I have mixed feelings about The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry. I picked it up because it looked light and funny, and it was amusing, but not so much funny. It’s a book largely written in a fantasy-style slang and takes some adjusting. The first third of the book requires slow, deliberate reading until the reader learns what some of Delly’s slang, the world-specific and magic-specific terminology, and what things are just verbal mannerisms. If I’d been listening to the audiobook, I think this would have gone more smoothly as I could rely on the narrator’s tone for some interpretation […]
Clean Getaway is a short book. It’s a middle grade novel that, in audiobook format, runs for just about four hours. It astounds me that in such a short span, Nic Stone is able to explore such complicated relationships with so much meaning and depth. I shouldn’t be surprised – this is Nic Stone, an incredible author, who writes with so much heart and passion. Clean Getaway is an example of how you can have a middle grade book that is sad, meaningful, heartwarming, and educational. It’s phenomenal. Scoob is fighting with his dad, so when his grandmother shows up […]
After adoring Trouble the Saints and really becoming immersed in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s writing style, I had high hopes for Love is the Drug. I think these two books are good examples of how intended audience and experience in the field makes a difference in quality. While Trouble the Saints was a beautifully written book with intriguing characters and settings, Love is the Drug (published several years earlier) fumbles for balance and fails to hold the reader. It’s not all bad, but it did not meet expectations. Love is the Drug succeeds in concept. While I’m still not sure if […]
Silvia Moreno-Garcia captured the attention of the online book community at large with Mexican Gothic in 2020, but her brilliance didn’t start there. While not her debut, The Beautiful Ones is a book of particular note, managing to both entice and disgust in easy flourishes. This book has one of the best crafted villains I’ve ever read, and an ending I didn’t expect. The Beautiful Ones is more magical realism than fantasy. It is a bit of romance and a bit of the unusual, but the cold steel heart of it is an examination of social structure and elitism and […]
An Arrow to the Moon is a modern retelling of the story of the archer who shot down nine suns and his wife, the moon goddess. Over the last couple months, I’ve become very familiar with multiple versions of Hou Yi and Chang’e’s story between this book, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, and researching the Mid-Autumn Festival for work. It’s appropriate, I suppose, because the Moon Festival is in about two weeks, so this is a timely book to be reading.