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 23: Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

October 31st, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Radiance” by Catherynne M. Valente. Set in an alternate version of the 1920's where the planets are as lush as as early sci-fi thought they'd be, and the moon makes a surprisingly good film set as long as you don't mind that the actors turn blue.

  • TITLE: Radiance

  • AUTHOR: Catherynne M. Valente

  • PUBLISHER: Tor Books

  • YEAR: 2015

  • LENGTH: 352 pages

  • AGE: Adult

  • GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction

  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for ableist language (brief), cursing, grief (graphic), abortion (backstory), racism (backstory), homophobia, sexual harassment (backstory), sexual content, drug use, drug abuse, alcohol, body horror, animal cruelty (not depicted), domestic abuse, vomit (graphic), blood (graphic), gore (graphic), violence, war (brief mention), gun violence (backstory), self harm, suicide, cannibalism (ambiguous), murder, death.

Topic 1: Percival Unck - Child Death. Begins at (1:37 after intro), CW for child death, death.

Topic 2: Anchises - Lone Survivor. Begins at (15:45), CW for death.

Topic 3: Severin Unck- Death? Begins at (26:02), CW for drug use, death.

Promo for CPOV RobCast; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (34:40). Honored guest Grimoire makes an appearance at (39:18) and (42:54-44:28).

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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 22: Fledgling by Octavia Butler

October 17th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing the vampire novel, “Fledgling”, by Octavia Butler.

  • TITLE: Fledgling

  • AUTHOR: Octavia E. Butler

  • PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

  • YEAR: 2005

  • LENGTH: 310 pages

  • AGE: Adult

  • GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror

  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for memory loss, animal death, ableism, racism, racial slurs, violence, gun violence, blood, major character death, death.

Topic 1: Coercion. Begins at (1:35), CW for murder.

Topic 2: Memory Loss. Begins at (9:35), CW for adult/minor relationship (brief mention), murder, death.

Topic 3: Racism. Begins at (19:05), CW for racism, murder, death.

Promo for CPOV - Fun & Games Promo; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (29:35).

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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 22: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

September 26th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Gideon The Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir, a book best described as "lesbian necromancers in space". We’re joined by special guest S.T. ("Saint") Gibson! You can find all their stuff at their website.

  • TITLE: Gideon the Ninth

  • AUTHOR: Tamsyn Muir

  • PUBLISHER: Tor/Forge

  • YEAR: 2019

  • LENGTH: 448 pages

  • AGE: Adult

  • GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction

  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for cursing, ableism (brief), grief, toxic friendship/relationship, vomit, blood (graphic), violence (graphic), gore (graphic), body horror (graphic), cannibalism, medical content, degenerative illness, emotional abuse, physical abuse (backstory), child abuse (backstory), suicide (backstory), child death (graphic), murder (graphic), self harm, parental death (backstory), major character death (graphic), death (graphic).

Topic 1: Toxic Relationship. Begins at (1:35), CW for toxic relationship, blood, cannibalism, death.

Topic 2: Suicide. Begins at (14:27), CW for toxic relationship, suicide, murder, death.

Topic 3: Cannibalism. Begins at (24:40), CW for vomit (brief mention), gore, body horror, child death, suicide, death.

Promo for Comics Quest from Certain POV; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (35:16). The wrapup contains an extended discussion of how suicide is handled in the book as a topic for the care rating.

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This episode 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 inthis 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.

Stand-Alone 21: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

August 1st, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Song of Achillles” by Madeline Miller, a retelling of the story of Achilles and Patroclus. We're joined by special guest Taylor!

  • TITLE: The Song of Achilles
  • AUTHOR: Madeline Miller
  • PUBLISHER: Ecco Press / Bloomsbury Publishing
  • YEAR: 2011
  • LENGTH: 416 pages
  • AGE: Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy, Historical
  • RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for sexism, homophobia, possible biphobia, grief (graphic), kidnapping, confinement, terminal illness, slavery, vomit, blood (graphic), gore (graphic), sexual content, medical content, domestic abuse, rape, cannibalism (backstory), animal death, murder, child death (graphic), major character death (graphic), death (graphic).

Topic 1: Exile. Begins at (1:35), CW for violence, death, murder.

Topic 2: Hovering Shade. Begins at (13:30), CW for homophobia, death.

Topic 3: Rape. Begins at (30:05), CW for rape, slavery.

Promo for Circle of Friendship from CPOV; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (55:45).

