April 2014 Reading Log

Hooray, now I’m only a year behind!

Fiction: Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells was a lot of fun, with a spunky heroine, interesting nonhumans, and lots of steampunk. Wells is one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors; this is her first novel specifically aimed at young adults.

Country Heaven by Ava Miles is a contemporary romance about a country singer and a cook. I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the Midwestern heroine’s love of the movie Gone With the Wind and the idea that going to a restored plantation house for a fancy dinner that romanticized the past is a fun thing to do, when all I could think about was the slave quarters that were never mentioned. I am not sure if there was a single black person in the entire novel, even when they were in Mississippi with the hero’s upper-crust family. I was clearly not this book’s intended audience.

Nonfiction: Peoples of Color in the American West is a textbook with a lot of really good essays that I can definitively recommend, despite its being published back in 1994.

Fanfiction: Not About Superheroes (A Private Little War) by AnnaFugazzi is Captain America/Iron Man slash that explores how 1930s-1940s-raised Steve Rogers, who’s gay, might (slowly) adapt to modern acceptance of homosexuality in the military and to gay marriage. It’s the first time I’ve seen a detailed exploration of this idea, instead of it being quickly glossed over to get to the romance, or having Steve easily accept every new social change he encounters.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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