Wow, February. Every year, I feel a bit surprised when I notice we’ve reached here already. And then I see crocuses on the green and wonder when I missed seeing the snowdrops come up. It’s not that I’m hugely fond of snowdrops, but the house where I grew up had them in a flowerbed beside the front door, along with crocuses and daffodils. These days, there’s less sense of seasons and time passing, which is a shame.
So far this year, I’m meeting my soft target of a review a week. Oddly (bearing in mind how often I set books aside), I started and finished 4 this week alone. That caused a slight issue while putting together the reviews. I tend not to write reviews immediately after finishing a book: instead, I mull over it for a couple of days first. (That’s in addition to making a note of anything that stands out while reading.) So I had to be really careful I wasn’t getting muddled over which book I was talking about. Quite a mixed bag this time, from fantasy pastiche to action adventure, taking in cosy mystery along the way.
How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe
Operation Antarctica by William Meikle
The Avenging Angel: The Malhaven Mystery Series by Helen Whistberry
The Mapmaker’s Daughter: A Steampunk Novel by Joanna Emerson
The Land Below by William Meikle
The Hermits of Miyah: A short story from An End of Our Own Making by Aristotle Evangelos
The Seraph Engine by I. O. Adler
A Poisoning in Piccadilly by Lynda Wilcox
Very short stories
And here are some very short stories from last summer. I’m playing with different techniques in Daz, though I should probably work on getting good at one instead of bouncing from style to style. It’s all fun, though 🙂
“Fresh meat!” Bo drags the twitching corpse into the bunker.
Jed salivates, then his nose wrinkles. “A bit rank.”
“Can’t be fussy these days. Mind over matter.” Bo lifts his knife. “Talking of which, his last words didn’t half echo.”
(For this one, I also squeezed in that day’s #vssmurder prompt, which was #meat.)
The flashlight picks me out.
A voice rumbles, “What’s a kid doing in a lonely spot like this?”
“Walking,” I squeak. “The woods are peaceful.”
He steps closer. His breath is sour. “Bad things can happen—”
I whack him with my spade. Damn. Now to enlarge the grave.
“When I said you’d ignite a passion for books here,” the wizard roared at his apprentice, “I didn’t mean for you to set my library on fire!”
The driver pulls away. “When to?”
“April 3rd, 1562.” The fare fastens his seatbelt.
“Need me to wait?”
“How much will it cost?”
The driver shrugs. “Depends. When you work for the Time Travel Taxi service, ‘on the clock’ gets a little complicated.”