Review of Exo by Fonda Lee

Exo by Fonda Lee. ★★★★ Exo is possibly the best young adult dystopian novel I’ve ever read. Exo takes place after Earth has been successfully conquered by an alien species, the zhree, who have turned it into one of their colony planets. On the surface of it, Exo is very similar to loads of other YA dystopian novels. You’ve got…

Review of Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He. ★★★★ TW: Parental death My main impression of Descendant of the Crane was of a very solid YA fantasy debut that was enjoyable if not incredible… and then the plot twists hit and I was like “WOAH.” I am 100% planning on reading the sequel! When Princess Hesina of Yan finds…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in March

Breaking the Bubble is a feature where I do mini-reviews of some books outside of science fiction and fantasy. The aim of this series is to familiarize myself with other genres and what books are currently big. This month, I’m covering everything from the hit memoir Educated to some young adult titles.

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction of Color edited by Nisi Shawl. ★★★ I was excited about the anthology New Suns, but I ended up disappointed. This anthology has so many great authors. Unfortunately, the stories never reached the level of “great.” It’s a risk you run with every anthology since not even wonderful authors hit it out of…

Review of The True Queen by Zen Cho

The True Queen by Zen Cho. ★★★★ Do you want a delightful and charming Regency-era fantasy novel with a diverse cast and a f/f romance subplot? A story focused on sisterhood? Dragons with manners? Then you need to read The True Queen, a loose follow-up to Zen Cho’s previous novel, Socerer to the Crown! Muna and Sakti…

Review of The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson

The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault (in a flashback) How do I even describe this book? Let’s start with the basics. The Rosewater Insurrection is the sequel to Tade Thompson’s astounding “aliens invade Nigeria” novel, Rosewater. If you haven’t read Rosewater, you need to get on that ASAP! And I would highly recommend reading Rosewater before you read The…

Review of The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo. ★★★1/2 The Night Tiger is a wonderful blend of literary fiction and genre fiction — involving everything from historical fiction to magical realism. The Night Tiger centers around the intertwined lives of Ren and Ji Lin, who both live in 1931 Malay. Ren is a houseboy who served a Western doctor… before…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in January

Hello everyone! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here, but I’m currently interning for a literary agent who represents mostly mysteries, thrillers, romance, and women’s fiction. Since I’m reading tons of query letters manuscript samples, I figured I should also read some more books outside sci-fi and fantasy to get a feel for different…

Review of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao. ★★★1/2 Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this as much as the first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. What I really loved about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was the anti-heroic female lead, Xifeng. I love me a good anti-heroine, and Xifeng more than scratched that itch. But Kingdom of the…