Review of Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He. ★★★★ TW: Parental death My main impression of Descendant of the Crane was of a very solid YA fantasy debut that was enjoyable if not incredible… and then the plot twists hit and I was like “WOAH.” I am 100% planning on reading the sequel! When Princess Hesina of Yan finds…

Review of The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore. ★★★★ Like the sound of queer fantasy assassins? Then The Perfect Assassin is the book for you. Amastan’s family has an important place in the city of Ghadid. They protect it from the shadows, assassinating criminals who need to be taken care of quietly. Amastan has just earned his place as the…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in February

I’ve been trying to read some books outside of science fiction and fantasy to get a feel for other genres. I don’t want to spend the time it would take to write full reviews for these books, so I decided to make a roundup series of mini-reviews I’m calling “Breaking the Bubble.” This month includes…

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…

Breaking the Bubble: Non-SFF Reading in January

Hello everyone! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here, but I’m currently interning for a literary agent who represents mostly mysteries, thrillers, romance, and women’s fiction. Since I’m reading tons of query letters manuscript samples, I figured I should also read some more books outside sci-fi and fantasy to get a feel for different…

Review of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. ★★★★1/2 The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a delightfully twisty murder mystery with speculative elements. Aiden is repeating the same day over and over again. He has eight tries to solve the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder… or his memory will be erased and he will repeat this…

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 Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw. ★★★ I’ve loved Cassandra Khaw’s short stories, but I hung back from this novella, which I thought didn’t sound like my sort of thing. I was right. This review is largely going to be a matter of personal preference. Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef just isn’t the right book for me. Rupert Wong,…

Review of Head On by John Scalzi

Head On by John Scalzi. ★★★★ While Head On is a sequel to Scalzi’s earlier science fiction novel, Lock In , it’s a stand alone mystery story. Still, I would suggest starting with Lock In so you can get to know the world and characters before diving into Head On. FBI Agent Chris Shane is watching a live game of hilketa, where players…

Review of The Heartreader’s Secret by Kate McIntyre

The Heartreader’s Secret by Kate McIntyre. ★★★★ The Heartreader’s Secret is the third in Kate McIntyre’s Faraday Files series, a queer fantasy mystery series. I do suggest reading the books in order, so starting with The Deathsniffer’s Assistant. I don’t think I can fully avoid spoilers for the previous two books in this review, so head on over to The…