Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship? But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne. Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.
A sci-fi book with a race that spans across its galaxy. Once again, I was drawn to a book simply by a few key things. But seriously, this book is about a reluctant girl competing in a race through the cosmos to find a seal on one planet out of 1,001. And the winner is crowned Emperor. Oh, the race also turns deadly. My sci-fi loving heart was ready for this book. Trigger warnings: alcohol use, blood/gore, death/loss of a loved one, emotional withholding from a parental figure, murder, guilt and trauma, science fiction-related violence (i.e., blasters, spaceship battles, etc.)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm. But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned. As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
This book sounded firey and that was basically enough for me to know that I wanted to read it. Honestly, I’m realizing it doesn’t take much to draw me into a book. I heard feathers and I heard flames. Firey birds. And that’s enough for me to become invested. But I found out there were sisters and a dead queen and magic that demands a price. All of which sounds amazing, and which had me incredibly eager to see what else this book would hold. Trigger warnings: abuse
Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents. Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him. When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community. But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?
I love Gloria Chao books. I fell in love with American Panda, and while I might not have loved Our Wayward Fate as much, I still enjoyed it. When I found out that she would be writing a fake dating book, a book where the main character hires a fake boyfriend no less, I was incredibly eager to read it! I even share a name with the main character!
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal. But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
I have a confession to make. I don’t think I’ve read Romeo & Juliet all the way through. I’m not sure if I’ve ever even seen a movie adaptation. I know the basics, but I’m pretty sure that’s it. (Don’t tell Chloe, I’m sure she would find me.) So, of course I wanted to read this Romeo & Juliet retelling! I knew it was set in Shanghai and I knew there would be knives and gangs. That was basically all I needed to be ready to jump into this book head first. Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, character deaths, explicit description of gouging self (not of their own volition), murder, weapon use, insects, alcohol consumption, parental abuse
*Spoiler free, but spoilers for the previous two books*
Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes. After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly. Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies. Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…
I haven’t written a review for the last book in a trilogy for a long time. But I’m writing one for Queen Of Volts, a series I have loved since the first book. I don’t think it’s any secret the kind of love I hold for this series. I have screamed about Ace Of Shades and I have screamed about King Of Fools. And now I’m here to scream about Queen Of Volts. Trigger warnings: extreme violence, death, grief, attempted suicide/suicidal ideation, PTSD, toxic and abusive relationships (particularly regarding a parent and a romantic partner), addiction, emetophobia
After their world-famous mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thais left their remote Mediterranean home—sent away by their pharma tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive. Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thais discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into society’s surreal underbelly, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.
After the whirlwind that was The Tenth Girl, I was beyond eager to read Sara Faring’s new book, White Fox. Two sisters find the lost script of their missing mother. A house that’s strange and holds many secrets. It’s Sara Faring: I was ready to get my mind warped once again.
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good. Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school. For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . . Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, especially from people I know I have similar tastes too and eager to take to always take their recommendations. I knew it was dark, I knew it would probably be on the denser side, I knew it would have war in the realm of high fantasy. I wasn’t sure how exactly I would feel about it, since these kinds of books tend to be hit or miss for me, but I was very, very eager to give it a shot. Trigger warnings: drug use, substance addiction, self-harm, racism, misogyny, genocide, bullying, abandonment, abuse, animal death, animal cruelty, brutal torture, brutal killing, brutal rape (off screen, but still incredibly violent)
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely. A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town. A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England. A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all. A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile and on my “I really want to try this” list for even longer. My friend (hi Mo!), raves about it, so that was enough for me to be interested. But I also heard it’s queer. And it’s about clocks. And it’s about an alternate Victorian world where the world is controlled by clocks. Really, it sounded like something I would be interested, despite not reading a ton of books in this realm. I was eager to give it a try!
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a long time and I’ve been wanting to read it for longer. I’ve seen love for it here and there online, but that love was intense. Plus, it sounded out of this world amazing. What hides in the depths of the sea has always terrified me, but in a way where I can’t help but want to know more. And this book seemed to promise just that. To travel to the deep, to unravel the mysteries that hide there, and be queer as heck while doing it. I was very eager to read it and I’m still surprised it took so long for me to pick it up! Trigger warnings: ableism, blood, death, gore
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage. But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
When I read Gravemaidens, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a few issues here and there, but I still came out of the experience happy with what I read. I was really curious how the sequel would conclude this duology and how it would expand upon this world, outside of Alu. And there were even assassination attempts and tons of scorpions promised in this one, which even heightened my longing for it! Trigger warnings: mentions of attempted rape, blood, death, grief, gore