Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters. Part of the Certain Point of View network.

Stand-Alone 17: Cemetery Boys - Aiden Thomas

February 21st, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas. Yadriel gets a bit more than he was expecting when he summons the wrong ghost.

  • TITLE: Cemetery Boys
  • AUTHOR: Aiden Thomas
  • PUBLISHER: Swoon Reads
  • YEAR: 2020
  • LENGTH: 344 pages
  • AGE: Young Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy, Romance
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for cursing, ableist language (brief), grief, racism (brief), transphobia, misgendering, deadnaming, alcohol (brief), blood, self harm (brief, religious ritual), domestic abuse (backstory), child abuse (backstory), gore (brief), violence (graphic), medical content, parental death (backstory), murder, major character death (graphic), death (graphic).

Topic 1: Child Abuse. Begins at (1:35), CW for child abuse, physical abuse, fire/fire injury (burns).

Topic 2: Transphobia. Begins at (11:00), CW for sexism, misogyny, transphobia, deadnaming, misgendering

Topic 3: Murder. Begins at (21:30), CW for murder, blood, death.

Promo for Farragut Forward IndieGoGo; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (32:00).

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You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Highlight 16: River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

February 7th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “River of Teeth” by Sarah Gailey. If this sounds interesting then we recommend reading it in the omnibus collection “American Hippo” which includes this novella, its sequel (“Taste of Marrow”), plus some short stories in this setting.

  • TITLE: River of Teeth
  • AUTHOR: Sarah Gailey
  • PUBLISHER: Tor/Forge Books
  • YEAR: 2017
  • LENGTH: 192 pages
  • AGE: Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy, Alternate History
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for racism (minor), fatphobia, transphobia (minor), pregnancy, drug use (smoking), alcohol, fire/fire injury, blood (graphic), gore, violence (graphic), medical content, animal death, child death, murder, major character death, death (graphic).

Topic 1: Child Death. Begins at (1:30), CW for child death, animal death.

Topic 2: Betrayal. Begins at (14:32), CW for death.

Topic 3: Mutilation. Begins at (25:36), CW for mutilation, addiction, child death, death.

Promo for CPOV Circle of Friendship; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (36:22).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of RIVER OF TEETH at Reviews That Burn. They also reviewed AMERICAN HIPPO.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Highlight 15: Assassin’s Apprentice - Robin Hobb

January 24th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Assassin's Apprentice” by Robin Hobb. This is the first book in "The Farseer Trilogy" which is itself part of the "Realm of the Elderlings", a connected set of several trilogies.

  • TITLE: Assassin's Apprentice
  • AUTHOR: Robin Hobb
  • PUBLISHER: Voyager
  • YEAR: 1995
  • LENGTH: 460 pages
  • AGE: Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for cursing, pregnancy, ableism, sexism, misogyny, bullying (graphic), physical abuse (graphic), emotional abuse (graphic), alcohol, alcoholism, excrement, drug use, miscarriage (backstory), rape (not depicted), child abuse, blood (graphic), violence (graphic), medical content (graphic), animal death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt, child death, death.

Topic 1: Patience - Betrayal. Begins at (1:35), CW for infidelity, betrayal, parental death, death.

Topic 2: Burrich - Child Abuse. Begins at (11:20), CW for abuse, animal death.

Topic 3: Galen - Emotional Abuse. Begins at (22:15), CW for suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt.

Promo for Screen Snark; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (30:15).

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This episode briefly discusses fictional depictions of suicide. If you're in the United States the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. For those of our audience outside of the United States, you may be able to find the suicide hotline number or other appropriate emergency services for your country in this directory provided by OpenCounseling.

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Highlight 14: Iron Widow - Xiran Jay Zhao

January 10th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “IRON WIDOW” by Xiran Jay Zhao. This is book one of a planned series.

Wu Zetian wants to assassinate her sister's murderer, but finds herself in a string of mech battles working alongside Li Shimin, the strongest pilot in Huaxia. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

  • TITLE: Iron Widow
  • AUTHOR: Xiran Jay Zhao
  • PUBLISHER: Penguin Teen
  • YEAR: 2021
  • LENGTH: 400 pages
  • AGE: Young Adult
  • GENRE: Science Fiction
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for grief, misogyny (graphic), sexual content, alcohol, alcoholism (graphic), medical content, injury description, pregnancy (backstory), blood (graphic), vomit, suicidal thoughts, domestic abuse, child abuse, violence (graphic), torture (graphic), murder (graphic), parental death (backstory), major character death (graphic), death (graphic).

Topic 1: Forced Alcoholism. Begins at (1:35), CW for alcoholism, torture, death.

Topic 2: Death Machine. Begins at (10:00), CW for sexism, misogyny, death.

Topic 3: Invasion. Begins at (21:15), CW for death.

Promo for RMC vs CG; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (31:25).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Interview 8: Seanan McGuire, Part 1 of 2

January 7th, 2022

Please enjoy the spoiler-free portion of our interview with author Seanan McGuire discussing several of her books, "Into The Drowning Deep", "Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day", "Middlegame", the Toby Daye series, and the Incryptid series. Other works mentioned include Newsflesh (series), Ghost Roads (series), "Rolling in the Deep", and Parasitology (series). Timestamps are marked for the interview questions. This interview was recorded several months prior to the 2021 Hugo Awards.

Become a Patron at any level to receive the spoiler-filled second half of the interview.

