Review of Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage by Somaiya Duad. ★★★1/2 I had a mixed experience with Mirage; I enjoyed some elements, and I found others frustrating. Amani’s home planet is dominated by the interstellar Vathek empire, and she can’t remember life before the occupation. She is nothing special, one peasant girl of many, but she has family, friends, and the cultural traditions the Vathek are…

Review of Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. ★★★1/2 I didn’t enjoy this book as much as its predecessor, Labyrinth Lost, but that’s probably to be expected. Honestly, a large part of why I loved Labyrinth Lost so much was the same-sex love interest, and Bruja Born has a different protagonist. After the events of Labyrinth Lost, Lula Mortiz and her family have changed. She’s got…

Review of Temper by Nicky Drayden

Temper by Nicky Drayden. ★★★1/2 How do I even describe this book? It’s so strange, full of genre mixing and ideas, all stirred together into a wild ride. In the world of Temper, almost everyone is a twin. You’re either the “greater” twin or the “lesser” twin. You see, each twin is born with a mix of seven…

Review of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee. ★★★1/2 I kept hearing about this YA contemporary fantasy! By the time I picked it up, I’d completely forgotten what I’d heard, at least when it came to what the story was about. For all I knew, the main character was actually a genie! (Guess what: she’s not). So while…

Review of A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis

A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis. ★★★★ I loved this story! A Ruin of Shadows is a very quick novella; I read it in an hour, but wow does it make an impression. General Daynja Édo has spent decades building the Boorhian Empire. With her “army” of seven shadows (assassins), she has spent her life in brutal violence. Now,…

Review of The Ninety-Ninth Bride by Catherine Faris King

The Ninety-Ninth Bride by Catherine Faris King. ★★★★ Imagine a retelling of the frame story of One Thousand and One Nights, where Scheherazade tells stories each night to avoid death. I’ve seen retellings of this tale before, but Catherine Faris King may have written my favorite. The Ninety-Ninth Bride is a young adult fantasy novel that reads like a cross between The…

Review of Born to the Blade Season One

Born to the Blade by Michael R. Underwood, Marie Brennan, Malka Older, Cassandra Khaw. ★★★★ Born to the Blade is a political fantasy way up high in the sky, where humanity lives on floating islands and casts magic by inscribing signals with swords. Born to the Blade is also a serial story produced by Serial Box, which specializes…

Review of Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. ★★★★ Prime Meridian is a lovely, quiet science fiction novella. Amelia is a lonely woman, drifting through an unsatisfying life in Mexico City. She’s wound up living with her bossy older sister and her two nieces in one cramped apartment, while she works a series of odd temp jobs, mostly as someone…

Review of Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Witchmark by C.L. Polk. ★★★★ If you’re a fan of Martha Wells’ work, you may enjoy this debut fantasy novel with a gay lead. Miles Singer is in hiding. He ran away from his family, escaping a dehumanizing future as a walking magical battery. But if witches like him aren’t bonded to the elite weather mages, then…

Review of Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. ★★★★ TW: child death Trail of Lightning is perhaps the most anticipated urban fantasy release of the summer, and I’m here to say that it doesn’t disappoint. When climate change caused the oceans to rise faster than anyone expected, Dinétah (once the Navajo reservation) was reborn. It’s gods walked back into the world, but…