Today’s Book Blurb: Vampires vs Nazis

I suppose after Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, I shouldn’t be surprised…


Ravaged by the Nazi Secret Service during World War II, Romanian resistance forces turn to one of their leaders, Professor Van Helsing for any way out. To fight these monstrous forces, Van Helsing raises a legendary monster from centuries of slumber… Prince Dracula himself.

Once he was the ruler of Transylvania. Prince Vlad Dracul, is, above all else, a patriot. He proves more than willing to once again drive out his country’s invaders. Upshot: No one minds if he drinks all the German blood he desires.

– Dracula vs. Hitler by Patrick Sheane Duncan

[Book Review] In which the wild hunt meets cop mechanic

urbanshamanBook Review: Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy

Oh man, canaries. Hang on to your perches, this is gonna be one of those books. The premise: Half-Irish, half-Cherokee Joanne Walker has just discovered she’s a shaman and that the Wild Hunt has gone rogue and is about to destroy the world. New and old world myths mix. Chaos is unleashed. I was ready and eager to fall in love.

And yet. And yet.

What a mixed bag.

Here’s the good, the bad, and the stuff in between:

The good: An exciting beginning! It’s not every book that starts off on a plane, followed with a race across town in a cab, only to face off against a knife wielding unknown.

The bad:  We need to retire the let’s-sit-in-a-diner-and-TALK trope for good. This is the third urban fantasy book in a row to do so, and every single time I am brain-crushingly bored. Continue reading

This month in the mine shaft: January


  • The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy ★★★★☆
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor ★★★★☆
  • Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells ★★★★☆
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick ★★★★☆
  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley ★★★★☆
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben ★★★★☆
  • Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★☆
  • Trickster by Jeff Somers ★★★★☆
  • Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal ★★★☆☆
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham ★★★☆☆
  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling ★★★☆☆
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi ★★★☆☆
  • Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson ★★★☆☆
  • Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern ★★☆☆☆






Onward to February! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

[Pitch Slapped] Amping up the details. Like a boss.

The email:

Dear Canaries,

I come with bowed head and outstretched arms to lay my blurb upon the sacrificial alter that is Pitch Slaps.
I know it’s too long but I can’t figure out what would be best to remove. It is my first time, you know. I would really appreciate your help, even if you tear into it like a 4 year old’s Christmas present from Santa.
Thanks for your consideration.
Brooke Hodge
Of course! It will be our feathery pleasure. But first, the blurb:


Continue reading

[Book Review] Evening conversations with a long-dead Mayan priestess

thefallingwomanThe Falling Woman by Pat Murphy

“I was mad because I said words they did not wish to hear, because they could not control me, they could not drag me along like a tethered dog. And so they said I was mad.”

When Elizabeth, an archaeologist with a track record of making incredible discoveries, looks at a historic site, she sees not just the ruins, but the ghosts of the people and civilizations that once existed there.  It’s a gift she’s learned to live with, and keeps secret lest it gets her labeled crazy and thrown out of academia and into a hospital. But her simple archaeological routine is shattered when, during an investigation of ancient Mayan ruins, the shadow of a long-dead priestess sees Liz and speaks to her…and Liz’ daughter arrives out of the blue, mourning her father’s death and hoping to reconnect with her mother. Continue reading

2017 (Scifi) Reading Resolutions

Each year, I enter the goodreads reading challenge, with the goal of reading 100 books. This year, I’m gonna add a twist to it. My goal will be to read everything on the science fiction Locus Award list, from 1978 to 2016. Bold books are those I’ve read previously.

Locus Award-Winning Books:

  • 1978    Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  • 1980    Titan by John Varley
  • 1981    The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
  • 1982    The Many Coloured Land by Julian May
  • 1983    Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov (Except I have no memory of it. Will reread!)
  • 1984    Startide Rising by David Brin
  • 1985    The Integral Trees by Larry Niven
  • 1986    The Postman by David Brin
  • 1987    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • 1988    The Uplift War by David Brin
  • 1989    Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh
  • 1990    Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • 1991    The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • 1992    Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • 1993    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Such a good book!)
  • 1994    Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 1995    Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • 1996    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  • 1997    Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 1998    The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
  • 1999    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • 2000    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  • 2001    The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • 2002    Passage by Connie Willis
  • 2003    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 2004    Ilium by Dan Simmons
  • 2005    The Baroque Cycle (i.e. Quicksilver; The Confusion; The System of the World) by Neal Stephenson
  • 2006    Accelerando by Charles Stross
  • 2007    Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
  • 2008    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • 2009    Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  • 2010    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • 2011    Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
  • 2012    Embassytown by China Miéville
  • 2013    Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • 2014    Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey
  • 2015    Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
  • 2016    Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

My first pick from the list is Redshirts by John Scalzi – it’s on my shelf and ready to be read.

Onward and upward!

A dive into the mine shaft


sweetsilverbluesSweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook

This is the blurb that caught my eye earlier this month. I’ve definitely heard about Cook’s Black Company series, but what’s this? Detective Noir set in a fantasy world? A hard boiled private eye human in a world of gnomes? Alright, count me in.

It helped that a couple reviews compared this series to Jim Butcher’s Dresden books; some even said this is much better. So, no choice but to read and see, amirite? Continue reading