Orbit really be out here taking our money and leaving us ready to give them more, huh?
Today, I’ll be bringing to you three fantasy books that I recently read and absolutely adored. If you’re looking to diversify your adult fantasy shelf, definitely check out this post. I’ve got three underrated gems just waiting to catch your attention. 😉
As an added bonus, they’re all written by authors of colour! And as Leo Tolstoy once said, support authors of color.
Woven in Moonlight was one of my most anticipated reads for the first quarter of 2020, and when I finally got the chance to read it for #PhilMythReadathon (check out my TBR video here, or the announcement video here) I was super eager to get started.
Unfortunately, I ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable about how the book’s plot ultimately ended up panning out – enough to write a whole review about it, apparently.
Please keep in mind the following things: I am not Latinx and I am not Bolivian. Therefore take all of my criticism with a grain of salt.
Also, please be aware that this review contains spoilers (although I tried to keep them as vague as possible). So if you haven’t read Woven in Moonlight yet, you might want to skip this post!
Quite often, it turns out my random, on-a-whim purchases turn out to be some of my absolute favourite reads. I’d been seeing The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics on Twitter for quite some time – and I know so much of the f/f fan brigade absolutely adored it – but I didn’t actually buy it until the e-book went on sale a few weeks ago.
Once I delved into this book, I immediately understood the hype. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics has got so much going for it, and I’m honestly kicking myself a little bit for not reading it earlier.
Want to find out why I adored this f/f historical romance so much? Read on!
Hey there guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today, I want to tell you all about another book that I bought months ago and only recently finished (because I am trash like that). I posted one of my usual ‘pick my next read from my physical TBR’ polls on Twitter (which I started doing in an attempt to knock some items off of the catastrophically large pile of books I haven’t read yet) and the book that won that particular poll was The Tiger at Midnight, by Swati Teerdhala.
One aspect of this book immediately caught my attention, and that’s the redemption arc one of the main characters undergoes. It got me thinking about redemption arcs in general, and how authors sometimes don’t really get to pull it off well because they fundamentally misunderstand their own characters (I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling).
What really struck me about The Tiger at Midnight and its featured redemption arc is how well it was done. Redemption arcs – especially those that feature the character being redeemed falling in love with a hero – can often be fraught with toxic pitfalls, but this book avoided them neatly and nicely. And in this blog entry, I break down what was it about this redemption arc that made it work!
It was too slow-paced. I was bored. I kept flipping pages to get to the end. These phrases are just some of the common criticisms we hear often regarding books that are either slow-paced or have a stretched out plot. Sometimes, those criticisms are valid. After all, I’ve done my fair share of flipping through books that I felt were taking for-fucking-ever to get to the point
like Wicked Saints.
However, I’d like to present my hot take for the day: a slow pace can be fit a book better than a fast one, and it totally depends on the author’s ultimate goals for their audience’s reading experience.
A perfect example is the book I recently finished, Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. At first, I was pretty reluctant to pick up the book because I’d been seeing mixed reviews of it online, but I decided to one day (the day me, JM, Inah, and Miel went to Pride, incidentally!) because a) that cover is gorgeous, and b) it was on sale!
After an interminably loooong time (I mean, clearly – I bought it in June and just finished reading it in November, lol) I finally picked up this book, went very quickly through it, and realized that I actually disagreed with most people’s assessment that the book was boring!
Purchase this book here.
Your mileage may vary, of course. Not everyone’s going to have the same opinion about a book. But I do think that, in general, we’ve been spoiled by fast-paced, action-packed YA books where everything moves along really quickly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Some of my favorite books play out like a movie on the page. But because we’re so used to things being set in motion quickly, we’ve come to expect that same treatment for almost every book we read.
I believe that the slow pace worked just fine for Sorcery of Thorns and added an aspect to the book that would not have been there had the plot gone faster.
How you doin’, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals?
A couple of days ago, I shared the below tweet, asking if it was okay to comparatively review two books that handled the same trope.
The consensus was that it was fine, but to avoid tagging the authors as the usual courtesy. I spent all of yesterday taking down notes, and I’m finally ready to publish this review! For today, I’ll be comparing the books Fix Her Up and A Prince on Paper, which both deal with the fake dating trope.
That’s not their only similarity, though. Both books also feature protagonists who get into the fake relationship to change people’s perceptions of who they are as sheltered and innocent. They both also handle themes of toxic family relationships.
But the difference is, while I absolutely adored A Prince on Paper, I struggled to finish Fix Her Up and was left dissatisfied and even somewhat angry at the end.
Read on to find out why!
Mulan crossed with Project Runway? Doesn’t that sound like one of the most intriguing things ever? When I saw Spin the Dawn being pitched that way, I scrambled for any way to get my hands on ARC. Luckily, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea launched the #SpinTheDawnTour and I was one of the lucky folks who got a slot!
Elizabeth Lim, by the way, is a complete and utter gem. Not only did tour participants get ARCs, but she also got us pre-order goodies! However, I can’t really show off my collection until tomorrow. As I write this review, I’m at my mom’s house in the south, and unfortunately, I left my set of pre-order cards and stickers at my apartment. (Oof. 😔) I’ll take photos when I get back, but suffice it to say, the swag is super pretty and well-made! Best of all, she and Knopf Books for Young Readers have also got an international giveaway going! Everybody say thank you, Elizabeth!
More than the swag and giveaway though, I have to say that reading this book was an incredibly enjoyable journey. There were a few bumps along the way which I will talk about more here, but all in all, this was a great read that I’m eager to share with everyone.
Please note though that this review contains spoilers, so tread cautiously.