Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged fantasy


How do I review Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning? Do I caution readers about the fact that it is book five in a five book series? That previous events are not described and characters come into play with little explanation? Or do I discuss how enthralled I was by the story?

Luka and the Fire of Life

The world according to Salman Rushdie post-fatwa is a very bad place. If his books from this era are anything to go by, most people are judgmental, small-minded, and intolerant. In this book, and its prequel Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Rushdie is passing that same worldview on to his sons. Buried under verbal twists and turns and puns and slapstick, Luka and the Fire of Life is about a boy undertaking a quest through a mythical world (created, it seems, by his father’s stories) to save his father’s life. He braves great challenges and finds courage he did not know he had. Ostensibly, Luka is on a quest to find his own voice, but the voice he actually finds his father’s.

Literary Readings: Salman Rushdie (11/22/2010)

Everywhere you go in India, you see bootlegged copies of Salman Rushdie's groundbreaking Midnight's Children being sold by hawkers along the footpaths to tourists who've come to see if the romanticized country is as mythical a place as the then-copywriter delightfully described in his make-me-or-break-me novel. The fantastical worlds created in Rushdie's mind closely resemble our reality, but their magical element—at times more prevalent than others—has the ability to transport the uninitiated from a place of sensory overload to one of simple beauty. And it was with great pleasure that I attended the literary reading with Rushdie, and subsequent jocular verbal sparring with fellow Mumbaite, and Maximum City author, Suketu Mehta at the 92nd Street Y.


“This night I was trying to describe what my orgasms were like, but I doubted if what I wanted to say would sound compelling to anyone but me...” explains Suzanne, before writing a letter to a convicted rapist who is serving his sentence in prison and whom she has established a relationship with. Maureen Gibbon’s Thief is the story of Suzanne, a complex woman trying to make sense of her own rape, while exploring her own sexuality.

The Passage

Trying to explain The Passage is like explaining Lost or the Harry Potter series to an outsider.

Florida Supercon (6/18 – 6/20/2010)

Since I live in Miami, a city of fashionable sameness, it can be difficult to find alternatives to the mainstream culture. So I was convention curious. Yet all I knew about anime was what I’d seen on Adult Swim or the Syfy channel: doe-eyed, borderline pornographic girls in their miniskirts and ponytails. I can never get past the not-so-subtle little girl fetish.

The Prospect of Magic

The Prospect of Magic, a collection of ten stories, sets up a wonderful world where the real and magical live side by side. It’s enchanting. Some of the stories are hopeful, some are tragic, and some are sad, just like real life. All of them feature flights of fancy, just like the best magic trick. The story centers around Fluker, Louisiana, where the World Famous Ploofop Travelling Circus decides to stay after its owner, Abidail Ploofop, dies.

Unfastened: Globality and Asian North American Narratives

In a similar vein as Caroline Rody’s The Interethnic Imagination and Rocío Davis' Begin Here, the monograph Unfastened has been a treat to read for the simple fact that author Eleanor Ty foref

How to Train Your Dragon

As a feminist mother of a young daughter, I am always on the lookout for movies with a positive message. As a mom who is a geek, I'm always looking for sci-fi and fantasy movies that are kid-appropriate. As an intelligent woman, I'm always looking for entertainment that has good storytelling.

Tall, Dark, and Fangsome (Immortality Bites)

Vampires are a dime a dozen these days. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new one ready to take your blood to prolong his un-life. Soon, there are going to be more vamps than humans, and then where will we be?

Chosen By Desire (The Guardians of Destiny)

Kate Perry is a pretty kickass chick. Her childhood dream was to be a ninja, and she's now a seventh degree Kung Fu blackbelt.

Rough Magic

Most of Caryl Cude Mullin’s Rough Magic takes place on a magical island, the home of sirens and air spirits. When an exiled Queen bent on revenge and accumulating more power takes control of the island’s magic the fate of its inhabitants is left for the islands own control. Chiara, a young Princess with an interest and talent for magic, is ordered by her father to marry a Spanish Prince for his own ambition.

