What I'm Reading

I'm doing short, Twitter-like (pre-280 character count) reviews of the books I'm reading. At the moment, I'm on a YA kick, but there's a little non-YA sci-fi and fantasy stuff.

Reading "All the Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders.

What I've Read

Ancillary Justice, Book 1 by Ann Leckie

Takes 100 pages to get going but once it does, it reveals a unique socio-cultural space opera universe with equally unique protagonist.

Ancillary Sword, Book 2 by Ann Leckie

Expands the universe in organic steps. Story remains personal yet galaxy spanning in equal measure. Keeps its cultural politics engaging.

Ancillary Mercy, Book 3 by Ann Leckie

The end of the trilogy keeps the action small and local. Much more interaction between characters, old and new. Softer ending than expected.

Ash by Malinda Lo

A retelling of Cinderella. The parts that diverge from the traditional fairy tale make the story fresh. Very lyrical writing, lovely read.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

A girl is stuck on the last day of her life. She and the book are complicated, bitchy, warm, loving, desperate, insightful, tragic, poetic.

The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

This is a Portland woman's version of Shaun of the Dead. End of the world is hilarious, surreal, and tragicomic. Both real and ridiculous.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Lush novella about a clash of cultures, human Himba with alien Meduse, teen genius Binti against an angry species. Wish it were longer.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 1 by Laini Taylor

Starts off light but builds up into a complicated universe. The reveal of the protagonist's nature takes the story into a wild turn.

Days of Blood and Starlight, Book 2 by Laini Taylor

Continues with the wild turn into a high fantasy epic with grand worldbuilding. Protagonist loses a lot of the spark from the previous book.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Graphic desc of sex, but incest angle and terrible home life increases the stakes to transform the book into a beautiful, tragic love story.

Gates of Thread and Stone, Book 1 by Lori M. Lee

Post-apocalyptic magical steampunk world that feels seamless. Ending reveal(s) are so epic that it almost obliterates the previous chapters.

Ink by Amanda Sun

Moody magical mystery with a lot of prolonged, extended moments. A lot of will they, won't they between the protagonist and love interest.

Ink & Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

A Veronica Mars-like whodunnit with a spunky girl detective. The teenagers are distinctive and pop. Mixed feelings about level of violence.

Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler.

Disturbing, compelling trilogy of cultural & physiological clash between humans & Oankali. Challenges humanity, consent, identity, & ethics.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

The master of modern folklore weaves a familiar tale; a befuddled normal man/boy lost in a world caught between modernity and the old ways.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Alternate Wild West wuxia-like heist where hippos have taken over the Mississippi River. Punchy writing with betrayals and caper twists.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Post-apoc cutthroat and selfish world with perfect tension for the YA characters struggling to be good and honest. Incredible storytelling.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho.

Lovely prose for a lovely fantasy world. A lot of comedy of manners intertwined with fast paced action and a lot of compelling mysteries.

The Sun if Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.

Heartbreaking, funny story about two opposite teens struggling to fall in love with each other and discover who they are in the first place.

The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. Translation by Ken Liu.

A challenging read. Reminds me of Asimov or Clark. The different story lines come together but expect a lot of confusion.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

Tightly plotted, rich fantasy. Story feeds you just enough info about the engrossing world & characters to keep the non-stop action going.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The eponymous girl is a plot point mirroring her in-world exploitation. Other vile characters mirror the post-apoc world. Compelling read.