Review: OSSUARY by T.D. Cloud (Illus. by AmbiSun) (2023)

Genre: Adult Horror
Year Release: 2023
Source: Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: Emetophobia, blood draining, broken necks, childhood trauma (neglect)

Four curse-breakers venture into the Paris catacombs to do a bit of clean up. Spells decay over time and someone has to clear the frenzied magic. One such curse-breaker is Thierry Pryor, cursed with a family legacy he’d rather keep under wraps. His companions for this next venture are a novice, his schoolyard bully, and a manager more suited to the office than the field. When spells go awry and a tunnel collapses, gothic delights ensue and we learn the truth of what haunts Thierry both figuratively and literally. Steeped in magic and the gothic, both in mood and theme, a quick read that’s an absolute delight.

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ARC Review: ANOTHER LIFE by Sarena Ulibarri (2023)

Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Year Release: May 25, 2023
Buy Link: Stelliform Press

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read an eARC from the publisher
Content Warnings: state violence, climate disaster

Galacia Aguirre is Mediator of Otra Vida, a city of communal living and equivalent exchange that exists on the shores of what was once Death Valley. In the lead-up to her re-election, a colleague of hers reveals to have discovered a way to discover past lives. Unfortunately, Galacia’s past life is of the man who might have singularly spurred the climate decline of the planet. This novella will appeal to fans of the Monk & Robot books by Becky Chambers in the way it offers a compassionate and forgiving approach to working through the sins of humanity’s past and how personal mistakes don’t necessarily doom the present.

An interview with the author will be going up on May 25, 2023.

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April 2023 Reading Recap

Apologies for the delay in posting this recap. Life stuff came up and I needed to take care of my own, but it’s finally here. The biggest thing that happened in April is I debuted with my sapphic true crime fantasy noir novella, Ice Upon a Pier. The reception has been great so far, and I’m so excited that people have purchased, read, and enjoyed it. I did get some reading done, but absolutely not the level I’m used to. I’m really excited to continue down this path and there are announcements coming in June.

Here are the cool things that happens with Ice Upon a Pier:

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Manga Review: TOKYO GHOUL: RE by Sui Ishida (2017-2019)

Genre: Horror Seinen
Year Release in English: 2017-2019
Source: Viz Media Digital Subscription

If you’re looking at this header image and wondering, “Who is that?” Welcome to Tokyo Ghoul: Re. A continuation of the story told in Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida returns to a version of Tokyo overrun by ghouls and the investigators hunting them down.

The story starts with the introduction of a new group of Ghoul Investigators called the Quinxes, which are artificially-made ghouls that still function more or less like humans. Their leader is Haise Sasaki, who strangely resembles Kaneki in demeanor and the things haunting his psyche. Everything else I’m going to talk about in my review is going to be a major spoiler for who Haise is and the crew around him. This follow-up does an incredible job expanding the world and diving into backstories with some intense art and moments so gut-wrenching, I had to take weeks off between chapters and volumes.

Full of distressingly beautiful art and moral quandaries that make humans and ghouls hero and villain in equal measure, I am definitely going to seek out the boxset as soon as I have the budget for it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: BARBARITIES Vol. 2 by Tsuta Suzuki (2023)

Genre: Historical Yaoi Seinen
Year Release in English: 2023

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Political corruption, murder, sexual harassment, explicit sexual content
Read my review of Volume 1

The intrigue continues as Joel tries to unravel the truth behind a set of fairly threatening letters addressed to Lord Montague and the king. Meanwhile, Luis and Gil are up to some schemes with Simon, the former king’s brother, during their visit to Lorraine. The danger heightens in the depiction of the side couple where all the political intrigue happens. I continue to be delighted and Luis and Gil’s complicated relationship of mutual loathing continues to make me unwell (this is a compliment).

It’s the triple threat of great art, dangerous intrigue, and characters who have so much going on than what’s initially on the surface. We have Gil and Luis starting problems, Joel trying to solve them, and Adam attempting to win Joel’s affections. We also get to learn a bit more about the political differences between Lorraine and Tanse, especially in a scene that spirals into character development when the child Luka, Luis’s cousin and adoptive brother, spends time with his peer, King Christopher. The depiction of gender and uncorrupted childhood innocence around things like love and marriage are precious, especially in the greater context of the tensions between their two respective countries.

If you’re someone who wants to learn characterization, the sex scene between Luis and Gil is something that needs to be studied. The way Suzuki weaves in interiority, backstory, and character development in what’s otherwise very titillating art is masterful. The amount that we learn about Luis and Gil is more than that what could’ve been covered if they were the focus of the series, and I think I’ve reread this portion about three times.

Blood is shed at the end of this volume, setting up some incredible tension for Volume 3, which thankfully drops in July 2023.