Racing the Dark

Racing the Dark is unique among fantasy books. The world draws upon Pacific Island and East Asian cultures to create a rich blend very different from fantasy canon—an island nation with an animist religion centering on sacrifice and binding.

When Women Were Warriors Book I: The Warrior's Path

I usually do not read fantasy books, but The Warrior's Path changed my mind. Catherine M. Wilson writes a beautifully well-crafted story that incorporates the elements of fantasy without entering any stereotypes. The first of three books in the When Women Were Warriors series follow Tamras, who trains to become a warrior like the other women in her family.

Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms

Recently, during a discussion on the flaws of Twilight, an acquaintance of mine made a rather insightful statement. “The vampire is supposed to die. Period.” Don’t get me wrong, I love a sexy paranormal as much as the next chick, but lately I’ve noticed that a lot of vampires have, for lack of a better pun, lost their bite.

The Good Fairies of New York

Having recently moved to New York City, one of my first excursions was to the Strand Bookstore. Late one evening in May, I walked into the shop and, feeling slightly overwhelmed but giddy with excitement, I ventured into the maze of tables and shelves surfeit with books. Within ten minutes, I happened upon a book entitled The Good Fairies of New York. The title caught my attention: fairies? New York?

Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales

When it comes selecting books to read, as in life, I often find myself treading the same well-worn territory over and over again. If left to my own devices, I tend to gravitate toward memoirs written by the famous and not-so-famous. I have drawn imaginary lines in my mind around certain genres of books that I assume are just not my cup of tea: science fiction, fantasy, and fictional tales of people who live in countries that don’t exist are some of the categories that I eschew.

Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy

Unusual Suspects is an eclectic assortment of stories ranging from mystery to the supernatural. Editor Dana Stabenow, also a contributing author, and eleven others lend their twelve tales to this compilation. The collection is heavy on the fantasy and even heavier on the entertainment.


Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of short stories, essays, volumes of poetry, books for children, and many novels. She has won the National Book Award, five Hugo and Nebula Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Howard Vursell Award of American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Skylight Confessions

After eighteen novels and eight children’s books one might think Alice Hoffman would run out of material in which to write, but her new book, Skylight Confessions, proves this theory wrong. She takes an everyday, dysfunctional family and breathes her own twist into it, coupled with a splash of supernatural. Skylight Confessions is set in a house appropriately named The Glass Slipper because it is constructed of metal and glass panes.

Kushiel’s Justice

Imriel was an orphan, a slave and a goat herder until he learned he is a Prince of the Realm. He is engaged to Dorelei of Alba, the niece of Drustan the Cruarch of Alba, who is husband to Queen Ysandre of Terre d’Ange. It is a marriage of state though Imriel’s heart belongs to the Dauphine Sidonie, heir to the Terre d’Ange throne. Sidonie loves Imriel with the same passionate intensity that he feels for her. They embark on an affair that only intensifies their feeling, but they are too afraid to admit their love to the queen and cause chaos in both realms.

No Humans Involved

A home in Brentwood, California is being used to house the stars and staff of the TV reality special Death of Innocence, where three mediums demonstrate their powers. Only one of them Jaime Vegas is the real thing, a talented necromancer who can see and talk to the dead.

A Loop in Time

Rowena Wright compiles myth, science and fantasy in her newest novel, A Loop in Time, which details a year in the life of Ericca Ludwig and her friends in post-9/11 New York City. Ericca, the only child of Sophia Ludwig, spends much of her time at home discussing time and space with Albert Einstein and Leonardo Fibonacci, whose personas are manifested in Spike, Ericca’s magical blanket.


She awakens feeling inside middle age, but looking preadolescent. Even more confusing is that she suffers from amnesia and doesn’t know why she is in this cave, badly bruised and injured. Finally she is starving, but instinctively knows she must dine on human blood, preferably without killing the host. Wright drives by, sees this young battered girl alone, stops and offers her a ride, which she accepts along with feeding from him.

The End of Mr. Y

The End of Mr. Y is a science fiction fantasy story. Ariel Manto is a doctoral student writing about a mysterious author, T.E. Lumas. His final book, The End of Mr. Y has never been read by anyone alive because whoever reads the book disappears.