Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. ★★★★
Certain Dark Things is a gritty, fresh take on vampires set in an alternate version of Mexico City.
Domingo is a homeless seventeen year old who makes a living collecting garbage off the streets of Mexico City. But then he meets Atl, a young vampire on the run. Her clan of Aztec descended vampires was obliterated by another vampire clan who was muscling in on their drug trade. Mexico City, a “vampire free” sanctuary, looked like somewhere she could lose her pursuit, but now she’s risking both rival vampires and the gangs and police of Mexico City.
Gilded Cage by Vic James. ★★★1/2
Gilded Cage is a compulsively readable YA fantasy dystopia. I’ll admit, I was wary of picking it up. I haven’t had the best experiences with the YA dystopian genre, and at this point it feels like there’s a certain sameness to most of the books. But when Imyril over at x + 1 gave it a positive review, I reconsidered. As it turns out, I am glad I did.
Gilded Cage takes place in an alternate version of England where the ruling segment of the population, the Equals, posses immense magical skill. The vast majority of the population are commoners, who are utterly without magic or power. They have to give up ten years of their lives to serve as slaves for the Equals, a modern update on medieval fiefdom. Abi and Luke Hadley are commoners, and they’re about to begin their slave years. But due to Abi’s genius and hard work, she’s gotten their family a place at the Jardine estate instead of the sweatshops of the slave town. But as the day arrives, something goes wrong and Luke instead finds himself being sent to Millmoor, the aforementioned slave town. There he finds something entirely unexpected: revolution. Meanwhile, his sister Abi begins to wonder if she’s made the wrong choice by having the family serve the Jardines, for she soon finds that they can be heinously cruel in their power.
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. ★★★★
I loved Chameleon Moon so much, and I think it would hold a strong appeal for fans of Welcome to Night Vale.
Patrol is a true dystopian – a city where the sky is chocked with smoke and ash and the ground is just one step away from crumbling into the fires below. And above everything the helicopters of Eye in the Sky survey the super powered citizens, making sure no one can escape. But within this hellhole, the citizens of Patrol have found love, families, and the will to resist. Among them is Evelyn Calliope, a singer with a sonic voice who is the heroine that Patrol needs.
Dreadnought by April Daniels. ★★★1/2
Trigger warning: Transphobia, emotional abuse
Dreadnought is an #OwnVoices YA superhero novel about a young lesbian trans girl.
Fifteen-year old Danny Tozer is secretly painting her toenails behind the mall when two meta-humans get in a fight right in front of her. Thus she’s the only person around when Dreadnought, the greatest superhero of them all dies… and so she receives his powers. But not only does she get superpowers, her body also transforms into the one she’s always wanted. Now everyone knows that she’s a girl. Unfortunately, this includes her emotionally abusive father, who’s always tried to make her into a “manly man.” Oh, and the super-villain who killed Dreadnought is still running around. Danny’s life just got complicated.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron. ★★★★
I am loving this series so much, and it’s threatening to become on of my all time favorite urban fantasy series. It’s just so much fun! Plus, I love the world and characters. Rachel Aaron is doing truly wonderful work with this series.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another is the second book in the Heartstriker series, which begins with Nice Dragons Finish Last. I would suggest reading the books in order. Don’t worry, both books are fantastic! Forewarning, this review could involve spoilers from the first book.
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. ★★★★
This urban fantasy novel was incredibly fun!
Julius is an unusual dragon. For one thing, he’s not ambitious or obsessed with destroying his enemies. He tends to spend most of the time avoiding the larger dragons in his family, until his mother grows tired of him lurking in his room and banishes him to the DFZ – a dystopic version of Detroit – with a month to prove that he’s a proper dragon. Oh, and she’s magically locked away his true dragon form and threatens to eat him if he doesn’t shape up.
Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen. ★★★1/2
Conspiracy of Ravens is the sequel to Lila Bowen’s weird Western fantasy novel, Wake of Vultures. While I would suggest reading the books in order, the plots are such that you could feasibly get away with reading Conspiracy of Ravens first. However, you would be missing out on the ongoing character arcs. This review will contain spoilers for the first book, so read at your own risk.