History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Review of Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

| November 25, 2020

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz (Harper Teen, 2017) is a historical fiction novel featuring the Night Witches, the Russian women pilots who flew daring nighttime missions. While the details of the plot are slightly fictionalized, the novel adheres closely to the reality of the history of the Night Witches. The story revolves […]

Review of Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

| November 4, 2020

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard (Viking, 2014) is a fast-paced fantasy novel with intrigue, romance, and dragons. It’s packed with wonderful characters and a story that will make you not want to put the book down. The novel features two point of view characters, with alternating chapters. Corin, the male protagonist, is a prince […]

Review of Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov

| October 14, 2020

Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov (Metaphorosis Publishing, 2021) is a beautiful blend of steampunk and fantasy together in a novella that both asks and answers many questions. The main character, Shea Ashcroft, is a diplomat who made a choice to save lives that resulted in him being “politely” exiled, sent away from […]

Review of Magnificent by Novae Caelum

| September 30, 2020

Magnificent by Novae Caelum (2020) is a wonderful novella of a young non-binary superhero discovering their powers, recognizing their identity, and figuring out how those two aspects of their life inform each other. The main character, whose original name is not identified until late in the book, is part of a family of superheroes who […]

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

| September 23, 2020

Emily C. Skaftun’s┬áLiving 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 […]