You Had Me At “Queer Demon Hunters”: Margaret Killjoy’s The Lamb Will Slaughter The Lion

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

GAAAAAAHHHHHH!! Margaret Killjoy’s The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, y’all. I mean. I can’t even. Like. It’s so good. It’s sooooooooo good. It’s very existence is a tonic for my troubled soul. And now having read it (twice!) it’s my everything. Open a new tab and buy this novella RIGHT. NOW. I’ll wait. ……… Done? Good. Now let’s talk about how awesome it is.

When Danielle Cain finally makes her way to the squatters’ settlement of Freedom, Iowa, it seems like a queer punk traveler’s home sweet home. It’s anarchy with structure, a free-for-all community run by shared responsibility. Or so they say. There’s a reason Danielle’s best friend Clay killed himself after abandoning Freedom. Just as there’s a reason suspicion, doubt, and mistrust saturate the town.

On her way into Freedom, Danielle encounters a three-antlered deer the color of freshly spilled blood, whom she later learns is ...

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a Feisty Delight

Oh, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. It’s young adult historical fiction set in the Georgian period. It has just enough magic to entertain the magic geeks but not so much to turn off the fantasy naysayers. It’s a will-they-won’t-they romance disguised as an adventure fic with a helping of family drama. And best of all it’s diverse, inclusive, feminist, and wonderfully queer. In case you can’t tell, I absolutely adored this book.

It may only be August, but there’s a strong chance Gentleman’s Guide is going to end up being one of my favorite YA SFF books of the year. It’s the queer YA historical fantasy adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Henry Montague is exactly what a gentleman ought not to be.  He’s a booze hound and a rake, a seductive charmer with an allergy to keeping ...

Midnight, Texas Is Magical Trash

Midnight, Texas, is a small town in the middle of nowhere. It’s a safe haven for people (or “people”) who can’t live anywhere else or don’t want to. It also may be sitting on top of a hellmouth, if that ominous glowing red light coming up through Manfred Bernardo’s (François Arnaud) floorboards is any indication. Speaking of the possibly-fake-but-probably-real psychic, Manfred flees Dallas for Midnight at the behest of his dead grandmother Xylda (Joanne Camp) to escape her determined creditors. He couldn’t have come at a worse time. Within a few hours of Manfred’s arrival he encounters the corpse of Bobo Winthrop’s (Dylan Bruce) missing fiance, hits on Creek (Sarah Ramos) the daughter of a very overprotective father, has his life force sucked out by vampire Lemuel (Peter Mensah), steals holy water from a creepy reverend (Yul Vazquez), witnesses Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley) go all The Craft on a couple of ...

Pull List: The Body-Swapping, Fantasyland, Awesomeness of Crosswind and Moonstruck

Oh Image, how I’ve missed you! It’s been ages since the biggest name in indie publishing has released something new that really excited me. Sure, a lot of their ongoings are permanent staples on my shelves, but I was more ready for something brand spanking new than I realized. That drought is at long last over. This summer, Image Comics has delivered two fantastic new ongoing series, Crosswind and Moonstruck. Within moments of hearing about these two series, I had an order into my local independent comic book shop. Now that I have them in my grabby little hands, I can assure you my untameable eagerness was well worth it. Both take new tacks on old tropes, both are gorgeous to look at and wickedly fun to read, and both will leave you begging for the next issue.  

Crosswind

With just enough preamble to ground the plot, Crosswind takes ...

Five Murders: Adam Christopher’s Killing Is My Business

Ray Electromatic, the robot hitman, is back in the latest entry in Adam Christopher’s pulpy murder mystery series, Killing Is My Business. It’s been a while now since Ada, his former secretary now boss who also happens to be a room-sized super computer, reprogrammed Ray from a run-of-the-mill metallic detective to a murderer for hire. Business is booming and the cash is piling up. Ray is eerily good at what he does. Ada sends Ray on a cryptic stakeout, which leads to an even more cryptic hit and a series of increasingly convoluted and seemingly counterproductive cons, schemes, and shenanigans. The less Ada reveals, the more Ray suspects something’s up, and the deeper he’s pulled into the tangled web of the Italian mafia, Hollywood high rollers, and conspiracy coverups. Killing Is My Business is the second full-length novel, and fourth entry in the series (there’s a short story prequel—available ...

Destiny Schmestiny: Aditi Khorana’s The Library of Fates

Princess Amrita of Shalingar has it made. Her wealthy kingdom of Shalingar is ruled by her compassionate father, and she’s surrounded by kind people who love her more than anything. That is until Emperor Sikander from the distant empire of Macedon demands her hand in marriage in exchange for peacefully taking control of Shalingar. At first Amrita agrees to the scheme, but when all hell breaks loose she finds herself on the run from Sikander. But she’s not alone. Joining her is a teenage oracle, Thala, enslaved and drugged for most of her young life. Together, Thala and Amrita set off for the Library of All Things, a mythical place where they can both rewrite their destinies. The journey is long and arduous, but they must not fail. The fate of the world rests on their shoulders. The Library of Fates is epic in scope yet intimate in tone. It ...

Sin Versus Salvation: Victoria Schwab’s Monsters of Verity

Victoria Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology is my new everything. The story hooks you from word one and never lets go, not that you’d want it to anyway. The characters are fire and ice; they bite and fight and delight all at once. The series is dark and tragic yet hopeful and honest. Schwab never pulls her punches, condescends, or sugarcoats. She knows what teenagers are capable of and what her teenage readers can handle, and she brings both right to the very edge of comfort. Not to mention the inclusive diversity. In the city of Verity, monsters lurk in the shadows. For years the metropolis has been severed in two: North City, a prosperous dictatorship whose denizens pay Callum Harker for the privilege of his protection, and South City, a struggling democracy overseen by Henry Flynn and his counsel of advisors. Tensions have always been high between the two ...