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  • Blog Launch

    July 11, 2019 by

    Hello! My name is Joe Kessler, and I’ve been blogging in one form or another since 2004. This is the launch of my new home for that, where I’ll be posting book reviews and other short pieces of writing. I’m also debuting a Patreon site for anyone who would like to support my efforts through… Read more

  • Book Review: Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk

    December 6, 2022 by

    Book #186 of 2022: Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk Like most novellas, this fantasy story feels like it probably could have been improved by developing its plots, themes, and worldbuilding at greater length, but in the short space allotted, it gets by just fine on pure premise and tone. It’s… Read more

  • Book Review: Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore

    December 6, 2022 by

    Book #185 of 2022: Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Realm #5) The loose Graceling series moves at unusual rhythms, both on the macro level of an ostensibly-cohesive ongoing saga and on the micro level within its individual books. These stories regularly zig where the rest of the fantasy genre tends to zag, and while the… Read more

  • Book Review: Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

    December 3, 2022 by

    Book #184 of 2022: Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (Between Earth and Sky #2) Black Sun was one of my top reads of 2020, an adult fantasy debut set in a refreshingly diverse world inspired by pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations. Any sequel would likely struggle to match it, and sure enough, this bridge title in the… Read more

  • Book Review: The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

    December 1, 2022 by

    Book #183 of 2022: The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (Ballard and Bosch #3) Much like author Michael Connelly’s previous novel The Law of Innocence incorporated the real-life COVID-19 pandemic, this 2021 title reflects the strained state of policing in the aftermath of protests over the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism it… Read more

  • Book Review: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

    November 30, 2022 by

    Book #182 of 2022: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson (Wax and Wayne #3 / Mistborn #6) [Note: I am Facebook friends with this author. Review originally written in 2016.] The fight scenes in this novel are top-notch, and it’s great to see new applications of the basic magic principles Sanderson introduced in the… Read more

  • Book Review: Doctor Who: Origin Stories by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Sophie Aldred, Jasbinder Bilan, Nikita Gill, Mark Griffiths, Katy Manning, Emma Norry, Temi Oh, and Dave Rudden

    November 28, 2022 by

    Book #181 of 2022: Doctor Who: Origin Stories by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Sophie Aldred, Jasbinder Bilan, Nikita Gill, Mark Griffiths, Katy Manning, Emma Norry, Temi Oh, and Dave Rudden A mixed bag, as such collections often are. The premise of this Doctor Who title is that its entries are prequels exploring various incidents from before the… Read more

  • Movie Review: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

    November 26, 2022 by

    Movie #19 of 2022: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) At 42 minutes from start to post-credits scene, this second Marvel Studios Special Presentation is…. fine. It’s fine. It’s in no way essential to any ongoing series plot, but it’s a decent check-in on the various Guardians of the Galaxy characters, I guess.… Read more

  • TV Review: Andor, season 1

    November 24, 2022 by

    TV #57 of 2022: Andor, season 1 On paper, this prequel to a prequel might have sounded like a wholly unnecessary franchise extension, but in practice, Star Wars has literally never been better. Ostensibly a show about Cassian Andor five years before the movie Rogue One takes place, it has turned out to be more… Read more

  • TV Review: Star Trek: Enterprise, season 1

    November 22, 2022 by

    TV #56 of 2022: Star Trek: Enterprise, season 1 In my ongoing aim to watch through the entirety of the franchise, I have now seen 27 whole seasons of Star Trek. That’s all of The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine, in addition to most of Voyager, and this,… Read more

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