In September I read 14 books:
- 2 short stories
- 1 novelette (ARC)
- 5 novellas
- 6 novels
This is the first month in which I’ve read more short fiction than novels.
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn – ★★½
Urban fantasy about two Asian-American superheroines. I liked the characters, but the quirky writing style got tiring really fast and I didn’t care for the romance (I didn’t know this was an adult urban fantasy romance before reading it).
Could have been better
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – ★★★
Superheroes just aren’t my thing. Good characterization, decent plotting, terrible worldbuilding. I expected better from my favorite YA author, but it’s not like there was that much room for improvement.
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens – ★★★
While I liked what this contemporary book had to say about friendships and the life in a small town, and while its depiction of teens is very accurate, I didn’t like how the f/f relationship and the sexuality of the protagonist were handled.
The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo – ★★★½
A gaslamp fantasy inspired by Imperial Russia. I loved the atmosphere and how the characters were developed; the magic system surprised me. However, the ending was too abrupt.
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller – ★★★½
A fun, entertaining fantasy book about assassins with a genderfluid protagonist and a diverse cast. The overall plot was kind of cliché and the worldbuilding was generic, but I liked the characters.
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey – ★★★½
An alt-history novella about feral hippos. More violent than I expected, but feral hippos are scary. I loved the premise and liked the writing, but the plot was predictable (I saw every single small turn coming) and the pacing was uneven.
Ripped Pages by M. Hollis – ★★★¾
My first ARC! This is a novelette and a f/f retelling of Rapunzel. It felt like a fairytale while I read it, and it had a cute romance. It was entertaining but underdeveloped at times.
All Systems Red by Martha Wells – ★★★¾
A story about a shy SecUnity (security android) who really doesn’t want to be human or to interact with humans, but the planet they’re exploring is hiding some secrets. I really liked it – it was fun, I loved the main character, and the story avoided the droid-falls-in-love-trope. The side characters were underdeveloped.
Warcross by Marie Lu – ★★★★
A story about a hacker who has to catch a criminal in the Warcross virtual reality. While I loved the direction the story went in, the ending wasn’t as solid as it should have been. I’m still 100% here for it.
The Lily and the Horn by Catherynne M. Valente – ★★★★½
The first short story I’ve read by her, and she did not disappoint. This is about war made with poisons and women in love with each other. It should have been longer, the ending was unsatisfying, but the writing was everything I wanted.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – ★★★★½
An unusual, quiet retelling of Snow White where the evil queen is actually a developed, well-written (and not that evil) character and there is a f/f relationship. Maybe it was a bit too slow at times, but I loved it.
That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn – ★★★★¾
I have never read anything by this author before, and this surprised me. It’s a short story about the aftermath of a war and a game of chess.
The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang – ★★★★¾
After this novella set in an Asian-inspired world on the edge of a revolution JY Yang is one of my favorite authors. I love his writing and the story of the twins Mokoya and Akeha. I can’t wait to read the sequel.
A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw – ★★★★¾
I didn’t think A Song for Quiet could be better than Hammers on Bone, but that’s exactly what happened. It’s a story about loss, grief and cosmic horror.