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Can you talk a little about the way trauma works in your writing? (0:20)
  • Has a traumatic event in your books ever changed your perception of a character? (3:00)
  • What parts of your identities do you notice making appearances in your writing more than you intended? What parts of your identities do you notice seeping into your work unintentionally? (6:20)
  • What is your approach to incorporating visible queerness in your work? (10:05)
  • How does setting influence queerness in your stories? (12:40)
  • What is your approach to incorporating visible characters of color in your work? (16:25)
  • Do you tend to write disabilities based on a specific set of references or do you tend to write cultures that hide disabilities and all that they entail? (22:00)
  • When building your characters’ identities, what aspects did you intentionally include? (25:00)
  • Do you consider your character’s physical description when writing how other characters treat them? (26:20)

--- Wrap-Up and Outro: Included in Part 1 and Part 2 ---

  • What is your favorite non-traumatic thing in any of your books? (29:57)
  • Do you have a favorite book written by someone else, and if so what makes it your favorite? (31:46)
  • Do you have any queer authors and/or authors of color whose work you’d like to shoutout? (32:49)
  • Where can our audience find you? (36:15)

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Check out Seanan's website for more about her writing. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram

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At each link you can find Robin's written reviews of Seanan's work under her own name, her writings as Mira Grant, and as A. Deborah Baker.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Series 9, Episode 3: Wayward Witch - Zoraida Córdova

December 27th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Wayward Witch” by Zoraida Córdova. Heather joins us once again to wrap up the excellent Brooklyn Brujas trilogy.

  • TITLE: Wayward Witch
  • AUTHOR: Zoraida Córdova
  • PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
  • YEAR: 2020
  • LENGTH: 239 pages
  • AGE: Young Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for kidnapping, confinement, emotional abuse, animal death (not depicted), excrement (brief), vomit, blood, gore, body horror, violence, major character death, death.

Topic 1: Nadira - Deadly Journey. Begins at (0:55), CW for death.

Topic 2: Rose - Memory Loss. Begins at (13:30), CW for memory loss, abandonment.

Topic 3: Rose - Abandonment. Begins at (27:05), CW for memory loss, abandonment, parental death, death.

Promo for CPOV Reignite; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (41:00).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Series 9, Episode 2: Bruja Born - Zoraida Córdova

December 13th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Bruja Born” by Zoraida Córdova, the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy. Heather joins us again on this episode!

TITLE: Bruja Born
AUTHOR: Zoraida Córdova
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
YEAR: 2018 LENGTH: 352 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Fantasy
RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for ableist language, vomit (graphic), fire, blood (graphic), gore (graphic), violence (graphic), pregnancy (not depicted), medical content, medical trauma (graphic), cannibalism, child death, death.

Topic 1: Casimuertos - Cannibalism. Begins at (0:50), CW for Cannibalism, undead, self-aware zombies

Topic 2: Lula - Survivor’s Guilt. Begins at (9:30), CW for death, bus crash.

Topic 3: Lula - Life Drain. Begins at (22:45), CW for mention of gore, death.

Promo for Fun and Games (CPOV); Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (35:57).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Series 9, Episode 1: Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Córdova

November 29th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Labyrinth Lost” by Zoraida Córdova, book one of the Brooklyn Brujas series.

TITLE: Labyrinth Lost
AUTHOR: Zoraida Córdova
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
YEAR: 2016
LENGTH: 336 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Fantasy
RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for bullying, child abuse (backstory), blood, violence, panic attacks, missing parent, animal death, death.

Topic 1: Kidnapping. Begins at (1:35), CW for mention of torture, betrayal

Topic 2: Family Rejection. Begins at (11:00), CW for abandonment, mention of drug use. 

Topic 3: Misplaced guilt. Begins at (23:00), CW for missing parent, discussion of divorce, discussion of death.

Promo for ComicsQuest from CPOV; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (32:40). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Highlight 13: Graceling - Kristin Cashore

November 15th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “GRACELING” by Kristin Cashore. This is the first book of the YA fantasy series, Graceling Realm.

TITLE: Graceling
AUTHOR: Kristin Cashore
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin
YEAR: 2008
LENGTH: 471 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for sexism, misogyny, sexual content (brief), sexual assault (not depicted), kidnapping, child abuse, animal cruelty, medical content, blood, vomit, violence, torture, animal death, parental death, child death, murder (graphic), death (graphic).

Topic 1: Leck - Gaslighting. Begins at (1:35), CW for Murder, torture, animal cruelty, death

Topic 2: Katsa - Coercion. Begins at (13:00), CW for Violence, death, coercion

Topic 3: Bitterblue - Death of Parent. Begins at (22:10), CW for Murder, death of parent, child abuse

Promo for CPOV - Another Pass; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (29:15).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Stand-Alone 16: Thirsty - M.T. Anderson

November 1st, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Thirsty” by M.T. Anderson.

In THIRSTY, everyone sucks. Suddenly learning you're a vampire doomed to brief madness before death or (best case scenario) a long life of cannibalism will ruin anyone's day. Looks like it's going to ruin Chris's month.

TITLE: Thirsty
AUTHOR: M.T. Anderson
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press (MA)
YEAR: 1997
LENGTH: 237 pages
AGE: Young Adult, Middle Grade
GENRE: Fantasy, Horror
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for queerphobia (brief), ableist language, misogyny, bullying, anxiety, mental illness, stalking, vomit (graphic), self harm (graphic), gore (graphic), blood (graphic), violence, cannibalism, animal death, lynching, murder, child death, major character death, death.

Topic 1: Child Death. Begins at (1:30), CW for Murder, child murder, ritual human sacrifice.

Topic 2: Bullying. Begins at (16:10), CW for Bullying, child death, murder.

Topic 3: Cognitive deterioration. Begins at (29:00), CW for ableism, self-harm, auto-cannibalism, cognitive deterioration, suicide mention, murder, suicide by cop, mention of lynching.

Promo for Crit Chat; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (41:00).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

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