The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff I'd call this a survival story, but it reads rather like a myth or a dream-narrative, with both a suspension of time and place and heartbreaking details sculpted by stunning prose. While it feels harsh at times and unflinchingly brutal there is little drama or dwelling on suffering that you might find in a survival story. I read it all in one day, its absorbing and lovely. - Meadow
Entrancing new fantasy mystery epic. Betrayal, alliances, politics in an excitingly lush world with a new take on demons and and magic. I loved every minute of it. The characters are relatable and well rounded and their struggles resonate and throughout the vivid plot.
A loving and kind little comfort read, with big-hearted soft philosophy about conscientiousness and inner peace.
A good little thriller about self and friendship and the intersections between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
The series that began with Black Leopard, Red Wolf continues in a point of view shift with Moon Witch, Spider King. This Mythopoetic-ancient-African fantasy world is deep and dark and full of dreaming. James' writing is both wild and restrained, honed and powerful. Excellent non-western fantasy that won't disappoint.
Sometimes we must journey toward what we are afraid of; not to vanquish the darkness, but to embrace it and give it space. The shadows in this book contain roads toward love and acceptance, despite their teeth. Exquisite writing in a lush and delightfully sneaky story.
A morsel of a story, so small you could devour it in one sitting (but it will linger with you) Wait! There are others too! Just dive in, you won't regret it. I love the vivid quiet pulse of this story and its strong, strong heart.
Children of Time Series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, What an amazing place this story takes us to. These are by far the most lucid alternative-sentient creatures I have ever read about. Tchaikovsky brings the unknowable to the known and the unimaginable to the recognizable with deft and luminous adventures. Love love love it.
Empire of the Wolf series, beginning with The Justice of Kings is the best combo of Fantasy and Crime, If you like detectives and you like epic quests, well, here you go! I loved the great world building and the strong characters. The first book stands on its own, but the continuation is great!
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones If you are into Horror films, thrill rides and really good storytelling, well, this is the best of them put into the meat grinder all together. The voice of the narrator is a pure delight, the violence and gore in the climax don't disappoint. Splashy and red all over. But it might surprise you with seriousness and emotion - Be prepared! Warnings: Social Justice Messaging, Depth of Character, Bulletproof plot.
The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green -- A great modern mystery in the heart of Savannah, with deep insight into its troubled and turbulent past. I really enjoyed the care that Green (founder of The Moth) gave to the intimate stories of his characters, and the wider scope of meaning their struggles bring to the reconciliation of local history. Also, this story just zips along! While it is filled with tidbits of history, the whole of it is fast paced and richly alive and contemporary.
19th Century Mexico comes alive in this lush and re-vitalized version of the H.G. Wells classic. Ethics and human rights are front and center but romance and adventure abound. This story is set against real historical events that rocked Mexico and vibrate to this day. Genre-bending and thought provoking! Be ready to be disturbed and mesmerized.
Wow. That's all you really need to know. These short stories each have their own Floridian resonance and each touch on heartrending truths of life, family and humanity. Lauren Groff doesn't pull punches but be prepared to hang on every word because she will surprise you with joy as well as hardship.
Fantastic (real) Science and an entirely new kind of alien are front and center in this amazing series. I was delighted by the very different atmosphere and narration style of these books. (Some of which must be credited to the translation.) I look forward to the Netflix debut!
A glittering gem of a tragedy. This supernatural tale will captivate you, make you cry, make you laugh, make you think ( a lot!) Tone-perfect, graceful, powerful language carries robust characters through a dark and twisty lesson in culture, identity, politics and tradition.
Book 1 of the Moonfall saga will steal you away to a brand new world of adventure. I love the mix of alchemy and creatures in this story. It has a tantalizing hint of sci-fi and I am excited to see where it goes in the next book Cradle of Ice. Really good storytelling in a straight-up adventure epic.
So subtle! Told like a fable this story took me completely by surprise, and wow! I love the voice of the narrator. The contemplative tone doesn't slow down the plot but widens the scope of the story to include all sorts of philosophical quandaries. Its a story-telling masterpiece, concerned with language and its uses as well as our place in the universe.
"This is a story I have heard..." love love loved it!
Moreno-Garcia brings cultural awareness and depth to the Modern Gothic with disturbing body-horror and historical detail. This is not your typical creepy house story. Mexican Gothic hits all the tropes but with twisty vibrancy and dark details that pull the traditions into new territory. Warning: sexual violence, cannibalism, infanticide.
This book is amazing. Brutal and strange, twisted like the painting at its core. I love how Catling blends history into the corners of his imagination and turns out such unexpectedly odd and discomforting distortions. Dreamlike and unabashedly raw. Warning: extra body horror.
Back for more of the middle-eastern wonder that started with
City of Brass! So well realized and complete! This world is a
marvel and the characters are wonderful. I love the plotting and the politics but I am constantly pleased by the simple elegance of the writing. Chakraborty is excellent at telling you enough for you to imagine it but not too much that you are overwhelmed.
By far a feel-good read if there ever was one. A great Foodie book that makes you want to curl up with something good to nosh on. Join friends for some history with heart-sauce and learn about WWII cooking (with creative foraged ingredients) and the power of food and cooking to bring people (and cultures) together.
Pratchett stepped away from Discworld in this might-have-been alt-history gem and we thank him for it. A lone boy-not-man must rebuild the Nation for his people and remake, remember, and possibly re-invent their identity. Rife with traditional Pratchett humor and poignant riffs on doctrine in all nations, this is a joy to read.
This is the most magical book I've read in a long time. A dark, deep story with bones of pure gold and glitter in the air. The masterful pairing of the setting, which is dark (death row,) and the lyrical, fantastical voice of the narrator is pure beauty itself.
Reclaim that knowledge of pasture-based farming that your great-great grandparents had. If you take care of the land it will take care of your herd. This book is a comprehensive ground (grass) up guide to rotational grazing and careful (and humane) management of pastured livestock. It offers both the basics of ethical pasture-raised meats and dairy as well as intensive management technics for small farm businesses. Includes farm finance planning and examples.
Terry Pratchett is one of my most adored authors. This was one of the last Discworld novels, and the last Moist Von Lipwig tales, to have been written before Pratchett passed away this summer. And its as awesome as ever, steaming away with a wit yet unmatched and a rollicking story that will keep you watching the rails for sharp turns and narrow tunnels.
This story is like getting your post -apocalypse with a slice of apple pie. It's a bit paranormal, and a bit Little House on the Prairie. I liked the fact that not all things are dark and miserable after Life-As-We-Know-It ends and something else begins.
This book feels like it was written just up the road, and it was! Ghosts? UFOs? This (fictional) little Vermont town has a lot of story to tell. McMahon kept me guessing to the very end.
Bird Box is a fast and dark read. Its a tight-rope-walking-with-a-blindfold kind of read. Creatures you can't see - and don't want to and human drama make for a sci-fi thrilling trip through the dark. I was really glad to go outside and see the sun shining afterward. Creepy and imaginative. I loved it!