The Ghosts of Sherwood was a really surprising read for me, but delightfully so. Published by Tor.com, I expected a fantasy-esque story with magic or something otherwise fantastical. However, The Ghosts of Sherwood is a quiet story, albeit a quiet story with its moments of action. It’s quiet in its setting, in its character building, and in its plot. There is no magic – at least no magic more than some characters being able to shoot a bow and arrow really, really well – but I didn’t miss it here.
This wonderful little novella, clocking in at only 112 pages, feels like childhood all grown up. It’s about Robin Hood and his family; it’s about duty and love and the surprising places that strength can hide. But mostly, it’s about family and found family, and the lengths we go to for those we love.
First of all, I must say, I unabashedly love Robert Jackson Bennett’s writing. I have only read two other books by him (Vigilance and Foundryside), but those books were both five stars for me and they solidly placed him on my favorite authors list. Though Vigilance was definitely my favorite of the two previous books of his that I read, I also really, really loved Foundryside – the first book in the Founders trilogy. Foundryside reminded me how much I actually do like fantasy novels – a feat that no other adult fantasy novel I’ve attempted to read has been able to do since Lord of the Rings.
Every so often I go through Goodreads and make lists of books I want to read or authors I want to try. For a really long time, Mark Lawrence has been at the very top of that list. I have heard such good things about his Book of the Ancestor trilogy from pretty much everyone in the SFF community, and I even picked up physical copies of both Red Sister and Grey Sister a while back (but of course never got around to reading them).
When I heard Lawrence had a new series coming out, I absolutely knew it was the right time to finally pick up a book of his. His new series, The Book of the Ice, starts with the recently released The Girl and the Stars, and is connected to his Book of the Ancestor trilogy. However, you don’t have to have read or be be familiar with his previous series to enjoy this new book. Honestly, after picking this one up, I don’t know why I ever waited so long to start one of Lawrence’s books! The Girl and the Stars is totally living up to the hype, and it’s been a super fun fantasy read.
In all the stress of the world right now, I’ve needed some comfort reading, and near-future science fiction is exactly my kind of comfort reading. Any book that starts with the premise of impending environmental collapse will almost certainly make my reading list, but one that also has a space travel plot and feminist themes will shoot right to the top of that list. Goldilocks by Laura Lam just so happens to have all of these elements, so it’s no surprise that it made it to my Spring 2020 TBR top ten list! I mean, any book described as a “high concept feminist dystopian thriller” is poised to be one of my favorite books of all time.
I’m back again, guys! It’s been a crazy few weeks in my neck of the woods, and productivity has been difficult for me. But I’m finally back at this with a review of my newest and current read, The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis. This is actually Day 1 of the Blog Tour for The Heron Kings, and I am so thrilled to be a part of the journey! The Heron Kings is a fantasy story set in a world ravaged by the violence of war, and it’s told from an unlikely protagonist – a former nun who was previously devoted to caring for the battle-wounded soldiers from both sides of the war. If you like war-time fiction and epic fantasies, then I think you’ll love this book.
Dust is the first installment in a new YA post-apocalyptic fairy-tale series by J.R. Devoe. I really love genre-bending stories, and this is one of the better YA versions that I’ve read. It’s fantasy and dystopian and science fiction all wrapped up with a lovely fairy-tale bow.
To say I was excited for A Gift for a Ghost would be an understatement. This graphic novel is pitched as a story with time travel, ghosts, black holes, and an all-girl punk band, and I am completely here for all those things. I was so excited to read it that it actually made my Spring 2020 top-ten TBR, and after finishing the book I can say that I was 100000% not disappointed. Not only is the artwork absolutely stunning, but A Gift for a Ghost has such a lovely story told with equal parts strength and whimsy.
The Companions is a sweeping near-future dystopian that spans many years and explores the connections between many characters, creating a beautifully earnest vision of a future that feels all too real right now. This story hit me in a way that I haven’t experienced since I read Station Eleven, and I love this slow, deliberate style of story-telling. What Station Eleven did with the post-apocalyptic genre, The Companions does for science fiction, melding and mixing literary fiction with the speculative genre in a very sincere and realistic way.
Given my love for speculative fiction, it shouldn’t come at any surprise that I am a fan of zombie stories. Even though zombie stories aren’t my favorite flavor of the Post-Apocolyptic subgenre, I still usually really enjoy them. When I heard that Wesley Chu wrote a story bringing the world of The Walking Dead to China, I was absolutely interested.
And, yeah, that’s pretty much the summary for The Walking Dead: Typhoon- it’s zombies in China. And I really liked it! My favorite thing about this book is how lived in the world feels. You can feel how much grime and gunk and dirt is in this world, and it really sets the stage for a good zombie story.
Do you like unsolved mysteries that aren’t of the serial killer variety? Have you ever pondered the existence of yetis or aliens? Do you love a good political conspiracy theory, particularly if it involves the Cold War USSR and/or radiation? Then, boy, do I have the book for you. I rarely read non-fiction, but I was completely captivated by Dead Mountain when I first read the blurb.
“In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident – unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes – have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.”