Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski, narrated by Robert Nairne
When it comes to audiobooks I’m insanely picky about narrators. Storytelling is just as important as writing, after all. Let me just saw that not only is the writing for this book beautiful, so too is the narration. I totally, totally recommend the audiobook. 🙂
I turned my head and looked along the line to find Carolina, but instead my eyes fell on you. I had never seen you before. Not consciously, anyway. Yet my mind felt strangely relieved, as if it had recognised someone.
This book follows Ludwik and Janusz as they fall in love and traverse life in 1980s Poland. The writing style reminds me of The Lessons, which I read at the start of last year. Lush, evocative prose that’s just determined to break your heart.
No matter what happens in the world, however brutal or dystopian a thing, not all is lost if there are people out there risking themselves to document it. Little sparks cause fires, too.
That line absolutely floored me. Fantastic prose and I can’t wait to read more by Jedrowski! I definitely recommend this one!
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.
This comic, initially published online, is honestly one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in a while. The drawings are so lovely and you just end up with heart-eyes every page. Definitely, definitely recommend.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage by Marissa Lingen
My experience was not proving helpful here.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage in Uncanny Magazine’s twentieth issue was SO. GOOD. Tree magic and iceberg giants?! Amazing. I now want a longer novel that goes into this magical world! Available here.
Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai
This is such a great take on the normal vampire genre! Having read Never Change, I was eager to get back into this world and continue Thane and Taku’s story. Sakurai’s attention to detail is wonderfully immersive and magical, and I’m so curious to see what happens in Demon’s Life.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips by Beth Cato
His soul was tethered to mine by blessed spice and a solitary word.
This was really intriguing and feels like the start to a novel, which means I didn’t want it to end there! The story felt like it was just getting going. I’d love to learn more about this universe. Very interesting ghost story. Available here.
The Sigil by Shakeil Kanish & Larissa Mandeville: LGBT, fantasy
Everything that happened led you to this place […] and a boy who lost his voice and didn’t care if he’d ever get it back now wishes every day that he could just open his mouth and tell you all of this.
I really enjoyed this début novel from Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville! The main characters of Lake and Nova are great, and the bro angst really brought the FEELS. Brotherly love is something I adore in books, so of course this one tugged at my heart. ;_;
I want him to choose what he wants to be, not be stuck in a magical destiny like I seem to be. He deserves the world. I MEAN.
The twists at the end were great, and I loved the artwork inside the book, too! Can’t wait to see where it goes next!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Sycamore and the Sybil by Alix E. Harrow in Uncanny Magazine Issue 33: March/April 2020: Fantasy, feminism
It’s like each woman doing what she can until one day, somehow, it is enough.
WELL, GOSH. I’m shook, to be quite honest. I have found a new author to adore. Alix E. Harrow’s The Sycamore and the Sybil is utterly captivating. You can feel the sisterhood and solidarity running through every word and the prose is simply lush.
Totally, totally recommend.
My love of sci-fi/fantasy shorts continues and I’ve read a few more this week: Noah’s Raven by Kij Johnson in Lightspeed Magazine, and Blue Morphos in the Garden by Lis Mitchell and Sinew and Steel and What They Told by Carrie Vaughn on Tor.
Noah’s Raven by Kij Johnson
Extinction can be as global as all, or as personal as me.
I listened to the audiobook version of Noah’s Raven by Kij Johnson, which was definitely unexpected. It’s a take on Noah’s Ark that, for me, brought to mind Snowpiercer (for reasons I won’t spoil, though I’m still like WHAT ). Johnson’s writing is undeniably captivating and there were several lines in the story that really stood out for me.
Will be coming back to this issue to check out the rest of the stories, for sure.
Blue Morphos in the Garden by Lis Mitchell
“I know,” I say to him, taking his hand. “Butterflies aren’t the same.”
The premise of this story is so interesting and tackles the question of choice and death in a really unique way. I read it on a whim and ended up quite liking it! Available here.
Sinew and Steel and What They Told by Carrie Vaughn
We go out into the galaxy and collect stories, and then we bring them home.
I really liked this one. Graff is injured on the job and when he’s brought in and doesn’t die from what would otherwise be life-threatening injuries, everyone on his ship has a lot of questions, including his boyfriend, Doctor Ell. Definitely recommend! Available here.