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 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 In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. ★★★1/2 In an Absent Dream is the fourth novella in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, portal fantasies about children who find doorways to other worlds. While it is the fourth in the series, In an Absent Dream works as a stand-alone and has a mostly-new cast. If you want, you can…

Review of Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant. ★★★ This horror novella doesn’t rely on zombies, killer mermaids, or final girls. Instead, Mira Grant looks at the rise of the anti-vaxxer movement and what happens when herd immunity is compromised. The story starts with patient zero: Lisa Morris, an eight-year-old girl who begins to feel sick…

Review of Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron

Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron. ★★★★ Minimum Wage Magic was a whole lot of fun, and I expected nothing else of a Rachel Aaron novel! Her work would likely appeal to fans of Ilona Andrews, as this book is a fast-paced urban fantasy novel with excellent world building and a strong heroine at its center. Although Minimum…

Review of Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst. ★★★1/2 Ever since I heard Sarah Beth Durst was writing a heist novel starring were-dragons, I’ve been dying to read it. Unfortunately, my expectations may have been a tad too high. Sky Hawkins is going through a rough patch. Months ago, her mother disappeared in the midst of pulling…

Review of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.  ★★★★ I’ll read pretty much anything Brandon Sanderson writes, so it comes as no surprise that I rushed to pick up Skyward, his new young adult science fiction novel. Spensa has always longed to be a pilot like her father… even when he flees in the middle of battle and is shot down…

Review of European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss. ★★★ European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman is the sequel to The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, which I suggest you read first — both for the plot to make sense and because the original is the better book. The Athena Club has received a desperate telegram from…

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…