Hey, folks! We’ve got a more normal-sized Reading Round-up this week, and not all of the books are horror! Congratulations!
To be honest I’ve been a little off my feed as it were, since I’ve been very caught up with querying and some of the fun projects, but I enjoyed everything on this list and a lot of it was quick enough to hold my attention in moments of rest.
Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison
I talked about Rachel Harrison’s Cackle last month as something that definitely had horror elements but was more accessible for the average reader. Such Sharp Teeth continues the trend. This book is like a hallmark movie with werewolfism. It’s also full of body horror, both the fun werewolf body horror and the more prosaic aspects of pregnancy and PTSD. I loved it, and I hope to see more from this author. (Horror, Urban Fantasy)
The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
I’ve really enjoyed all of Kowal’s science fiction. It is well-researched, but doesn’t beat you over the head with world-building. This particular title is a locked-door mystery of sorts, taking place entirely on an interplanetary cruise. When bodies start popping up, the main character’s newly married husband is framed for the murder. Turns out that he is a former detective, and the couple must work together to try to clear his name. This is a fast-paced and satisfying read with excellent disability rep. (Science Fiction, Thriller)
“Leviathan ’99” by Ray Bradbury
One of my greatest regrets is never getting to meet Bradbury, who died in 2007, and whose prose is beloved to me. This novella, the prose adaptation of a radio play, which was itself a science fiction retelling of Moby Dick, was a delightfully weird read featuring the trademark, dream-like Bradbury take on science fiction expressed in a manner that could only be described musical. I found a copy of it at a local used bookstore, and it got me out of my reading slump post-Covid 2.0. (Science Fiction)
The Six Deaths of the Saint by Alix E. Harrow
Technically this is a short story released exclusively on Amazon. There’s a time travel element to this I found really fascinating, but I won’t spoil it past that. Read if you like dark fantasy heroines. (Fantasy)
Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore
Every single one of the Graceling novels is an absolute delight. This book was no exception. I will say that the Graceling books definitely read like YA, but they do so without indulging in a lot of the tropes that make me want to tear out my hair. They are nuanced, hard reads, where characters are forced to reckon with monsters, both ones that look like real people but are truly rotten inside, and ones that look like monsters but are good and human. Each story follows a single viewpoint character who is often interacting with characters from the previous novels but who has their own vantage on the politics and pressures of the world they live in. In this lovely addition, a spy must learn how to trust others to survive a harrowing journey through the arctic. The worldbuilding remains fascinating in these books, and I can’t help but hope for more, but the characters are what make these books sing. (Fantasy)