Review of The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst. ★★★1/2 The Queen of Sorrow is the final book in Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy, which you should really read in order. If you’re not familiar with the books, they’re fantasy where humans struggle to survive in a world dominated by cruel and capricious nature spirits. The characters are adults…

Review of Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells. ★★★★ If you haven’t read Martha Wells’ All Systems Red, you’re really missing out. This novella series follows Murderbot, a delightfully snarky and anxiety-ridden SecUnit who’s hacked its governor module and gained autonomy over its own actions. Artificial Condition is the second novella in the series, and I would suggest reading in order. Also, this…

Wyrd and Wonder: Review of Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly

Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly. ★★★★ In this stunning sequel, Lara Elena Donnelly returns to the shadowy world of her debut novel Amberlough. Be forewarned, I can’t entirely avoid spoilers for Amberlough. Armistice takes place three years after Amberlough, when the Ospies (a fascist regime) have succeeded in taking over Gedda. Armistice follows three expats from Gedda in a nearby country, Porachis: Aristide, Cordelia,…

Review of I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis

I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis. ★★ I requested this novella on Netgalley because of how much I’d enjoyed some of Connie Willis’s other work, namely To Say Nothing of the Dog and The Doomsday Book. That turned out to be a mistake. Jim is in New York to talk to publishers about a…

Review of Head On by John Scalzi

Head On by John Scalzi. ★★★★ While Head On is a sequel to Scalzi’s earlier science fiction novel, Lock In , it’s a stand alone mystery story. Still, I would suggest starting with Lock In so you can get to know the world and characters before diving into Head On. FBI Agent Chris Shane is watching a live game of hilketa, where players…

Review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. ★★★★★ TW: self harm, sexual violence, war crimes I loved this book. I cannot get over how amazing it is. The best comparison I can think of is N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which really says something, doesn’t it? Rin is an orphaned peasant girl in the backwater Rooster Province, but despite all…

Review of The Heartreader’s Secret by Kate McIntyre

The Heartreader’s Secret by Kate McIntyre. ★★★★ The Heartreader’s Secret is the third in Kate McIntyre’s Faraday Files series, a queer fantasy mystery series. I do suggest reading the books in order, so starting with The Deathsniffer’s Assistant. I don’t think I can fully avoid spoilers for the previous two books in this review, so head on over to The…

Review of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12 edited by Jonathan Strahan. ★★★★ Do you like short fiction? Short SFF? Do you feel like you’ve fallen behind with last year’s stories? Then this is the collection for you! Buckle up your seat belts, because you’re in for a long ride. I mostly skipped over…

Review of Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore. ★★★1/2 Not So Stories is a collection that’s working off the legacy of Kipling’s famous Just So Stories, which is a classic children’s book deeply rooted in colonialism. Not So Stories addresses this problematic legacy by creating an anthology of fable-like stories all by authors of color, from the colonized nations Kipling was…

Review of The Sisters Mederos by Patrice Sarath

The Sisters Mederos by Patrice Sarath. ★★★ While I ultimately wished for more from The Sisters Mederos, the strong pacing did keep me entertained. Yvienne and Tesara Mederos are the daughters of a fallen merchant house. Their family was once one of the wealthiest and most prominent in Port Saint Frey, but after an uninsured ship is lost at…

Review of Quietus by Tristan Palmgren

Quietus by Tristan Palmgren. ★★★ Quietus is a debut novel that combines historical fiction with science fiction. It has some elements I appreciated, but ultimately, I wasn’t wowed by it. Habidah, an anthropologist from another dimension, has been sent to our world, during the Black Death’s sweep over Europe. Her own home, a set of alternate realities bound…