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Book Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Del Rey, 2020
★★★★★

The Guardian describes Mexican Gothic as “Lovecraft meets the Brontes in Latin America,” which is rather apt. Moreno-Garcia has written a delectably Gothic, deliciously weird, and appropriately horrifying tale of a young woman tasked with rescuing her cousin, allegedly imprisoned in a dilapidated old mansion, potentially being poisoned by her husband’s family.

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Book Review: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

a memory called empireA Memory Called Empire
Arkady Martine

Tor, 2019
★★★★☆

It’s taken me some time to craft a review for this book because I’m not entirely sure how to review it; do I write something purely based on the book’s merit or do I write something based on my own experience of the book? The eternal question. The thing is, I’m not really into sci-fi/space opera. I don’t know what it is. Something about the worldbuilding and aesthetics of space opera just doesn’t really click with me, so that’s already a hurdle to overcome when picking up a space opera novel.

That definitely colored my experience with A Memory Called Empire, but looking at it objectively, it’s a rather superb novel. I can completely understand why it’s been nominated for a Hugo, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins, frankly. It’s really a superb accomplishment on so many level. Continue reading “Book Review: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine”

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Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

The Black Prismthe black prism
Brent Weeks

Orbit, 2020
★★★☆☆

At its heart, The Black Prism is a spin on the classic fantasy Farm Boy trope. Kip, our farm boy, is just an ordinary 15-year-old kid living in a humble little village, when destiny suddenly comes a-knockin in the form of an army that slaughters his entire town. In the ensuing chaos, Kip discovers he is the illegitimate son of Gavin Guile, the Prism, who is a sort of religious/political figure, kind of like a Priest-King. Prisms are one in a generation; they alone are able to draft seven colors with no negative effects, making them extremely powerful; they also use this power to maintain “color balance” in the world. This particular Prism, though, is marked by a war from sixteen ago, when Gavin fought against his brother, who was seemingly also a Prism, leading the war to be known as the False Prism’s war.

There’s kind of a lot going on in this book, but also very little at the same time, so let’s break this down into categories. Continue reading “Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks”

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Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue invisible life of addie larue
V.E. Schwab

Tor Books
October 6, 2020
★★★★★

This is by far the best Schwab book I’ve read, and yet I’ve still come away from the experience in much the same way I’ve come away from reading all her other books, which is to say: I think that, on a technical level, this is an absolutely brilliant book and I can’t fathom giving it less than five stars, but I still have several criticisms. And I just know there’s going to be so, so many effusive and glowing five-star reviews of this book (they’re coming out already), which are well-deserved, but I’d still like to discuss some of the issues I had.

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Book Review: The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

The Bird Kingthe bird king
G. Willow Wilson

Grove Press, 2019
★★★★★

Al-Andalus is a gilded vision imprinted into the minds of many Muslim children, myself included. It is a dream of glory days long past, the Golden Age of the Islamic Empire, a time of prosperity and tolerance. The Bird King begins not in the midst of this glory age, but at the door of its downfall: the year is 1491. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand have laid siege to Granada, the last remaining stronghold of the great empire of Muslim Spain, tenuously held by the sultan and his retinue.

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