Reviews

Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

SYNOPSIS:

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The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.


Gods of Jade and Shadow feels told rather than read, and it pulled me back into the memory of the stories my mother used to tell me. Continue reading “Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition

Hi hello, friends!

There are many things to look forward to in 2021: chiefly, 2020 being over and a slew of new books!

I sat down to scour all the new releases coming out next year, and came up with an unwieldy beast of a list, stretching out to every horizon. (That’s only slightly hyperbolic: there are A Lot of books coming out next year, and… a lot of trees that are going to be felled to house the sheer scope of human imagination). So I marshaled my best efforts to round-up the most exciting books of 2021, and curate a list which I will be breaking up into four blog posts based on genre: this one, as the title reads, will include offerings from YA science-fiction and fantasy, and you can also look forward to other lists of books in the Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy, YA Contemporary, and Adult Contemporary genres very soon.

Queer retellings of age-old tales (from Peter Pan to Sleeping Beauty to The Firebird)? Greek myth reworked into modern settings? Stories inspired by beloved movies and TV shows like Killing Eve, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Black Mirror? Dyslexic princesses, trans witches, pansexual bloodmages, angry magical sapphics, polyamorous relationships, and found families of cutthroats and thieves? It’s a feast!

So here, the most anticipated YA SFF of 2021. I hope the following list of 60-something books peps you up for the new year!

N.B. Books with LGBTQ+ representation are marked with a little rainbow flag emoji next to the title!

Continue reading “2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition”
Book Recommendations

30 Romantic Webcomic Recommendations for #Graphicathon

Hi hello, friends!

Graphicathon is a week-long readathon that I’m co-hosting with Katie @ohhitheryon and Alex @alex_abe_ and which takes place from November 1-7. This readathon is all about devoting yourself to reading graphic novels and Webcomics. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the incredibly talented creators who combine visual delights with impressive storytelling to fire the imaginations of readers the world over, and give their work the attention it deserves!

Graphicathon has specific challenges to aim for (like reading a graphic novel with your favorite color as the cover, or from your favorite genre, or one that has a one-word title, etc). For this end, I assembled a list of 30 Webcomics readily available online to spur you on! The following recommendations either firmly belong to the romance genre, or simply have a romantic subplot, but can fall under any of the prompts. 

Listen… the world is falling down around us, and I just [clutches fist] really like reading about people falling in love! Accessing love via fiction! Being transported into love tales by means of osmosis and all that! So whether you’re keen to read about heirs and duelist bodyguards, cursed princes and secret witches, sweet-tempered necromancers and 17th century astronomers, wandering girls and sharp-tongued mermaids, or high-schoolers simply navigating the calamitous experience of being young and in love, I hope you find something to love in this list!

P.S. Click on the title to access the Webcomic online!

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Continue reading “30 Romantic Webcomic Recommendations for #Graphicathon”

Reviews

Review: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

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Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

            “Freedom. I see freedom,” writes Toni Onyebuchi to close his book, and for a moment after I turned the last page, I knew lightness and silence, as if the world had tipped, almost fallen, but instead leaned, and then finally rebalanced. Hope blossomed in my chest then, unfolding gently as a flower. Before all the events of this novella slammed back, fast as arrow-shot. Continue reading “Review: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi”

Reviews

Review: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart

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SYNOPSIS:

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

              “Father told me I’m broken,” the novel begins, and those five words immediately swim through a thousand questions flooding the reader’s mind.

              The questions will be answered eventually—most of them, anyway—but not before Andrea Stewart makes us at home in the minds of four narrators whose individual stories are imagined vividly enough to make for several rich and engrossing SF standalone novels.

              The Bone Shard Daughter feels, in that sense, like a fist clenching a tangle of threads. And the most vivid of these threads begins with Continue reading “Review: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart”

Reviews

Review: Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology #2) by Emily Tesh

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SYNOPSIS:

Drowned Country is the stunning sequel to Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh’s lush, folkloric debut. This second volume of the Greenhollow duology once again invites readers to lose themselves in the story of Henry and Tobias, and the magic of a myth they’ve always known.

Even the Wild Man of Greenhollow can’t ignore a summons from his mother, when that mother is the indomitable Adela Silver, practical folklorist. Henry Silver does not relish what he’ll find in the grimy seaside town of Rothport, where once the ancient wood extended before it was drowned beneath the sea—a missing girl, a monster on the loose, or, worst of all, Tobias Finch, who loves him.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

              The experience of reading this duology is so uniquely its own.

              Step inside, and you might feel less like a reader and more like a lost wanderer in an enchanted wood. If you try hard enough, you might Continue reading “Review: Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology #2) by Emily Tesh”