ARC Review: THREE KINGS by Freydís Moon (2022)

Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Year Release: 2022
Buy Link: NineStar Press

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read a NetGalley eARC
Content warnings: blood used in a ritual, necromancy, depiction of anxiety pertaining to pregnancy, conversation surrounding fertility

Ethan and Peter live a pretty idyllic life in the village of Casper as a lighthouse keeper and fishing captain, respectively. One day, a selkie gets tangled in Peter’s net and Ethan uses necromantic ritual to bring another person back to life. Full of healing, intimacy, and interpersonal devotion, this autumnal read is perfect for people looking for some magic and tenderness a la a Miyazaki film that also fucks.

I love the exploration of family here. Ethan and Peter are very devoted husbands at a kind of crossroads in their lives. The selkie does not help in the immediate situation, but opens up the opportunity for something else. There is a mishap with some marrow that leads to heat, but the relationships among the three develop long before ignition. I really enjoyed the dynamic between the husbands, but especially their interactions with others in town. It feels slice-of-life even though there’s definitely an inciting event, a middle, and an end.

The worldbuilding is also rad. The rules of the magic are fairly hand-wavey, but there’s a nice folkloric aspect to Ethan’s rituals that add a layer of dreaminess to the entire narrative. Overall, this quick read is atmospheric, magical, and romantic.

Review: EXODUS 20:3 by Freydís Moon (2022)

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Year Release: 2022
Source: Physical Copy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: explicit sexual content, off-page transphobia, mention of drug use, off-page police brutality

Diego is a trans man who takes on what’s supposed to be a low-key construction job to help get him back on track. The job is managed by the enigmatic Ariel, who definitely has a secret of angelic proportions. Their relationship evolves into something equally queer, intense, and divine.

This book is cozy in a way reminiscent of post-coitus. Diego carries a lot of baggage and a lot of emotional turmoil with regards to both faith and his experience as someone worthy of care and attention. The way the differences between faith, devotion, and religion mingle in the conversations between Ariel and Diego, especially when it comes to drawing lines between what is faith and what is the result of centuries of iterative interpretations. I found these explorations cathartic and affirming as a queer person raised in a religious household.

A theme that permeates Moon’s work is the respect given towards working class individuals, and this is also extends towards sex workers. There are mentions in the novella that Diego has engaged in cam work before and both the text and Ariel treat it as the job it is, with no virtue or vice attached to it. It’s a refreshing detail that also highlights the thoughtfulness in Moon’s work as a canon.

If erotica where a young man falls into lust with a literal and Biblically accurate angel is something of interest, definitely give this one a read. The paperback edition has a bonus scene that takes place a year later, and it is swoony—I cannot recommend it enough.

ARC Review: THE SCRATCH DAUGHTERS (The Scapegracers #2) by H.A. Clarke (2022)

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Year Release: October 25th, 2022
Buy Links: Bookshop.org | Unabridged Bookstore

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read an advanced copy on NetGalley
Content warning: kidnapping, murder, queerphobia, parental abuse, drug use, attempted school shooting, school lockdown, eating an eyeball, arson
Gentle spoilers for The Scapegracers

The queer witch gang is back in the second installment of The Scapegracers trilogy. It picks up where the previous book left off, with Sideways without her specter, and the only clues anyone has are Sideways’ mental connection with Madeline, the girl who stole it. The Chantry boys remain a threat, on top of the typical teenage foibles of finals and catching up on one’s studies.

Intense in its magic and its love for queer women and teen friendships, this second entry is a triumph, and I have several fears for Sideways and gang in book three.

An interview with H.A. Clarke is forthcoming.

Continue reading

Author to Author with Freydís Moon (With a Vengeance)

I’m so thrilled to have Freydís Moon on my blog today to talk about their debut novel, With a Vengeance. Kye is a human who has a lot on their shoulder: grief, a family estate, a demonic haunting, and a rogue ICE agent sniffing around. This dark paranormal erotic romance is as affirming and as it is hot, while featuring a nuanced exploration of culture, family, grief, healing, and the things people do to keep their community safe.

Today, Freydís chats with me about the origins of this novel, the myriad projects coming down the pipeline, and the works they’re looking forward to most.

Buy Links: Amazon | Signed Paperback

Continue reading

Review: WITH A VENGEANCE by Freydís Moon (2022)

Genre: Adult Dark Paranormal Romance
Year Release: 2022
Source: Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: Dominant/submissive roleplay, rape fantasy, consensual explicit content, dubious consent, deadnaming, misgendering, body horror, dysphoria, reference to off-page sexual assault, murder, violence and gore, spanking, belt play, religious eroticism, religious trauma, familial death, saliva play, blood play, size difference, primal play, breeding kink, psychosis, mention of depression, depressive episodes, suicide ideation, racism, police brutality

Kye Lovato (they/them) returns to their haunted childhood home to settle their recently-deceased mother’s affairs. A demon prince, Eligos, hears Kye’s desperation and possesses them, starting a relationship that’s drenched in the supernatural, complete with powers. As if that isn’t complicated enough, an ICE agent starts sniffing around their mother’s alebrijes business and threatens the community she’s taken care of.

This romance between a nonbinary human and a demon is affirming and hot in its sexual content, while, also having a nuanced exploration of culture, family, grief, healing, and the things people do to keep their community safe from shady law enforcement. An incredible blend of recovering from trauma, a mystery, and getting split open by a saucy demon.

An interview with the author will be going up on September 1st.

Continue reading

Author to Author with Naseem Jamnia (The Bruising of Qilwa)

Happy debut day to The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia. This novella is among the tightest I have ever read. It has a bit of everything: medical fantasy, slice-of-life, a mystery, found family, given family, the difference between the best choice and the right choice, and a world that centers trans people and people of color. It’s so dense, and I’m so thrilled to have gotten to read this one early.

Today, Naseem Jamnia tells me all about how the layers of Qilwa came together, the research and craft journey of this novella, and what they’re reading and working on now.

Buy Links: Tachyon PublicationsBookshop.org | Unabridged Books

Continue reading

Author to Author with Izzy Wasserstein (All the Hometowns You Can’t Stay Away From)

Happy release day to All The Hometowns You Can’t Stay Away From, a collection of speculative fiction short stories from Izzy Wasserstein. There are multiverses, quests, terrifying boarding schools, haunted museums that need to be emptied, people resisting, people trying their best, and more. I’ve found many treats within these pages, and I can’t wait for other people to discover them as well.

In today’s interview, the author tells us about how she finds inspiration, the spawn points of stories, putting this specific collection together, and what she’s working on now.

Buy Links: Neon Hemlock | Unabridged Books | Bookshop.org

Continue reading