Friday, December 11, 2020

Very Short Book Reviews: For Your Winter Reading Delight

 A Killing Frost, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)

The “October Daye” series keeps getting better! And by “better” I mean richer and more nuanced, always packed with action and dramatic tension and characters we have come to adore. As Toby and Tybalt-King-of-Cats prepare their wedding, she is jolted to discover that she must invite her father to the ceremony or risk the dire consequences of an insult. In this case, her father is not her biological sire but the ex-husband of her mother – the notorious and much-despised Simon Torquill. Simon had made strides toward redemption when he traded his Way Home to save his daughter and is now in the thrall of an evil faery queen. Toby’s quest involves far more than tracking him down. The themes of forgiveness, loyalty, self-discovery, and compassion for self and others run like golden threads through the vivid action.

The Properties of Rooftop Air, by Tim Powers (Subterranean)

“If Charles Dickens had written Killer Klowns,” by Tim Powers doesn’t come close to the weirdness of this dark – dare I say Dickensian – novella. It’s definitely one of the edgier, darker Powers works I’ve read, and the novella length sharpens the focus further. A must-read for Powers fans and lovers of the darkly twisted, although not for the faint of heart and probably not the best gateway drug. If you’re new to Powers, try The Anubis Gates, On Stranger Tides, or Declare before diving into this one.

Adventures of a Dwergish Girl, by Daniel Pinkwater (Tachyon)

Daniel Pinkwater is at his best, most charming and delightful in this tale of a girl from the Dwerg people – you know, the “little men” responsible for Rip Van Winkle sleeping for twenty years? The ones you can never find, no matter how hard you look? The ones who mine gold in the Catskills, can run unbelievably fast, practice domesticity on a level capable of boring any young person to tears? Such is Molly Van Dwerg’s world until she decides to leave home, armed with a couple of Dwergish gold coins and irrepressible self-confidence. Her gift for making friends is rivaled only by her appetite for pizza and papaya juice. When the nearby town of Kingston is menaced by bad guys after the gold and willing to burn down the town to get it, Molly enlists her friends and her wits to save the day.

Charming reading for the entire family.


  1. Thanks for the review. I'm a Power's fan, but this one sounds too dark for my current mental landscape.

    1. I think you're wise to be cautious. I read this some months ago, before winter's gloom, and found it dark even then.