Horny Goth Novel Craft Study Part 3: TITUS ALONE (Gormenghast #3) by Mervyn Peake (1959)

The trilogy finally comes to a close, and while I loved the first two books in this entry, this one might actually be my favorite. It’s less driven by the castle and its rituals, with Titus making many decisions, but not necessarily having a ton of agency. With an entirely new setting and a whole new cast of increasingly erratic characters, this final entry in the trilogy is a wild ride from start to finish, as Titus is anything but alone.

The next entry into the Horny Goth Novel Craft Study is either going to be a novel or theory, depending on which I finish first.

Buy link: Barnes and Noble | Unabridged |

Previous parts: Titus Groan, Gormenghast

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Comic Review: LITTLE DEATH Vol. 1: Death and the Boy by Pom Poison (2022)

Genre: Adult Horror
Year Release: 2022
Source: Pom Poison Studio Site

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Dubious consent, attempted sexual assault, sexual content, gore, body horror, bugs, skeletons

Ellery Firth is a trans man at an all boys’ school with some pretty simple wants, like hoping the girl he likes, likes him back. It’s when Lich warlord Callisto has his eyes on him from a parallel dimension full of magic, war, and necromancy that the terrors start. It’s a comic that’s equal parts queer literature, horror, and dark fantasy, with an easy-to-read sense of storytelling that really lets the reader get nice and uncomfortable with the horror found within.

I enjoyed this one so much, I’ve subscribed to Pom Poison’s Patreon to stay up-to-date with upcoming chapters and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.

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Manga Review: GUNBURED X SISTERS Vol. 4 by Wataru Mitogawa (2023)

Genre: Fantasy Yuri Seinen
Year Release in English: 2023

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Explicit sexual content, blood, consumption of blood, body horror, gore, death, violence, gun violence
Review of Volumes 1-3 here

The perversion and sexiness continues in this final entry into a series about a dhampir joining up with the grotesque-hunting church to find her sister. Despite the seemingly abrupt conclusion, we do get to meet the sister, find out more about the werewolf, and get a small glimpse of the worldbuilding.

An impressive amount of plotting and work goes in to flesh out the world in ways that hadn’t been established in the previous volumes. There’s conspiracy, there’s upheaval, and it’s a delight for people who like compelling story arcs and female characters who are unabashedly determined but also completely in love with each other. Dolores and Maria do get to have their big romance moment, and it’s so satisfying in terms of both their character journeys and the greater plot arc.

I’m a little sad that this series about sisterhood, vampires, and over-the-top violence and sexiness is over, but I really enjoyed the journey I went on with Dolores and Maria. The ending isn’t quite open-ended, but the conclusion to this sapphic madness is satisfying.

Light Novel Review: BAKEMONOGATARI Part 02 by NISIOISIN (illust. Vofan) (2017)

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Year Release in English: 2017
Source: Physical Copy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Body horror, blood, animal violence against children, threats of violence

Araragi figured how to get rid of a crab that takes on people’s burdens and uncovered the truth behind the strange young girl with an enormous backpack. But one of Senjogahara’s friends and one of his sisters’ classmates both have aberrations attached to them, and he sees no other option that roping in Senjogahara and Hanekawa into helping him out with it.

This volume does a lot more digging into the world of aberrations and their relationship to what everyday people see, with plenty of deliberate wordplay and theming.

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The day has finally come: my debut novella, Ice Upon a Pier, is out today! My debut novella is a lesbianoir fantasy novella about a prolific contract killer in a secondary world inspired by 70s/80s New York.

Read more about the summary, contact warnings, and where to buy the novella below.


My warped sense of morality embarrasses me. 

Ruta Pawlak is one of the most successful contract killers Pier-Upon-Pier City has ever seen. Convicted of five murders that landed her multiple life sentences, her kill count allegedly sits between fifteen and two hundred people. Some were just for practice, others for revenge, and others she executed for money to keep her potentially world-record setting reading collection going.

For the first time, a biographer sits down with the legendary killer to hear her story in her own words. Get the details on her relationship with her depraved bosses and her eclectic arsenal of murder weapons from ice magic to poison to even the sun itself. From her impoverished upbringing to her introduction to the Syndicates to her bizarre affair with fellow killer Frieda Masters to Ruta’s eventual downfall, this account goes beyond headlines and court proceedings, weaving a story of love, family, survival, and murder.

This novella is perfect for fans of true crime, fantasy, noir, The Last Podcast on the Left, and the interview portions of AMC’s Interview with the Vampire series.

Humans killing other humans wasn’t natural.

Humans killing monsters, however, might be.


Bullying, killing your bully, killing your parents, death of a child (off-page), vomiting, immolation, poisoning, gun violence, and a mention of beastiality. There is a cat, the cat does not die.