spindizzy: Alice waving her arms with a love heart over her head. (Yay!)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-04-15 06:23 pm

"These hands steal jewels" — Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles

Cover of Any Old Diamonds


Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar, with a bitter grudge against his wealthy father. The Duke intends to give his Duchess a priceless diamond parure on their wedding anniversary—so Alec hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal it.

The Duke's remote castle is a difficult target, and Alec needs a way to get the thieves in. Soldier-turned-criminal Jerry Crozier has the answer: he'll pose as a Society gentleman and become Alec's new best friend.

But Jerry is a dangerous man: controlling, remote, and devastating. He effortlessly teases out the lonely young nobleman’s most secret desires, and soon he’s got Alec in his bed—and the palm of his hand.

Or maybe not. Because as the plot thickens, betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light. Now the jewel thief and the aristocrat must keep up the pretence, find their way through a maze of privilege and deceit, and confront the truth of what's between them...all without getting caught.


Alec Pyne is the cast-off son of a duke, who hires a pair of jewel thieves to rob his father in revenge. Cue constant threats of betrayal, unexpected feelings, and HEISTS. Oh, and as you may have noticed when I squeaked about this before, I really liked it. It has possibly knocked Spectred Isle off its spot as my favourite KJ Charles book, which em>seriously takes some doing.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] spindizzy2019-04-02 07:51 am

"Just a metaphysical experiment gone awry" — Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Grisworld

Cover of Death By Silver


His practice newly established, metaphysician Ned Mathey can’t afford to turn away any clients. But the latest Londoner to seek Ned’s magical aid gives him pause: Mr Edgar Nevett, an arrogant banker, is the father of the bully who made Ned’s life hell at boarding school. Nevertheless, Ned accepts the commission to ensure the Nevett family silver bears no ancient or modern curses, and then prepares to banish the Nevett family to unpleasant memory again. Until Edgar Nevett is killed by an enchanted silver candlestick—one of the pieces Ned declared magically harmless.

Calling on his old school friend Julian Lynes—private detective and another victim of the younger Nevett—Ned races to solve the murder, clear the stain on his professional reputation, and lay to rest the ghosts of his past.

Assisted by Ned’s able secretary Miss Frost, who has unexpected metaphysical skills of her own, Ned and Julian explore London’s criminal underworld and sodomitical demimonde, uncover secrets and scandals, confront the unexpected murderer and the mysteries of their own relationship.


So let me lay out the plot for Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold's Death By Silver: Ned Mathey, a metaphysician (… he’s a consulting magician), was hired to check his former school bully’s family silverware was free of curses, which makes it a little awkward when the person who hired him is murdered with a cursed silver candlestick after he declares everything safe. Fortunately, his best friend (with benefits), Julian Lyne, happens to be a consulting detective and willing to investigate, even if he hates the victim’s family as much as anyone.

In news shocking to everyone: I devoured it.

Read more... )

[Caution warnings: physical and sexual abuse in backstory, bullying]
spindizzy: Konzen and Goku clinging too each other. (The final curtain falling)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-27 10:42 pm

Short Story Long: Grief and Kindness (27/03/19)


  1. it me, ur smol by A. Merc Rustad [Jump]

  2. Rabbit Heart by Alyssa Wong [Jump]

  3. A Hundred and Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard [Jump]

  4. Pistol Grip by Vina Jin-Mie Prasad [Jump]

  5. Refugee, or, a Nine Item Representative Inventory of a Better World by Iona Sharma [Jump]

  6. From the Void by Sarah Gailey [Jump]

  7. Octo-Heist in Progress by Rich Larson [Jump]

  8. A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 35/200 (8 new this post) Prose: 10/100 (8 new this post) Short fiction: 8/10 (8 new this post) Nonfiction: 2/12
#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 16/100 (0 read this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 19/75 (4 new this post; Pistol Grip, From the Void, A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers, Refugee)
spindizzy: Taiga staring over her newspaper (*reads suspiciously*)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-22 07:18 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Back it up and do it again (22/03/19)


