Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith Switch Press US cover

Micro-Review: CHILDREN OF ICARUS by Caighlan Smith

I probably shouldn’t have expected much from a book that drew cover comparisons to The Hunger Games (which I hated) and The Maze Runner (which looks boring to me).

The narrator of the book somehow managed to weave a web of lies and deceit, despite making no active decisions until the second half of the book. Much of the plot required more suspension of belief than should be expected, and despite the title, there are few aspects of the original tale of Icarus beyond shallow, almost cosmetic references.

If you absolutely want to read more of the exhausted YA dystopian genre, this is probably a good book to check out, but otherwise, Children of Icarus offers nothing new or interesting for the subgenre.

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Micro-Review: Hollie Overton’s BABY DOLL isn’t for the faint of heart

Hollie Overton Baby Doll Redhook US coverFrom the publisher:

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next…

…to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter…and to her captor.

While I truly enjoyed this book – it’s fast-paced, filled with action, and very engaging – the subject matter is definitely sensitive: a young woman who’s been held hostage and assaulted both physically and sexually escapes her abuser with her daughter and begins the legal process to get him put away.

There were times while reading this book that I felt physically nauseous, especially during descriptions of the abuse. Some sections are told from the perspective of Lily’s captor, and the sections feel so real and bone-shakingly horrific.

Because of that, while I thought this book was really wonderful as a thriller, I’m not sure if I would recommend to all readers because its subject matter is incredibly difficult to stomach. Readers who can, though, will find this an engaging, heart-poundingly suspenseful read.

4 out of 5 stars

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New review at Girls in Capes: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Jemisin_ObeliskGate_TPCheck out my review of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin at Girls in Capes!

The Obelisk Gate is the second book in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, and it was one of my most anticipated books out this summer as well as one of my most anticipated books of 2016. The bar was set pretty high, and when I started reading it, I was a little worried that my expectations would result in disappointment.

They didn’t.

The Obelisk Gate was my second 5-star review in two weeks. Learn more about this amazing book and what precisely I loved so much about it. (Spoiler alert: Jemisin’s writing voice is flawless.)

New review at Girls in Capes: The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Brodsky_TheImmortals_HCI’m excited for my first book review of the year at Girls in Capes!

As it turns out, The Immortals didn’t disappoint in delivering exactly what I was hoping to find. The story is filled with action, opening on a scene of Selene/Artemis beating the living tar out of a man who’s been abusing his girlfriend. It’s perfectly fitting for a goddess who was known as the protector of women — and it serves as the perfect window into how weak Selene’s Olympian powers have truly become.

Read more about Jordanna Max Brodsky’s The Immortals over at Girls in Capes.

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New Review at Girls in Capes

I’m stoked about my newest review on Girls in Capes!

Lois Lane: Fallout is a contemporary YA with a touch of sci-fi focusing on Superman’s love interest, Lois, as a high school student before she ever meets Clark Kent. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

I fangirled so hard that Switch Press even posted about it on Twitter:

[tweet https://twitter.com/SwitchPressPub/status/589109009283551232]

Definitely check out this review — and I would highly recommend the book itself to all my friends.

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New review at Girls in Capes: A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER

This week, I review A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall at Girls in Capes! Here’s a short preview of my review of this adult epic fantasy:

In what is possibly the actual greatest scene of any fantasy novel ever, Zosia discovers that her imposter’s been wearing some sort of metal bikini-like thing and tells her that if she takes no other advice, put some real clothes on.  Meta, but also hilarious.

Check out the article here.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Cover of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerFrom the publisher:

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

Parable of the Sower is set in what’s essentially the apocalypse, following a young woman named Lauren in Southern California during an economic and social crisis.  The book explores religion and philosophy, faith in the face of a crumbling society, and the formation of a family in times of crisis.

As something of a disclaimer, I’ve read one other novel by Octavia Butler — a standalone titled Kindred — and gave the book 5 stars.  Much of that was due to the writing style, and Parable of the Sower is written in similarly accessible language: the narrator speaks normally, and Butler’s prose isn’t flowerly, overly technical, or — as I described to a friend — “so complicated that she sounds like an asshole.”

While I didn’t enjoy Parable of the Sower as much as I enjoyed Kindred, I did enjoy it, and the book made me think.  Though set in what was at the time a relatively distant future of 2024, it’s close enough to present-day to make me think of what might be coming.  The novel is about environment, human nature, and the essence of family, and addresses racial and gender realities.

I was reading this book to evaluate whether or not to include it as a Girls in Capes book club selection, and it definitely made the cut.  We’ll be reading this for our April selection to coincide with The Growing Issue at GiC.

4 out of 5 stars