Book Review: How Long ’til Black Future Month

Author: N. K. Jemisin

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Orbit on November 27th, 2018

Content Warning: Racism, sexism, homophobia, violence and death

Format I Read: E-book

Grade: Outstanding

Book Review: How Long 'til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

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Book Review: Kindred

Author: Octavia Butler

Genre: Sci-fi and historical fiction

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Beacon Press on July 20th, 1997

Content Warning: Slavery, sexual assault, violence, torture and suicide

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Outstanding

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Author: Kevin Kwan

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Doubleday on June 11th, 2013

Content Warning: Tough love parents, anxiety

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the ‘It Girl’ of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should – and should not – marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

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Book Review: The House of Kanooru

Title: The House of Kanooru

Author: Kuvempu

Genre: Adult fiction

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By Penguin India on October 14th, 2000

ISBN13: 9780140280821 (Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

House of Kanooru

Synopsis

When Hoovayya and Ramayya return from their studies in the city to their ancestral home, much has changed, throwing the even tenor of village life out of joint. The entry of Subbamma, the young wife of much-married Chandrayya Gowda into the House of Kanooru, sets in motion an irrevocable chain of events which signify the coming of age of a resolutely traditional society. Acutely conscious of the burden of their education amidst the torpor of manorial life, the brothers are forced to witness the descent into cruelty of Chandrayya Gowda, who breaks old familial ties, and demands an impossible fealty. The epic conflicts of a decaying feudal order are seen through a multiplicity of characters, and voices that refuse to be silenced.

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Book Review: The City of Brass

Title: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)

Author: S. A. Chakraborty

Genre: Adult fantasy

Format: E-book

Published: By Harper Voyager on November 14th, 2017

ISBN13: 9780062678126

Grade: Outstanding

The City of Brass

Synopsis

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary City of Brass – a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

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Book Review: The Martian

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Genre: Adult science fiction

Format: Audiobook

Published: By Podium Publishing on March 22nd, 2013

ISBN13: 9781785031137 (UK paperback edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Martian (Book Review)

Synopsis

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

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Book Review: Origin

Title: Origin (Robert Langdon #5)

Author: Dan Brown

Genre: Adult mystery-thriller

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Bantam Press on October 3rd, 2017

ISBN13: 9780593078754

Grade: Acceptable

Origin (book review)


Synopsis

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that ‘will change the face of science forever’. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

In order to evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried – until now.

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