Review: Camp Spirit by Axelle Lenoir

Camp Spirit is a YA graphic novel set in the 1990s in Ontario, where high-schooler Elodie has been appointed as a camp counselor for the summer. Elodie is very 90s grunge, is not at all interested in camping or the outdoors, and is the opposite of excited for her summer job. What starts as a frothy, pulpy sort of story takes a sharp turn about mid-way through, and turns this summer romance into a a graphic novel full of intrigue, mystical nightmares, demonic presences, and urban legends. Even through this shift, though, the book never loses its center- the growing friendship (and maybe more) between Elodie and camp counselor extraordinaire, Catherine.

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Review: Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler

Here’s where I have to admit something that’s embarrassing as a science fiction blogger and former English major: I had never actually read any Octavia Butler works before now, and I am honestly pretty ashamed of myself. I have known of Butler for years, but for one reason or another, hadn’t ever made time for her books. When I was given an eArc of Subterranean Press’s forthcoming collection, Unexpected Stories, by the one and only Octavia Butler, I knew it was time to finally dig into some of her work.

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Girls with Sharp Sticks & Girls with Razor Hearts Review And Discussion

When I read Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young earlier this year, I was blown away by how much I actually enjoyed it. As much as I love speculative fiction and Sci Fi, I find few YA titles in the genre to be compelling or successfully-crafted. That is not the case with Suzanne Young’s Girls with Sharp Sticks and, its sequel, Girls with Razor Hearts.

Girls with Sharp Sticks follows Mena and her friends, all of which are students at the exclusive and secretive girls-only boarding school, Innovations Academy. When some girls at the school start acting differently and disappearing, Mena begins questioning everything. Such as, why does she never see her family outside of school? Or, what goes on in all those therapy and “impulse control” sessions? And, what exactly happens to the girls after graduation?

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Sea Change by Nancy Kress

Sea Change, a forthcoming novella by acclaimed writer Nancy Kress, is everything I love about speculative fiction. The story has a compelling near-future setting, is full of smart characters with sharply written dialogue, and is so thematically rich and progressive. It’s character driven, scarily close to reality, and covers topics often overlooked by other media.

Not unlike my previous review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s upcoming novella, Firewalkers, Kress’s Sea Change also centers on our world following devastation caused, primarily, by climate change. However, whereas Firewalkers is set in a time that feels very distant and in a place that feels far from our present world, Sea Change is set in the 2030s in America and feels very true to a near-future picture of the country.

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Hearts of Oak – Genre Bending Speculative Fiction at it’s Best

Hearts of Oak starts with a king, an architect, a magically growing city, and a talking cat, and, somehow, it manages to keep these pieces at it’s (oak) heart, even as the story itself expands and changes. What starts as a tender, character focused fantasy about an ever-growing city shifts into a very different story mid-way through. The result is a beautifully clever genre-bending experience, with a story that is part whimsical fantasy and part provocative science fiction.

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