Review of The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo. ★★★1/2 The Night Tiger is a wonderful blend of literary fiction and genre fiction — involving everything from historical fiction to magical realism. The Night Tiger centers around the intertwined lives of Ren and Ji Lin, who both live in 1931 Malay. Ren is a houseboy who served a Western doctor… before…

Review of No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. ★★★ Like most short story collections, No Man of Woman Born is uneven. I really enjoyed a couple of stories and others were “eh.” No Man of Woman Born is a fantasy short story collection featuring trans and nonbinary protagonists. The majority of stories in the collection deal with gender-specific prophecies…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in January

Hello everyone! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here, but I’m currently interning for a literary agent who represents mostly mysteries, thrillers, romance, and women’s fiction. Since I’m reading tons of query letters manuscript samples, I figured I should also read some more books outside sci-fi and fantasy to get a feel for different…

Review of A People’s Future of the United States

A People’s Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams. ★★★ A People’s Future of the United States responds to the current American political climate by bringing together twenty-five authors of marginalized identities to write short stories set in a future version of the United States. Many of these stories are depressing,…

Review of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao. ★★★1/2 Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this as much as the first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. What I really loved about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was the anti-heroic female lead, Xifeng. I love me a good anti-heroine, and Xifeng more than scratched that itch. But Kingdom of the…

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual violence, parental abuse I know everyone loves this novel, just like everyone loves Uprooted. Meanwhile, I had a very conflicted relationship with Uprooted. While I liked most things about it, I cannot emphasize enough how much I abhorred the borderline-abusive romance subplot. And when others told…

Review of Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) edited by Catherine Lundoff. ★★★ Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is a speculative fiction anthology about pirates. Many of the stories veer towards fantasy, but others are solidly science fiction, involving aliens or piracy between dimensions. While the anthology isn’t explicitly LGBTQ, many of the stories…

Review of The Girl King by Mimi Yu

The Girl King by Mimi Yu. ★★★ 1/2 TW: Sexual assault The Girl King is the start of a new YA epic fantasy series where two sisters are rivals for the throne of an empire. Lu has spent her entire life preparing to become the first female emperor, the Girl King. Her sister Min lives a quieter…

Review of Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant. ★★★ This horror novella doesn’t rely on zombies, killer mermaids, or final girls. Instead, Mira Grant looks at the rise of the anti-vaxxer movement and what happens when herd immunity is compromised. The story starts with patient zero: Lisa Morris, an eight-year-old girl who begins to feel sick…

Review of Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst. ★★★1/2 Ever since I heard Sarah Beth Durst was writing a heist novel starring were-dragons, I’ve been dying to read it. Unfortunately, my expectations may have been a tad too high. Sky Hawkins is going through a rough patch. Months ago, her mother disappeared in the midst of pulling…