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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 20: “The Atrocities” by Jeremy C. Shipp

June 6th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing the horror novella “The Atrocities” by Jeremy C. Shipp.

Apologies for the odd episode schedule, the next two episodes will be a month apart, then we should be back to our usual fortnightly schedule after that.

  • TITLE: The Atrocities

  • AUTHOR: Jeremy C. Shipp

  • PUBLISHER: St. Martins Press-3PL

  • YEAR: 2018

  • LENGTH: 112 pages

  • AGE: Adult

  • GENRE: Horror

  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for child abuse (backstory), mental illness, medical content, medical trauma, child abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, body horror, gore, self harm, animal death, animal cruelty (backstory), child death, death.

Topic 1: Mental Illness. Begins at (1:35), CW for mental illness, physical abuse, emotional abuse, child death, death.

Topic 2: Kidnapping. Begins at (15:00), CW for kidnapping, institutionalization, mental illness, child death, death.

Topic 3: Child Death. Begins at (22:25), CW for kidnapping, mental illness, child death, death.

Promo for Another Pass from CPOV; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (32:55).

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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 19: The Forever War - Joe Haldeman

April 18th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman.

  • TITLE: The Forever War

  • AUTHOR: Joe Haldeman

  • PUBLISHER: Gollancz

  • YEAR: 1974

  • LENGTH: 238 pages

  • AGE: Adult

  • GENRE: Science Fiction, War

  • RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for cursing, grief, xenophobia, chemical control of sexual orientation (nonconsensual), homophobia, acephobia (ambiguous), ableism, mental illness, sexual content, sexual assault (not depicted), rape (brief), medical content (graphic), medical trauma (graphic), alcohol, drug use, vomit, blood, gore, violence, gun violence, eugenics, genocide, torture (brief), suicidal thoughts (brief), animal death (brief), murder, parental death, death.

Topic 1: Compulsory Homosexuality. Begins at (1:35), CW for homophobia, conversion therapy, compulsive sexuality, war, death.

Topic 2: Suicidal Thoughts. Begins at (14:42), CW for suicidal thoughts, war, death.

Topic 3: Future Shock. Begins at (22:58), CW for homophobia, war, death.

Promo for CPOV - Men of Steel; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (35:42).

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This episode mentions suicidal thoughts in fiction. 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 maybe able to find the suicide hotline number or other appropriate emergency services for your country inthis 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 18: Jade City - Fonda Lee

April 4th, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Jade City” by Fonda Lee, the first book in the Green Bone Saga.

  • TITLE: Jade City
  • AUTHOR: Fonda Lee
  • PUBLISHER: Orbit
  • YEAR: 2017
  • LENGTH: 560 pages
  • AGE: Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy, War
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for cursing, grief, sexual content (explicit), sexual abuse (brief mention), torture (brief mention), sexism, drug use, drug abuse, mental illness, self harm, body horror, massacre, excrement (brief), vomit, blood, violence (graphic), gun violence, torture, animal death (brief), major character death, death.

Topic 1: Sexual Abuse. Begins at (1:30), CW for sexual abuse (not described).

Topic 2: Parental death. Begins at (15:00), CW for addiction, parental death, death.

Topic 3: Addiction. Begins at (22:30), CW for addiction, gun violence, death.

Promo for CPOV SMC; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (32:50).

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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 18: Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace

March 21st, 2022

This fortnight we’re discussing “Firebreak” by Nicole Kornher-Stace. If you enjoyed this you should check out “Archivist Wasp” and “Latchkey” (in that order), since they’re part of the same universe.

  • TITLE: Firebreak
  • AUTHOR: Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • PUBLISHER: Gallery / Saga Press (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
  • YEAR: 2021
  • LENGTH: 416 pages
  • AGE: Adult
  • GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopian
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for rationing, confinement, cursing, alcohol, excrement (brief), blood, gore, fire/fire injury (graphic), medical content (graphic), medical trauma (graphic), gun violence (graphic), violence (graphic), child abuse (backstory), police brutality (graphic), torture (graphic), parental death (backstory), child death, major character death, death.

Topic 1: B - Kidnapping. Begins at (1:30), CW for kidnapping, death.

Topic 2: Mal - Dehydration. Begins at (9:55), CW for death, dehydration.

Topic 3: 22 - Medical Experimentation. Begins at (20:25), CW for medical trauma, violence, child abuse, child death, death.

Promo for Men of Steel; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (30:14).

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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 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.

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