Author: Kacen Callender Series: Islands of Blood and Storm (#2) Publication date: December 1, 2020 Genre: adult fantasy
After absolutely falling in love with Felix Ever After earlier this year, I simply had to try out more of Kacen Callender’s work. So when I saw an opportunity to get involved in a blog tour with one of Callender’s books–and one that is in my favorite genre, no less!–I simply had to sign up. And I am so glad that I did; this dark fantasy, full of political struggles and open commentary on colonialism, is excellent. Callender’s writing prowess apparently spans a wide range of genres as well as age levels (seriously, they write MG, YA, and adult, and genres including both contemporary and fantasy??), and I will certainly be picking up more of their books in the future. But enough about how much I love this author–let’s get on to the story!
Author: Naomi Kritzer Publication date: November 19, 2019 Genre: young adult, sci-fi, thriller My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Excellent queer rep. The coolest, quirkiest, most awkwardly badass AI. A ragtag team of internet friends, a road trip, a reprogrammed sex-education robot (not the AI), a literal cat…this book has a bit of everything, and it works so well. In under 300 pages, this tiny page-turner covers an impressive span of topics, with a delicate balance of fun and dread that will ring true for all of us who grew up alongside the internet.
Author: Rachel Bloom Publication date: November 17, 2020 Genre: memoir, humor My rating: 4.5/5 stars
It’s funny. It’s weird. It’s occasionally oddly insightful and poignant. Guys, gals, and nonbinary pals, this book is everything I hoped for and then some, a candid testament to the value of honesty and the absolute falseness of the idea that everyone else is normal while you’re just an oddball. From the inimitable Rachel Bloom, creator/star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and creator of amazing songs/music videos including “Fuck Me Ray Bradbury” and “I Steal Pets,” comes a memoir that I can truly say is unlike any memoir I’ve read to date. It contains some echoes of other fun female-comedian-memoirs like Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please…and then amps up the weirdness to a new, wholly delightful level.
Author: Jennifer San Filippo Publication date: November 10, 2020 Genre: young adult fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Okay, hear me out: take the elemental powers of Avatar: The Last Airbender and fuel them with singing, rather than martial arts. That absolutely golden combination lies at the heart of the world Jennifer San Filippo has created in her debut novel, Divided Fire. A captivating tale of sisterhood, magic, and the meaning of strength, this book was a quick, refreshing read with a premise at once classic and original.
Authors: Danni Bennett and Jaida Jones Publication date: November 10, 2020 Genre: young adult fantasy My rating: 4.25/5 stars
It’s no secret that I love dark fantasy, morally gray characters, queer characters, thieves and other sketchy people, sarcastic humor, and ragtag teams of misfits. So it should come as no surprise that Master of One, a book that combines literally ALL of those elements, was a huge hit for me. I laughed. I cringed. My heart twisted a few times. What starts out as the story of an irreverent thief on a mission way above his pay grade morphs into a sprawling, slow-building tale of fae, magical silver animals, evil sorcerers, corrupt monarchy, and all that other fun stuff. I’ll admit, I was a little confused at the start, but once the story really got going, I was very invested, and I’m already dying for the sequel. (Plus, huge bonus–there’s some nice physical disability rep in the book as well!)