Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

Winterkill Boorman

Rating: 1.5 Stars ★★☆☆☆

Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees.

Plot

Where Emmeline lives, you cannot love and you cannot leave…

The Council’s rules are strict, but they’re for the good of the settlement in which Emmeline lives. Everyone knows there is nothing but danger the other side of the Wall, and the community must prepare for the freezing winterkill that comes every year.

But Emmeline struggles to be obedient under the Council’s suffocating embrace – especially when she discovers that a Council leader intends to snatch her hand in marriage.

Then Emmeline begins to hear the call of the trees beyond the Wall…

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Unexpected Stories by Octavia Butler

Unexpected Stories

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Rohkohn Hao, Tahneh, was sharing her evening meal with her chief judge and discussing the current drought when she first learned of the foreigners who had entered her territory.

Review

A Necessary Evil is about an alien race that is strictly class-based. In each class, your rank is additionally determined by how much blue you have in your colouring. Above all classes are the Hao, who are pure blue, a warrior-class that is faster, stronger, camouflages better and lead their tribes.

A tribe without a Hao is considered incomplete. So each tribe will do whatever they can to secure a Hao. Sometimes they are born, but if not, they steal one from another tribe and force them to serve them.

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A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

A Mortal Song Megan Crewe

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

On the afternoon of my seventeenth birthday, I came down the mountain to visit a dying man.

Plot

Sora’s life was full of magic–until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

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Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful by Paula Guran

Witches Wicked Wild and Wonderful Anthology

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

 

1. Walpurgis AfternoonDelia Sherman

2 Stars

A couple wake up in the morning to find that a Victorian townhouse has sprung up on the empty plot next door. But that is not the only strange thing about their new neighbours.

A horticolutralist and an AI researcher who are also a witches? Sounds cool, but the story was all over the place and didn’t work for me.

 

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods Neil Gaiman

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Shadow had done three years in prison.

Plot

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

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The Unicorn Anthology by Peter S. Beagle

The Unicorn Anthology

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

About

Unicorns have fascinated people for generations. At once the epitome of purity, they are also dangerous. Their horns contain stronger magic than anything else. A unicorn’s horn can cure any illness, warn of any poison. And it is very, very difficult to get. They cannot be caught, they will kill with their horns, they can only be tamed by innocent girls.

This anthology is all about these creatures. Collected by Peter S. Beagle, they all take different looks at these mythical creatures.

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Burned by Magic by Jasmine Walt

Burned by Magic

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

“Hey, shifter girl!” a human with sandy hair shouted as he leaned over the bar counter.

Plot

In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.

Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she accidentally loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.

Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.

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