I’m a little late to the game but finally got around to reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s detective mystery series published under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. The novel follows detective Cormoran Strike and his temp secretary Robin Ellacott as they investigate the suspicious suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. One of the major themes of the book is exploring different experiences of being black in England, engaging in race relations with a nuance often lacking in the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also steps up her disability representation by featuring a protagonist with a prosthetic leg but at the same time seems to make backward progress in her portrayal of women.
The Ruby in the Smoke, Book One of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series, never gained the same fame as The Golden Compass and the rest of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, perhaps for good reason. It’s a cute story but doesn’t have quite the magical draw of epic world-building that bolsters his other works. From a feminist perspective, I appreciated the feisty female protagonist who demonstrates math skills and business acumen, but on an intersectional level, the book fails. The novel is meant to be a treatise against opium and the role England played in encouraging the opium industry, but it is rife with simplistic or downright racist depictions of Asians and the East. Continue reading Book Review: Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke
Does space travel and the possibility of discovering new worlds interest you? What about the unending ethical dilemmas of cloning? If you also appreciate Science Fiction when it focuses on personal inner conflict and the day-to-day aspect of life in at the lonely edge of the galaxy, then Joe M. McDermott‘s The Fortress at the End of Time might be right up your alley.
Normally, Daily Geekette does not review children’s picture books. Normally, children’s books are not this awesome and catered to our specific audience. Bedtime for Batman is a picture book by Michael Dahl. The book tells the story of a little boy going to bed on one page. On the opposite page, it parallels the boy’s life to Batman’s life of crime fighting. Continue reading Bedtime for Batman: A Review
Sarah J. Maas’s novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The world is divided by an ancient treaty into two sections: human and fae. There is a magic wall that divides the realms. Feyre and her family live along that wall. They lost all their wealth, and rely solely on Feyre for survival. Feyre is out hunting when she kills what turns out to be a high fae, disguised as a wolf. That night a fae in beast form, Tamlin, comes to her house and demands her life for his friend’s. Feyre finds herself living in the luxurious fae Spring Court where she will have to live out her days, but all is not as it seems. Everyone at the estate has a masquerade mask on, which Feyre learns is a symptom of a much more serious problem, that she might be the answer to. Continue reading A Court of Thorns and Roses Review
Continuing with the theme of Sci-fi Summer, I thought I would tell you all a bit about the second book I completed for my reading challenge. Empire in Black and Gold, the first installment of the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, is really more of a high-fantasy work with sci-fi elements, including steampunk and military sci-fi. Instead of elves and orcs, you have various Peoples with insect-inspired traits, powers, and strengths. The Wasps, for example, can fly and produce stinging fire from their hands, and are an aggressive and military people. They are poised to take over the Lowlands, and only the old Beetle Stenwald Maker and his young protégés see the threat. Can they open the eyes of the Lowland leaders and stop the invasion before it’s too late? You’ll have to read the series and see. Continue reading Book Review: Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky
London has a Problem. Hauntings, once merely the subject of superstition, have now become common place and undeniable. In just a few decades, ghost sightings, and even fatal ghost-touchings, in Britain have reached epidemic proportions but here’s the catch: only children and teens can see (or hear, or feel) the ghosts. In the Lockwood & Co. series, Jonathan Stroud–King of Snark, and author of the best-selling Bartimaeus series–builds a new world of magic and real life intertwining. Continue reading Book Review: Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud
Maggie Stiefvater’s four book series, The Raven Cycle, has come to a close with the release of The Raven King. The series follows a group of friends as they search for a long dead/sleeping Welsh King. Along their journey, they’ve made new friends and comrades, created enemies, discovered secrets, and confronted fears. Also, they’re seniors in high school. And kind of magic. In my excitement for the release of The Raven King, I’ve tried to explain this premise to many friends and colleagues, and always feel like I fall short of capturing exactly what these books are. Continue reading Make Way For The Raven King
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a realistic fiction piece set in Eden Valley, a small town in Australia. Alba is finished with high school and looking forward to a relaxing summer with her friends, especially her best friend Grady. However, Alba’s summer is turned upside down when a TV psychic predicts the end of the world is coming, and the only place that will be left on the map will be Alba’s town. Suddenly, a flood of people start showing up and camping out, including Alba’s childhood friend Daniel, who is now very grown up and attractive. Alba and her friends not only have to figure out what to do with their lives, but now they have to hope they will even have a life longer than a few weeks. Relationships change, secrets are shared, and identities are uncovered in this very nerdy story.
Golden is the third book in the Heart of Dread series by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston. The series originally seemed to be about a future where the earth has been devastated and is covered with ice. There are garbage islands floating in the ocean and no food. In the second book we learn that the environment has less to do with global warming and more to do with magic. Magic, with sorcerers and dragons, secret grey tower rooms that hold the key to bringing back or rediscovering other worlds. It’s a different way of looking at current issues, but it removes the substance from these books and sugar coats what is actually happening with our environment. Continue reading Golden: a Review