  1. 2018 round-up [Jump]

  2. Carnacki the Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson [Jump]

  3. In/Spectre Volumes 1-6 by Kyo Shirodaira and Chashiba Katase [Jump]

  4. The City Never Sleeps by Andi Watson [Jump]

  5. Sweet Blue Flowers Omnibus 1 and 2 by Takako Shimura [Jump]

  6. Rock Steady by Ellen Forney [Jump]

  7. My Solo Exchange Diary Volume 2 by Nagata Kabi [Jump]

  8. Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt by Fuyuki Furo [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 27/200 (27 new this post) Prose: 2/100 Nonfiction: 2/12
#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 16/100 (16 read this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 15/75 (14 new this post; A City Inside, No. 6 Volumes 1-9, The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House, Sweet Blue Flowers Volumes 1 and 2, My Solo Exchange Diary Volume 2, Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt)

And a picture of my current book blanket progress can be found here!
spindizzy: (I know what's going on)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-08 06:47 am

Eight Book Minimum: Goals for 2019! (08/03/19)

Hello my darlings! We made it through 2018, and I'm proud of everyone who tried to meet their goals despite 2018 being four hundred years long and actively trying to stop us!

Today, belatedly, as is apparently the tradition, I'm going to be talking about how I did in my goals for last year, and what my reading goals are for next year!

Goals for 2018! )

Goals for 2019! )

And, to bring this back to books: here are some books that I'm excited to read in 2019! )

So that’s what I’m aiming for and that’s what I’m excited about. How about everyone else?
spindizzy: She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. (Book turned brain)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-05 02:09 pm

"Fish. Gate. River. Storm." — In the Vanishers' Palace by Aliette de Bodard

Cover of In the Vanishers' Palace


In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land...

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village's debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn's amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets...


In The Vanisher's Palace is Aliette de Bodard's post-apocalyptic post-colonisation fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast, and it's really cool. Yên is a rural scholar, who gets traded to a dragon in her mother's place to pay off her village's debts; Vu Côn is a dragon attempting to fix a world that was ravaged then abandoned by the Vanishers. Together they... Well, attempt to raise Vu Côn's teenage children right while also reckoning with the after-effects this world has on them all?

Read more... )
spindizzy: (Be happy!)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-03 11:41 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Kicking 2018's dust off my feet! (03/03/19)

Well, we made it! I have FINALLY – F I N A L L Y – finished reviewing the books I read in 2018! Yay! I read some good things, I read some schlock, I apparently read huge quantities of stuff, which I wasn't expecting, but... 2018! Not a bad year for books! Next week should be my belated goals post (where has this year gone?!), and then after that normal service will resume with reviews of what I've been reading in 2019!


  1. The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang [Jump]

  2. DC Comics Bombshells Volumes 1-3 by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo, Sandy Jarrell, and Maria Laura Sanapo [Jump]

  3. Black Bolt Volume 1: Hard Time by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward [Jump]

  4. Provenance by Ann Leckie [Jump]

  5. Death By Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold [Jump]

  6. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard [Jump]

  7. In the Vanisher's Palace by Aliette de Bodard [Jump]

  8. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian [Jump]

  9. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 228/180 (11 new this post) Prose: 118/90 (7 new this post, 60/111 short fiction) Nonfiction: 7/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 25/50 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 71/50 (8 new this post; The Black Tides of Heaven, DC Comics Bombshells, Provenance, Death by Silver, In the Vanisher's Palace, A Gentleman Never Keeps Score)
spindizzy: Taiga staring over her newspaper (*reads suspiciously*)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-03-02 10:09 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Stellar Combinations (02/03/19)

I think this is the first time that I've ever noticed how odd my reading tastes look when I lay them out properly. Feminist criticism from the 80s next to gory horror manga next to historical romance next to dystopian scifi next to... We contain multitudes is what I'm saying, I think.


