Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

I hate to tell you to go back and read Black Sun before starting Fevered Star, but you really should. And the good news is the "to be continued" ending won't bother you nearly as much as it did me if you can head straight into this one. Not that this one has a very satisfying ending either, but it's at least not quite as cliffhanger. As before, the world (a weaving of pre-Colombian influences) is strongly engaging and well developed, with fascinating characters and culture. We have several viewpoints in Fevered Star, some more compelling than others. We learn more about our avatar's powers and about their own interior struggles. We see the people that surround them, those who love them, hate them, or want to use them. Heroes and villains are very much a matter of perspective. There's a war coming and the book is all about forming alliances and putting people in the right places, which can...
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The Fields by Erin Young

The Fields by Erin Young

The Fields was a bit too much for me. Riley Fisher, with a new promotion under her belt, is in charge of the investigation of the gruesome death of a woman found in the middle of a corn field, a woman who was Riley's friend when they were teenagers. Too much: Backstory: Riley was friends with the woman, but there's also another more tenuous personal connection to the case. I'm not a fan of dwelling on backstories and if this is actually the first of the series and relied so heavily on Riley's past, I'm not sure I want to read the next.Gruesome details: I read a lot of mysteries. The details here made me flinch and were just gross. For me they were over the top, and not in an enjoyable way.Bad decisions: The detectives in books like this always make some questionable decisions, and Riley is no exception. There are also some decisions that put a child in danger,...
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A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

First, go read A Memory Called Empire if you haven't yet. It's a fabulous book and I'm not sure you can fully understand/ enjoy A Desolation Called Peace without it. It's where we are first introduced to the Teixcalaan Empire, which spans across galaxies. It's an empire full of political intrigue and poetry. We also met Mahit Dzmare, the ambassador to Teixcalaan from Lsel Station, a small, independent mining space station with its own culture, identity, and most importantly technology. Lsel creates imagos, memory imprints that are designed to meld into the personality of the wearer and preserve the preceding generations of knowledge. This time around we meet the aliens, the ones killing people on the edges of the Teixalaan Empire. There is so much I could say about this book. The world-building is amazing and the aliens interesting, although maybe not unique. The main characters, and there are several, are each fully drawn with strengths and flaws and...
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A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

I thoroughly enjoyed A Master of Djinn and my library had "A Dead Djinn in Cairo" on audio, so I picked it up. The setting is a steampunk 1912 Cairo in a world where magic has been discovered/released. With the help of the djinn, Egypt has pretty much thrown England out. Fatma is sent out to investigate the apparent suicide of a strong djinn, but nothing's ever that simple is it. I enjoyed meeting Fatma again and seeing how her relationship with Siti started. The plot was fun, full of djinn and clockwork angels and ghouls. The main problem, the thing Fatma has to stop, becomes a problem again in the first full-length novel in the series, so I'm not sure if I'm glad to see how it originated or disappointed that the same "machine" is used in both. ...
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The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

My husband was telling me the other day that the Mars lander was losing power because of dust. I asked if it was on the radiator. He looked at me funny and said it was on the solar panels. I had been in the middle of The Apollo Murders and I don't think it's a spoiler to say that an astronaut's plan to sabotage the Soviet's moon rover was to cover it in dust. It's the middle of the Cold War and the US and the Soviet Union are in a race to conquer space — for national security reasons, foreign policy objectives, and bragging rights. In this science-fiction thriller set during the Nixon administration, Apollo 18 is being sent on one last mission to the moon. The Soviets have a moon rover and a manned spy satellite. The tension between the Americans and the Soviets is palpable, both in space and on the ground. It's national pride and personal...
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A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

There are several short stories set in the same world as A Master of Djinn and I do wish I had read them first. A Master of Djinn does a fabulous showing us this Cairo and introducing the character, but the events from at least two of the stories are mentioned and I think reading them would have given me a better background. I may actually go back and read them now - I did love the world. A Master of Djinn is more or less a murder mystery set in a steampunk alternate 1912 Cairo where djinn live and work among mortals. Our investigator is Fatma from the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. The dead men and woman are members of an Al-Jahiz Secret Brotherhood, all found murdered, their bodies, but not their clothes, burned to a crisp. Turns out an imposter claimant to be Al-Jahiz returned is running around town causing all kinds of havoc. Clark...
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