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 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 Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault, violence Young adult fantasy meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this explosive new novel. Not only that, but did I mention that it’s queer? Lei is a human girl, the lowest caste in a kingdom ruled by demons. Years ago, her mother was stolen by the royal guards,…

Review of In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard. ★★★★ I’ve been telling everyone I know about In the Vanishers’ Palace, a f/f retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”… with dragons! So get ready for a really excited review. Yên is a failed scholar in a harsh world. She and her mother are barely accepted in their village community for…

Updated Review of Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang

Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang. ★★★★ This review is going to be a bit unusual. Mostly because I already reviewed this book back in 2015. Back then, S.L. Huang was self-publishing. Since then, she’s gotten picked up by Tor and Zero Sum Game is being rereleased!  I requested an ARC as I was curious what changes would be…

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 The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark. ★★★★ What a great story! The Black God’s Drums is a steampunk novella following Creeper, a girl in the free and neutral city of New Orleans. She’s a street urchin living in a hidey-hole near the airfield, watching the airships come and go and dreaming of seeing the world. When…

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…