It feels like in our current political environment, the need for diverse books and stories about people in different places with different identities — both real and fictional — is only growing. The Radius of Us is the second novel by Marie Marquardt dealing with the Latinx immigrant community around Atlanta, GA. Dreadnought: Nemesis-Book One is the debut novel of trans author April Daniels, and is set in a version of our world where superheroes are real, and the new hero to inherit the Dreadnought mantle just happens to be a 15-year-old trans girl who is yet to come out to her parents.
The first in a new trilogy set in medieval Rus’, The Bear and the Nightingale tells the story of Vasilisa Petrovna growing up in the northern forests with the ability to see the spirits and creatures that others believe to be only fairy tales. Conflict arises between Vasya (a pet name) and her new, devout stepmother, Anna, who refuses to follow the old pagan customs from the fairy tales Vasya loves and knows to be real.
On the evening of January 27th (for those of us on the western side of the Atlantic), it was announced that beloved actor, John Hurt, had passed away, aged 77. Hurt is not the first major celebrity death of 2017, but his loss is keenly felt by these Geekettes, who had grown to love him in a variety of roles over the years.
Sir John Hurt was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama, and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that same year. In a career spanning six decades, Hurt was nominated for two Oscars, and won four BAFTA awards and a Golden Globe. He is survived by his wife of 12 years. As of this writing, there is no official statement regarding cause of death.
Nine years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, many fans who grew up reading the books were able to do something they had never thought they would do again: attend another Harry Potter midnight release party. This time it was for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Special Rehearsal Edition, billed as “The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.” The nineteen years, of course, being the amount of time that has passed since the Battle of Hogwarts to when this new story begins. Our Geekettes took photos and wrote about the joy of being able to attend one more midnight party.
Like many fans who grew up loving Harry Potter, I was initially excited by the prospect of J.K. Rowling expanding that magical world to other places. In college I was excited about Pottermore in theory, but didn’t actually find the site that engaging after I was sorted, and I mostly waited for other fan sites to tell me if something exciting was posted. When the “History of Magic in North America” was posted in March, I didn’t pay attention until I saw some of the reactions from fans (including Native American fans) saying that there were serious issues with it. I was concerned, but I didn’t go and read them. Then the history of the founding of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was posted in late June, and this time I went and read it. I was not happy.
When eight-year-old David Piper was asked to write about what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wrote about wanting to be a girl. Jump forward five and half years and David’s nickname with the class bully is still “Freak Show” and only his two closest friends know that his wish from all of those years ago still rings true. David just doesn’t know how to tell his parents.
Enter Leo Denton, a transfer to Eden Park School from the far side of town, with rumors that he was kicked out of his last school for doing something violent. An unlikely friendship develops between Leo and David after Leo stands up for the bullied David. But Leo has his own secrets, and most people don’t know the truth about why he left Cloverdale School. As Leo and David both reckon with their own secrets, they learn more about themselves and what their own definition of “normal” might be.
This week on TV… The Flash and Arrow wrapped up their second and fourth respective seasons. Barry Allen had a final showdown with Zoom after the loss of his father, and Oliver Queen once more used the power of hope (and Felicity’s hacking skills) to stop Damien Darhk from destroying the world. Both were powerful finales, but The Flash threw us a final twist, while the world Arrow almost felt at peace. My full recaps and thoughts on each finale are below!
Yesterday CBS dropped a small teaser for their new Star Trek series, set to premiere in January 2017 and already making some fans nervous. The teaser reveals a new logo, and a semi-tagline: “New Crews – New Villains – New Heroes – New Worlds.” Watch the 50-second teaser in full below:
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a 1980’s nostalgia trip about a teenager whose best friend becomes possessed by a demon, but no one will believe her. Gretchen and Abby live in Charleston, South Carolina, and have been best friends since fifth grade. The year is 1988, and they attend the prestigious Albemarle Academy, though Abby is there on a merit scholarship because her family is not super wealthy like Gretchen’s. After a night of skinny-dipping and an attempted acid trip, Abby notices that something is wrong with Gretchen, and the story (and the tension) build from there. This book felt like a campy crossover between Sixteen Candles and The Exorcist, so if you’re a fan of both of those things, there’s a good chance you will like this book.
There have been countless new releases these past couple weeks, but two debut novels listed on Netgalley caught my eye. Both young adult fiction, My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul and A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry are two very different but equally engaging books. Read my full reviews of both books below!