Almost a week since I posted here 🙂 I’ve been focused mainly on reading ARCs from Netgalley, mostly because I always feel guilty about requesting and then leaving those novels on my shelf. That is why, this post will feature short reviews that I’ve posted in Netgalley but forgot to expand or add here. Overall, these novels were engaging and fresh enought that I felt they deserved a bit of spotlight.
Thank you to Netgalley, the authors and the publishing companies for the opportunity to read these ARC’s in exchange for an honest review.
In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.
6 reasons to read this book:
*SO MANY REASONS! WHERE TO START! it’s N.K. Jemisin ‘nough said *short stories compilation!! *beautiful worldbuilding!! beautiful writing!! utopian and dystopian societies!! afro-futurism!! *stories about space adventure, gods, fantasy fables, science fiction, aliens, paranormal creatures, fantasy realms, dragons, spirits, so much magic!! *social commentary about modern societies, greed, power, black excellence *so many amazing concepts and characters
I think I’ve mentioned before I’m in two book clubs with friends (the same group of friends actually), while one is just about romance novels, the other is about more general fiction. This was the book chosen for May for that bookclub. I have to start by saying I know N.K. Jemisin, I know how amazing her novels are, so I knew I was probably going to like the majority of the stories.
What I didn’t expect is to find myself connecting with all stories in this collection. There wasn’t one that didn’t capture me, creeped me out, fascinated me, made me think/consider/worry about the future, awed me, scared me, made me fall in love with the worldbuilding, etc etc. The worldbuilding specially was superb, not one of the stories here felt the same or had the same kind of concepts and/or characters, they were fresh and original. Every story felt real, tangible with the little flavour of sci-fi, fantasy, social commentary and futuristic speculation. But more than anything every story was marvelously developed and fleshed out to the degree any of these felt like they could’ve been a fully length-sized. To be honest, I could easily go into any of the stories of this collection or go one by one explaining the details of what fascinated me by each, but I don’t want to do that, as my friends let me read each one without any kind of hint of what was to come, I want to do the same in this review, I don’t want anyone to read with my words in their head of which I loved the best and which worried me the most and which made me cry (a few did, I have to be honest).
Plucked from her life on the streets of post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, young maid Acilde Figueroa finds herself at the heart of a Santería prophecy: only she can travel back in time and save the ocean – and humanity – from disaster. But first she must become the man she always was – with the help of a sacred anemone. Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela.
6 reasons to read this book:
*post-apocalyptic, dystopian, cyberpunk story *queer latinx (dominican) MC *social commentary about environmental disasters, humanity, dominican society, lgbt+ issues, queer politics, climate change, technology, colonialism, art, poverty, prostitutions, dominican politics, corruption *yoruba rituals!! yoruba traditions!! yoruba beliefs!! *dominican slang, so much dominicanisms *non-linear narrative, gritty, honest, brutal, trippy writing, when you think you know you realise the book hasnt finished
I’m back in my country until July and I thought what a better way to celebrate being here than to read a book by a Dominican author. I knew Rita Indiana previously as a singer-songwriter and composer but with this book I found out she’s also a writer and a really talented one at that. I hardly ever read books translated from Spanish, even more knowing that this book would be filled with little Dominicanisms (dominican slang) that would probably give the novel more flavour. Even so, I decided to strap on and enjoy the journey. The novel is not easy to read, I have to admit, as it has a very non-linear narrative and deals with time-travel sci-fi and a dystopian universe. It’s a mix of social commentary regarding Dominican society, politics (past and present), corruption, ecological issues, sexuality, gender and influences by yoruba beliefs/traditions. Not only does it capture all of those elements beautifully but handles the voices, characters, layers, connections and twists masterfully. I do think by reading it in Spanish I lost some of the magic that the language captures effortlessly and some more of the connections with Dominican society through the use of typical/slang words. I do have to warn if you’re planning on grabbing this novel, it has sexual elements that are graphic and might feel violent by the way they’re written, it’s not an easy novel to read but I think it’s worth it.
No spoiler-y comments because I think this novel needs to be read without knowing much about it and just let it take you on the journey.
This is one hard book to review. Have you ever had one of those, that when you finish the book you still feel like you need 10 more times to get to really know it enough to talk about it? Which book was that?
Found on an unnamed Outer Rim planet, the exiled Chiss warrior Thrawn pledges himself to Emperor Palpatine and joins the Imperial navy. Thrawn’s cunning and expertise as a tactician help him to rise through the ranks with unprecedented speed, though his renegade tactics ignite the ire of his superiors. At Thrawn’s side is his translator-turned-aide-de-camp, Ensign Eli Vanto, whom he trains in the ways of war. Meanwhile, ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce plots her own rise to power.
6 reasons to read this book:
*star wars story!! timothy zahn!! space adventure/science fiction guaranteed *three MC, the 1st MC is a villain/anti-hero part of the Empire, 2nd MC is his personal assistant the story is told mainly from his POV, 3rd MC is an intriguing badass not cliche woman *character-driven story *war stories, military tactics, political intrigue, plot is very character-driven *completed trilogy!
I decided to read something star wars related in celebration of May the 4th and since I’ve heard from friends so much about Thrawn and this book I thought it was fitting to give it a try. Now disclaimer I didn’t know everything about Thrawn before this book since I haven’t seen Star Wars Rebels and I’m way behind on official Star Wars books.
For Star Wars fans this book is set somewhere between the last prequel film Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One.
It interestingly tells the story of Thrawn mostly through the eyes of his aide Eli Vanto and some but very few from Thrawn’s POV. Thrawn is a brilliant military tactician and the book reads so much like an Art of War book which was one of the first reasons I got so caught up in it. It was amazing and intriguing to read how Thrawn unravelled plots and approached military conflicts. This book did the same thing it unravelled little by little the story of Thrawn but also the bigger plot of this book. It was well written, a very character-driven book but intriguing and with well fleshed side characters.
As usual the spoiler full version of the review is under the read more