Review of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu. ★★★1/2 While I never made it through The Grace of Kings, I’ve discovered that I quite like some of Ken Liu’s shorter fiction. The Paper Menagerie is an anthology of his shorter fiction, much of which has science fiction or fantasy elements. The stories tend to be concept focused rather than…

Review of The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. ★★★ I wanted to read The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember, so when I saw she had another book on Netgalley, I went and requested it. Lesson learned: when you want to read one book by an author, don’t pick up a completely different book instead. You’d think this would be obvious, but…

Review of After the Crown by K.B. Wagers

After the Crown by K.B. Wagers. ★★★ I had a lot of fun with the fist book in the series, Behind the Throne. By comparison, this second book felt like running head first into a brick wall. I lost all sense of fun I had from the first book and had to slog my way through. I spent…

Review of Gift of the Winter King and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer

Gift of the Winter King and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer. ★★★ This short fiction collection contains some of Naomi Kritzer’s short stories from 2011 or before. Unfortunately, I think I prefer her more recent short fiction. That said, I enjoyed seeing her progress as an author. A lot of the stories in the collection involve religion…

Review of The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2 If a queer retelling of The Little Mermaid is of interest, then you should check out The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. Only, think the Hans Christian Anderson original, not the happily ever after Disney version. Dr. Cadence Mbell has devoted her life to studying the atargati, the sentient, deep sea…

Review of Runtime by S.B. Divya

Runtime by S.B. Divya. ★★★ In a future where America’s class system is even more stratified, Marmeg Guinto is determined to run in the Minerva Sierra Challenge, a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada where all the contestants have cybernetic enhancements. But most of the contestants also have the newest gear and corporate sponsorships. Marmeg has none of these….

Review of The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. ★★★1/2 I have no idea why I didn’t like The Alchemists of Loom more. It has a lot of the elements I want out of a book… but for whatever reason, it just never landed. Once Loom was a free world, but then it was conquered by the Dragons in the world…

Review of The Best of Subterranean edited by William Schafer

The Best of Subterranean edited by William Schafer. ★★★ Short fiction collections always have stories that are a mix of quality and taste, but by and large I found The Best of Subterranean to be disappointing. The majority of stories didn’t work for me at all. By far my favorite story in the collection was by Ted Chiang, which…

Review of The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi. ★★★1/2 The Collapsing Empire is a promising start to a new space opera series. Relative to the rest of the genre, it’s also fairly short and easy to read. In the future, far flung human settlements are united by one thing: the Flow. While not well understood by scientists, the Flow is…

Review of Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner. ★★★1/2 At last, the fifth book in The Queen’s Thief series! While this book can theoretically be read independently, the previous books are good too so why not start with them? The series starts with The Thief, but the second book, The Queen of Attolia, remains my favorite. After the debacle in…

Review of Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. ★★★1/2 Leviathan Wakes had been languishing on my TBR pile for at least a year before I picked it up for a read along. And I’m glad I finally got to it. While it has room to be improved, Leviathan Wakes is a darn good, rollicking science fiction story. Several hundred years in the…

Review of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. ★★★1/2 I enjoyed Our Dark Duet less than I did its predecessor, This Savage Song, but I can’t tell if that’s on me or the book. Kate Harker has made a new life outside of Verity, hunting monsters. But a new and dangerous breed of monster will send her back hunting back to the…