with water that looks like water—no easy feat to animate. The hair looks great too. There’s also a lava demon, ship battles, a ghost manta ray, a glowing monster-world, and always beautiful scenery.

Then there’s Maui’s living tattoos. They’re so much fun and a lot of the humor in the film comes from watching him interact with his smaller tattoo-self. Continue reading “Moana—A Spirited Tale”