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Far Sector

Far SectorFar Sector by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

N.K. Jemisin is well known for her seemingly effortless ability to create realistic, complex, fully rendered worlds in her novels. That same ability is on full display here, in her first comic book series. Sojourner “Jo” Mullein is a human from contemporary Earth who, as the Green Lantern Corps’s newest recruit, is sent to a post in the farthest reaches of space, far from anyone who could help when things inevitably go wrong. Is she in over her head? Definitely, but Jemisin has created a strong, stubborn, and ultimately valiant hero in Jo, and it’s a joy to watch her come into her newfound power and rise to the occasion. Jamal Campbell’s artwork is exceptional, bringing the carefully constructed world of the City Enduring to vivid life. I really enjoyed this, and if FAR SECTOR continues past these 12 issues, I can’t wait to read more!

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Yours Cruelly, Elvira

Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the DarkYours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would give this memoir more than five stars if I could! I loved it! By the end, I felt like I knew Cassandra Peterson thoroughly. She shares the good and the bad in her life, the ups and the downs, without rose-colored glasses, and all in a voice authentically and recognizably her own. The book is full of fascinating tidbits I didn’t know, like the fact that Elvira was originally going to do the voiceover on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” not Vincent Price. And speaking of Vincent Price, apparently he taught Peterson how to cook fish in her dishwasher! There’s a ton of name-dropping in these pages, famous and soon-to-be-famous people she rubbed elbows with or had romantic trysts with, but I’m okay with that. I’m here for the juicy gossip (of which there is plenty, believe me). YOURS CRUELLY, ELVIRA is one of the most enjoyable memoirs I’ve read. I really can’t stress enough how much I loved it. Cassandra Peterson, as much as her creation Elvira, is a living legend.

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Giving the Devil His Due

Giving the Devil His DueGiving the Devil His Due by Rebecca Brewer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I have a story in this charity anthology, “Daughter of Echidna,” but given the impressive lineup of authors and the good cause for which it’s raising money, I would have read it anyway!

Reading sixteen stories in a row about the abusers of women meeting their comeuppance could result in a feeling of monotony, but credit goes to the authors for keeping things fresh and different in each story. You’ll find everything from secret societies to ancient gods to TALES FROM THE CRYPT-style supernatural twists. As with any anthology, some stories resonated with me more than others, but I didn’t find a single dud in the bunch.

All net proceeds from sales of this anthology go toward supporting The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women programs, campaigns, and resources. Pick it up; you won’t be disappointed. It’s sixteen great stories for one great cause!

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Night of the Mannequins

Night of the Mannequins: A Tor.com OriginalNight of the Mannequins: A Tor.com Original by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS isn’t what I expected it to be, but like so many of the works of Stephen Graham Jones, it pulled me in right from the start regardless. Jones’s mastery of narrative voice is in the spotlight here. You’re so deep in Sawyer’s head from the get-go that it’s almost like a magic trick how Jones is able to do it without you noticing. His command of characterization and detail while using an economy of words continues to amaze me. As with most of his fiction, there’s a deep, underlying sense of tragedy throughout, a sadness that seeps under your skin. Jones always writes something special, and even if this novella isn’t what you think it is, it’ll stick with you long after you read its stunning finale.

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