Enlightenment by Tsukizubon Saruko

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Enlightenment
Author: Tsukizubon Saruko
Genre: Victorian historical
URL: Shousetsu Bang * Bang
Price: FREE!
Other Information/warnings: explicit m/m, period racist and homophobic attitudes

A wealthy Victorian newspaper proprietor hires a new columnist, and gets so much more than he bargained for.

My review:

If you’re tired of seeing Asian people written offensively and stereotypically, then this intelligent, layered story will be a breath of fresh air. Wu Li, the educated, much travelled gentleman who walks into David Chamberlain’s newspaper office and demands to write a column for him about the issues affecting London Chinese is a marvellous, complicated character, challenging David’s prejudices and those of the reader.

David too, is a fantastic creation – tough, smart, decent, restrained by society’s pressures in some ways, but breaking out most forcefully in others.

Set against the events surrounding Oscar Wilde’s conviction for sodomy, and the millieu of London in the late Victorian age, this is another nicely sharp piece by this talented author, with wit and wry observation aplenty. Again, no sap, but much manly tenderness without overdoing the angst or the handwringing. A real gem and highly recommended.


Always Someone Better by Tsukizubon Saruko – review

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Always Someone Better
Author: Tsukizubon Saruko
Genre: College/football/contemporary
URL: Shousetsu Bang*Bang no.16
Price: FREE!
Other Information/warnings: explicit m/m, football

River hates Austin for being the successful college footballer turned pro that River will never be. But hating Austin is impossible. What’s an overbright wannabe jock gonna do?

[Found through the Slash Pile community on LiveJournal]

My review: Continue reading Always Someone Better by Tsukizubon Saruko – review


Northern Love by Nica Berry – review

Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 
Title: Northern Love
Author: Nica Berry
Genre: Shapeshifter/fantasy
URL: Loose ID
Price: US $5.99
Other Information/warnings: violence, torture, rape, explicit m/m/m
Summary [from the publisher]:

Jerek had long dreamed of finding the mythical citadel of ice with his strong, handsome lover, Emmanuel. Their search led them to years of enslavement aboard a steamship with only each other for comfort until Emmanuel committed a terrible betrayal and left Jerek to follow his dream alone.
Now, three years after escaping the ship, Jerek has found the citadel and a northern lover: mute, shape-shifting Piaktok, who teaches Jerek a new language of love and lust. They’re content until desperate, snow-blind Emmanuel finds his way to the citadel and reignites Jerek’s desire.
Despite their mutual attraction, Jerek cannot forgive or forget the past and unleashes his anger on Emmanuel. Piaktok, in turn, treats Emmanuel with tenderness, sparking love between them. Emmanuel tries to tell Jerek the truth about his “betrayal,” but Jerek refuses to listen. One last fit of rage sends Emmanuel and a gravely injured Piaktok fleeing from the man they love.

My review: Continue reading Northern Love by Nica Berry – review


Cheesecake and the Art of Political Warfare by Sakara Sana – review

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Cheesecake and the Art of Political Warfare
Author: Sakana Sara
Genre: Political comedy/science fiction
URL: Shousetsu Bang*Bang
Price: FREE
Other Information/warnings: explicit m/m, language

In a distant future, across hundreds of worlds, a very, very important election is taking place, with eerie similarities to, uh…well, you’ll figure it out.

My review: If the bastard daughter of Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a lovechild with Aaron Sorkin, its slash fandom would produce something like this. Part satire, part nail biting political plot, part truly weird love story, you will recognise more than a few echoes of real people and real events, though with an original and very funny spin.

The untold story of the election we might just have one day. Oh, yes we can 🙂 Highly recommended, not least for the wonderful lead characters, Adam and Danos.


Sweet Oblivion 2: Snare by Jordan Castillo Price – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Sweet Oblivion 2: Snare
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre: Vampire/horror
URL: Changeling Press
Price: US $4.49
Other Information/warnings: Blood play, explicit m/m, violence
Summary [from the publisher]:

With summer ending and temperatures dipping low at night, Michael’s eager to get his leather jacket back, and although Wild Bill could easily vamp any sales clerk into giving Michael some new duds, it wouldn’t be quite the same as the jacket he left at his parents’ house. Not unless the malls have begun selling clothing with Rohypnol and ketamine sewn into the seams.

The return of the jacket comes with a price: a new cell phone from Michael’s parents. Surprisingly, Wild Bill encourages Michael to keep the phone. After all, Michael wouldn’t want to be the only twenty-one-year-old in the world without one. Seems innocent enough… right?

But you never know where an innocent gift will lead. Michael worries the phone may be some shiny bait, meant to lure him closer to his family, and then, college. Everyone seems so intent on getting Michael to enroll, but he’s busy looking to catch a vampire…

My review: Continue reading Sweet Oblivion 2: Snare by Jordan Castillo Price – review


Escaping Darkside by Amanda Steiger – review

Rating: 5/10 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Escaping Darkside
Author: Amanda Steiger
Genre: Fantasy/romance
URL: Changeling Press
Price: US $4.49
Other Information/warnings: Violence, explicit m/m, gawdawful Poser Cover
Summary [from the publisher]:

Death is just the beginning of Christian’s problems. After he’s killed in a hit and run accident, he wakes up in Darkside — the demon-infested world between life and death — and learns that he’s being hunted by the merciless Council.

Then he meets Seth, an inhumanly beautiful man with silver hair and golden eyes. He offers Christian his protection, and a glimmer of hope. At the far end of Darkside is a door to Earth. If Christian can reach it, he’ll have a second chance at life.

There is only one problem. Going back to Earth will mean leaving Seth behind forever… and Christian is falling in love with him.

My review: Continue reading Escaping Darkside by Amanda Steiger – review


Hold the Dark by Frank Tuttle – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Hold the Dark
Author: Frank Tuttle
Genre: Fantasy/horror
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $4.50
Other Information/warnings: Gore, violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
Demons in a feeding frenzy drive the world-weary Markhat to the brink…

A Markhat story.

Quiet, hard-working seamstresses aren’t the kind that normally go missing, even in a tough town like Rannit. Martha Hoobin’s disappearance, though, quickly draws Markhat into a deadly struggle between a halfdead blood cult and the infamous sorcerer known only as the Corpsemaster.

A powerful magical artifact may be both his only hope of survival—and the source of his own inescapable damnation.

Markat’s search leads him to the one thing that’s been missing in his life. But even love’s awesome power may not save him from the darkness that’s been unleashed inside his own soul.

My review: Continue reading Hold the Dark by Frank Tuttle – review