  1. The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House by Audre Lorde [Jump]

  2. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volumes 1-14 by Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki [Jump]

  3. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole [Jump]

  4. No. 6 Volumes 1-9 by Atsuko Asano and Hinoki Kino [Jump]

  5. All Systems Red by Martha Wells [Jump]

  6. Whole Latte Love by Pike Martell [Jump]

  7. Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K. M. Szpara [Jump]

  8. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang [Jump]

  9. Monstress Volume 3 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takada [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 217/180 (30 new this post – wtffffffffff) Prose: 111/90 (5 new this post, 60/111 short fiction) Nonfiction: 7/12 (1 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 25/50 (0 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 71/50 (14 new this post; The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House, No. 6, Whole Latte Love, Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time, The Prince and the Dressmaker, Monstress Volume 3)
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[personal profile] spindizzy2019-02-22 07:53 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Geeks and tragedies (22/02/19)


  1. Wotakoi Omnibus 1 by Fujita [Jump]

  2. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun Volume 1 by Izumi Tsubaki, translated by Leighann Harvey [Jump]

  3. A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad [Jump]

  4. Fate/Zero Volume 1 by Shinjiro [Jump]

  5. A Lily Among Thorns by Rose Lerner [Jump]

  6. The Henchmen of Zenda by KJ Charles [Jump]

  7. The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin [Jump]

  8. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire [Jump]

  9. The Hexworld Series 0.5-3 (The 13th Hex, Hexbreaker, Hexmaker, A Christmas Hex, Hexslayer) by Jordan L. Hawk [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 187/180 (13 new this post) Prose: 106/90 (10 new this post, 60/106 short fiction) Nonfiction: 6/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 25/50 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 71/50 (7 new this post; The Henchman of Zenda, Down Among the Stick and Bones, The Hexworld series. Although I THINK A Series of Steaks, A Lily Among Thorns, and The Stone Sky might count as well?)
spindizzy: Alice waving her arms with a love heart over her head. (Hug me!)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-01-29 10:31 pm

Short Story Long: Ghosts, pigs, and JAEGER AUNTIES (29/01/19)

Okay, SLOWLY wrapping up my reading from 2018! This is the last of the short fiction I read, and I think I managed to luck out into finding some pretty good ones! (If you have any recs for short fiction that you love: PLEASE PLEASE SEND ME LINKS, I am always here for more!)


  1. The King in the Cathedral by Rich Larson [Jump]

  2. Stone Hunger by N. K. Jemisin [Jump]

  3. On the Road to the Hell of Hungry Ghosts by Richard Park [Jump]

  4. The Fisherman and the Pig by Kameron Hurley [Jump]

  5. The Steadfast Tin Automaton by Alex Singer [Jump]

  6. What to Do When It's Nothing But Static by Cassandra Khaw [Jump]

  7. Valedictorian by N. K. Jemisin [Jump]

  8. The Trojan Girl by N. K. Jemisin [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 174/180 (8 new this post) Prose: 96/90 (8 new this post, 60/97 short fiction) Nonfiction: 6/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 24/50 (0 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 64/50 (2 new this post; The King in the Cathedral, The Steadfast Tin Automaton)
spindizzy: (Be happy!)
[personal profile] spindizzy2019-01-04 06:43 am

Eight Book Minimum: The Ghost of 2018 (04/01/19)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Friends, enemies, people just passing through: 2018 is gone and I could not be happier with this fact. I took December off reading (I know) which seems to have sent me into a frantic binge of manga and graphic novels, so that's something to look forward to! In the meantime, I figured I might as well catch up on the reviews that I've started for what I read last year, and then I can yell about my reading goals in a couple of weeks when I've finally figured out what I read last year!


