I recently signed up to Scribd in order to listen to more audiobooks while homeworking. I was so pleased to discover that they had a few Tor.com novellas that I had been interested in reading, but couldn’t justify the cost (especially for the audiobooks!). Below are two mini reviews for Tor.com novellas that I recently listened to while in self isolation.
I had been dying to get my hands on Wilder Girls ever since it came out in the US in 2019. I’m not much of a horror reader, but I’ve started becoming more and more interested in the genre and thought this would be a great way to get into body horror -- a subgenre that I’m particularly nervous to read. However, this book was a big flop for me and I’m so disappointed!
My interest in Into the Drowning Deep can be summarised in two words: killer mermaids. Add on the fact that Mira Grant is a pen name for Seanan McGuire, the author of the Wayward Children series, and I knew this was a book I had to read. Ultimately, I was left a little disappointed -- while Into the Drowning Deep had fantastic bits, the overall book just didn’t quite work for me.
If you’ve been around here for long, you may realise that Pine is not the kind of book I typically pick up -- I tend to lean toward science fiction and fantasy rather than contemporary-set books. However, I was drawn in by its stunning cover and mysterious description. I took a chance and bought a copy and I’m so thrilled I did! Pine is a gorgeous, literary ghost story that will make the hair on the back of your neck rise.
God of Jade and Shadow caught my eye when it released last July -- I mean, look at that cover! Being buried under a pile of books -- as per usual -- I never got the chance to look into it until I asked a friend about books featuring Mexican mythology. She recommended this book and I snapped it up, once again proving that I have amazing friends with great taste in books. I can’t believe I had nearly let Gods of Jade and Shadow pass me by!
The Fifth Season is one of those books that I'd had sitting on my shelf for years, just waiting for me to decide it was the right time to read it. I knew I would love this book, so why didn’t I pick it up sooner? I have no idea. Fortunately, a friend recently convinced me to pull it off the shelf, and I’m so happy she did. For me, The Fifth Season more than lived up to the incredible hype and prestige it has gained over the years.
I had been hearing about The Wolf of Oren-yaro for ages thanks to the wonderful folks at The Fantasy Inn, so this book was high on my list of most anticipated reads for 2020. My expectations for this book were sky high, and they were absolutely met. Combining a grim story with high stakes, political intrigue, a healthy dose of deception and betrayal, and a dash of amazing humour, The Wolf of Oren-yaro is likely to make my all-time favourite fantasy list.
I have a funny relationship with the Wayward Children series -- two of the books are my absolute favourite fantasy books, one I really hated, and another left me feeling very ‘meh’. I was very excited to read Come Tumbling Down, but also very cautious due to my mixed feelings on the series so far. Ultimately, this book was just fine, although I think I have now figured out what works and doesn't work for me with this series.
You know those books that sound like they’re written just for you? That was The Library of the Unwritten for me -- a story for book lovers that’s set in Hell’s library and featuring a snarky and slightly uptight librarian? Count me in. I ended up listening to the audiobook and ended up really enjoying it -- it is equal parts madcap, heartfelt, and joyful.
I’ll be honest, as soon as I heard ‘psychic cats’ I was all in on Chilling Effect. I love space opera, I love off-beat heroes, and I love cats. While banter-y ‘squad’ sci-fi books don’t tend to work for me (see my burning hatred of Aurora Rising), but there was something about Chilling Effect that just worked. While it wasn’t perfect, it was so much damn fun.