Review: The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in a really, really long time. This YA graphic novel is from DC Comics, and tells the story of Barbara Gordon, who becomes Oracle in the Batman/DC comic universe. Don’t be fooled, though– there are practically no superheros in this novel. Instead, we get a beautifully crafted story that is wonderfully diverse, fierce, and full of mystery and intrigue.

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Review: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

My first foray with Robert Jackson Bennett came with my reading of Vigilance, a recent speculative fiction novella of his, which might well pan out to be one of my favorite books of the year. I knew as soon as I finished it that I wanted to read more by him as soon as possible.

While I had heard of Foundryside, I was put off by some misconceptions I had heard from other people’s reviews of the book. Foundryside is usually described by other reviewers as an epic fantasy about a thieving crew. And it is that. And it also isn’t. Foundryside is fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk all wrapped up with a lovely dystopian bow. It’s epic fantasy in that the world is completely new and not at all our world, but that’s about it. There is no “magic” or “magic system” per se; rather, the magic comes from technology and science.

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Girls with Sharp Sticks & Girls with Razor Hearts Review And Discussion

When I read Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young earlier this year, I was blown away by how much I actually enjoyed it. As much as I love speculative fiction and Sci Fi, I find few YA titles in the genre to be compelling or successfully-crafted. That is not the case with Suzanne Young’s Girls with Sharp Sticks and, its sequel, Girls with Razor Hearts.

Girls with Sharp Sticks follows Mena and her friends, all of which are students at the exclusive and secretive girls-only boarding school, Innovations Academy. When some girls at the school start acting differently and disappearing, Mena begins questioning everything. Such as, why does she never see her family outside of school? Or, what goes on in all those therapy and “impulse control” sessions? And, what exactly happens to the girls after graduation?

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Sea Change by Nancy Kress

Sea Change, a forthcoming novella by acclaimed writer Nancy Kress, is everything I love about speculative fiction. The story has a compelling near-future setting, is full of smart characters with sharply written dialogue, and is so thematically rich and progressive. It’s character driven, scarily close to reality, and covers topics often overlooked by other media.

Not unlike my previous review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s upcoming novella, Firewalkers, Kress’s Sea Change also centers on our world following devastation caused, primarily, by climate change. However, whereas Firewalkers is set in a time that feels very distant and in a place that feels far from our present world, Sea Change is set in the 2030s in America and feels very true to a near-future picture of the country.

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February Wrap Up!

Let’s wrap up February properly and talk about all the books I read last month! And because I’m talking about alllllll the books I read last month, you’ll get a view into what I read that’s not SFF. [I actually read a pretty great deal of non-sci fi last month!] There are way too many books for me to give full reviews for each one, so, instead, I’m just going to list them in star order from 5 stars to 1 star, and will link either my full blog reviews or mini Goodreads reviews to each title.

Here. We. Go!

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Hearts of Oak – Genre Bending Speculative Fiction at it’s Best

Hearts of Oak starts with a king, an architect, a magically growing city, and a talking cat, and, somehow, it manages to keep these pieces at it’s (oak) heart, even as the story itself expands and changes. What starts as a tender, character focused fantasy about an ever-growing city shifts into a very different story mid-way through. The result is a beautifully clever genre-bending experience, with a story that is part whimsical fantasy and part provocative science fiction.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Best One Word (SFF) Titles

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt was “Single-Word Titles.” Because most of what I read is either Adult or YA sci fi and speculative fiction, I decided to make a list of my top ten SFF (Science Fiction/Fantasy) books with one-word titles! Oh, and I didn’t count the word “The” as a word because, well, I just decided I didn’t want to. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here they are:

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The Top 10 Best Audiobooks I’ve Read

Since I started working full time, audiobooks have become an essential part of my reading. I typically read 2-5 audiobooks a week depending on the lengths of the books and how much I am physically reading that week. While I really love audiobooks, I am pretty picky on narrators, and will certainly DNF an audiobook if I don’t jive with the it.

My preferences for audiobooks tend to be 1) audiobooks narrated by the author, 2) audiobooks narrated by a highly accomplished actor/voice actor, or, of course, 3) audiobooks narrated by a full cast. I also think I really good audiobook is one that would be a great book on its own, but is made even better by the narration. The following books, I think, are ones that are made an even better reading experience when read in audio form.

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A Review of Made to Order

Made to Order is a science fiction anthology with short works by some of the best SFF/speculative fiction authors currently writing today. Every story was thought-provoking and thematically compelling, even if I preferred some stories to others. Due to its breadth and scope, it’s an anthology that deserves to be an essential part of every sci-fi reader’s library. Not only did I enjoy every minute of this read, but I was always excited to begin the next story, which, to me, is the sign of an excellent anthology.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Book Characters I Would Follow on Social Media

Every week the That Artsy Reader Girl blog has a Top Ten Tuesday topic for fellow book bloggers to take inspiration from and post about. Since I am, obviously, new to book blogging, this is my very first Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) and I am pumped for this one. This week’s topic is characters from books that I would follow on social media.

This topic is a funny one because I don’t really use social media much at all. I have an instagram and a twitter, but I rarely post to either. For me, social media is a way of keeping up with friends and of also following fun people who I think share interesting content. But, also, don’t we all have people we follow on social media for petty purposes? That can’t be just me. There are some characters on this list for each of these groups of people I follow IRL.

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