Posts Categorized: 4.5 star books

Honor’s Knight: review

Honor’s Knight: review

Wendy gave me Fortune’s Pawn for Christmas, and I put off reading it for months and months–until a week ago. I have a tendency to do this; being given or loaned a book makes me feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to enjoy it, and that perceived pressure pretty quickly turns into a weird resentment of the book in question. I’m such an idiot. Once I finally sat down with the darned thing, I devoured it in one sitting, and as soon as I finished it around 2 am, I proceeded to read Honor’s Knight right then and there in a blurry haze of bloodshot eyes and coffee breath. Because these books are really, really good, you guys. What follows will contain spoilers for Fortune’s Pawn, the previous book in the Paradox series. Honor’s Knight opens with an intense, heartbreaking prologue in which we learn why so… Read more »

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Murder of Crows: review

Murder of Crows: review

The best sequels expand the world you know and make you fall even deeper in love with the characters, and Murder of Crows does all that and more in a story that’s just as interesting as its predecessor. Written in Red was one of my favorite books last year, so it is a relief to find that the sequel continues its winning combination of dark urban fantasy tinged with unexpected humor. This time around, a mysterious drug is causing trouble within the community, and Meg’s nightmares seem to signal impending danger for the terra indigene. The relationships between Meg and all the other characters are so well-written, particularly in her interactions and histories with other women. I also appreciate how sensitive everyone is to potential threats to her well-being, and as well as the sense of protectiveness towards women in general. Consent and choice are huge themes here, from something… Read more »

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The Winner’s Curse: review

The Winner’s Curse: review

In the coming months, you’re going to be hearing a lot of people talking about The Winner’s Curse. The story of Kestrel, a general’s daughter who impulsively buys a slave from an auction, has the feel of a historical fantasy without slotting neatly into either category; it’s not directly inspired by any particular period, nor does it contain any magic. Rather, it is a perfectly self-contained, handsomely realized world of its own, and one that I found incredibly imaginative and thrilling. If you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy or Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars series, you must get your hands on this as soon as it’s available! I loved so many of the memorable characters that live in this world. Kestrel must enlist in the military or be engaged by the age of eighteen; while she’s headstrong, her willingness to keep an open mind, her concern… Read more »

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Cruel Beauty: review

Cruel Beauty: review

Retellings of classic myths and stories with well-known mythological figures as characters have been really popular lately. They can be resonant and deep, using the comfort of the familiar to comment on society and human nature, or they can be cheesy and superficial, with that “Here’s a quirky thing about me that history got wrong, wink wink fart!” attitude, and it can be hard sometimes to tell which of those you’re dealing with until you really get into the story. I am happy to report that this book is very much one of the former. Cruel Beauty is an exquisitely crafted retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche. I am in awe of Rosamund Hodge and her ability to strip that classic story down to its most basic narrative skeleton and build on top of it a brand new, complex world with rich, original mythology and characters. There’s also… Read more »

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Fortune’s Pawn: review

Fortune’s Pawn: review

When Fortune’s Pawn landed on my doorstep I regarded it with the usual skepticism. (I know, I’m terrible.) But sometimes taking a chance on something you’ve never heard of pays off in a big way, because I love, love, loved this book! It’s science fiction written like urban fantasy–while I may catch some flack for that description, what I really mean by that is that it’s a well-plotted, complex futuristic story, but it zips along with snappy dialogue and snark more commonly found in UF. And as much as a badass as Devi is, there’s also a definite focus on her love life as well. If you’re a fan of scifi, here are just a few things I’ve come up with to persuade you to give this series a chance. 5 Reasons to Read Fortune’s Pawn Devi is really IS like Ripley in Aliens. Marketing copy often makes me laugh… Read more »

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These Broken Stars: review

These Broken Stars: review

I’ve heard this book described as Titanic in space, and while I suppose that is technically pretty accurate, it really only applies to the first 10% of the story, at which point the crash occurs.  From then on, it’s about two brilliant young people from opposite backgrounds who have to learn to work together to survive alone, marooned on a strange planet that seems to be haunted by the ghosts of their ship’s dead. Lilac is the only child of the wealthiest man in the universe (Which is, by the way, an amount of money that has no comparison in our world.  She’s not Paris Hilton-level rich; her father runs a corporation that essentially controls what goes on on almost every planet.  And he’s single.)  The two of them have been extremely close (not in a creepy way) since the death of her mother, and he’s taught her a great… Read more »

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Parasite: review

Parasite: review

Six years ago, Sally Mitchell woke up from a coma with no memory of anything but the hot warm darkand the sound of drums.  She did not know what humans were.  She did not understand language.  She remembered nothing of the seizure that caused her to drive her car into the path of a bus.  She had a completely new personality.  She was a completely new person. Sal’s life was saved by an intestinal parasite.  Hundreds of thousands of people have a version of the same parasite in them, a parasite genetically modified to fight disease and infection in its host.  No one knows how Sal’s parasite managed to wake her from a coma, or why she has no memory and a new personality, or why, for that matter, she is terrified of teeth.  But as Sal and her boyfriend try to figure out what is going on, they learn… Read more »

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