ARC Review: FINNA by Nino Cipri (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Year Release: February 25, 2020
Source: The author

Received an eARC from the author

The nightmare of IKEA—I’m sorry, LitenVäld—is made so much worse when it turns out that there are multiple versions of each one scattered throughout a multiverse. It doesn’t help when you have to navigate it with your ex who is also your co-worker.

The relationship between Ava and Jules is so completely. Both of them are bona fide disasters. Cipri expertly sets up the conflicts and that ended their relationships as the kinds of arguments which help them survive being lost at sea and cannibal sales associates. It’s another one of those books where you’re rooting for the main characters to both be brave enough to be cowards and cowardly enough to be brave. Did I cry at the end? Yes. Retail is a hellscape, but can be survivable with the right people at your side.

Wormholes, retail hell, and a queer love story. What more can you want?

ARC Review: UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED by Sarah Gailey (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Alternate History/Future (Speculative Fiction)
Year Release: February 4, 2020
Source: The Publisher, Tor.com

Received an ARC from the publisher, Tor.com

The Wild West seems to be a having a very small moment. If you enjoyed Gailey’s first novella, River of TeethUpright Women Wanted will tickle those cowboy needs, albeit with fewer swamps and hippos.

The femmes in this novel are all so complex. Queer librarians actually spying for the resistance on horseback? A tough cinnamon roll who followed all the rules only to run away from there? A non-binary who code-switches when going into towns to protect the mission at large? Casual polyamory? Betrayals? This novel has so many trappings of a great desert adventure on horseback and so much more. The world-building is great and gives context to the work these librarians do without actually having to spell it out for the reader. In addition, it doesn’t flinch away from the mundane nastiness of life on the road, and I found that magical.

It bears repeating: if you liked Gailey’s first two novellas, you’re going to be enamored with this one.

 

ARC Review: PROSPER’S DEMON by K.J. Parker (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Year Release: 2020
Source: NetGalley

Read my NetGalley eARC

Content warning: possession, gore, violence

I love me a good sarcastic narrator. Our nameless narrator in this very short demon possession story clearly knows better, but choose the more uncouth option every option. I really enjoyed the use of pronouns here, especially because Parker establishes early on that you can see the effects of demons, but never the demons themselves. The two primary demons, He and She, have such different energies, especially Her. She is the titular Prosper’s demon and, wow, is there a symbiotic relationship. It looks rad on page and I can’t say anymore, given the brevity of the read.

A quick read for those who enjoy demons and asshats.

Author to Author with Martin Cahill

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I met Marty at a reading with Maria Dahvana Headley , Victor LaValle, and Daniel Polansky. I’m so glad to have introduced myself to him because he is so active as a writer. He does reviews and pieces for Tor.com and has several of his own short stories out for you to read. He took time to answer questions that I had about short stories and long form that might be helpful to those pursuing both styles of fiction. You can find the most recent line-up of his work here.

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