Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Certain Slant of Light

by Laura Whitcomb

Story summary: Ghosts fall in love, relationships break and relationships heal, people struggle with death and abuse and Sad Things, the physical world is discovered to be glorious.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • People overcoming issues! I love books like this, that give hope and show dragons can be beaten.
  • The visual descriptions! I'm not really one for visual descriptions, but these struck me as quite inspiring.

And Why You Might Not:
  • There is definite sexual content. I think it makes sense given the context and type of story it is, but it deserves a warning.
  • The practicing Christians are all portrayed in a negative light.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Silent Voice

by Yoshitoki Ooima

Story summary: From the description of the first volume on Goodreads:
"Shoya is a bully. When Shoko, a girl who can’t hear, enters his elementary school class, she becomes their favorite target, and Shoya and his friends goad each other into devising new tortures for her. But the children’s cruelty goes too far. Shoko is forced to leave the school, and Shoya ends up shouldering all the blame. Six years later, the two meet again. Can Shoya make up for his past mistakes, or is it too late?"

Why You Will Like This Series:
  • Complex people and relationships--messy like real life.
  • Slow growth in friendship, self-respect, courage, and living.
  • The realistic emotions the art managed to portray staggered me sometimes.
  • The romance was pretty much the cutest thing ever, though not as important as even I wanted it to be.
  • With only seven volumes, it's a nice and short and manageable read, and didn't continue past it's expiry date (unlike many series).

And Why You Might Not:
  • This IS manga. A lot of people I know find it difficult enough to read normal graphic novels, let alone ones structured backwards to match the original language's format.
  • I could see this being triggering to people who've struggled with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and the like.
  • The ending is more open-ended than many people liked. (Not totally sure what I think of it myself.)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rags & Bones

edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Neil Gaiman! Garth Nix! Gene Wolfe!
  • Unlike many collections of retellings that I've read, these retell literature instead of folklore and fairytales. Not that the latter are bad things, but it makes it unique.
  • There are some great little scifi gems with ideas that make you think.
  • And great little fantasy gems with worlds that make you dream.

And Why You Might Not:
  • The stories were of mixed quality. (Or at least mixed in nature. Some reviews I read had pretty much exactly the opposite opinion from me, so I suppose it depends on what you're looking for. Point is, it's likely that you'll really like some and not like others.)
  • There were a lot of romances I didn't like: adultery, great passion, sex with a stranger, marriage rejection, etc.

Friday, June 10, 2016


by Brandon Sanderson

Story summary: It's time to fight the ultimate Epic--the superhero who has caused all the rest of the evil superheroes plaguing the world. But to do that, our group of eclectic freedom fighters first have to confront someone a lot closer to home.
Sequel to Steelheart and Firefight.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • The world-building is super cool and obviously Sanderson's strength (that strange, moving salt city!). This is so much a strength that it totally delights me, even though the characters aren't awesome and I'm almost always more about characters than world.

And Why You Might Not:
  • The characters and their dialogue aren't that interesting or well written.
  • Some could be disappointed by how everything in the trilogy is wrapped up. I'm still a bit undecided on that myself.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Sand-Reckoner

by Gillian Bradshaw

Story summary: Archimedes, genius 2,000 years ahead of his time, returns reluctantly home from the knowledge-heaven of Alexandria to his family home, just in time for the Roman siege of Syracuse.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • It makes one fascinated by a particular era and historical figure
  • And unlike many novels that do the above, this one seems pretty historically accurate (I got this from reviews, I am completely ignorant myself)
  • It brings to life the everyday of another time and place, making it both familiar and foreign.

And Why You Might Not:
  • There is more romance than expected. I mostly enjoyed it (it made it a cozy book, which I always love), but somehow it also made it less impactful to me. I talk about it a little more below, but don't manage to really figure out why.