Review: This is How You Lose the Time War

36516585★★★★★

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone have united to bring one of the most stunning works of speculative fiction I’ve ever read. This epistolary novella chronicles the exchanges between two spies on opposite sides of a war that permeates time and space. What began as elaborate taunts between enemies on the battlefield turns into something more.

I have only one word for this whirlwind tale: breathtaking. I finished This is How You Lose the Time War in a single sitting- not because I wanted to as much as I needed to finish it. The lyrical prose combined with the masterful storytelling results in a story that dares you to put it down, and I did not dare. In just over 200 pages this book will steal your heart, shatter it, and then stitch it back together as you watch.

Continue reading “Review: This is How You Lose the Time War”

Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

★★★★★

This is a book I wish I could’ve handed to a younger version of myself. In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel queer identities of all varieties are explored by our narrator, a snail. It is clear that this book was made to be accessible to younger readers, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about identities beyond their own, those trying to figure out what identity suits them, and allies trying to educate themselves.

Other reviewers have critiqued the fact that a book geared towards younger readers includes a section on relationship basics, but it was a touch that I actually loved. If you are closeted or struggling with your identity, there may never be an opportunity for you to learn about what the basis of a healthy relationship is or signs of a partner that may be controlling and/or manipulative. I think there is little harm in the way this was approached- emphasizing self love and open communication. It is clear that the authors aimed to make this an accessible, inclusive read and I can wholeheartedly say they succeeded. Continue reading “Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities”

Advance Review: Safely Endangered

★★★★★ 42954198

As a long time fan of Chris McCoy’s comics, and I’m thrilled to have received an advance copy of his first collection, Safely Endangered.

This collection of comics includes some of the greatest hits from McCoy’s webcomic of the same name, alongside comics that are exclusive to this collection. As some reviewers have already voiced, the humor isn’t for everyone. Count me out of this group. These comics are witty, twisted, a little dark, but unfailingly hilarious. McCoy is a master of his medium and his debut collection is not to be missed. Continue reading “Advance Review: Safely Endangered”

Advance Review: oh no

★★★★

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Alex Norris’s collection from the widely loved Webcomic Name is full of some of the best comics to date and several that have never been seen before. oh no (named for the comic’s running gag) is a unique take on “relatable” webcomics, framing daily disappointments in a truly hilarious way. Norris’s occasionally absurd art compliments this off-kilter collection perfectly. Continue reading “Advance Review: oh no”

Advance Review: Eight Lives

★★★★★43397089

David Tran is dead. The young doctor was poised to revolutionize immunology with his miracle drug, but just as the first clinical trial is set to begin, he dies under mysterious circumstances. Eight Lives begins in the aftermath as those close to Tran recount their intertwined histories, trying to piece together the truth of this tragedy, unprepared for the secrets they’ll uncover about the “Golden Boy” of Australian medicine.

Eight Lives is Susan Hurley’s debut novel, and what an spectacular debut it is. One of the aspects of this novel that captured me the most was the technical detail interwoven. Fear not, the impeccable pacing isn’t slowed a bit. Instead Hurley enhances every turn of the plot with expertise, her decades of experience in medical research shining through as she shines light on an industry so vital, but so little known.

But this is more than a thoroughly researched thriller, Eight Lives is woven together with incredible precision. The story is told from the perspectives of David’s sister, his childhood friend, his lab assistant, his long-time girlfriend, and a “fixer” employed by his investors. Their stories, though many of them have nothing in common besides their relation to David, come together elegantly. Each holds a crucial piece to the puzzle and it is a thrill to watch realizations coalesce between parties that are, at times, completely at odds with one another. The truth of David’s death comes together slowly and painstakingly. It took my breath away as the truth was finally realized and Eight Lives has been in my thoughts for days since I finished. I’m certain this is one of those books you’ll have to read twice to truly appreciate. Continue reading “Advance Review: Eight Lives”