Review: Six Wakes

Title: Six Wakes
Author: Mur Lafferty
Genre: Science fiction, mystery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer -- before they kill again.
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.
At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.
Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I was expecting a kind of dry, hard sci-fi thriller where a murderer is loose on a spaceship. There is so much more to this book than that, though! The story was at times funny, at times horrifying…

ARC Review: Only Human

Title: Only Human
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Science Fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:World War Z meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism”—Kirkus Reviews).
In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

The Themis fil…

The Insidious Side of the Golden Milk Latte

Okay friends, strap in, this is going to be quite a rant about cultural appropriation and all the interactions that have been bothering me lately. I am just sick of hearing from my (predominantly white) friends how indignation at cultural appropriation is so "extra" and unnecessary, so here is my attempt to explain through my south Asian/desi lens exactly what I consider to be cultural appropriation and why it bugs me.
Basically it boils down to this: If I get fun of for a certain part of my culture or heritage, but a white person can do the same thing and is applauded for being "boho chic", it's cultural appropriation. If a bunch of white people start profiting off of a part of my culture or start a "trend" without acknowledging the source, that's cultural appropriation too.
Golden Milk Lattes This beverage has been making the rounds on all the health-focused hipster health blogs, and is essentially an up-cycled version of a traditional Indian h…

Book Talk: Genre Fiction Brings People Together

There's no shame in loving genre fiction When I first meet people and we start talking about things we like to do, I always mention my love of sci-fi TV shows and fantasy books. There's always one of two reactions: 1) OMG I LOVE THEM TOO or 2) Aaaaaaaah I see (accompanied by eyes glazing over and a slightly vacant nod). I once had a friend tell me, "Oh, I don't read genre fiction anymore, it's too childish for me." It crushed me because I felt like I was being judged for enjoying what I did, and if I didn't have a taste for the more "refined" or "literary" works, did that make me a second-class reader? Is loving the emotional journey and entertainment value of a story somehow less valid than loving the intricacies of prose and metaphor?
To be completely honest, one reason I love genre fiction is that it's all about transporting you to another world, whether it's in the past or future or on a magical world we've never heard…

Graphic Novel Review: Monstress

Grad school is frying my brain, so I've been reading a lot of graphic novels lately. It's so much more fun to stare at the gorgeous art and flipping through a graphic novel just requires less concentration than sitting down and reading a book. My OTSP Secret sister, Kelley, said Monstress was one of her favorite graphic novels, so I had to give this a shot. My other OTSP Secret sister, Angie, was kind enough to send the first two volumes to me, so THANK YOU BOTH FOR ENABLING ME TO DISCOVER ONE OF THE LOVES OF MY LIFE. (Shameless plug, if you haven't heard about #otspsecretsister, you're missing out!! It's a lovely community of book-loving, kind people who just want to spread cheer and happiness, and I've made great friends through it).

I'm going to try out a slightly different review format for graphic novels than books, so let's see how this goes.

The Art Let's just start off by saying that the art in Monstress is absolutely stunning. The setting …

Review: The Tiger's Daughter

Title: The Tiger's Daughter
Author: K. Arsenault Rivera
Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Even gods can be slain….
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.
Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

This was such a beautiful book! (It's been 6 months since I read this book, but better l…

ARC Review: Tess of the Road

Title: Tess of the Road
Author: Rachel Hartman
Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than …