Among other things, 2021 was a great year to read. Reading is an activity ready-made for COVID: it's done alone, often at home, but it also creates communities—both on the page and around the world. Featuring dark academia, science fiction, and reading slumps.
The Little Mermaid source material is taken to stunning, fresh heights in this expertly-crafted YA fantasy. This novel's high quality writing and immensely intriguing concept carry it to four stars—brought down only by a satisfactory plot structured almost entirely around a big ol' mcguffin to search for and a very predictable ending.
Arkady Martine has, with one stunning novel, cemented herself among the Science Fiction greats. Plus, A Memory Called Empire is *fast*. Fast like a heart-pounding, adrenaline-rich action thriller, not to mention genuinely funny, emotional, and meticulously constructed.
This month was a mixed bag of genres and feelings, but not quality - from romance to to economic nonfiction to afrofuture to high fantasy, I loved everything I read this month!
In my new series, I let you know if the trashy romance novel is GOOD trash or BAD trash. And look. I liked KILLER BEAUTY a lot.
Homo Deus is a well-written, wide ranging masterpiece that will make you realize that you live in the future which the science fiction books of old predicted from the safety of the past. If nothing else, it will certainly make you think, and perhaps re-evaluate your own perspectives about the future and the present.
This was a month of nonfiction and heaviness, broken up only by Kerri Maniscalco's lovely sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked, Kingdom of the Cursed.
Kingdom of the Cursed feels like a bridge. A flat bridge, beautiful but slightly unimpressive, that soars above all the interesting stuff really going on below. The reader can see the general outline of what it's going to look like, way down there below the bridge, but is not allowed to see it in full.
Banned in China for its political implications relating to Tiannamen Square, Death Fugue manages to encompass art, philosophy, and love in an eerie story that sucked me in like quicksand.
Despite reading far fewer books than usual, the books I picked up were HUGE! Plus I loved them. This was a very successful reading month!