I loved Jade City so much, I reviewed it twice

One of November’s most exciting releases was Jade City, the adult fantasy debut of award-winning author Fonda Lee. Set in one of the most gorgeously-crafted and exceptionally plausible fantasy universes I’ve encountered, Jade City is a crime family drama filled with enthralling action scenes and political intrigue.

These aspects ground Jade City in a world that feels lived-in and so plausible that it’s almost harder to imagine it’s not real than having to suspend disbelief. The city the Kauls occupy and control is lusciously real, from the relative opulence of the clan homes to the streets and slums where the jadeless live out their everyday lives. Janloon reads in many ways as claustrophobic: an insular city where anyone who can use jade may find themselves trapped in a life, a family, a clan that can’t be escaped.

(Read the full review at Unbound Worlds)

Another aspect of the novel I appreciated was the complexity and character development of Kaul Shae, who returns to Janloon at the start of the book after fleeing the city in disgrace because her grandfather rejected her romantic relationship with an Espenian man. Shae is much more sophisticated and worldly than her brothers, despite her age; her time spent in college in Espenia has given her significantly more experience outside Kekon — and outside Green Bones culture — than anyone else in the story. She’s a strong warrior, but she’s also a clever and talented tactician, and it’s easy to see why her brothers are trying to bring her back into the family business despite her reservations.

(Read the full review at Girls in Capes)

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Pick up your next J-horror read with my list at Unbound Worlds

My first piece for Unbound Worlds is an installment in their So You Want to Read series:

Ghost stories have been part of Japanese literature since the Heian period, from 794 to 1185, and modern Japanese horror is more accessible for English-language readers than ever before. Focusing on psychological horror and frequently incorporating folk religion elements including Shinto-style exorcisms, supernatural phenomena, and yokai, J-Horror titles are hair-raising stories that stick with the reader long after the book has been closed.

You can read the full article here to find your Halloween read. (But don’t say I didn’t warn you: some of these titles are incredibly terrifying.)

I interviewed one of my favorite authors and lived to tell the tale

I was a little concerned about it when I got on the interview call to guest host the Skiffy & Fanty interview with Ann Leckie for the release of Provenance. But it ended up totally fine.

Here’s the show description:

Space Opera, heritage, and alien ambassadors, oh my! Shaun is joined by guest host Feliza Casano of Girlsincapes.com to interview Ann Leckie about the stand-alone novel in her Radch universe, Provenance. Ann shares some of her Space Opera influences, talks about how her love of archeology led her to an exploration of the role museums play in the myth of heritage, the nature of identity, naming, language, and so very much more. Don’t miss this one everyone!

You can also travel back in time to read my GiC review. (I loved it.) You can also follow the podcast at @SkiffyandFanty on Twitter.

(Thanks to Jen & Shaun for having me as a guest host!)

Horimiya, Vol. 8 returns to the series’ lighthearted slice-of-life tone

I’m extremely happy with the newest volume of Horimiya:

Hori and Miyamura return to the forefront in Volume 8, and their interactions are absolutely adorable. After the past two volumes, this one is especially refreshing as it returning to a more typical slice-of-life storyline.

You can find my full review at Girls in Capes.

Drop what you’re doing and go buy Ann Leckie’s PROVENANCE

Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. But I’m also not.

Provenance marks a return to the universe of Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, which began in 2013 with the award-winning Ancillary JusticeProvenance is similarly centered around a plot of intergalactic political intrigue, following a young woman who’s frankly too inexperienced to navigate the situation she’s put herself in.

As much as my headline’s a little dramatic, I’m not exaggerating when I say this standalone is one of the best SFF novels of the year, and I can’t wait to be able to share this with other readers. I also had the chance to interview Leckie for the Skiffy & Fanty Show as a guest host along with Shaun, who also enjoyed the book. (If you listen closely to the episode, you can hear us internally screaming in the background.)

Provenance is available today – but you can read my full review at Girls in Capes before buying, and don’t forget to follow Skiffy & Fanty on Twitter to wait for the episode to release.