Guest Post: Worldbuilding and Culture in the Hexarchate by Yoon Ha Lee

Today’s post is by Yoon Ha Lee, author of Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem, which comes out on June 13th. I have a confession that may horrify you. When I was writing Ninefox Gambit, I worked from a lot of notes.  I had an outline.  I had a list of entertaining tactical tricks scrounged from James Dunnigan…

Review of A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham

A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham. ★★★1/2 The city-state of Saraykeht has grown wealthy off of the cotton trade. Their court poet, Heshai, has put into words and bound an idea and spirit, Seedless, who can remove seeds from cotton with a wave of his hand. Thanks to Heshai and Seedless, no other nation can snatch away…

Review of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews. ★★★★ Magic Binds is the ninth book in the Kate Daniels series, which is perhaps my all time favorite urban fantasy series. The series starts with Magic Bites. While not the greatest beginning, the series reaches “awesome” territory by book three and has consistently stayed there. Magic Binds is no exception. I expected to enjoy the…

Review of The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard. ★★★1/2 While there were elements of The House of Shattered Wings that I enjoyed, it never fully worked for me. I never felt much of a connection to any of the characters, and the plot wasn’t compelling enough to make up for that absence. House Silverspires is on the decline. Like…

Review of Lunda: New Moon by Ian McDonald

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald. ★★★ Luna: New Moon is an expansive science fiction novel set among the feuding family companies of the future moon settlement. The story focuses on the Cortas, a Brazilian family headed by Adriana Corta, who built an empire based around helium. As Adriana is dying, the family faces conflict from both inside and…

Review of The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells

The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells. ★★★★ The Edge of Worlds is the fourth book in Martha Well’s amazingly inventive Raksura series, which starts with The Cloud Roads. This is a world without humans, and most of the cast are scaled shape shifters. I would suggest starting from the beginning of the series, to get better handle on…

Review of Company Town by Madeline Ashby

Company Town by Madeline Ashby. ★★★1/2 Company Town‘s plot didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I nevertheless enjoyed reading it. Hwa’s a bodyguard for a sex workers’ union on a future city built around an oil rig. The city’s being bought out by a single family owned business, and Hwa is offered a new job: guard Joel, the…

Review of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. ★★★★1/2 This was my second time reading Scott Lynch’s fantasy heist novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. This time around, I was reading it as part of a group read, which was one of the first times I’ve read a book in weekly increments over the span of a month….

Review of Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear. ★★★1/2 Steles of the Sky is the final book in the epic fantasy series the Eternal Sky, which starts with Range of Ghosts. Temur is raising his banner as Great Khan and gathering allies against the plot to raise an ancient evil. Thankfully, the synopsis for Steles of the Sky differed from the formula set…

Review of City of Bones by Martha Wells

City of Bones by Martha Wells. ★★★★1/2 Reading through Martha Wells’s back list has been one of the best book related decisions I’ve ever made. So far I’ve liked everything she’s written, and City of Bones was no exception.City of Bones is a stand alone fantasy novel set in a post-apocalyptic world where the seas have drained away and stone…

Review of The Siren Depths by Martha Wells

The Siren Depths by Martha Wells. ★★★★ The Siren Depths is the third of Martha Well’s Raksura novels, which start with The Cloud Roads. This series takes place in a completely different fantasy world, one where there are no humans or other recognizable species. The main characters are all Raksura, a race of shapeshifters. Moon, the protagonist, spent the majority…

Review of The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. ★★★★1/2 The Bands of Mourning is the third book in Sanderson’s newer Mistborn series. You don’t have to have read the original Mistborn trilogy, but you should read The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self before picking up The Bands of Mourning. My review will be spoiler free for The Bands of Mourning. A kandra…