J. Harbinger

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Reading everything so you don't have to.

“The Dragons of Dorcastle” Is a New Steampunk Fantasy Series From Sci-Fi Military Juggernaut Jack Campbell

Dragons are pretty passé in the fantasy genre, definitely reaching its death knell after that horrendous Eragon movie, but Jack Campbell’s new series, The Pillars of Reality, is definitely turning the tide. Originally released as an Audible exclusive, The Dragons of Dorcastle introduces a world inhabited by two powerful guilds, Mages and Mechanics, and the…

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“Chinese Cinderella” Is a Real Life Fairy Tale

While we’re mostly familiar with the Disney version of the 17th century European folk tale, the earliest version of Cinderella was undoubtedly Chinese, appearing a millennia before the original Neapolitan story. So it’s more than appropriate that when New York Times Bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah went to write an abridged version of her autobiography,…

“The Paper Magician” Is Like “The Prestige” Starring Elizabeth Bennet

Sometimes I leave origami cranes in places for strangers to find—in desk drawers, the windowsills in trains, or tucked in an otherwise dirty corner. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg has convinced me that this simple act does carry just the littlest spark of magic. The first installment of a trilogy, The Paper Magician…

Listen to a Dramatic Reading of Alex Haley's Dramatic Saga
Listen to a Dramatic Reading of Alex Haley’s Dramatic Saga “Roots”

During high school I visited Ellis Island with members of my school’s wind ensemble. While many of my compatriots excitedly used the database to explore their familial origins, I didn’t bother. Both my sets of grandparents came to America in the early seventies on an airplane. My roots don’t extend into a mysterious past. However,…

When YA Romance and K-Pop Combine, the Result Is Actually Kind of Cute
When YA Romance and K-Pop Combine, the Result Is Actually Kind of Cute

If you’re a YA fan more than K-Pop purist, you’re going to love Katie M. Stout’s Hello, I Love You. If you’ve enjoyed the occasional romance or EXO music video, you’re definitely going to root for Grace and Jason’s East Vs. West romance. She’s the black sheep of her musical family and he’s Korea’s newest…

Explore the Final Days of Imperial Russia Through the Eyes of its Last Imperial Duchesses
Explore the Final Days of Imperial Russia Through the Eyes of its Last Imperial Duchesses

Well before I was introduced to World War I politics, there was a little cartoon called Anastasia that had the hands-down best non-Disney music number of all time. I remember being thoroughly disappointed to learn the movie was total bollocks, but also feeling a tiny fraction of real despair for those ghostly figures emerging from a…

“Little Princes” Is the Right Kind of Feel-Good Memoir

I’m not usually one for the bleeding heart memoir and I started Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal with a certain amount of ambivalence. I didn’t want to be emotionally blackmailed about this story of orphans and some social justice crusader. But in all seriousness, Conor Grennan probably deserves…