Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells. ★★★★
I’m not sure how I found this book, but I’m so glad that I did. It’s a kick ass science fiction story with a great world and two female leads who are both strong in their own way.
Tanegawa’s World is a company planet, controlled by TransRifts Inc, which has a monopoly on interstellar travel. Those blacklisted by the corporation tend to wind up dead. Yet some resist the might of TransRifts. Hob’s a Ghost Wolf, a mercenary biker troop that does what TransRifts won’t. They’ve run under the radar of the corporation, never directly challenging them. Then Hob finds the body of her adopted uncle out in the desert, shot in the back. The reasons are unknown, but the culprit is clear. And worse than that, his daughter and Hob’s best friend, Mags, is missing.
Black Wolves by Kate Elliott. ★★★★
Trigger Warning: Rape
This may be my favorite read yet from Kate Elliott, and I have the feeling that this trilogy will become one of my all time epic fantasy series. If non-Western epic fantasy with loads of ladies who do things sounds like something you’d like, then you need to read Black Wolves.
The first hundred pages of Black Wolves introduce many of the central characters, but everything then changes after a forty-four year time skip. King Anjihosh saved the Hundred from demons and conquered it in the process. The story starts with Kellas, a captain of the Black Wolves, the king’s elite unit of soldiers and spies. The king’s son, Atani, learns of a family secret and soon after disappears. Kellas is tasked with his retrieval. The first section ends soon after. In the time skip, Atani both became king and was murdered on one fateful night still shrouded in questions and mysteries. Now Atani’s son is king, and he fears that no one around him can be trusted. His aunt Dannarah enlists a now elderly Kellas to return to safeguard her nephew and his kingdom.
Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker. ★★★★
Phantom Pains is the sequel to Mishell Baker’s phenomenal debut, Borderline, which dealt with issues of disability and mental health as well as being a really fun urban fantasy novel. While it would be possible to read Phantom Pains on its own, I recommend reading the books in order. Spoilers for Borderline will be included in the rest of this review.
Fourth months ago, Millie left the Arcadia Project to work for Inaya West and her new studio. She’s finally gotten around to trying to clean up magical residue from Stage 13 with her old boss Caryl, when she sees the ghost of Teo. Except, ghosts don’t exist and that shouldn’t be possible. To make matters worse, a Project agent is murdered and Caryl is accused. If she wants to save Caryl, Millie will have to take it upon herself to investigate.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. ★★★★
Edit: I just read the sequel. It added romance. After I spent my entire review praising this book for not having romance. And yes, I’m super salty about it.
This Savage Song is a YA fantasy novel that I had serious trouble putting down. Also relevant? There’s a male narrator and a female narrator but no romance whatsoever.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are heirs to a city of monsters. Long before the start of our story, acts of human violence began to form creatures that were decidedly inhuman. Violent crime leads to Corsai, murder to Malchai, and mass murder to Sunai. These monsters began to destroy the city and the people living in it, and yet more destruction was caused by a war between two fractions of the populace. Kate’s father made a deal with the monsters, letting them hunt those who hadn’t paid for his protection. August’s father believed that the only right thing to do was continue to fight the monsters and protect human lives, regardless of whether or not they could pay. After much death, the two sides entered a truce, dividing the city between them. But now, that truce threatens to break, and Kate and August are right in the middle of it.
Windswept by Adam Rakunas. ★★★★
This science fiction thriller was a true delight! It was fun, fast paced, and I adored the heroine.
Padma Mehta’s a crotchety union rep dreaming of retirement and her plans to buy a distillery. But for her dreams to come true, she needs to get thirty-three more people for her head count. Which means she needs to wait for thirty-three more people to fall from the sky.
Most of known space is controlled by three mega-corporations, who rely on the labor of indentured servants. But corporate life isn’t all its cracked up to be, and some indentures Breach – fleeing down the space elevator to the Union on Padma’s backwater, sugar cane producing planet.
When a small time con artist tells Padma that forty people are about to Breach, of course Padma checks it out. But in her desperate bid to make her headcount, Padma stumbles onto a plot that could endanger her entire planet.
A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows. ★★★★
A Tyranny of Queens is the sequel to the portal fantasy novel, An Accident of Stars, and I’m happy to report that I liked it even more than the first book! If queer feminist fantasy sounds at all your thing, I suggest you start reading this series. This is a series that should really be read in order – A Tyranny of Queens picks up almost directly from where An Accident of Stars left off. If you haven’t read the first book, I doubt you’d be able to make sense of this one. Forewarning, this review may contain spoilers for the first book.
The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★
This wonderfully written YA fantasy novel would appeal to fans of Robin McKinley’s fairy tale works.
Rhea’s life takes an unexpected turn when a local lord requests her hand in marriage. She doesn’t want to get married, much less to a stranger who’s as old as her father, but when you’re the daughter of a miller, you can’t tell a lord no. Then Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his manor house before the wedding. There she finds both dark magic and his six other wives. If Rhea doesn’t act quickly, she’ll share in their fate.