  1. Jem & The Holograms Volume 1 by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell [Jump]

  2. Kiss of the Rose Princess by Aya Shouoto [Jump]

  3. Rat Queens Volume 1 [Jump]

  4. Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Volume 1 by CLAMP [Jump]

  5. My Solo Exchange Diary Volume 1 by Nagata Kabi [Jump]

  6. The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximel by KJ Charles [Jump]

  7. Mail Volumes 1-3 by Housui Yamazaki [Jump]

  8. His Sweet Restraint by Chifumi Ochi [Jump]

  9. Sweet Whispers of Night by Chifumi Ochi [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 107/180 (9 new this post) Prose: 62/90 (1 new this post) Nonfiction: 4/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 24/50 (0 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 41/50 (6 new this post; Jem & The Holograms, Rat Queens, My Solo Exchange Diary, The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximel, His Sweet Restraint, Sweet Whispers of Night.)
spindizzy: Moko and Kyoko from Skip Beat!, Moko emoting angry skulls and Kyoko emoting love hearts. (STOP THAT)
[personal profile] spindizzy2018-12-07 10:00 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Half and Half (07/12/18)


  1. Oh My God! Volumes 1 and 2 by Natsuho Shino [Jump]

  2. When First I Met My King by Harper Fox [Jump]

  3. Passing Strange by Ellen Klages [Jump]

  4. The Scorpion by Gerri Hill [Jump]

  5. And Then There Were N-One by Sarah Pinsker [Jump]

  6. The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil, A Rún Volumes 1-3 by Nagabe, translated by Adrienne Beck [Jump]

  7. Tomorrow by Jack Lothian and Garry Mac [Jump]

  8. Follow Me In by Katriona Chapman [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 98/180 (8 new this post) Prose: 61/90 (4 new this post, 41/98 short stories) Nonfiction: 3/12 (1 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 24/50 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 35/50 (5 new this post; Oh My God, When First I Met My King, Passing Strange, The Scorpion, And Then There Were N-One)
spindizzy: Sherlock Holmes as played by Jeremy Brett, laughing with a hand covering his face. (You do make me laugh)
[personal profile] spindizzy2018-10-29 10:36 pm

"Please don't go around saying orgies..." — Band Sinister by KJ Charles

Cover of Band Sinister; a painting of two men escorting a woman in Regency dress.


Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.

Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.

In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist...and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?


Band Sinister is a new Regency romance from KJ Charles, which I saw described alternately as her most Heyer-esque romance, and the only one of her books that doesn't have a body count. I can't speak to the Heyer bit (I know, I know, I like Regency romances and haven't read Heyer!), but look! All of the problems in the book are solved by people actually talking about them!

Guy Frisby's problems are numerous: he and his sister Amanda are permanently exiled to the countryside due to family scandals, Amanda has written a Gothic novel that is very blatantly based on their scandalous neighbour and his Hellfire club – oh, and of course, Amanda's just been in a terrible accident that means that she's got to recuperate in their neighbour's house, where no one will go to chaperone her recovery except Guy. ... And also their neighbour is handsome and charming AS WELL as being scandalous. This is definitely a problem too.

Read more... )

In conclusion: this is very different from KJ Charles' usual! If I hadn't known it was hers, I'm not sure I would have been able to guess, to be honest; the humour and sense of community is there, but the tone and the voice it's written in felt very different. It was a very soothing read that appealed to me in the same way that Rose Lerner's romances do, where fundamentally decent people are trying to do their best by each other against a backdrop of social and political shenaniganry. If you want something with a funny, gentle romance where all problems are solvable through talking to each other like adults, this might be a good thing to check out!

[Caution warnings: neglect, abuse, and slavery mentioned in backstory. This review was based on an ARC from the author.]
spindizzy: Taiga staring over her newspaper (*reads suspiciously*)
[personal profile] spindizzy2018-09-07 11:19 am

Eight Book Minimum: Anxiety, grief, and sword fights, oh my! (07/09/18)


  1. Aquicorn Cove by Katie O'Neill [Jump]

  2. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope [Jump]

  3. Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear [Jump]

  4. Behind the Scenes Volumes 1-5 by Bisco Hatori [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 74/180 (8 new this post) Prose: 40/90 (2 new this post) Short Fiction: 25/40 Nonfiction: 1/12
#getouttamydamnhouse: 24/50 (4 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 24/50 (2 new this post; Aquicorn Cove, Stone Mad)