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Hugh Likes Fiction: It Devours!

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It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale novel
Written by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Crainor
Audiobook read by Cecil Baldwin
WELCOMETONIGHTVALE.COM

The Skinny-The creators of “Welcome to Night Vale” return with another delightfully creepy and silly novel set in their quiet desert town.

Following up their best-selling eponymous Welcome to Night Vale novel, It Devours! continues the formula of giving a spotlight to some of the supporting characters from the podcast. The story falls a bit outside the purview of the half-hour pseudo-radio show, but is still great fun for fans.
The story follows Nilanjana, a scientist investigating a series of mysterious and unofficial earthquakes, and Darryl, a member of the friendly cult The Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, which may be involved in a series of disappearances. The pair will have to contend contend with pushy spokespeople, lonely surveillance helicopter pilots, and most importantly, their very different world-views to solve these mysteries.
While readers don’t need to have read the previous novel or be up to date on the podcast, the story is full of references to both. The most important thing to know going in is that Night Vale is weird. And that weirdness comes with neither explanation nor apology. Bits like the town’s monstrous City Council, the fad for invisible food, and the barista district all swing by fast enough to upset a new reader’s train of thought if unprepared. But the story is well-told and engaging. If you are new to Night Vale and find the vast backlog of podcast episodes intimidating, It Devours! might be a great place to give it a try.
The audio book is read by Cecil Baldwin, the host of the podcast. He does an excellent job bringing the huge cast to life. Fans of weird fiction will find a lot to like in this heartwarming end-of-the-world adventure.
It Devours is available from Amazon in print and Audible in audio book. You can also find it at your Local Independent Bookstore!

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The Dark Wife on Audible!

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Fantastic news, Friends!
After a lot of work these past few months, I’m ecstatic to announce that The Dark Wife is now available on Audible and other Amazon-related audiobook services!
This version of the audiobook is read by Veronica Giguere and is music and sound-effect free! So if you are the type of listener who prefers to hear the narration without any extra embellishments, this one’s for you.
The podcast version of The Dark Wife remain up at The Way of the Buffalo podcast site, and will always be available for those who can’t afford or do not have access to the Audible version. A central part of this project has always been to make this novel available for anyone who might need it regardless of their circumstances, and that hasn’t changed.
So if you haven’t listened to The Dark Wife yet, go ahead an give it a listen. And if you have, please review and spread the word so we can share this amazing story with as many people as possible!

Hugh Likes Fiction: Heartless

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Heartless:  The Parasol Protectorate, Book Four
Written by Gail Carriger
Narrated by Emily Gray
Audible.com
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Although I am not big on Romance, I’ve had a soft spot for Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate” series for a long time. It might have to do with her delightful sense of humor, or the richly detailed world of her supernatural Victorian London. Whatever the case, I’ve been savoring the series, and I recently devoured the fourth entry, for the first time in audio.
Alexia Maccon, Soulless, Lady of Woolsey, and Mujah to Queen Victoria, is never one to let little details interfere when she sets on a course of action. So when a ghost gives her a cryptic warning of a plot against the Queen, she isn’t going to let a little thing like being eight months pregnant stand in her way. Scheming scientists, maladjusted werewolves, and zombie porcupines aren’t going to have much of a chance, either.
Carriger does it again with her fast paced comic misadventures in Victorian supernatural society.  Her grasp of character and timing is once again on display as she navigates Alexia through mystery, society expectations and steampunk hi-jinx.
Emily Gray’s performance is spot on, and deftly juggles the wide-ranging accents and character foibles of the large cast. Her narration is a perfect balance of high society wit and action-comedy timing.
While this isn’t the best place to jump on to the Parasol Protectorate series, Heartless is a worthy entry. I heartily recommend readers pick up this one, or work their way up to it. You can find it on Audible, in a variety of formats on Amazon, or of course at your local bookstore.

Hugh Likes Fiction: Ancillary Justice

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Ancillary Justice
Written by Ann Leckie
Read by Celest Ciulla
audible.com
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Ancillary Justice is a return to old school science fiction filled with modern twists.  It is the story of 1-ESK, an ‘ancillary,’ or human imprinted with a spaceship AI.  Twenty years ago, she was permanently severed from her ship.  When she finds a former officer, whom she thought dead a thousand years, lying drugged in the snow, she makes a decision that will change the course of intergalactic civilization.
This Hugo-winning novel has been on my radar for a long time, and it was a delight to finally listen to.  Leckie’s universe is an intricate, well built puzzle supported by a story that is about people, even if the people at the center don’t see themselves that way.  The speculative bits are intriguing and explored well.  Her style is engaging and propellant.
The characters center around a society that does not recognize gender.  Leckie uses exclusively the female pronoun throughout the story, even for characters which are male.  This is both a custom of 1-ESK’s culture, which does not differentiate between genders as a cultural norm and a character trait.  She legitimately has difficulty differentiating between them.  It was a unique spin on the trope of a robot trying to act human, and while I don’t know if it was realistic, I did find this aspect of the novel fascinating.
The audio book was read by Celest Ciulla, and I feel she did a great job balancing the oddness of the novel’s culture and protagonist with a listenable cadence.  The story implies a whole slew of completely imaginary accents and speaking patterns, and she rises to the occasion.
Anciliary Justice is a novel that truly deserved its awards, and I can’t wait to dive into 1-ESK’s next adventure.  You can find it at your local bookstore, or on Audible and Amazon.

Podcast: The Dark Wife: After

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The Dark Wife
a novel by Sarah Diemer
Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie.  Now only a goddess can tell the truth…
Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want, except for freedom.  She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful gaze of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus.  But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: CHOICE.
Zeus calls Hades ‘Lord’ of the dead as a joke.  In truth, Hades is the GODDESS of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus.  She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian DESTINY.
But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld.  She finds LOVE, and herself.
The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.  It is available in print and ebook format from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.  You can also download a free PDF copy of the novel HERE.
Audiobook read by Veronica Giguere

Podcast: The Dark Wife Episode 17

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The Dark Wife
a novel by Sarah Diemer
Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie.  Now only a goddess can tell the truth…
Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want, except for freedom.  She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful gaze of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus.  But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: CHOICE.
Zeus calls Hades ‘Lord’ of the dead as a joke.  In truth, Hades is the GODDESS of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus.  She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian DESTINY.
But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld.  She finds LOVE, and herself.
The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.  It is available in print and ebook format from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.  You can also download a free PDF copy of the novel HERE.
Audiobook read by Veronica Giguere

The Dark Wife: Changes Part Two

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The Dark Wife

a novel by Sarah Diemer

Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie.  Now only a goddess can tell the truth…

Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want, except for freedom.  She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful gaze of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus.  But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: CHOICE.

Zeus calls Hades ‘Lord’ of the dead as a joke.  In truth, Hades is the GODDESS of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus.  She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian DESTINY.

But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld.  She finds LOVE, and herself.

The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.  It is available in print and ebook format from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.  You can also download a free PDF copy of the novel HERE.

Episode 16: The Truth-Changes Part Two

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