The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin | 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I’ll admit this this book was a slow start for me in the beginning. I wasn’t completely sold on the concept or the book when I bought it (it was on sale for 2 pounds so I really couldn’t say “no”) and I let it gather dust in my room for a good 2 months before I decided to start it. And when I did, I barely made it 30 pages in before I left it again for another month!

But I’m glad that I pushed through because I became very invested in the characters and the world within a few pages. I loved Jemisin’s world building here – she created a ruptured earth full of terrifying seasons and weather, and she did it so well that you felt the terror of the people.

Within this earth there is a fifth season that creates cataclysmic weather that basically destroys all life as you know it. This means that people on this world are terrified of shakes, quakes and unusual weather. Within this world, there are also individuals that are called orogenes that can harness earth’s power (and like all power, for good and evil reasons). I won’t say more because of spoilers but think X-Men on a ruptured earth. Oh, and everyone in this world is hella diverse!

Another aspect that I greatly enjoyed was the cultural and societal comm system she created. Here communities are the lifeblood of survival and each community has a stratified culture with each person belonging to a group, and each group playing a role in the survival of many. OK, so this is the anthropologist in me freaking out and many won’t give a crap about this part of the book but it is definitely a plus! This cultural and societal reaction is significant however to the survival of some of the main characters.

I could go on and on about other aspects of the book I like (think Stone People) but I’ll say something that irked me: This book is multi-perspective which isn’t exactly my cup of tea and took me a while to get used to. Jemisin does it well, and I get why she chose to use this narrative style, but eh, it was odd at first.

Other reviews I liked:

So that’s my brief review – I’d highly recommend it. Have you read it?


Alice by Christina Henry | 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I haven’t posted individually yet because I was over-thinking what should be my official “first” post. Eventually I realized that this was daft and that I should post something that I enjoyed, so I’ve chosen Alice by Christina Henry. Also, a note: I can’t do reviews that talk about prose, characterization, or structure or all of these fancy ways of evaluating books. I can’t do that, I don’t think like that! So I’m basically going to structure my reviews thusly: What I like and why, what I don’t like and why.

I really enjoyed Alice. It was the first time I read anything by this author and I only stumbled onto the book by accident – it was the only thing in the library that looked appealing and I needed a read for my commute so I grabbed it without reading the back. I love it because, I appreciate Henry’s unique and innovative take on the Alice story and its host of oddball characters.

Without giving too much away: Alice lives in a world where magic is discouraged if not outright banned for everyone except what I’ll call “high wizards” and some important gangsters. Alice, though, she’s in a pickle with Hatter and they’ve had rough, rough lives. Of course other beloved Alice characters have their personalities torn apart and stitched together in a unique take in this novel with heartbreaking and sometimes cruel ways.

And I really liked that! I loved that Henry’s take is adult, dark and nitty and gritty. I appreciate that she built the world from a seedy point of view: In this place, magic is power and only the powerful can hold it and what this power looks like is more focused on society’s underbelly than overt expressions of it (like royalty, etc). It’s a different perspective on magic and it is both painful and difficult to read – which is why it’s great and you should read it.

What didn’t I like? I’m really scratching my head here because I loved the entire thing. I devoured the book in a few hours over one day. So I guess, I really liked everything.

But a warning: If you’re triggered by sexual assault, abuse and trauma I would not recommend this book.


Artemis by Andy Weir | 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a free finished copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

So, I was one of those people who didn’t actually particularly enjoy The Martian. Whether it was because I read it on Kindle (which honestly tends to hinder my enjoyment of books, I just hate it), or because it just somehow didn’t work for me I’m not sure, but one thing is for sure: after reading Artemis, I need to re-read The Martian, because Andy Weir is a FANTASTIC author.

First of all, this book is set on the Moon, and I honestly can’t think of many (if any?) books I’ve read that have that setting, despite all of the science fiction I’ve read. Most authors seem to go further out, Mars or even other solar systems and galaxies. In Weir’s world, humans have settled on the Moon, but life there is tough unless you’re super rich. It’s also become a holiday destination for the wealthy.

The book centres around Jazz, who works as a courier, but also perhaps deals with some slightly less legit activities on the side… Jazz smuggles contraband from Earth for various clients, which of course leads her into all sorts of trouble. She is offered a huge sum of money, more than she has ever dreamed of, to pull off a crime, and it’s there that the action really begins. There were plenty of ‘on the edge of your seat’ type moments, and all the mentions of various tech and space gadgetry completely satisfied my inner (not so secret) space geek.

Jazz as a character was so fun, and it was great to have a woman of colour as the main protagonist in a science fiction novel (more please). Whilst she does not practice Islam, we see elements of the religion through her father. I loved that Jazz was just so confident in herself and didn’t worry about others judging her, and she was a great, witty narrator. Even though she was living in relative poverty, at least in comparison to many of the Moon’s citizens, it really felt like she was making the most of what she had, and was so determined to reach her goal.

I also want to mention how truly GORGEOUS the hardcover is under the dust jacket. I took it off to see if there was anything interesting on the hardback itself, not really expecting anything, and it’s just so pretty (but also so simple), that I’m almost tempted to keep the dust jacket off.

Thank you so much to Ebury for sending me a free copy of the finished book. This is definitely recommended for all of you science fiction fans out there – whether you enjoyed The Martian or not! 😉