Review of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. ★★★★ A Memory Called Empire is sure to be one of the standout sci-fi debuts of 2019, and I can totally see where the comparisons to Ancillary Justice are coming from. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare’s small station wants to maintain its independence from the ever-ravenous Teixcalaanli Empire, which is constantly conquering and expanding…

Review of The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore. ★★★★ Like the sound of queer fantasy assassins? Then The Perfect Assassin is the book for you. Amastan’s family has an important place in the city of Ghadid. They protect it from the shadows, assassinating criminals who need to be taken care of quietly. Amastan has just earned his place as the…

Review of The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst. ★★★★ I really enjoyed Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy, so I was obviously up for this stand-alone novel set in the same world. The islands of Belene precariously exist in a sea of nature spirits, all of them inimical to humankind and held back only by the…

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction of Color edited by Nisi Shawl. ★★★ I was excited about the anthology New Suns, but I ended up disappointed. This anthology has so many great authors. Unfortunately, the stories never reached the level of “great.” It’s a risk you run with every anthology since not even wonderful authors hit it out of…

Review of The True Queen by Zen Cho

The True Queen by Zen Cho. ★★★★ Do you want a delightful and charming Regency-era fantasy novel with a diverse cast and a f/f romance subplot? A story focused on sisterhood? Dragons with manners? Then you need to read The True Queen, a loose follow-up to Zen Cho’s previous novel, Socerer to the Crown! Muna and Sakti…

Review of The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson

The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault (in a flashback) How do I even describe this book? Let’s start with the basics. The Rosewater Insurrection is the sequel to Tade Thompson’s astounding “aliens invade Nigeria” novel, Rosewater. If you haven’t read Rosewater, you need to get on that ASAP! And I would highly recommend reading Rosewater before you read The…

Review of Feed by Mira Grant

Feed by Mira Grant. ★★★★ I’ve generally found Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant’s books to be hit or miss but oh WOW was Feed a hit. Twenty years after a zombie apocalypse swept the world, zombies are the new normal. Life has moved on. Sure, most people don’t go out in public anymore, but there’s a (dangerous) career path for journalists…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in February

I’ve been trying to read some books outside of science fiction and fantasy to get a feel for other genres. I don’t want to spend the time it would take to write full reviews for these books, so I decided to make a roundup series of mini-reviews I’m calling “Breaking the Bubble.” This month includes…

Review of Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction

Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction edited by K.M. Szpara. ★★★1/2 This inaugural anthology collects the best transgender science fiction and fantasy short stories of 2015. I’ve been wanting to pick it up ever since I saw the author line-up; there’s a ton of great trans authors working in science fiction and fantasy, and this…