This is not a book you should trust. Baru is a genuis who will fool you -- and maybe even herself -- on her mission to decimate an evil empire from the inside. Can you truly fight an oppressive system without losing yourself?
The Traitor Baru Cormorant is a game of political chess. It's a rags-to-riches story (sort of.) It's a tale of revenge. It's an economic thriller with one of my favorite characters from anything, ever. It's an examination of the stories society tells, and how those stories are used to shape and destroy us. This book is so many things, and they're all good. If you have even a minor interest in court intrigue or in reading about A BRILLIANT MATHEMATICIAN WOMAN TEARING DOWN AN OPPRESSIVE CULTURE FROM THE INSIDE, then like, oh my god, where have you been, this is your book. (I wouldn't call it feel-good, though, so be warned.)
A god is dead. Tara Abernathy has to find who killed him, and more importantly--who gets to decide what his replacement is like. Money is soul, corporations are literally people, and divine grace is exchanged like stocks.. Sound fun yet? It should. Max Gladstone has created a world that lives, breathes, excites, and jokes. This is my favorite fantasy series in recent memory, and one of the only truly modern urban fantasies. This will rock your world.
The magic system is incredible, and based on contracts and economics. There's an incredibly fabulous skeleton king in later books, too.
Winter Tide is Lovecraftian horror dragged howling and gurgling into the 21st century. Written with an obvious appreciation of the source material, Emrys's greatest addition to Lovecraft's legacy is a genuine love and kindness toward the characters. Emrys proves that monsters (and people) are only scary until you get to know them, so it follows that the most terrifying are the ones impossible to know.
This book felt like it was urging me to run out in the streets and yell about my right to culture and life and love, my right to exist alongside Aphra, and Charlie, and Spector, and even the Great Race of Yith (who live unshackled to linear time.) This book will appeal to any reader who has felt the need to rebel against a system that treats them like an "other," anyone who knows how it feels to hide your truest self. It's a beautiful book, and I left it stronger than I entered.
One sentence pitch that should make you want to read this book: Teen girls on a paper route in the 80s accidentally discover a time-traveling supernatural conspiracy. Hard to review things when they play into everything you want to have happen in a book. Awesome teen female characters, time travel, alien monsters??? I'm here for all of it and can't wait to see what comes next. Brian K. Vaughan absolutely has my number on this one. (And you should read it, too.)
Welcome to Night Vale knows your expectations when you read a book, and knows exactly how to smash those expectations.
Don't assume anything. Or do, and get excited to be wrong.
If you loved the podcast, you'll love this book. If you haven't heard the podcast -- why not, where have you been -- you'll love this book.
If you like to laugh, if you like to be grossed out, if you like to be scared, if you like to think about your existence in the impossible context of the universe, if you have ever been a teenager, this book is for you. It's also got some pretty good stuff about parenting hidden in there.
Claudia Gray cements her position as the best modern Star Wars author by following up the fantastic LOST STARS with the possibly even better BLOODLINE.
In BLOODLINE, she finally gets the chance to show off what she can do with major canon characters and absolutely nails it. Leia's voice is perfect. Han's voice is great. Even more interesting, though, is her ability to introduce new characters as vivid and real as any in the movies. Both of her Star Wars books deserve just as much attention as the films themselves.
Claudia Gray has been given a lot of power to flesh out the universe with this one, and she doesn't waste a second of it. Read this book if you have questions about Episode VII. Read this book if you like Star Wars pretty much at all. Read this book ESPECIALLY if you, like me, grew up loving Princess Leia Organa most of all.
Claudia Gray has done, if not the impossible, at least the improbable: Lost Stars is so compelling and well-written that it improves subsequent viewings of the original Star Wars trilogy. Two pilots from the same planet fall in love, but join opposite sides of the war. Thane and Ciena add heart and a face to both the Rebellion and the Empire, leaving you with better understanding of both. If you like Star Wars at all you should definitely read it, but at its heart this is a good story for everybody, not just fans of the movies.