Origamy is a novel by Rachel Armstrong. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away.] Finished on: 19.10.2018
Plot: Mobius is a weaver, like her parents Newton and Shelley who are all part of a circus troupe. Weavers can manipulate spacetime, but Mobius has somehow forgotten how to do it and needs to start to learn again. Encouraged by her parents, she can soon start traveling again. She zips around the universe, discovering its multitudes of cultures for herself. Soon she realizes that something is wrong and there is a threat that hangs over the universe that may unravel it entirely.
Origamy is definitely an unusual book, but it’s unusual in a way that I struggled with to say the least. It’s not bad per se, but I felt like I couldn’t get my foot in the narrative’s door and stayed outside, catching only confusing glimpses of what was going on inside.
Artefacts and Other Stories is a short story collection by Rebecca Burns. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 3.10.2018
Artefacts and Other Stories is a decent short story collection. It’s not amazing, but there are some good stories in there. The collection could have profited from a little more variation between stories and a little more narrative within the stories. But mostly, it’s okay.
Read more about each of the stories after the jump.
Indecision is a novel by Caragh Bell. It’s the first in the Follow Your Heart series. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 30.9.2018
Plot: Lydia loves her boyfriend Dominic with whom she’s been quite a long time already. When she moves away to do a Master’s degree, the separation isn’t easy to take. Plus, there’s Luca right there beside her: gorgeous, flirty, American, he is as intriguing to her as he is off-limits. But the effect he has on her makes her start to question her life’s decisions so far.
Indecision, unfortunately, didn’t work for me. It was badly written and full of unlikable and/or clichéd characters. I found it an exhausting read.
Everything That’s Underneath is a short story collection by Kristi DeMeester. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 27.9.2018
Everything That’s Underneath is a cool collection, but it is a little monotonous in tone. If I hadn’t read it all at once, but rather spread out the book reading a new story every once in a while, I probably would have appreciated them all more. Since they are all so alike in the atmosphere they create, they start to blend together, when you read one right after the other. That being said, I definitely enjoyed this atmosphere. I liked a lot of the stories, there are some very nice ideas here and DeMeester has a good hand for descriptions. So overall, it’s really good.
[More about each of the stories after the jump, with vague spoilers for some of the stories.]
Letters for Scarlet is a novel by Julie Gardner. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 18.9.2018
Plot: When they were teenagers, Corie and Scarlet were best friends, basically inseperable. Now 28, Corie finds a graduation letter she wrote and completely forget about. Having to face her past, she is confronted again with what happened to her and Scarlet and Tucker. Meanwhile Scarlet also has to face facts: she is pregnant and pretty certain that she will be a horrible mother who deserves nothing good. Through letters both of them explore feelings, both old and new, they haven’t figured out yet.
Letters for Scarlet is a nice, quick read that something was a bit much for me and that I didn’t entirely love. But I enjoyed it for the most part.
The Spirit Gate is a novel by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 15.9.2018
Plot: Kassia is a shai, a woman born with the mark of the goddess. And she is the first woman to be allowed to study magic under Master Lukusha. In fact, she is the first woman in ages to be allowed to study and practice magic at all, which means that most of the shai magic has been forgotten. Despite the people like Lukusha’s assistant Zakarij doubting her, Kassia throws herself into her studies – as much as being a single mother allows her to.
The Spirit Gate was an enjoyable read with a good protagonist that wasn’t absolutely great, but it definitely wasn’t bad at all.
Out of Tune is a short story collection edited by John Maberry. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on 8.9.2018
Content Note: sexualized abuse, rape
All of the stories in Out of Tune are based on old ballads. To make the connections between the retellings and the originals, each story is commented on by Nancy Keim Comley. I really appreciated those comments. In fact, I would have liked a more extensive commentary and more info on the folklore behind the stories.
Overall I found the collection rather middling, with a couple of highlights that literally stood out from the rest of the stories.
More about each of the stories separately after the jump.
Mistress of the Solstice is a novel by Anna Kashina. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 4.9.2018
Plot: Marya is the Mistress of the Solstice, the high priestess of their cult. Her most important task is to perform the annual sacrifice of a virgin to Marya’s father, the immortal tsar Kashchey. This sacrifice is necessary to keep their kingdom save and prosperous. But then Ivan shows up, Ivan the Fool, youngest prince of a neighboring kingdom. Ivan is on a quest to kill Kashchey and get rid off the sacrifices once and for all. He is not the first to try. But when Marya and Ivan meet, they are both knocked off course.
I really enjoyed reading Mistress of the Solstice. It’s well-written and imaginative and really profits off the setting that draws on Russian folklore.
Immunity to Strange Tales is a short story collection by Susan Forest. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 1.9.2018
Immunity to Strange Tales is a good collection of very different stories. Not all of them worked equally well for me, but it does have a few really strong ones. And since the stories are so varied, it’s pretty easy to find something to your taste. I really enjoyed it.
Tritcheon Hash is a novel by Sue Lange. [I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.] Finished on: 27.8.2018
Plot: Tritcheon Hash lives on the planet of Coney Island. Coney Island is home to only women: after all the male violence on Earth, the women just up and left. Now men and women only see each other once a year at the sperm against male babies exchange. Things have been going smoothly for a while and talk of reunification have been stirring. But since Earth is covered in a cloud of pollution, making satellite observation impossible, Coney Island needs to send a spy there in person to see if the men are ready again. The chosen spy is Tritcheon who leaves her wife and kids behind to take on the mission – which reconnects her to her own past.
I think that Tritcheon Hash thinks that it’s making some kind of feminist point but that point completely backfires. And narratively it didn’t blow me away, either.