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The Found and the Lost by Ursula K. Le Guin {2 Stars}

by Ursula K. Le Guin
Published by Saga Press Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Novella, Sci-fi
How I got my copy: Publisher

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Found and the Lost from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This is going to be a very different review than I normally post because I want to get down my thoughts, but they are scattered and completely due to where my brain is at currently. This is very much a time when my rating is a reflection on my experience only and not any attempt at an objective evaluation of these stories. Basically, I can’t evaluate these stories in a way that I consider fair because they just aren’t working for my reading mood right now.

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Moving Forward by Jamie Lackey {4.5 Stars}

Moving Forward by Jamie Lackey is a novella about what happens after the zombie plague has been controlled and life needs to start moving on. I love the unique premise and I also love a main character who is a middle-aged veteran of the zombie war, black, and bisexual. Corinne is brave and kind and really tired of dealing with zombies. I’m not normally a fan of zombie stories, so believe it when I say this is a novella not to miss if you are even slightly intrigued ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Moving Forward from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Moving Forward by Jamie Lackey {4.5 Stars}

Moving Forward by Jamie Lackey
Published by Author on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Novella, Post Apocalyptic
Page Length: 70 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Corinne survived the zombie apocalypse 30 years ago. After the dust settled, she got married, had kids, built a life. All of that is gone in an instant when a zombie attacks a city park. Corinne manages to protect her family, but the zombie bites her before it is taken down. She wakes up in one of the infected sanctuaries, where she'll have to build her life over again, knowing that at any moment she, or anyone around her, could become a monster.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde eARC {3 Stars}

The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde is an ambitious novella packing the world of an epic fantasy into just a hundred pages. I loved the magic based on living jewels and the rigor that magic users must go through to keep their minds from being influenced by those same jewels. However, this just wasn’t enough pages for me to really feel that I got a complete story given everything that was packed in.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Jewel and Her Lapidary from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde eARC {3 Stars}

The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde
Published by Tor.com on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Novella
Page Length: 96 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Buried beneath the layers of a traveler's guide is a hidden history: two kingdoms, powerful gems, and the even more powerful Lapidarys who bind them. Lin and Sima, caught in a web of intrigue and deceit, must find a way to escape the traps set by the past and save their kingdom.

An epic fantasy, in miniature.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Devil You Know by KJ Parker eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker is a novella telling the story of a demon working for a rather bureaucratic version of Hell and his favorite philosopher who just sold his soul for suspicious reasons. I absolutely love the spin on selling your soul to the devil and grew strangely attached to both of these characters!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Devil You Know from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Devil You Know by KJ Parker eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker
Published by Tor.com on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Novella
Page Length: 128 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.

But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.

He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle eARC {4 Stars}

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle is a novella set in an alternative 1920 New York where magic has more of an influence on the world than people think. The writing is artistic and lovely and portrays a young man struggling with racism and being forced to make difficult decisions. There is also a touch of Lovecraft, and I always love Lovecraftian elements in my fantasy!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Ballad of Black Tom from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle eARC {4 Stars}

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Published by Tor.com on Feb. 16th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Novella
Page Length: 160 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell eARC {4 Stars}

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell is a fantastical and spooky novella that tells the story of three women in a small town who realize that the superstore wanting to move in is much worse than it seems. I love stories that depict witches in the modern day masquerading as strange women. This novella includes a wonderfully prickly old lady, a priest in a crisis of faith, and an atheist new-age shop owner, who all have more power than they first appear to.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Witches of Lychford from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell eARC {4 Stars}

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
Published by Tor.com on Sept. 18th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Novella
Page Length: 144 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Traveler, Cleric, Witch.

The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment.

Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth -- that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination.

But if she is to have her voice heard, she's going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a connecting between between These Broken Stars (which I loved!) and This Shattered World (which I hope to love soon!). It is free on Amazon, so I figured I’d give it a shot even though I normally don’t read novellas ;-). It is quite short and a fun adventure with a bit of Lilac and Tarver to swoon at, but I ended up not feeling particularly attached to the idea of everyone reading it, though I guess I’ll see if my opinion changes after reading This Shattered World.

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner (Starbound #1.5)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct. 7th, 2014
Genres: Novella, Romance, Sci-fi
Page Length: 109 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued a group of civilian researchers being held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now Tarver and Lilac must reconcile his memories of that fateful night with the truth that they uncovered on a mysterious planet after the Icarus crashed.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews eARC {4 Stars}

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews is an entirely new series that was first released serially on their blog and has since been compiled into the full novella. I’m not a fan of reading on my computer, so I was thrilled to find out that Clean Sweep was going to be released as an eBook (and even print-on-demand!) and that the eBook includes illustrations :D. If you are a fan of Andrews’ other two series or just getting started with your fan career, Clean Sweep is a great introduction to the fun of Andrews’ writing style while introducing a really clever spin on the typical urban fantasy story (there are aliens!).

Note: I received an eARC of Clean Sweep from the author in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Purchase on Amazon

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews eARC {4 Stars}

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)
Published by Author on Dec. 2nd, 2013
Genres: Adult, Novella, Sci-fi
Page Length: 235 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Five Stars: The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

Read and Review Hop The Emperor's SoulThe Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson might be a novella, but it packs a full-length punch. A stamp and history based magic-system combines with an outlaw girl’s past and a dying emperor to make a brilliant and fast-paced fantasy story.

Brandon Sanderson is in the middle of several long projects right now, and so released two novellas this year instead of a novel, one (Legion) that is more sci-fi, and The Emperor’s Soul, which is very obviously fantasy. However, Sanderson is never content with recycled ideas, and even though The Emperor’s Soul is much shorter than any other book of his I’ve read, the story and magic system were just as amazing as I’ve come to expect :D. Also, The Emperor’s Soul is in the same world as Elantris, which you only notice if you’ve read the other novel, which is pretty awesome.
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson Goodreads Amazon
Title:
The Emperor’s Soul
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Pages: 167 (paperback)
Genre-ish: Fantasy
Rating★★★★ – Epic-ly awesome

A heretic thief is the empire’s only hope in this fascinating tale that inhabits the same world as the popular novel, Elantris.
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead.

Probing deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that Shai’s forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Brimming with magic and political intrigue, this deftly woven fantasy delves into the essence of a living spirit. — Goodreads

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