Baby Teeth – 4 stars
This book is disturbing. Alternating chapters show Hanna, 7 years old, and Suzette, mommy, points of view. Suzette was an interior designer working alongside her husband, an acclaimed architect. They both decide Suzette will be a stay at home mom until Hanna starts school but motherhood doesn’t go as Suzette planned. Suzette has self-image issues and it’s clear still has PTSD since the birth of Hanna but some of the things she says to Hanna made me cringe. While on the flip side of that, Hanna wants to get rid of mommy so she can be with daddy forever. And this isn’t a cute fantasy where daughter wants to marry daddy. Hanna deliberately messes with Suzette’s meds (she has Crohn’s disease) and later things turn violent. Give this one a read, it’s excellent.
Grass Kings Vol 1 – 4 stars
Matt Kindt can do no wrong. Grass Kings is the ultimate “from the wrong side of the tracks” story. The trailer park town of Grass Kings is filled with undesirables who live by their own laws and look out for one another. The neighboring towns sheriff wants control of Grass Kings and pledges war when one of his own crosses their boarder. The artwork alone makes this one worth reading.
House of Salt and Sorrow – 3 stars
Marketing for this book kept harping on these elaborate and magical dances the sister of Highmoor manor attend in the middle of the might. Yes, there are dances but it didn’t fill up the book like I was led to believe. The story is essentially a murder mystery that turns demonic towards the end, which was a fun surprise I wasn’t expecting.
The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday – 3 stars
If you’re not a fan of blended genres, steer clear of this little book. This is a blend of science-fiction and fantasy with myth and satire throughout. The characters are truly great, but the Lord of Tuesday will stick with me for a while. He is Robert Baratheon-esk with a better humor and the powers of a God.
Scalped Vol 1 – 3 stars
I love Jason Aaron. Scalped was published so long ago that the description in Goodreads calls Aaron “up-and-coming.” I would say he’s done just that in the years that have passed. This is a crime drama with gritty writing to match R.M. Guerra’s gritty artwork.
The Monster of Elendhaven – 4 stars
The city of Elendhaven is deliciously dark and twisted. The monster who stalks the alleys and ports was born of the sea and learns the quickest way of survival is murder. When he meets Felix, he learns partnership and dare I say love. It’s a power-hungry sort of love and not wholly needed for the story but I didn’t hate it. The setting of Elendhaven felt like a conscious character and sometimes a strong enough setting can overcome any faults in the plots. (And don’t forget to search Spodify for the playlist Tor.com put together for this novel. It’s so eerie and beautiful!)
Scalped Vol 2 – 3 stars
Volume 2 expands on the rez’s residents and their troubled pasts while leaving us with a murder to solve as the cliff hanger.
Black Rabbit Hall – 4 stars
Novels that are about family secrets always keep me enraptured. A childhood friend of mine confessed the same love of novels revolving around family secrets and attributed it to growing up in a small town. Gossip is impossible to escape from in a small town and even years of living far removed from my hometown, phone calls home are always sprinkled with gossip. Black Rabbit Hall is the best sort of family secrets story, following two generations of family and the sort of secrets that flow from one generation into the next. Secrets that are devastating but also have the ability to heal.
Aurora Rising – 4 stars
Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman can write a damn good book. This time they take on space with a group of misfits who need to learn each other idiosyncrasies so they don’t die. But it’s a Kristoff/Kaufman book and if you’re not expecting death, you’re fooling yourself. Not to go off on a tangent (but I’m going to) I appreciate how hard hitting these authors are with their stories. It’s the worst when an author kills a characters just to bring them back to life. The death doesn’t hold any weight and feels like a cheap trick to get an emotional rise out of the reader. (This was my biggest complaint with House of Salt and Sorrows. The ending was good until it wasn’t.) You know it’s going to be a real death when Kristoff/Kaufman write it and that’s always a good death in my opinion.
The Golden Yarn – 3 stars
Jacob and Will Reckless are still traversing through Mirrorworld but the board is starting to blur with our own world.