Sometimes, as a teenager, you wish your family would just disappear. But what happens when you have the magic to actually make that happen? Sixteen-year-old Alejandra Mortiz finds out in Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost, Book #1 of the Brooklyn Brujas series. Alex dreads the Deathday ceremony that will awaken her powers, but when she tries to banish her magic, she banishes her family instead. Drawing from Latin American myth and culture and blending them with common tropes of the genre, Córdova creates a unique fantasy world for Alex to explore as she explores her own heritage. And despite what the back cover would have you believe, this isn’t your typical boy-girl romance. This is a book primarily about women and the relationships between them, be they familial, antagonistic, or romantic. Continue reading Book Review: Labyrinth Lost–a Story of Latina Magic
If you’re looking for a good YA series with bisexual, Hispanic, or autistic representation, it might be time to hop on the Dark Artifices train, as the second book was just released last Tuesday, May 23. From the author who brought us our first Jewish vampire and an immensely powerful gay warlock comes a new spin-off series from her original The Mortal Instruments world. Today I will review Lady Midnight (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare, particularly focusing on the minority characters Mark, Christina, and Ty. Continue reading Diversity Among Shadowhunters: Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight
Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy
I’ve mentioned the Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks several times before, and now with season two of the TV show tentatively predicted for Summer 2017, I decided it was time for a re-read. I chose to start with book 2 of the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, because that is where the TV show starts from. Published in the 1980s, Elfstones stands apart from many high fantasy epics by featuring two prominent female characters. Amberle and Eretria, while both involved in a love triangle with protagonist Wil Ohmsford, present two very different notions of femininity in a genre that often lacks any representation at all. But can they be said to be feminist characters? Continue reading Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria
The new epic fantasy on everybody’s lips is the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, not least because of its recent association with musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda will act as creative producer of Liongate’s new film, TV, and video game franchise based on the books. This fact and the recommendation of a dear friend was all the convincing I needed to start book one, The Name of the Wind. Yet while the writing is beautiful and the plot is enticing, I am disappointed to say this book had a distinctly un-feminist tone. Continue reading Feminist Literary Analysis: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
As the weather turns colder, if you’re anything like me, you want to lock yourself up inside and never venture out into that face-hurting blustery “wonderland.” To help you cope, here are some series to keep you busy while you’re all tucked up in a fluffy blanket by the fireside, ready to hibernate the season away.
On May 14th, women writers won the lion’s share of accolades, winning in all but a single category of one of science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious awards.
In 2009, Lev Grossman had this genius idea to satirize fantasy. In his novel, The Magicians, Grossman introduces readers to Quentin Clearwater. He is accepted into Brakebills, an institution for higher education–in magic. However, this is like no other “chosen one” story. It is incredibly dark, psychological, and really expects a lot from its readers. The novel inspired two further books, turning The Magicians into a trilogy.
Tonight, Syfy posted the first episode of their Magicians TV series on The Magicians Facebook page. It is stunning. This pilot introduces readers to the main characters and the rules of this magical world. What I loved was that instead of telling, there’s quite a bit of showing. For instance, in the background while Quentin is getting a tour of the school, most of the magicians are using their fingers to create magic. It tells the viewer that this, and not wands, is how we’ll see magic in this world. Continue reading Sneak a Peek at The Magicians
Another awesome series by Kim Harrison! The Drafter is the first book in her new series, The Peri Reed Chronicles. I wasn’t too sure about this book at first because the idea behind the story is a little freaky. The main character, Peri, is a Drafter. It’s a little hard to explain, but here goes: Peri can alter time if she’s threatened or on the verge of dying, which she is. Often. Peri works for Opti, a secret government agency that works to protect the innocent population from terrorists and nefarious political rulers. But are they really as beneficent as they appear?
Have you ever wanted to see inside an author’s head to understand how they created their story? Maggie Stiefvater and ciritque-partner/author friends Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff offer the chance to do just that with their collaborative new book, The Anatomy of Curiosity. The book contains a short story by each author, as well as an explanation of how the story was built and discussions on topics such as ideas, characters, revision, and doubt. Continue reading Review of The Anatomy of Curiosity