The Vanished Birds

The Vanished Birds

Simon Jimenez

The Vanished Birds is one of the most beautiful science fiction stories I have ever read. When a young boy crashes onto a planet it is evident he holds some mysterious power. A crew hired by a strange and powerful scientist must hide the child until more is known about his frightening gifts. This is a book I wish I could get lost in again for the first time. It is really about family, and a mother’s love for her child. I also appreciate how queerness is represented throughout the novel. I find it strange when science fiction novels set far in the future aren’t more imaginative about how people love and exist. The Vanished Birds hits all those right notes without bashing you over the head with it. A science fiction favorite, by a half-Filipino author, I am in love. I highly recommend this one if you’re looking to get lost among the stars, the crew of this ship will surely find its way into your heart. Readers of Becky Chambers will definitely find something to love here.

ID: The novel the Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez rests on some plants outside.

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The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

Iron Widow

Iron Widow

Xiran Jay Zhao

“A primal scream of a novel” indeed. Was it perfect? No. Did I love it? Yes. It was deliciously weird and the author was definitely like “fuck it, I’m just gonna go for it.” And go for it they did. The action did not let up and it was just so random and weird I was completely buckled in for the ride. I see some adults kind of nitpicking at this, but this book is YA through and through, we are not the intended audience and that is fine. I absolutely love that this book exists for young people. A badass female in a polyamorous relationship instead of a boring love triangle? Why not? It was unexpected and fun. It gave me exactly what I needed and the ending made me want to throw the book across the room. That cliffhanger!! Book 2 is sure to be just as explosive and I am here for it. Thanks for rec @sarahs.thoughts.on.books it was perfect.

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Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Piranesi

Piranesi

Susanna Clarke

This novel was simply a delight. I loved the way the mystery around the “house” and Piranesi unfolded. It was perfectly paced and just felt so utterly complete. Not a sentence or thought was wasted and the ending left me with a deep sense of satisfaction. Clarke builds a world of striking beauty mixed with fearsome imagery. It was both exhilarating and mysterious. It is a book that makes you truly think of the meaning of the phrase “stop and smell the roses.” There is beauty all around, when was the last time you really stopped and looked at it? A new favorite.

If you love audiobooks, my sister said it was perfect.

Synopsis: Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

[ID: The book Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, resting on succulents of all different sizes and colors.]

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

She Who Became the Sun

She Who Became the Sun

Shelley Parker Chan

This is definitely a book that snuck up on me. I went into it thinking it was going to be action packed, but it is actually more of a character study. The marketing on this one does it a huge disservice. Zhu Chongba and Ouyang are two characters I have not been able to shake. They are deeply complex and both have so much to lose, yet they persist with unwavering intensity because what else can they do. Their destiny calls, and they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. Definitely two of the most interesting characters I have come across in an epic in a very long time. I’m glad I was able to unpack this with others (thanks to @cherreadssharereads and @nerdtasticnoms ), because once I adjusted my expectations I found it very enjoyable. This is not a fantasy novel, this is a historical fiction epic. It’s dense and slow paced. A lot of the action happens off page, but the political intrigue is definitely juicy. I find myself thinking about this one a lot and wondering how the heck it will all end. I will definitely be checking out book 2.

[ID: The novel She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan resting against green plants and yellow flowers. The cover has a bright orange sun with a person riding a horse.]

#SheWhoBecameTheSun #ShelleyParkerChan #AltHistory #HistoricalFictionNovels #ReadMoreBooks #AlwaysReading #LosAngelesReads #Bookstagram #Bookstagrammer #Novels #Fiction #BookPictures #lovereading

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan

The Light From Uncommon Stars

The Light From Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki

Synopsis from Goodreads: An adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

I liked this book. I read it over winter break and it was a fun, chill read. The conversations between Shizuka (a violin teacher who made a deal with the devil) and Katrina (a transgender woman with a gift for music) were my favorite parts and I felt as though those didn’t happen nearly enough. I honestly could have done without the space story. It was cute and quirky but I can’t remember the characters very well and I think it fell sort of flat to me when I compared it to the interactions between the other two main characters. That was the meat of the story and I felt like it could’ve been a stronger novel if it just stood on its own. I did love that it was set in LA, as it’s always fun when you recognize certain streets or neighborhoods in a book. But while this book wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk for me, there were many elements I found satisfying, for example Katrina’s journey to self love and discovery were so heartfelt and touching. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I actually wish there was less space and aliens stuff and just more about the music and Katrina and Shizukas path to self love and forgiveness. With that said I’m very interested to see what this author creates next.

#TheLightFromUncommonStars #ScienceFiction #SFF #FictionNovels #Bookstagram #ReadMoreBooks #AlwaysReading #books #BooksBooksBooks #queersff

The Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Riot Baby and Gorilla My Love

Riot Baby and Gorilla My Love

#independentbookstore appreciation post! One of my favorite bookstores in Los Angeles is @reparations.club I actually haven’t been inside (want to remedy that soon) but I love the vibe of the website and I love how you can leave a tip for the booksellers at check out! They also always leave a handwritten thank you note, which is a nice touch. I recently purchased Riot Baby bc so many people I know love it and I know I will too. I also picked up Gorilla My Love bc it was recommended by @dcastmusic and @dai2daireader is hosting a buddy read! Perfect timing. Anyways, check out this amazing Black owned and woman owned bookstore! #bookstagram #books #readmorebooks #shortstories #sciencefiction #losangeles #california

Riot Baby and Gorilla My Love

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