Were They Five Stars?
As it’s tradition for my 5 star prediction posts, I’ll wrap up the previous one first. My last post about 5 star predictions was in July of 2019. I haven’t read all of them since, but I have read three of them:
- Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden: a wonderful, futuristic F/F book full of great ideas; sadly, the execution was really messy at times. 3 stars (review)
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire: a genre-bending masterpiece from someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. 5 stars (review)
- With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: slice-of-life about an Afrolatinx teen mother and her love for cooking. Changed my life. 5 stars (review)
Two out of three! Not bad; it means I can actually predict this kind of thing at least a little.
Still Have To Read:
- The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar: currently reading! It’s really difficult to follow and also one of the most lyrical and confusing things I’ve ever read in my life.
- Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi, a dislike-to-love contemporary romance following two girls; I’ve seen mixed reviews around this but I do tend to like stories about girls who make terrible decisions and dislike people for almost no reason. I’ve been that teenager.
The New Ones
Now, onto the new 5 star predictions. I will only list seven of them (five novels, two novellas), as I already have two left over and ten would be too much anyway.
Just one rule: sequels aren’t allowed. That would be too easy (to choose) and too difficult (despite my high hopes, I rarely like sequels).
The Empress of Salt and Fortune
I’m starting with this, as I’m pretty confident I’ll like it. While I haven’t read anything by Nghi Vo before, this is a Tor.com novella and those almost never disappoint me – I really appreciate how high-quality this imprint is – and has also been compared to the Tensorate novellas, my favorite novella series together with Wayward Children.
My favorite author is back and he’s back with one of the weirdest covers I’ve seen in the fantasy genre! I don’t know who chooses his covers – or which is the weirdest between this and the Ninefox Gambit space urchin – but I hope they continue with this style. Anyway, this is Korean-inspired fantasy dealing with colonization, following a non-binary protagonist. I can’t wait.
In the Dream House
I’ve since read the first chapter of this and can officially say I love both Carmen Maria Machado’s writing style and what she has to say. I took notes while only reading the prologue (it talks about the violence that is perpetrated on queer people through erasure and gatekeeping) and can already tell this is going to be a great experience.
Akwaeke Emezi is the author of Pet, one of my favorite books of last year, so I’m really interested in reading this one; I think I’ll really like it as well. I don’t have a lot of experience with adult magical realism/literary stuff, so it should be interesting. I also already know that Akwaeke Emezi’s writing is stunning.
The Unspoken Name
I was already anticipating this one, because anything F/F ends up on my radar, and this is F/F; however, the more I hear about this, the more it seems just… perfect. Not only it’s fantasy, space is somehow involved, and apparently the main character describes herself as an atheist? Can’t wait to get to it; I have an ARC from when I was still requesting them.
Desdemona and the Deep
Again with the novellas! As I said, I trust Tor.com, and I trust all my friends who reviewed this and without one exception rated it five stars. I’m not even completely sure what it is about; I just know it’s queer and that there are the faerie involved. It should be interesting in any case.
This is the one I’m least sure about – mostly because I’ve had mixed experiences with Catherynne M. Valente’s older works – but I own it, and want to convince myself to read it. After all, I really do think I’ll like it once I get to it. I just need to get over the fact that I’m always intimidated by her books because getting into them isn’t easy. (Also I’m shallow and hate this cover.)
Have you read any of these?