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 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…

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo. ★★1/2 I should have quit Lost Gods. I’ll admit that to myself. When you’re not enjoying a book, sometimes you just need to pony up and quit. But since I did end up making it all the way through Lost Gods, at least you’ll get this review. Neythan has been trained since childhood to…

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…

Review of Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee. ★★★★ What am I going to do with my life now that this series is over? I suppose I’m left with no choice but to read everything else Yoon Ha Lee ever writes. Revenant Gun is the third and final book in Lee’s  military space opera, The Machineries of Empire trilogy. I…

Review of Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. ★★★★1/2 At the battle of Gettysburg, the dead began to walk, changing history forever. Jane McKeene was born only a few days after that historic event, and she has never known a world where humanity isn’t threatened by the ravenous hunger of their own dead. Under the Native and Negro Reeducation Act, Jane and other…

Review of Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh. ★★★1/2 I’ve had a lot of bad luck with YA dystopia, but Rebel Seoul turned out to be a gem of the genre. In Neo Seoul, everyone is drafted into the military upon coming of age. Lee Jaewon’s escaped his past as a gang member in the slums of Old Seoul and now attends a…

Review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. ★★★★★ TW: self harm, sexual violence, war crimes I loved this book. I cannot get over how amazing it is. The best comparison I can think of is N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which really says something, doesn’t it? Rin is an orphaned peasant girl in the backwater Rooster Province, but despite all…

Throwback Thursday: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Serpentine by Cindy Pon. ★★★ I was not a fan of Cindy Pon’s debut book, Silver Phoenix, but I also figured, “It’s a debut book, and her writing will probably improve over time.” With that in mind, I finally checked out Serpentine from the library. And guess what? I liked it better than Silver Phoenix! Skybright is sixteen-years-old and handmaiden…