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.

Continue reading “Book Review: How Long ’til Black Future Month”

Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Title: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Author: Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Genre: Short story anthology

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Greenwillow Books for Young Readers on June 26th, 2018

ISBN13: 9780062671158

Grade: Outstanding

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Synopsis

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings”

Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret

Title: The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)

Author: Sayantani DasGupta

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Scholastic on February 27th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781338185706 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Serpent's Secret

Synopsis

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

Continue reading “Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret”

Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Title: Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Rick Riordan Presents on March 27th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781368012355 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Aru Shah and the End of Time

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archaeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

Continue reading “Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time”

Book Review: Mirage

Title: Mirage (Mirage #1)

Author: Somaiya Daud

Genre: Young adult sci-fi fantasy

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By Flatiron Books on August 28th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781250126429 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book for promotional purposes as part of a blog tour and this in no way influences my opinion

Mirage

Synopsis

In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Continue reading “Book Review: Mirage”

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Slump Cure Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for August 21st, 2018 is: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump. For this list I’ve chosen the books that are light-hearted, quick reads from a variety of genres, so this works as a recommendations post more than books that have worked for me personally. This list is also great if you’re a beginner and need some general book recommendations that are easy to read. I’ve read and enjoyed all of them, so I hope you do as well!

TTT 8_21_2018
Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Slump Cure Recommendations”

Book Review: Faint Promise of Rain

Title: Faint Promise of Rain

Author: Anjali Mitter Duva

Genre: Adult historical fiction

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By She Writes Press on October 7th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781938314971 (Paperback edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Faint Promise of Rain

Synopsis

It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan. On a rare night of rain, a daughter is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as India’s new Mughal Emperor Akbar sets his sights on their home, the fortress city of Jaisalmer, and the other Princely States around it.

Fearing a bleak future, Adhira’s father, the temple’s dance master—against his wife and sons’ protests—puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: he insists that Adhira is destined to “marry” the temple’s deity and to give herself to a wealthy patron. But Adhira grows into an exquisite dancer, and after one terrible evening she must make a choice—one that may carry her family’s story and their dance to a startling new beginning.

Continue reading “Book Review: Faint Promise of Rain”

Book Review: The Psychology of Time Travel

Title: The Psychology of Time Travel

Author: Kate Mascarenhas

Genre: Science fiction

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By Head of Zeus on August 9th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781788540100 (UK hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

The Psychology of Time Travel

Synopsis

1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril.

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was a pioneer, but they never talk about the past. Though time travel is now big business, Bee has never been part of it. Then they receive a message from the future–a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady.

2018: When Odette discovered the body, she went into shock. Blood everywhere, bullet wounds, flesh. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

Continue reading “Book Review: The Psychology of Time Travel”

Top Ten Tuesday: Short Story Anthologies on My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for July 17th, 2018 is: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories. I haven’t read a lot of short stories or novellas, so I wanted to change the topic to suit my reading habits. Recently, I have been curious about short story anthologies as they are great to sample the writing of different authors to see if their other stories would be a good fit for me. If you’ve read my April-May wrap-up post, I had featured an anthology in the June Anticipated Releases section, which is what got me interested in these in the first place. I haven’t read any that I remember, so these are the ones on my TBR. I’ll talk about three of them that are on my priority list and give a quick mention of the others.

TTT 7_17_2018

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Short Story Anthologies on My TBR”

#SHOSPH Blog Tour: Superhero Books on my TBR

I’m moving away from my usual Top Ten Tuesday post to bring you a special one today. It is still a listicle though, so don’t turn away just yet! Two weeks ago, I signed up for the blog tour of Second-hand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth and I have two stops on this tour! This blog tour is kindly hosted and organized by the lovely Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch. I’ve already read and enjoyed the book, so if you want my live reactions as I read it, check out this Twitter thread.

SHOSPH Blog Tour - Feature Post

I haven’t actually read many books having superheroes, although I’m a huge fan of the movies (the MCU, to be precise). Even as a child, I had little love for comic books. I’ve always found it hard to start a comic book series. There are so many volumes to keep track of, most of which were published much before this millennium, and none of them are easily available in India – those are my (probably flimsy) reasons for not appreciating the source material. Second-hand Origin Stories introduced me to the world of actual full-length novels having superheroes in them. There are quite a few other books that have superhero themes as well that have come out recently and I’m dying to get my hands on them! Let’s take a look at the ones I’ve added to my TBR.

Continue reading “#SHOSPH Blog Tour: Superhero Books on my TBR”