The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver. ★★★1/2
In Chameleon Moon, RoAnna Sylver introduced the dystopic city of Patrol, who’s citizens lived a precarious life above eternally blazing fire, governed by the nefarious Eye in the Sky. Oh, and most of these citizens also had some form of superpower – the reason they were trapped within Patrol.
In this sequel, Slyver takes us outside the city of Patrol. But as it turns out, the world beyond isn’t all sunshine and happiness. A poisonous wasteland named Tartarus has infected much of America with noxious fumes and eerie ghosts. Three teenagers will have to brave this danger zone to bring hope to Patrol.
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. ★★★★
I loved Chameleon Moon so much, and I think it would hold a strong appeal for fans of Welcome to Night Vale.
Patrol is a true dystopian – a city where the sky is chocked with smoke and ash and the ground is just one step away from crumbling into the fires below. And above everything the helicopters of Eye in the Sky survey the super powered citizens, making sure no one can escape. But within this hellhole, the citizens of Patrol have found love, families, and the will to resist. Among them is Evelyn Calliope, a singer with a sonic voice who is the heroine that Patrol needs.
After Atlas by Emma Newman. ★★★★
After Atlas is a novel set in the same universe as Newman’s stellar science fiction novel, Planetfall. However, the two books are completely distinct and can be read independently. In fact, After Atlas is actually a mystery novel in addition to a science fiction story.
After Atlas presents a very dark vision of the future. Democracy has failed, and the world is ruled by hybrid government/corporations – govcorps. Carlos Moreno, who’s mother left aboard the spaceship Atlas, had the misfortune of being rounded up and sold as a debt slave. For the next thirty years, he’ll belong to the Ministry of Justice, where he works as a detective. But a new case threatens the fragile boundaries he’s constructed to preserve his mental state. His uncle, Alejandro Casales, and leader of a religious cult has been found dead in a hotel room, and Carlos will be forced to examine his past.
Borderline by Mishell Baker. ★★★★
Trigger warning: self harm
Borderline is one of the best urban fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time. Having been reading urban fantasy for a while, certain elements feel familiar. The protagonist is usually snarky, and if female, conventionally attractive and probably wears black leather. The protagonist is likely to be some sort of detective, and there’s a mystery to be solved.
Mishell Baker’s Borderline both uses genre conventions and yet is unlike almost other urban fantasy novels out there. There’s fey, which are probably third most popular UF creatures after vampires and werewolves. There’s a mystery to be solved. The heroine can be snarky at times. However, it is this very heroine who makes the book so distinct.
Tremontaine: The Complete Season One by Ellen Kushner, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Malinda Lo, Joel Derfner, Racheline Maltesse, and Patty Bryant. ★★★1/2
Tremontaine is the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint and also a story published through Serial Box, a service that provides serialized “episodes” of written stories somewhat in the manner of TV shows, with different authors writing each episode. The edition I’m reviewing gathers together all thirteen episodes of Season One into a single volume.
Duchess Diane Tremontaine teeters on the edge of financial and social ruin when a ship she’d heavily invested in goes down at sea. At the university, Rafe believes that the common convictions on natural philosophy are entirely wrong, but he lacks the facilities with mathematics to prove his point. Micah, a brilliant young country girl, may just be able to formulate the mathematical proof he needs. And Ixkaab Balam, a newly arrived daughter of a prosperous merchant family, seeks adventure in Riverside and a way to redeem herself in her family’s eyes.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. ★★★1/2
On the Edge of Gone is a stand alone YA science fiction novel about the end of the world. A comet is about to hit Earth, and Denise’s family does not have a place in either the permanent shelters beneath the ground or the generation ships heading off planet. Denise and her drug addicted mother are heading to a temporary shelter (her sister Iris is nowhere to be found). By chance as the comet hits, they find a generation ship that has not yet left Earth. However, all the spots on the ship have already been filled, and Denise fears that she cannot justify her own usefulness since she’s autistic. And even if she does gain a place, what about her mother and sister? What about everyone else who will be left behind?