Book Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Published by Saga Press on October 13, 2020

Genres: Fantasy

Adult Fiction

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Without a doubt one of my favorite books of the year, Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is an epic multi-POV adventure that is engrossing from start to finish. The author brings a breath of fresh air to the fantasy genre with this unique tale inspired by the civilizations of the pre-Columbian Americas. It’s fast paced with tons of action and the ending will leave you reeling.

Roanhorse weaves an intricate, vivid world that bursts from the page and this lush setting is home to gods, prophecies, magic and more. Religion and politics take center stage as a solstice approaches and the author is able to explore multiple religions that coexist as well as fanaticism. She also delves into struggles against the confines of society, history, and power.

What truly makes this story standout though is the intriguing characters that give voice to the narrative. There’s Serapio a quiet, controlled blind man with unimaginable power; Xiala, a disgraced pirate with unique skills of her own; Naranpa, priestess of the sun, navigating the ever shifting hierarchies of Tova; and Okoa, the son of a murdered clan matron.

As their stories intersect and converge, the vast scope of the novel is revealed and the future of these characters and this world reach a tipping point. Don’t let the size of this story scare you though, readers will have no trouble keeping up with this standout saga. If you haven’t read any of Rebecca Roanhorse’s work previously, Black Sun is the perfect place to start.

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Published by Tor Books on October 6, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Historical

Adult Fiction

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

I will never truly be able to find the right words to encapsulate and explain the transformative power of V.E. Schwab’s writing and the brilliance of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue but nevertheless I am here to try. The scope of this novel is extraordinary as it spans over 300 years and delves deep into a long list of emotionally heavy topics.

The premise of girl makes a Faustian bargain drew me in but it was the atmospheric and lush storytelling that kept me turning the pages. V.E. Schwab excels at writing characters that will resonate and I think this is her finest work to date. Some readers might struggle with the early pacing or how the story ends but honestly it was perfection.

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Book Review: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Published by Avon on August 4, 2020

Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Adult Fiction

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria is a standout romance that brings the drama with heart and soul. Jasmine and Ashton’s new streaming show “Carmen in Charge” could make or break their careers but neither of them are prepared for the connection between them. With intimate behind the scenes moments to on set steaminess, this romance will definitely be loved by a wide audience.

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Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Published by Tor Books on March 17, 2020

Genres: Fantasy

Adult Fiction

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

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