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…

Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. ★★★1/2 I’ve been staring at the draft for this review for about a month now. What can I say? I just don’t have strong feelings about The Cruel Prince. Jude’s mother faked her own death to leave her husband, Madoc, a general of the fae. She started a new life with a human…

Review of Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw. ★★★ I’ve loved Cassandra Khaw’s short stories, but I hung back from this novella, which I thought didn’t sound like my sort of thing. I was right. This review is largely going to be a matter of personal preference. Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef just isn’t the right book for me. Rupert Wong,…