Why oh why did I have to set myself Things To Do when it comes to reading? That review-a-day thing I’m planning for Wyrd & Wonder? Yeah I’m gonna have to get my read on if I’m to get up to speed with that. Of course this was always predictable for a committed mood reader – sticking to a set reading list was never gonna go well. I’m also really ‘behind’ on blogging too, with loads of outstanding reviews to write up before I forget what I have to say about the books. I’m dangerously close to becoming stressed out by my hobby, which I am viscerally against, so gonna do a bunch of reading and blog writing this weekend while it’s still fun. That being said, let’s have a dive in and see what I’ve got my nose in at the mo.
Recently Finished: FIREHEART TIGER by Aliette de Bodard
This just came out this week and there’s been a tonne of buzz about it on the old twitters. I was very fortunate to receive an ARC and I gotta say I really liked it. It’s the story of Thanh, a princess of Bình Hải, former royal hostage and now diplomat in the service of the queen’s court. There’s fire elementals and insightful stuff about colonialism and power, as well as lots of diplomats subtly insulting each other with seemingly polite words and sapphic romance. I’m still not 100% sure what qualifies as fantasy of manners stories, but I’m fairly sure Fireheart Tiger fits into the subgenre. The story is a romantic adventure that takes place within an elaborate, hierarchical social structure and centres around social intrigue anyway. so if I trust Wikipedia’s definition (and of course I’m happy to trust whatever an open source encyclopaedia on the internet tells me) then this is a fantasy of manners novella. I put a review up just the other day, so if you haven’t read it yet then go have yourself a little read here.
Currently Reading: RAVENCRY by Ed McDonald
The reading for my grimdark extravaganza is fully underway! Even if I am falling behind already *ahem*. Ravencry is the second book in the Raven’s Mark trilogy that began with the excellent Blackwing. I’m enjoying this sequel a lot, by which I mean some scenes are so tense I actually had to press pause on the audiobook, pour out a glass of water with a trembling hand and take a breather. If you’ve read this and remember the rooftop tower scene then you know what I’m on about. Ed McDonald writes fantastic grimdark mystery. And there really is a lot of mystery in these books. In the first book Ryhalt Galharrow, in his service to the mage Crowfoot, investigates a conspiracy at the heart of power and in the second book there’s a tonne of crazy mysterious shit going on, including trying to uncover the plans of a shady mercenary company venturing out into the Misery to make deals with the Deep Kings and recover a stolen magical artefact of disturbing power, all while a cult grows ever more powerful within the city of Vallengrad. Loving it so far and VERY excited to review this series.
Next Read: RISE OF THE RED HAND by Olivia Chadha
I’ve talked about this book a few times now on the blog, even mentioned it as one of my most anticipated releases this year 😀 Well the time is soon nigh to dive on in. This is cyberpunk climate fiction set in a near future South Asia where the wealthy Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome, dependent on technology and gene therapy to keep them healthy and youthful forever, while outside, the poor and forgotten scrape by with discarded black-market robotics – a society of poverty-stricken cyborgs struggling to survive in slums threatened by rising sea levels, unbreathable air, and deadly superbugs. Amidst all this we have Ashiva, a young revolutionary with the Red Hand, an underground network of revolutionaries fighting the government, which is run by a merciless computer algorithm that dictates every citizen’s fate. When Ashiva crosses paths with the brilliant hacker Riz-Ali, a privileged Uplander who finds himself embroiled in the Red Hand’s dangerous activities, they uncover a horrifying conspiracy that the government will do anything to bury. Fuck man, this sounds like exactly what I want out of modern cyberpunk and I’m chomping at the bit to read this story!
Anyway, that’s today’s update folks. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading at the mo. And if you enjoyed this update why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat.