Reading Round-up: April/May 2023

And we’re back for another round-up! I’m so glad to be reading again, folks. Life is a little chaotic, mostly good — I’m sure that surprises no one, except for maybe the “good” part, since chaos seems to be the name of the game. I will have some big announcements at some point this year! Anyway if you’re looking for reads that will hold your attention when life is HAPPENING a lot, look no further.

Ten Thousand Stitches/Long Shadow by Olivia Atwater

While these books are in ever-so-slightly different subgenres of 1800s Regency Romance by dent of one featuring a same-sex couple, I’m grouping them together since they are by the same author and part of the same series. I’ve particularly enjoyed Atwater’s books for a number of reasons. First, she’s very engaged with social issues of the time in a way that simultaneously feels organic and also principled. Second, her romances are delightful slowburn things. Third, there are fairies, the kind that you generally should avoid. Both of these are very different relationships, and I think there is something to love in each of them. (Romance, Historical Fantasy, LGBTQ)

Dead Country by Max Gladstone

I love all things Craft Sequence. Nothing can hinder my love. Craft Sequence is best. I also really like Tara. While she is not perhaps my favorite Craft Sequence character, she’s certainly in the top three, and it was really great to get to visit with her again. This is the first book in a new series, The Craft Wars, and woof. Lovecraftian elements reminiscent of some of the themes in Last Exit certainly bring a new element of drama to the world of the Craft. I’m excited to see where it goes. (Fantasy)

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

A Memory Called Empire is one of those books that, the first time I read it, made me actively angry because I was not actually skilled enough as a writer to pull it off. So of course I was eventually going to get around to Desolation, and yes, I did, and yes, I loved it. Every book on the list for this month has been a book that pulled me, clawing and screaming, out of a reading slump brought on by too many things whirling around in my brain. Maybe it’s no surprise that I needed fraught politics and fast-paced action to finish the job. The book is good, friends. (Science Fiction, LGBTQ)

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

This is my first book by this author, and I did enjoy it a good deal. It has a sort of gaslamp mystery feel, but of course it is science fiction, set on the planet Jupiter after humankind has finally managed to make the Earth uninhabitable for ourselves. Everyone lives on platforms in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere, space is at a premium, and a missing person case rapidly becomes the loose thread to a much larger conspiracy that a detective and her academic ex must solve. It was a lot of fun, and a short, easy read. If you like Mary Robinette-Kowal’s The Spare Man I think you will enjoy this novella. (Science Fiction, Mystery, LGBTQ, Climate Fiction)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

I’ve had this one on my tbr forever. I loved dragon books as a kid, absolutely ate them up, and since several people have loved this series I knew I needed to circle back to it, especially because I really enjoyed Uprooted and Spinning Silver. But it took me until this month to get to it. I of course devoured it almost in a sitting, and am so excited that there’s a whole series to keep me entertained. Dragons! Napoleon! Aerial battles, naval battles, and a character who is likeable even if I don’t agree with him on everything! I enjoyed it, and if you also devoured dragon books as a child in the 90s, you might too. (Dragons, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy)

That’s a wrap for this month. Happy reading!

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