I’m back with my reviews for the month. Three books a month seems to be my norm this year. My Goodreads goal is looking quite sad because of that. But this month had some really great books, so I’m not complaining.
What I’ve been reading lately
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson: This is a fascinating book. It’s set in a world where parallel world travel is an option, but only if your doppelgänger in that world is dead. So the main character, Cara, has a job of traveling between worlds because her other “selves” are really good at dying. But then she lands in a world where she discovers a secret that could rock all the worlds. She has to decide if exposing the secret is worth it. Not only is the tech/sci-fi aspects of this book great, the characters are really fascinating too. Especially when there are multiple versions of the same character on different worlds. So if you like your sci-fi to be character driven rather than tech-y, this book is for you. I would definitely recommend. Good news – at least right now this is a stand alone book, no need to worry about more books coming (obviously this could change, but this easily stands on it’s own).
4 out of 5 stars
The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell: Set in a world where a king is pretty much the epitome of evil, several characters work towards revolution. Anza has a decent job after attending college her slightly mysterious father got her in. He also trained her to take care of herself (shooting bow and arrows, fight, etc) even if it was against the rules. But after her father is executed by the king for a non-issue, she joins the resistance against the king. Then we also follow the younger of the two princes, Esvar, who is trying to keep his humanity while still appeasing his despot father. Because to not appease would mean death. Anza and Esvar collide in an unexpected way with the only tie between them being the long ago vanished queen, Mirantha. While this book certainly has its share of cliches, it is a solid book. I appreciated the problems the characters went through and their decision making. I just plained liked several of the characters. Plus, there is a twist that I certainly didn’t see coming, but really ties the book up quite nicely (even if it is a bit cliche). Come in without high expectations and you can enjoy this book, especially if you enjoy good vs. evil and then the human element of the in between.
3.75 out of 5 stars
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse: Dang. This one was good. I’m not even sure how to quite explain it. Set in a world inspired by pre-Colombian Americas, we get prophesies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. There are 3 main POVs, Xiala, a disgraced ship captain, Serapio, a “helpless” blind young man that needs to make it to the holy city of Tova in record time, and Nara, a Sun Priest with big ideas. All three intersect in fascinating ways, even if they don’t officially meet. We have religious sects vying for supremacy, we see a god being created and even a mermaid (ish). This book has so much going on. Be ready for a big ride. To be honest, Xiala carried the book for me, I couldn’t wait to switch back to her POV. She is brass and fantastic while still being a human with flaws. If you like solid characters with forbidden magic AND intrigue, this one is for you.
4.5 out of 5 stars