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Author: RFG

Writing: NYCMMF250 2021 – Round 1

Writing: NYCMMF250 2021 – Round 1

The NYC Midnight Micro-fiction 250 Challenge for 2021 is the third time it has been run and, in short, it’s a challenge to write flash fiction stories, in under 24 hours, to three specific prompts and no more than 250 words long. Each round you get a genre, action and word prompt that shapes what your piece looks like. If you’re in the top 10 of your group at the end of Round 1, you get to go through to…

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Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society

Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John ScalziMy rating: 5 of 5 stars A spectacular modern-day sci-fi romp through an alternate Earth with mountainous creatures and a bunch of nerds trying to study them. Jamie, our narrator, stumbles into a job as a lifter of things for KPS but, for some reason, doesn’t ask what KPS stands for. Upon arriving at his new workplace it becomes apparent: the K means Kaiju. Jamie and three other newbies to the company become quick…

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Review: The Coward

Review: The Coward

The Coward by Stephen AryanMy rating: 4 of 5 stars The Coward takes a look behind the heroes in their tales and sagas to reveal who the real people behind the songs and daring deeds are. Written primarily from the point of view of main character, Kell Kressia, The Coward sees a damaged man thrust back into the world of heroism he had been hiding from for the last ten years. Once, he desperately wanted to be a hero and…

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Review: Prince of Thorns

Review: Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence My rating: 4 of 5 stars Note: I’ve kept this one short given the popularity of the series and the length of time it’s been out. It’s hard to provide a no-spoiler review that doesn’t cover what everyone before me has already mentioned. This was Mark Lawrence’s debut and first in The Broken Empire trilogy where we follow Jorg, a prince to one of a hundred kingdoms all vying to become Emperor and reunite…

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Review: We Are The Dead

Review: We Are The Dead

We Are the Dead by Mike Shackle My rating: 5 of 5 stars When you think of a rollercoaster it’s fast, frenetic and a little bit scary, which is what you’ll get from We Are the Dead without having to queue for two hours first. WATD is the debut novel from Mike Shackle in his grimdark series The Last War, following its characters through the dark and deadly life in an occupied territory as they try to resist the enemy…

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Review: Of Blood and Fire

Review: Of Blood and Fire

Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill My rating: 4 of 5 stars Of Blood and Fire from Ryan Cahill is a great debut, marking the start of The Bound and the Broken series, which proved an addictive read. It is a classic epic fantasy with a modern interpretation. Though this starts off in familiar territory – with 3 young men, as close as brothers, on the eve of their manhood trial, which inevitably goes awry and the village bully…

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Review: The Hand of the Sun King

Review: The Hand of the Sun King

The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. GreathouseMy rating: 4 of 5 stars An Asian-inspired fantasy steeped in ancestry, obligation and magics. Wen Alder is a child of a Sien father and a Nayeni mother; the Sienese are the conquerors of Nayen (& many other lands) and Alder is torn between the two early in his life. His (maternal) Grandmother names him in the Nayeni tradition – Foolish Cur – and tries to teach him of their ways in…

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Read: 2020 Wrapup

Read: 2020 Wrapup

2020 on Goodreads by Various My rating: 4 of 5 stars If there can be one good thing that came out of 2020, it’s that my reading hit an all-time high. I don’t think I’ve read this many books in a single year before! In part, this is due to all the circumstance changes throughout the year with lockdowns and working from home meaning I was more inclined to read in my spare time. I also started a Booktube and…

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Read: The Bear & the Nightingale

Read: The Bear & the Nightingale

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is floating somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5 for me so I’m hedging my bets with a 3. I really enjoyed the folkloric elements of this story especially Vasya’s interactions with the various spirits she encountered as well as her affinity with the horses as another part of the natural world. The conflict between Christianity and the old ways is a fraught one and…

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RaiReads: Gideon the Ninth

RaiReads: Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir My rating: 3 of 5 stars If you’ve come for the “lesbian necromancers in space” then, er, readjust your expectations. There’s no romantic or sexual involvement between anyone. Sure, Gideon fancies women but at no point does anyone identify themselves by a set sexuality – she could be bi for all we know – and while she sort-of fancies one of the other necromancers (not Harrow) for a while, that’s it. She notices when…

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