Posts Categorized: fantasy

Dreamstrider: Review

Dreamstrider: Review

While I, sadly, didn’t fully connect with this novel as I would have liked to, I do have to admire it for the sheer ambition of its scope. This story set itself after the incredibly complex task of telling a political mystery, set in a fantasy world, where dreams themselves figure so heavily they are practically characters. You know how difficult it is to describe your dream to someone? You can see it so clearly, but when you go to actually tell it it’s impossible? This story features a lot of dreams, and I have to applaud Lindsay Smith for the attempt to capture and convey the weirdness and irreality of them in the context of a story. Dreamstrider takes place in a fantasy world that is reminiscent of a sort of 17th-18th century Europe. The Barstadt Empire is a nation with a very strict class system. There are the… Read more »

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Mechanica: Review

Mechanica: Review

There is something so frustrating about a story that is so close to being satisfactory but doesn’t quite make it. Mechanica is a perfectly serviceable retelling, I imagine, but doesn’t have the emotional substance to make an impact. When I read a book I want to be swept away to another world, brought far from my own experiences, and caught up in the emotions of the characters. I don’t want “serviceable.” Now, I haven’t read Cinder, but from what I could tell this really isn’t very similar. Whereas Cinder is a futuristic dystopian-ish (I think?), Mechanica has much more of a traditional fairy tale feel. Think: 18th century but with magic, fae, and some adorable steampunk creatures. Also, that book has a significant focus on the romance aspect of the story. This one…doesn’t (but more on that later). I actually really enjoyed the first 20% or so of the book… Read more »

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Legacy of Kings: Review

Legacy of Kings: Review

Well, it looks like I missed the hype bus for this one. Legacy of Kings failed to engage me at the start and, unfortunately, the slow pace and predictable plot kept me from engaging throughout. This is a sort of “retelling” of the story of a young Alexander the Great, but with some minor fantastical element, namely magic. It’s like “history, but magic is real!” Awesome, right? Except when the characters are dryly drawn, the plot is ridiculously convenient, and there is nary a fresh twist or turn to be seen. Clocking in at past 450 pages, this book could easily have done with a good bit of editing. There are seven POV characters, so if multi-POV makes you dizzy this is not going to be your thing. I normally love multi POV, but not here. The voices stretched so thin, and are so very repetitive. I feel like this… Read more »

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A History of Glitter and Blood: Review

A History of Glitter and Blood: Review

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Hannah Moskowitz’s new book, A History of Glitter and Blood. It is a really weird book, you all, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It was not entirely to my liking and I still can’t stop thinking about it?  Books about fairies are not my thing, and thinking about unreliable narrators reminds me of how much I disliked We Were Liars, but hey, I picked this one up because the cover was pretty and Moskowitz writes queer-centric fiction. If you like weird books and fairies and unreliable narrators and thinking about how history’s written, you’ll probably like this, though. I suspect it’ll be a polarizing read. Why is it weird? Well. There are fairies. Who are covered in glitter. And gnomes who eat fairies, despite disliking the taste of glitter. (And most fairies are missing some body parts as a result…. Read more »

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Game of Thrones: On Fandoms and Criticism (and crossing the line)

Game of Thrones: On Fandoms and Criticism (and crossing the line)

There’s an interesting trend I’ve noticed online, particularly in the last month or so as the show got deeper into its controversial fifth season: people love to hate on Game of Thrones. “Now wait a minute, Kim,” you might be saying. “Are you trying to say I have no right to hate Game of Thrones?” Of course not. You have every right to think Game of Thrones is the vilest piece of misogynist trash you’ve ever had the misfortune to behold. What I’m talking about is the hate-on: the disturbing phenomenon of people who attack media (and its fans) with gleeful relish seemingly for no other reason than: 1. It feels good to put down what other people love and 2. It gives the hate-oner a sense of moral superiority. Let’s get into it. It’s okay to not like something. I feel like this goes without saying, but I really,… Read more »

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The Invasion of the Tearling: Review

The Invasion of the Tearling: Review

The Invasion of the Tearling is not the book The Queen of the Tearling was for me. (This is to say that I was not excitedly texting everyone I knew at 4 a.m. telling them to GO READ THIS BOOK.) In part, this is because The Invasion of the Tearling is a much more ambitious, a much darker, and a much harder book to read than its predecessor. One of the criticisms I remember seeing quite a bit around the interwebz for The Queen of the Tearling was the lack of clarity around The Tearling’s backstory. “What is this crazy dystopian medieval fantasy land and why are we given very little information about how it came into being?” For those of you who had those feels, let me tell you that a good 50% of this book is dedicated to answering precisely those questions. The Invasion of the Tearling alternates… Read more »

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Uprooted: Review Discussion

Uprooted: Review Discussion

Uprooted is an adult fantasy well worth your time.  Layla and I both added it to our  “all time favorite” shelves and adore the dark, fairy tale explorations of this story. Please join us for this fun review discussion! If  you’re a fantasy reader and we haven’t convinced you to read this book by the end of our discussion we’ll eat our hats. Let’s dive in.     Kim: You know, it’s been several years, but I finally found a new book to add to my all-time favorites shelf.  This book is so enchanting and warm and lovely while also being darkly comedic and deliciously creepy. There is just a beautiful glow to this story which reads like an old school Eastern European fairy tale.  Layla: I mean, you know I feel precisely the same way. I can’t remember the last time I loved something quiiiite this much. I kept on desperately checking… Read more »

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