Fantasy Magazine 47

Fantasy Magazine 47 is the February 2011 issue, edited by Cat Rambo and Sean Wallace. It contains four short stories.
Finished on: 19.11.2018

The stories here are very different in tone, setting and style. I fell in love with one of them and enjoyed the other three, so I’d say, it is a very successful collection that introduced me to some good new authors.

The magazine cover showing a mermaid with a magic wand hovering over the small figure of a person walking.
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Chips in a Bag (Margaret Kelleher)

Chips in a Bag: Classy Mr. Murray is a novel by Margaret Kelleher.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away.]
Finished on: 14.11.2018

Plot:
Brandon Lodge holds a special place in Clodagh’s heart, even though she hasn’t been back there for many, many years. It was there that she fell in love with James. Not that things ended well for them – ultimately, Clodagh left for London. But now Brandon Lodge is getting revived and Clodagh, a successful knitwear designer, is part of that revival. Coming back to Ireland with her daughter Beth does bring back memories good and bad. But whether it’s a fresh start or a way back to old paths remains to be seen.

Chips in a Bag does have potential, but it would have needed a lot more work to really fulfill it. I found myself often annoyed at both the writing style and some of the tropes, so the book never really got past okay for me.

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Road to You (Barbara Ankrum)

Road to You is a novel by Barbara Ankrum, the third book in the Band of Brothers series.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away.]
Finished on: 6.11.2018

Plot:
Gemma is a reporter, an investigative journalist. So when she is sent to Marietta, Montana to write a fluff piece about the rise in marriages there, she feels punished. But she knows that she has to deliver or risk her job, so off she goes to do her best regardless. When she meets Noah, who used to be a Navy SEAL together with the groom of the next marriage in Marietta, he seems like a charming, albeit distracting way to get up close and personal with the wedding. But Gemma soon realizes that there is something Noah is hiding. And how can she not try and find out what that is?

Road to You is a nice, quick comfort read. Nothing much will surprise you here, and that’s really not what you want from it anyway. There were a couple of things that didn’t work so well for me, but overall, I enjoyed it.

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Learning How to Drown (Cat Hellisen)

Learning How to Drown is a short story collection by Cat Hellisen.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away.]
Finished on: 5.11.2018

Learning How to drown collects short stories spanning about 10 years of Hellisen’s writing. Each story is shortly commented on by the author. It’s a very nice collection that does make me curious about her novels, too, though I didn’t love it so much that I’m running out to get them right this second. The comments to the stories explained too much and gave too little context for my taste, but the context we did get was interesting. In short, a collection worth reading and I’ll keep my eye out for her novels.

Read more about each of the stories after the jump.

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Origamy (Rachel Armstrong)

Origamy is a novel by Rachel Armstrong.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away.]
Finished on: 19.10.2018

Plot:
Mobius is a weaver, like her parents Newton and Shelley who are all part of a circus troupe. Weavers can manipulate spacetime, but Mobius has somehow forgotten how to do it and needs to start to learn again. Encouraged by her parents, she can soon start traveling again. She zips around the universe, discovering its multitudes of cultures for herself. Soon she realizes that something is wrong and there is a threat that hangs over the universe that may unravel it entirely.

Origamy is definitely an unusual book, but it’s unusual in a way that I struggled with to say the least. It’s not bad per se, but I felt like I couldn’t get my foot in the narrative’s door and stayed outside, catching only confusing glimpses of what was going on inside.

The book cover showing a piece of Origamy made from several different kinds of paper in front of stars in space.
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Artefacts and Other Stories (Rebecca Burns)

Artefacts and Other Stories is a short story collection by Rebecca Burns.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on: 3.10.2018

Artefacts and Other Stories is a decent short story collection. It’s not amazing, but there are some good stories in there. The collection could have profited from a little more variation between stories and a little more narrative within the stories. But mostly, it’s okay.

Read more about each of the stories after the jump.

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Indecision (Caragh Bell)

Indecision is a novel by Caragh Bell. It’s the first in the Follow Your Heart series.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on: 30.9.2018

Plot:
Lydia loves her boyfriend Dominic with whom she’s been quite a long time already. When she moves away to do a Master’s degree, the separation isn’t easy to take. Plus, there’s Luca right there beside her: gorgeous, flirty, American, he is as intriguing to her as he is off-limits. But the effect he has on her makes her start to question her life’s decisions so far.

Indecision, unfortunately, didn’t work for me. It was badly written and full of unlikable and/or clichéd characters. I found it an exhausting read.

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Everything That’s Underneath (Kristi DeMeester)

Everything That’s Underneath is a short story collection by Kristi DeMeester.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on: 27.9.2018

Everything That’s Underneath is a cool collection, but it is a little monotonous in tone. If I hadn’t read it all at once, but rather spread out the book reading a new story every once in a while, I probably would have appreciated them all more. Since they are all so alike in the atmosphere they create, they start to blend together, when you read one right after the other. That being said, I definitely enjoyed this atmosphere. I liked a lot of the stories, there are some very nice ideas here and DeMeester has a good hand for descriptions. So overall, it’s really good.

[More about each of the stories after the jump, with vague spoilers for some of the stories.]

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Letters for Scarlet (Julie C. Gardner)

Letters for Scarlet is a novel by Julie Gardner.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on: 18.9.2018

Plot:
When they were teenagers, Corie and Scarlet were best friends, basically inseperable. Now 28, Corie finds a graduation letter she wrote and completely forget about. Having to face her past, she is confronted again with what happened to her and Scarlet and Tucker. Meanwhile Scarlet also has to face facts: she is pregnant and pretty certain that she will be a horrible mother who deserves nothing good. Through letters both of them explore feelings, both old and new, they haven’t figured out yet.

Letters for Scarlet is a nice, quick read that something was a bit much for me and that I didn’t entirely love. But I enjoyed it for the most part.

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The Spirit Gate (Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff)

The Spirit Gate is a novel by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on: 15.9.2018

Plot:
Kassia is a shai, a woman born with the mark of the goddess. And she is the first woman to be allowed to study magic under Master Lukusha. In fact, she is the first woman in ages to be allowed to study and practice magic at all, which means that most of the shai magic has been forgotten. Despite the people like Lukusha’s assistant Zakarij doubting her, Kassia throws herself into her studies – as much as being a single mother allows her to.

The Spirit Gate was an enjoyable read with a good protagonist that wasn’t absolutely great, but it definitely wasn’t bad at all.

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