All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells ⭐ 5/5 stars
I love you, Murderbot. A novella about an android, who is maybe more human than it wants to admit, but isn't human at all, and what happens when a murderbot gets attached both to itself and to its humans.
Aquicorn Cove by Katie O'Neill ⭐ 5/5 stars
Like all of O'Neill's books, this one is sweet with a great message. It focuses on extreme weather due to our climate emergency and the effects of ocean pollution. Her illustrations are beautiful.
Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells ⭐ 4/5 stars
Murderbot may think they are alone in the world, but finds there are many kinds of intelligences out there as it tries to find the heart of its trauma.
Critical Space (Atticus Kodiak #5) by Greg Rucka ⭐ 3/5 stars
I understand why fans of Atticus hate the turn here and the destruction of most of Atticus' close family-friend relationships. I also agree that money and a diesel bod do not make one Batman. The ending is abrupt. Also spoiler: Why does Atticus take an assassin's word that Atticus' actions knocking out the banker killed him?! There's no further investigation of this, only Atticus labeling himself a murderer too. Especially when this assassin is known to play psychological games.
Finding Home, Vol. 1: The Traveller by Hari Conner ⭐ 5/5 stars
Janek and Chepi are the most adorable, and this story is for all those who love a long setup as characters slowly fall for each other and eventually hook up. (At least that's what I'm betting will happen.) Also yay for more magical queer love stories.
Fortunate Beasts (Letters for Lucardo #2) by Otava Heikkilä ⭐ 5/5 stars
I love these books so much. For those looking for some supernatural, historical, intergenerational (with a twist), and queer erotic romance, these comics are great. Ed and Lucardo are the best.
Forward by Lisa Maas ⭐ 4/5 stars
When I think of queer books I want in the world, Forward is one of these. The story itself is about dealing with life's traumas in your late 30s/early 40s and building a life forward. There are hundreds of these stories in books, film, and TV featuring straight people, but they continue to be so rare in expressions of queer love, especially love between two women.
Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1) by Charlaine Harris ⭐ 2/5 stars
Harris always entertains me, but is this book good? Not really. Will I read the other ones? Likely, eventually.
Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #5) by Chelsea Cain ⭐ 3/5 stars
This book would've been better if there wasn't constant body-shaming. I get that she's evil, but "hahaha Gretchen got fat and kind of ugly on her psychological meds that keep her from being a serial killer" was a bit much.
Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu ⭐ 4/5 stars
Lu builds and teases an interesting world. The world itself — including the mechanisms of how this California dystopia militarized government works — ends up more interesting than the main characters. Perhaps, it's the YA tropes, but where Day and June end up at the end of the book is incredibly obvious. The writing is greatly entertaining, and it's refreshing to have YA dystopian stories about characters of color. I'll definitely be reading more in the series.
Man-Eaters, Vol. 1 by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Lia Miternique ⭐ 2/5 stars
Issue #4's transphobia — through refusing to deal with trans people being in this world, while using trans issues to frame cis problems — and Cain's remarks on Twitter rather ruined this book for me. Also the lack of plot movement, which is not typical of her work.
The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine ⭐ 2/5 stars
Skip the comics, just enjoy the TV show. All plot, characterization, and other issues were fixed by the TV show. It was all done much better on the show.
Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster #2) by Octavia E. Butler ⭐ 4/5 stars
Doro's breeding project of telepaths and telekinetics comes to a head. Butler plays with tropes of power, along race and gender, and also the outcomes of trauma and if those who inflict it and also suffered from it can be redeemed. In many direct ways, what would happen if those in our society, who suffer from substance addictions and extreme mental health issues, could not only get 100% better, but also climb to power over "ordinary" people.
The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns by Sue Olsen and Richie Steffen ⭐ 4/5 stars
Great book about ferns for: 1) fern dorks like me; and 2) people using ferns in their gardens, and looking for basic information about how ferns work and which are good for gardens in their climates. So many pretty pictures of ferns too!
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid ⭐ 4/5 stars
Beautiful writing about colonialism and consequences, but also people and complexity. The 3rd part dragged a bit for me, but that ending... it's going to stay with me.
Stay (Aud Torvingen #2) by Nicola Griffith ⭐ 4/5 stars
Gwendoline Christie needs to play Aud in a three season limited series, each one based on each book. This novel is about grief, but it is also about healing from trauma and what happens when you finally let yourself feel what happened to you.