Ooooof. Like the first two books in the Poppy War trilogy, The Burning God is an absolutely gut-wrenching affair. A riveting, well-written, creative book, but nonetheless absolutely gut-wrenching.
This is the second book in the From a Certain Point of View series of anthologies that take place in the Star Wars universe. The books follow the events of the movies (here Empire Strikes Back) from the point of view of characters in the background. For example, here you get to experience Hoth through the eyes of a tauntaun, Cloud City through the eyes of an ugnaut, the escape from Hoth through the eyes of the Millenium Falcon's computer (L3), etc...
★★★ There is a moment in Ready Player Two where one of the primary antagonists mutters the phrase "Don't you kids ever get tired of picking through the wreckage of a past generation's nostalgia." when addressing the heroes of the story. I'm still not sure if it's an attempt at self-satire or a show of... Continue Reading →
★★★★★ Transcendent Kingdom is the second book from acclaimed author Yaa Gyasi. The book traces the life of a woman named Gifty, who is a neuroscience grad student at Stanford. Gifty's family immigrated from Ghana to Huntsville, Alabama and Transcendent Kingdom follows her family through trials of love, faith, addiction, and mental illness. Gyasi has... Continue Reading →
Piranesi is the latest book from best-selling author Susanna Clarke of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell fame. Piranesi is only the third book, and second full length novel, that Clarke has ever had published. It's also the first book from Clarke in nearly a decade and a half. All of this is to say that when Clarke writes something new, it's rightfully quite an event in the book world. Clarke brings her trademark brand of fantasy to a new world with Piranesi.
The Original is an audio-first story from Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal. I received a review copy through Net Galley. I've read some of Sanderson's previous work but it was my first exposure to Kowal. The Original is a near future sci-fi story where humans have developed cloning technology. If they can afford, people can pay to have a clone set up for if they die. Weekly appointments to back up all memories assure that the clone will be able to mostly pick up right where the authentic article left off. The Original focuses on a woman named Holly whose life is turned upside down when she awakens as what's known as a replica. This special kind of clone is created only when the original human has broken the law and is on the run, with the express purpose of hunting down those they were created from.
Chaos Rising is the latest Thrawn-focused entry in the Disney Canon series of Star Wars novels. Again written by Thrawn's creator, Timothy Zahn, Chaos Rising serves as the first book that truly explores the Chiss Ascendancy prior to Thrawn's encounter and joining of the Empire. The first Thrawn trilogy in the Disney Canon explored Thrawn's rise to power leading up to his inclusion in the Rebels animated series. In this newest trilogy, Zahn will be turning back the clock even further to focus on Thrawn's earliest military days and the political and military inner workings of the Chiss Ascendancy.
Shorefall is the second book in The Founders Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett. I had a good time reading the first entry, Foundryside, when it was released in 2018 and I've been eagerly anticipating this follow-up. One of the hallmarks of the series so far is Bennett's focus on building a rich world with a fully fleshed out system of magical objects. Foundryside left the main character, Sancia, and her crew of friends ready to open their own scriving company. Shorefall picks up three years after the events of Foundryside and brings back the same cast.
Coming on the heels of the completion of the final season of the Clone Wars animated series, Disney Lucasfilm has published The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark. The book is an anthology of stories that take place in the same time as the Clone Wars series with contributions from a wide range of authors including Jason Fry, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Lou Anders. Most of the authors have written for Star Wars in some capacity, whether it's full-blown Disney Canon novels or shorter YA and all-ages fare. I love Clone Wars and it was fun to dive back in to stories with some of my favorite characters from the series.
The Silver Arrow is the latest release from Lev Grossman. Most will be familiar with the critic-turned-author from his series The Magicians. While The Magicians series was decidedly adult, this time around Grossman takes a crack at some middle-grade magic. I received a copy of the audiobook version of The Silver Arrow through NetGalley, but I'd had it on my wishlist already. I enjoyed The Magicians a lot and was curious to see how Grossman would handle a new challenge. The audiobook is narrated by one of the stars of the field in Simon Vance.