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…

Review of Mutiny at Vesta by R.E. Stearns

Mutiny at Vesta by R.E. Stearns. ★★★1/2 Mutiny at Vesta is the sequel to Barbary Station, a sci-fi novel where badass lesbian space pirates fight a rogue AI. While you could theoretically read Mutiny at Vesta without having read Barbary Station first, I still suggest picking up Barbary Station. Also, there’s legit no way I can avoid spoilers for Barbary Station in this review. You have…

Review of The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken

The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken ★★1/2 There are two things you should know about me: I love science fiction and fantasy novels… and I also adore heist stories. So stories that combine the two? I have a desperate desire for. That being said, The Quantum Magician should have been a slam dunk. A far-future sci-fi story about…

Review of Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction

Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction edited by Irene Gallo. ★★★★ I’ve been generally impressed with Tor.com’s fiction, but I’m always running behind on their short stories. When I saw this “Best of” anthology up on Netgalley, I thought it was the perfect chance to catch up. And so far, Worlds Seen in Passing is…

Review of A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna. ★★★★ Years ago, I read Sangu Mandanna’s debut novel. While I wasn’t exactly blown away, I thought it’d be worth returning to her work later on in her career. So when I heard about her second book, A Spark of White Fire, a young adult sci-fi novel inspired by the Mahabharata,…

Review of Daughters of a Forgotten Light by Sean Grigsby

Daughters of the Forgotten Light. ★★1/2 Do you ever read a book and feel like you might have liked the storyline better if it was written by someone else? That’s sort of what I felt about Daughters of Forgotten Light. In a future devastated by an unexpected ice age and constant war over resources, mothers have total…

Review of Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. ★★★★ Magic Triumphs is the last book in the Kate Daniels series, my all-time favorite urban fantasy series. What am I going to do without more Kate Daniels books to look forward to? As with any last book in a beloved series, reading Magic Triumphs was a bittersweet experience. In the prologue to Magic Triumphs,…