Book Review (ARC): Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden – 4/5 Stars

I love weird, squishy, biological scifi, and I was impressed by how perfectly Escaping Exodus delivered on this front. When I originally read the premise on Goodreads – “a city-size starship carved up from the insides of a space-faring beast” – I knew I had to get my hands on this book. I’ll admit that I came in feeling a hint of trepidation: what if the beast is relegated to being in the background? What if it’s a normal spaceship that’s only “alive” when it’s plot convenient? Etc., etc. Fortunately, we were wading through ichor and entrails from the very first page. My worries were utterly baseless. Nicky Drayden embraced every bit of icky organic goodness right from the start.… Read More Book Review (ARC): Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden – 4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko (5/5 stars)

Marina and Sergey have crafted a unique and strange experience in Vita Nostra, one requiring effort and attention from the reader to unravel. While it is a book set in a magic school, it is dissimilar to most everything else I’ve encountered in the magic school subgenre. The students sit under constant threat of severe retribution should they fail to perform – up to and including the deaths of their loved ones. They are assigned strange and esoteric mental exercises, forced to run until they can’t any more, forced to prostitute themselves. It is a book without chapters, without clear plot or goals. … Read More Book Review: Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko (5/5 stars)

Book Review (ARC): Duchamp Versus Einstein by Christopher Hinz and Etan Illfeld – 2.5/5 Stars

This book held promise, and kept me interested by introducing new ideas and premises as it progressed. It was short and a quick read. The prose was more than serviceable. However, every promise the novelette made to me as a reader ended up unfulfilled. I think this book needed to pruned back heavily, and perhaps would have been more appropriate as a short story instead of a novelette. … Read More Book Review (ARC): Duchamp Versus Einstein by Christopher Hinz and Etan Illfeld – 2.5/5 Stars

Book Review (ARC): A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs – 5/5 Stars

This is not a comfortable book. It is brutal. It is often gory. It is violent, torturous, and painful. It is not palatable. And yet, A Lush and Seething Hell is perhaps one of the most polished and seamless books I have read. As Chuck Wendig put it in the foreword, “his magic tricks remain pure fucking magic. These murder ballads are ones we have not heard before.” I cannot find it in myself to disagree with him. When I review a book, I tend to pick it apart to see what makes it tick. Then, I reduce it down into a format that will give a reader a good idea as to the tone and content of the book while also allowing some of my own biases and voice to come through. I fail to pick this book apart. I fail to see the specific gears that make it tick, though I can certainly see the hands turning and hear the bells chiming.… Read More Book Review (ARC): A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs – 5/5 Stars

September Reading Wrap-Up

September was sure an interesting ride. We had a few stand outs – namely, The Bone Ships by RJ Barker, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, and The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes…. all sandwiched in between a few books that didn’t quite hit that sweet spot for me. Both Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and The Miracles of Namiya General Store by Keigo Higashino were near-misses and had quite a few aspects I enjoyed greatly even if they didn’t pull together in the way I might have hoped. The Resurrectionist of Caligo, however, didn’t work for me at all on nearly any level – though I think the author duo behind it shows promise and may well improve in future works. … Read More September Reading Wrap-Up

Book Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 3.5/5 Stars

Gods of Jade and Shadow is a light, fairytale-esque read focusing on Mayan and Mexican history and mythology. Set in the 1920s, the midst of the jazz era, the setting comes across as different and refreshing given how infrequently Mexico is featured in non-translated fantasy. I would recommend this to people who are looking for fantasy that straddles the line between adult and YA content. It’s quick-moving with characters who conform to existing archetypes. Although there is nothing particularly ground-breaking in this novel, it is overall competently written and something I’d consider to be a good vacation read.… Read More Book Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 3.5/5 Stars