New York Times gives Being Small some love

It’s been a fantastic review week for Per Aspera books. Hot on the heels of the Publishers Weekly starred review for Our Lady of the Islands, we got word that none other than the New York Times Sunday Book Review was including our very own Being Small by Chaz Brenchley in a review of creepy fiction.

“Horror works best when it’s about things that are actually worth being afraid of. English writer Chaz Brenchley, who tells a bizarre coming-of-age story in his lovely short novel BEING SMALL, knows how to give some heft and gravity to the anxieties of everyday life…

Brenchley’s tone is quiet, contemplative — but it’s intensely dramatic, in the way adolescent problems tend to be, in teenagers’ inward eyes. ‘It might be war,’ Michael announces, ‘where only the strong survive.’ Brenchley makes this tooth-and-claw battle thrilling.”
– Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times, 10/24/14

Read the whole article.

Starred Publisher’s Weekly review for Our Lady of the Islands

Yeah, we’re happy about this! For more information about this incredible book (forthcoming in December) see Our Lady of the Islands.

Our Lady of the Islands

Shannon Page and Jay Lake. Per Aspera
(, $29.99 (530p) ISBN 978-1-941662-06-9

ourlady_ARC_200x300This satisfying feminist tale—set in an underexplored corner of Lake’s lush, mythical Green universe (Green, etc.) but entirely accessible to new readers—features an empathetic middle-aged, middle-class protagonist managing the roles of businesswoman, mother and grandmother, fugitive, and unwilling savior with realism and grace. Clothing merchant Sian Kattë is assaulted by the charismatic rogue priest of the Butchered God, an encounter that grants her the unwanted power to heal by touch. Sian and her new abilities are misunderstood by her husband, lover, and daughter. She is hunted by the Mishrah-Khote physician-priests, who believe only men can be healers and accuse her of fraud, and manipulated by politically-minded relatives who insist that she stay away from both the public and her distant cousin’s dying son. Undaunted, Sian pursues her divine mission and encounters unexpected help from a woman in disguise; together they turn the second half of the book into a celebration of female friendship and cooperation. Page (Eastlick and other Stories) has done a phenomenal job of completing Lake’s work after his death, honoring his contributions and vision while giving the novel an emotionally authentic, coherent voice. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Maass Agency. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/20/2014  | Details & Permalink