Quick Book Reviews

One of the nice things about spending a week up north earlier this month was catching up on a little reading. I’ve had a harder time focusing on novel-length stuff these past couple of years, but being away seemed to help a lot.

The reading has slowed down again now that I’m home and having to do day job stuff and all the rest, but I’m hoping it won’t dry up as much as before.

In the meantime, have some quick mini-reviews of my vacation reads…

Justice Calling [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Annie Bellet. This is book one of Bellet’s Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. It’s quick-paced geek-friendly urban fantasy. The protagonist, Jade Crow, uses role-playing games to help her form and shape her magic, and wears a magical d20. Comes complete with sexy shape-shifters, lots of action, and a dark, dangerous past…

Every Heart a Doorway [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Seanan McGuire. My biggest complaint about this one is that I wish I’d thought of it first. The story takes place at a boarding school for kids who’ve returned from other worlds and yearn to go back. What happens after Narnia, Wonderland, Oz, and all the rest? Apparently, the answer is murder. McGuire is known for fun characters and worldbuilding, and this book is no exception.

Artemis Fowl [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Eoin Colfer. I was curious about the “twelve-year-old James Bond villain” pitch used to describe protagonist Artemis Fowl. It’s a pretty accurate pitch, but you have to add in fairies and magic. Fowl is generally the smartest person in the room, and he’s out to score himself some fairy gold. Lots of fairy “tech” and bureaucracy, lots of clever plans, and lots of action. Fowl has a few redeeming qualities, but it’s interesting to follow someone who’s essentially a MG-aged supervillain.

Emergency Skin [Amazon], by N. K. Jemisin. This was the shortest one I read, a second-person story in which you’ve been sent back to old Earth to track down a strain of cells needed to sustain your colony world. The colony founders were the wealthy elite who left Earth when it became unsustainable. But Earth isn’t what you’ve been led to believe. This is not a subtle story. It’s not supposed to be. I enjoyed it, and it made me want to shoot Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos (among others) into space.