TBR Thursday is one of my favorite weekly posts from Bionic Book Worm’s lovely blog. If you aren’t following her yet, well, you really should be. Not only does she do great reviews and bookish posts, she’s an all-around lovely person. All book summaries are courtesy of Goodreads.
The week is nearly over and it’s time for TBR Thursday! I’m joining in on this series in order to get through my shelves filled with books and avoid buying more books. Saving mode is on, you guys.
The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov
A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain.
On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots–unthinkable under the laws of Robotics–or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!
I love Isaac Asimov. Some modern readers think he’s dull and hard to read, but those people are wrong, wrong I tell you! His later Foundation novels will make their way onto TBR Thursday one day, but today I’m focusing on The Naked Sun, the second in his Robots series. I’m sure you all know of I, Robot, which was a terrible movie featuring pre-Scientology Will Smith. I, Robot is a book of short stories that ties into the same universe as The Naked Sun and its predecessor, Caves of Steel. Caves of Steel was, in fact, the very first book I reviewed for this blog back when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I loved that book so much and want to get to this one soon.
Reading Asimov’s books now and comparing them to the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, and the science fiction book genre is absolutely astounding.
Ember in the Ashes by Sanaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
I’ve had this one on my mind for years. I got the hardcover from the library back when I was living in New York and just never got around to reading it. I discovered via Twitter that the author is not only absolutely hysterical, she’s writing the final book in the trilogy. I picked Ember in the Ashes up in my birthday book haul and figure now is as good a time as any to sink my teeth into it.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all. As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.
This book sounds absolutely mental, and I love it. I actually started it awhile back, but had to set it aside because of other bookish obligations. It’s completely operatic and overly dramatic and I was really loving it. Bonus points: The Queen of the Night is one of my favourite roles in opera (because I have a favourite role in opera).
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I’m living under a rock. I haven’t read this yet. I am ashamed. I’ve been saying I’d pick this up for months, literally months, and I just haven’t had a chance. I think I’m going to remedy this as soon as possible because if the hype can be trusted, The Hate U Give will be one of the most important books in the genre for years to come.