History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Review of Living Forever & Other Terrible Ideas by Emily C. Skaftun

| September 23, 2020

Emily C. Skaftun’s Living Forever & Other Terrible Ideas (Fairwood Press, 2020) is a collection of 18 of her short stories, which range from hilarious to heartbreaking. It’s a lovely mix of previously published and brand new stories, all dazzling in their prose. One trend that her modern fantasy stories, and some of the sci-fi stories, […]

Review of Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen by Jim C. Hines

| September 2, 2020

Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen by Jim C. Hines is an exciting middle-grade urban fantasy book with plenty of mythical creatures and adventure for the young protagonist and her friends! Tamora Carter’s best friend Andre is missing, and she’s hopeful that he’ll be found. Until he is, she’s still got roller derby(*) practice and taking care […]

Review of High Noon on Phobos by Jude K. Justice

| July 29, 2020

High Noon on Phobos, the debut novella from space western author Jude K. Justice, is a rollicking adventure of twists and turns that will appeal to fans of the western genre and fans of science fiction. Blaise McGregor (who went by Blaze McGregor as a gunfighter) is a retired gunfighter, waiting for his ship to […]

Review of Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

| July 22, 2020

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Macmillan 2019) has garnered a lot of attention, receiving nominations for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. As of this writing, it has won the Locus Award and is in the running for the Hugo Award. The praise is well deserved, as this novel of space lesbian necromancers is […]

Review of Weird Dream Society edited by Julie C. Day

| June 10, 2020

Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible and Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES (Reckoning Press, 2020), edited by Julie C. Day, is an anthology of weird speculative fiction stories that run the gamut from unbelievably surreal to quite believable. The twenty-three stories range in length and scope, but they come together to form a […]

Review of The Kiminee Dream by Laura McHale Holland

| May 20, 2020

The Kiminee Dream by Laura McHale Holland (WORDforest, 2020) is a surreal and beautiful slipstream novel about the inhabitants of a very unusual small town in Illinois. The novel primarily follows the story of Carly Mae from her birth (a momentous occasion for the town) through her early teen years. Along the way, she exhibits […]

Review of The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones

| April 29, 2020

The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones (Harper Paperbacks, 2019) is a beautifully crafted novel of historical fiction, holding closely to actual historical events while concocting a more fantastical explanation behind some of them. Set during the reign of Russian Tsar Nicholas, the story revolves around two Montenegrin princesses, Militza and Stana, who have […]

Review of The Sparrow in Hiding by J. Kathleen Cheney

| April 8, 2020

The Sparrow in Hiding by J. Kathleen Cheney (2016) is a historical fantasy novella that blends Russian history and fairy tale into a gorgeous story about secrets, love, and recovery. The story is told from the perspective of two characters, Irina and Evgeny. Irina is a wealth young widow staying at her family’s summer estate, […]

Review of Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdez

| March 18, 2020

I’ve just published my final review for Mad Scientist Journal, for Valerie Valdez’s Chilling Effect, which was basically everything I’ve ever wanted in a novel. It’s hilarious, a lot like Firefly, and mashes up little bits of sci-fi pop culture into a wonderfully twisty story. Though this is my final review for Mad Scientist Journal, never fear! The […]

Review of Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts

| February 26, 2020

I’ve got another book review up at Mad Scientist Journal today, for Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Power and Majesty, which is the first book her her Creature Court series. I’m anxiously awaiting the chance to read the other books in this series (which unfortunately have to wait until I have some free time between review book reading), because […]