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.

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Review: Teen Titans: Raven

42788199★★★★

It is finally here! The first installment of DC Ink’s new Teen Titans series. As a die-hard Marvel fan for most of my life, this isn’t a franchise that I’m familiar with beyond cartoons here and there as a kid. I was turned on to this new series because one of my favorite artists, Gabriel Picolo, illustrated Raven’s story.

Teen Titans: Raven takes place before the Teen Titans have formed, instead focusing on Raven’s life after the accident that taken the life of her mother. Suffering from memory loss, she starts a new life in New Orleans under the care of her aunt.

Garcia’s clear enthusiasm for this character coupled with Picolo’s gorgeous artwork have come together perfectly to produce a strong introduction to carry this series forward. All is introduced at the perfect pace, but long-time Teen Titans fans will still be thrilled with the appearance of some infamous foes. Perhaps my favorite part of this was the new family that takes Raven in and helps her grow. Though she struggles greatly with remembering who she is and rediscovering the truth of her powers, her aunt and sister support her through a transition into a new life. I would highly recommend this to both new and old fans of the Teen Titans franchise, the vision of Raven that Garcia and Picolo have brought to life is my favorite that I’ve ever seen and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.

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Advance Review: The Need

★★☆☆☆

A mother alone with her two children, settling in for the night as her husband is abroad. An intruder who knows them intimately, lurking in their home. The Need is eerie and gripping from the very first page.

This is the first of Helen Phillips’s books that I’ve read, and I was thrilled with the captivating quality of her writing, especially her raw portrayal of motherhood. The pacing is quick, with frequent changes of scene, bouncing between the present and days earlier. I tore through the first half of the book, but found myself beginning to lose momentum as the plot progressed further. The Need became more dreamlike and ambiguous and ultimately ended this way. The final act of this book was unsatisfying and left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, but this was an interesting read nonetheless. Continue reading “Advance Review: The Need”

Monthly Wrap Up: May 2019

Hello, hello! This month 3 books were reviewed on The Book Stack with an average of 4.0 stars. There isn’t a whole lot to “wrap-up” here since I was on hiatus for the majority of this month, but I’ve been reading like mad and there will be lots to look forward in June.

 

All May Reviews

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Review: The Book of the Moon

42193752★★★★★

The Book of the Moon is exactly what it claims to be: a through look at our nearest celestial neighbor. In this lucid, occasionally humorous guide to all things lunar Maggie Aderin-Pocock- space scientist, science communicator, and self-proclaimed lunatic- is our guide. This isn’t a typical scientific text, but it is my favorite kind. Though this small book is absolutely packed with figures and data, it also explores the deep connection that humans have had with the moon from our earliest days. After describing her background and relationship with the moon in the introduction, Aderin-Pocock breaks The Book of the Moon into four sections:

  • Moon 101: The Basics – A description of the physical properties of the moon, its environment, and how it formed.
  • Moon Past: The Moon in Our Culture – This was easily my favorite section. Topics here are broken down into groups of five. Five people, five places, five poems, five works of art, and more. The people and works featured here are refreshingly varied, a break from the Eurocentric, whitewashed version of scientific history that we’re all used to seeing.
  • Moon Present: A Sharper Focus – Tools and techniques for observing the moon accompanied by a description of our recent past involving the moon from, the beginning of the Space Race to present.  
  • Moon Future: What Lies Ahead? – An unbiased discussion of the future of science, commerce, and settlement on our moon.

I’m currently pursuing a degree in Earth Science with special interest in Planetary Geology and there was still more for me to learn in this brief, but densely packed little book. For all the information here, I never felt bogged down. Aderin-Pocock’s intense enthusiasm for the moon permeates this whole text and carried you along effortlessly. My only regret upon finishing it is that I wasn’t immediately able to pick up another book by Maggie Aderin-Pocock. In less than 300 pages I’m completely convinced, the next great science communicator- among the likes of Sagan and Nye- now stands before us. Continue reading “Review: The Book of the Moon”