It’s time! I love writing up these summary/reviews so much. Part 1 and Part 2 are on my blog as always. I did end up keeping it going on Twitter, since the pandemic sort of gutted my choice to cease being on there. Sighs. We live and learn, huh?
Typing this list made me realize I haven’t done one of these in far too long, especially considering how much I’ve read since Part 2. I think there’s some books I’m skipping, but I’m covering the important ones. I will eventually run into trouble finding sequels to joke-title these after, but, as Aragorn says, IT IS NOT THIS DAY.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
If I could unhinge my jaw and fully consume this novel I would. It is rare to find a novel with an opening line so good I literally have to put the book down. Reading this book is an experience – it’s cinematic! You can see everything the characters did. A stunning novel that will show you how to do first person narrative right. The sequel, THE IKESSAR FALCON, is sitting on my bookshelf, but it is not safe from the unhinging of my jaw either.
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
Larkwood’s prose was tricky for me to get into, but once I was there, I loved it. Csorwe is a disaster lesbian, the magic is rad, necromancy is rad, and I will forever want to read books about WLW by WLW. Any novel where a character I hate at the start but love by the end gets extra kudos from me, too.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
I yearned for this book for easily 5 years but it was never in stock (because it was always sold out) and I finally got my hands on it! And I loved it! What an amazing example of a fairy tale, with all the twists and turns you could desire. It isn’t structured like what I’m used to, but I liked that about it. I feel if I had read this as a teen, it would have been my narrative influence for years.
Want by Cindy Pon
Hits a bit harder now than when it was published, since the plot is about “rich people don’t have to breathe toxic air/can survive a plague and everyone else suffers and dies.” That said, truly the best cyberpunk novel I’ve read, possibly ever. If you’re sick of Asian-inspired cyberpunk, pick this up, since it’s…an actual Asian cyberpunk. Political, relevant, tough on capitalism, what more can you ask for?
(Answer: the sequel, RUSE. Excuse me to cry since I’m not allowed to buy more books.)
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
1/2 birthday gifts I read! I hate both of the main characters so much, and yet I loved reading this novel. Kind of a weird dissonance? Didn’t like the girl dying and being the source of manpain, but otherwise, great solid novel. My best summary is one of my tweets: ““i guess this makes me the villain now” victor whispers to himself, staring out the window of his stolen hotel room as he plots literal murder, but yeah sure wanting revenge on 1 dude who 1 paper called a hero is the real catalyst here”
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
This? This is the good gay sh*t you’ve no doubt heard rumours of. It’s what I’d consider a science fantasy, it’s got F/F enemies to lovers, there’s a secret rebellion, there’s chapter breaks with in world lore and writing, there’s a MAP, I just!! Aaaaaa!! Gotta give it to my friends they were 2/2 on amazing birthday gifts. I think I spent about half my time reading it screaming about how gay it was to various people.
The Unwilling (ARC) by Kelly Braffet
What more can I say then what I have already said?
I wasn’t expecting this novella to be funny and uh? It was hilarious? It had me in literal stitches numerous times. But it knows when to be serious, too, and it packs in some deep and personal moments that will linger with you. It feels like a spinoff to a much larger series that I am not allowed to read, and this makes me sad, because I want more with every single one of these characters, but especially Tet Sang, whom I would die for. I convinced 2 friends to read it before I’d finished, so be smart and join them. I release you.
My next read is going to be A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, and from what I’ve heard, it will ruin me. Can’t wait!