Review of How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin. ★★★★ Like almost everyone else, I was blown away by N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning novel, The Fifth Season. When I heard she had this collection of twenty-two short stories coming out, I knew I needed to read it. As with every short story collection, I enjoyed some stories more…

Review of In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. ★★★1/2 In an Absent Dream is the fourth novella in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, portal fantasies about children who find doorways to other worlds. While it is the fourth in the series, In an Absent Dream works as a stand-alone and has a mostly-new cast. If you want, you can…

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…

Review of Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. ★★★1/2 Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third novella in the Wayward Children series, which is about children who find doors to magical worlds… but then end up back in this one. I heavily suggest reading at least Every Heart a Doorway before you read Beneath the Sugar Sky. Also, the rest of this…

Review of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual assault I have a complicated relationship with Empire of Sand. On one hand, it’s a very good book, maybe not quite on the level with N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, but it gives me similar vibes. On the other hand, Empire of Sand uses tropes that just…

Review of City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender

City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender. ★★★ This debut fantasy novel showed a lot of promise, but by the end, I was just skimming, trying to finish the book for a review. Laura is an apprentice Sweeper, a professional trained to deal with the magical infestations that threaten her world. Created as a weapon that then…

Review of Toxic by Lydia Kang

Toxic by Lydia Kang. ★★★ The ending of Toxic was more gripping than the beginning, but the story didn’t manage to really suck me in. Toxic is a YA science fiction novel following two teens aboard the dying biological space-habitat Cyclo. Hana was created in secret by her mother in violation of the community population laws and has never been…

Review of Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. ★★★1/2 I have such mixed feelings about this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first 75%, which felt super full of tropes and not particularly original, but then the very end flipped the entire book on its head! Empress of All Seasons is centered around a competition, a familiar…