★★★★★ 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.
Teen Titans: Beast Boy is the second book in the Teen Titans series from writer Kami Garcia, artist Gabriel Picolo, and colorist David Calderon. Although Beast Boy naturally centers on Beast Boy himself, it's a direct follow up to Teen Titans: Raven, the first book in the series that was released in 2019. The series is part of DC's YA line of original graphic novels that launched a few years ago. The line has been pumping out a pretty high volume of OGN's target at the YA demo and I've found most, including Raven, to be fairly successful.
A little over a month ago, for no reason in-particular, I decided to embark on a re-read of the entirety of the Marvel Ultimate Comics line. All of the issues are available on Marvel Unlimited in publication order, so I decided to go for it. Why Ultimate Comics? The Ultimate line holds a special nostalgic place in my heart. I first started seriously reading comics at around 10 or 11 years old. That just happened to coincide with the launch of Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men. In fact, I think the first comic I bought since I was 5 was the first collection of Ultimate Spider-Man. The Ultimate line has its flaws, but to a young me it was the coolest thing I'd ever read.
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.