August 2014 Reading Log

Fiction: A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles is second in the A Charm of Magpies series, a historical paranormal with an ongoing male/male romance. I love the way the magic is done in this series, and as usual, I am a sucker for historical fantasy.

Razor Wire by Lauren Gallagher – I read this for preview on Heroes and Heartbreakers. It’s a dark, gripping lesbian romance about military police on Okinawa, one of whom is pregnant from having been raped. It was a page-turner, and did a great job of addressing a lot of issues in a dramatic way without being terribly preachy. It’s from Riptide; what I’ve read of their publications so far has been uniformly high quality.

Unbinding (World of the Lupi Book 11) by Eileen Wilks – I read a galley of this for another preview. Alas, Lily Yu is on her honeymoon in this one so she barely appears, but lots of my favorite secondary characters appear, and it has the usual deep worldbuilding about magic. This is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series.

Nonfiction: The Comanche Empire (The Lamar Series in Western History) by Pekka Hämäläinen – Back when I first started reading this book years ago, I only got a bit into the first chapter, but stopped because the Western steampunk novel I was going to write was cancelled. This is a pretty awesome book (it won a history prize) about how the Comanches became allies of the Utes and got lots of horses and became very powerful through trading and raiding and beating up on Apache villages so they could absorb their people and territory and take advantage of the Spanish colonizers. It goes on to how they colonized the people around them, until their empire eventually fell, mostly due to ecological disaster. I am simplifying, as you might imagine. Did I mention this was a great book?

Fanfiction: tin soldiers by idrilka is a tale of (movieverse) Captain America and Bucky told from a meta/outsider point of view. The outsiders include fans on social media and academics throwing down. Summary from Archive of Our Own: In his 2009 book on Captain America comic books, war photography, and American propaganda, Everett claims: “There is nothing to suggest that either the graphic novels issued during the war or the photographs taken during Rogers’ stay with the Howling Commandos can serve as a basis for a queer reading of Rogers and Barnes’ relationship. But even more importantly, there is nothing to suggest that such a relationship ever existed in the first place, and as such, those queer readings are not only misguided, but also libelous” (197). [from: Lynn E. Anderson, Captain America: Behind the Mask. Steve Rogers and the Contemporary Hero Narrative (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 242.]

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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