Fantasy Review: ‘Amberlough’ by Lara Elena Donnelly

amberlough-picCross Posted at Booknest

Both timely and timeless. Wonderful yet heartbreaking. Completely fucking awesome. Oh, and debut of the year.

A nationalist fervor has empowered the One State Party though they still lack the votes to control Amberlough City. Cyril DePaul once enjoyed the spy game but is now a man who doesn’t quite want to admit he may be broken. Called back into field work he is sent to investigate the One State Party (better known as Ospies) and quickly finds himself way over his head. Soon enough he must make some tough decisions as the ‘game’ puts everything (and everyone) he cares about in danger. Continue reading

Sci-Fi Review: ‘The Stars are Legion’ by Kameron Hurley

Originally Posted to Booknest

Living world ships move through space; if there is any destination the people on the ships don’t know it nor any history of another way.  Sadly for these women the worlds are dying as entropy finally seems to be beating out their long living systems.  Rival factions war for resources; recycling what they find in an effort to extend the life of their own piece of the sky.  Zan wakes among one of these factions and slowly learns she has an ambitious plan for a rebirth of kinds.  Problem is an almost complete memory loss gives her no idea what the plan is.

The way Hurley uses such a short page length to build multiple worlds and still have space for a story should be taught in school.  No spare time is spent on wasted details yet characters’ travels and conversions tell the reader everything that is needed to be known and more.  This dying earth space opera checks all the right boxes.  It is unique and alien.  Dark, occasionally gross, and full of mystery.  Strong imagery lets you see experience what Zan and her collected group of outcasts are experiencing.   The world ships are a thing of wonder; but also horror as the curtain is pulled back to see exactly what it takes to keep them living for so long. Continue reading

Sci-Fi Review: ‘Binti’ by Nnedi Okorafor

Another review over at Booknest (which after some technical issues appears to be up again).  This time for Binti, a nice little novella by Nnedi Okorafor.

Simple but worth reading.  Binti was perhaps not everything I hoped for but as the start of a serial story it is a great 25667918start.

Binti is a novella about Binti, mathematical genius and first of her Himbi village to be accepted to a prestigious off-world university.  This is a big step in more than one way; the Himbi people do not leave their isolated village.  This not being an old colonial fantasy it must be noted that the Himbi are not backward, nor primitive, and are in fact quite technologically apt and Binti was training to join her families technology business.  But the Himbi do keep their own ways and said ways are seen as strange when Binti journeys afar.

Please head on over to Booknest and check it out!

Fantasy Review: ‘Walk on Earth a Stranger’ by Rae Carson

Over at Booknest I posted a review of ‘Walk on Earth a Stranger’ by Rae Carson, a book I loved.  Young Adult fantasy done absolutely right.

My expectations are NOT too high.  I didn’t think so, but occasionally reading Young Adult fantasy books walk-on-earthI find myself wondering if I expect too much.  After all the books are not being written for me (though I am sure no author would be upset to find their book as the next ‘all ages’ phenomenon).  So if I read the latest YA craze and just don’t get it, or complain about weak world building, or even just don’t like it then I often think to myself ‘maybe my expectations are just too high.’

Nope.  Walk on Earth a Stranger is exactly what I needed to confirm this is not the case.  Like Terry Pratchett and Catherynne Valente’s great series’ Walk on Earth a Stranger proves that good young adult fantasy doesn’t have to be watered down and simplified.  It especially doesn’t have to be patronizing.  It just has to change the point a view a bit to the younger side and then tell the story it needs to tell.

Please head over to Booknest and give it a read! 

Review: ‘Den of Wolves’ by Juliet Marillier

22567184Over at Booknest.eu I posted a review of ‘Den of Wolves,’ third book of the popular Blackthorn and Grim series.

Typically the third book of a trilogy forever sets the tone for how readers will remember the entire series. The first book, say Dreamer’s Pool, is what is responsible for sparking interest in the over reaching plot and (hopefully) major players in the coming story. In many cases this may be a readers introduction to the author as well; life long love may follow from a suitable impressive start. Dreamer’s Pool was indeed a book like this, a beautifully crafted fairy tale that introduced many to Juliet Marillier. Most importantly it introduced readers to Blackthorn and Grim, a duo sure to entertain for books to come….

Head over and check it out!