Review of Mutiny at Vesta by R.E. Stearns

Mutiny at Vesta by R.E. Stearns. ★★★1/2 Mutiny at Vesta is the sequel to Barbary Station, a sci-fi novel where badass lesbian space pirates fight a rogue AI. While you could theoretically read Mutiny at Vesta without having read Barbary Station first, I still suggest picking up Barbary Station. Also, there’s legit no way I can avoid spoilers for Barbary Station in this review. You have…

Review of Shades Within Us: Tales of Migration and Fractured Borders

Shades Within Us: Tales of Migration and Fractured Borders edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law. ★★★1/2 As you can tell from the subtitle, Shades Within Us is a speculative fiction short story anthology about migration, immigration, and refugees. The collection mixes authors I’m already familiar with (Karin Lowachee, Seanan McGuire, S.L. Huang, Rich Larson) with plenty of…

Review of Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage by Somaiya Duad. ★★★1/2 I had a mixed experience with Mirage; I enjoyed some elements, and I found others frustrating. Amani’s home planet is dominated by the interstellar Vathek empire, and she can’t remember life before the occupation. She is nothing special, one peasant girl of many, but she has family, friends, and the cultural traditions the Vathek are…

Review of Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. ★★★1/2 I didn’t enjoy this book as much as its predecessor, Labyrinth Lost, but that’s probably to be expected. Honestly, a large part of why I loved Labyrinth Lost so much was the same-sex love interest, and Bruja Born has a different protagonist. After the events of Labyrinth Lost, Lula Mortiz and her family have changed. She’s got…

Throwback Thursday: Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason

Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason. ★★★1/2 Ring of Swords is a classic feminist science fiction novel from 1994. In terms of gender and sexuality, it shows its ages in ways you would expect, but it still holds up as an intriguing first contact novel. Humanity has made contact with only one other sentient people, the Hwarhath, but…

Review of Temper by Nicky Drayden

Temper by Nicky Drayden. ★★★1/2 How do I even describe this book? It’s so strange, full of genre mixing and ideas, all stirred together into a wild ride. In the world of Temper, almost everyone is a twin. You’re either the “greater” twin or the “lesser” twin. You see, each twin is born with a mix of seven…

Review of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee. ★★★1/2 I kept hearing about this YA contemporary fantasy! By the time I picked it up, I’d completely forgotten what I’d heard, at least when it came to what the story was about. For all I knew, the main character was actually a genie! (Guess what: she’s not). So while…

Review of Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie. ★★★ Maybe my expectations were too high, but Hullmetal Girls was a bit of a let down. In the far future, humanity exists on a fleet of generation ships, traveling in search of a habitable planet. The fleet government is determined to maintain unity in the face of a rebellion seeking to split…

Review of The Future Is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente

The Future Is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente. ★★★ I tend to find Valente’s work hit or miss. I cannot emphasize enough how much I adore In the Night Garden, but then I wasn’t able to finish The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. The Future Is Blue thus represents a microcosm of my feelings about Valente’s work: some stories I enjoyed, others…

Review of Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley

Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley. ★★★1/2 One of my all-time favorite anti-heroines is Kameron Hurley’s Nyx: a hard-hearted, brutal mercenary and former assassin living in the perpetually war-torn matriarchy of Nasheen. Nyx steals the show in Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy (start with God’s War), and I was thrilled that Hurley was returning to her with this short…