Review of The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. ★★★★1/2 The Raven Tower is bound to be one of the most phenomenal fantasy novels of 2019. If you’re not familiar with Ann Leckie’s work, her science fiction series (starting with Ancillary Justice) swept the award season when it debuted. WIth The Raven Tower, she turns her hand to fantasy, and the result…

Review of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings by Angela Slatter

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings by Angela Slatter. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault, parental abuse The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is a remarkable short story collection with sharp prose, dark edges, and feminist themes. All that said, I, strangely enough, didn’t love it as much as Angela Slatter’s previous collection, Sourdough and Other Stories. It might be…

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…

Review of Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty. ★★★★ The Kingdom of Copper is an amazing follow-up to Chakraborty’s debut novel, The City of Brass. In fact, I may have loved it even more than the first book! If you haven’t read The City of Brass, please do so before reading The Kingdom of Copper. The rest of this review will…

Review of No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. ★★★ Like most short story collections, No Man of Woman Born is uneven. I really enjoyed a couple of stories and others were “eh.” No Man of Woman Born is a fantasy short story collection featuring trans and nonbinary protagonists. The majority of stories in the collection deal with gender-specific prophecies…

Review of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. ★★★★ I first listened to an audiobook of The Rook back in high school, and I enjoyed it immensely, especially for its humor and the bonds between the female characters. In 2018, I had the desperate urge to listen to an audiobook, and I remembered that I could re-listen to The Rook. So I…

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…

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual violence, parental abuse I know everyone loves this novel, just like everyone loves Uprooted. Meanwhile, I had a very conflicted relationship with Uprooted. While I liked most things about it, I cannot emphasize enough how much I abhorred the borderline-abusive romance subplot. And when others told…

Review of How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin. ★★★★ Like almost everyone else, I was blown away by N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning novel, The Fifth Season. When I heard she had this collection of twenty-two short stories coming out, I knew I needed to read it. As with every short story collection, I enjoyed some stories more…

Review of Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) edited by Catherine Lundoff. ★★★ Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is a speculative fiction anthology about pirates. Many of the stories veer towards fantasy, but others are solidly science fiction, involving aliens or piracy between dimensions. While the anthology isn’t explicitly LGBTQ, many of the stories…