My July Reading Log

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse is post-apocalyptic dark fantasy/horror set in Dinetah, a Navajo nation that survives ecological disaster but has problems with monsters and supernatural creatures of the sort that want to kill and eat humans. The protagonist, Maggie, manifested clan powers after a traumatic event and was trained as a monster-slayer by a supernatural creature, who recently abandoned her. Because of how close she comes to evil, most people view her with suspicion and fear, except for Grandpa Tah (not an actual relative) who took her in when she needed it. Tah introduces Maggie to his grandson Kai, who has clan powers of his own, and together they fight crime they try to track down the source of a recent monster infestation. I recommend this highly, especially if you like urban fantasy-type series; it has that sort of feel, complete with a potential romance between Maggie and Kai. It is so very, very good; I read it really fast and am ready for the sequel, and hope it sells a bajillion copies.

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner is latest in the Queen’s Thief series, following a Mede slave secretary/scholar named Kamet with a poor opinion of the Attolian soldier (Costis) sent to bring him to freedom. It’s a buddy road trip novel, essentially, with some bonus relevant warrior bromance poetry, and it was a lot of fun.

The Edge of Worlds: Volume Four of the Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells is fourth in the Books of the Raksura series, and introduces several new species/races of intelligent beings from various parts of the Three Worlds, in the course of a journey to a mysterious sealed city that may or may not harbor dangerous beings or artifacts. Moon continues to be a narrator I love to follow; though he’s integrating well with his own people, the Raksura, after several years with them, he’s still curious and skittish about the outside world and its dangers. I love road trip stories, and this is essentially a road trip without the road, as they’re traveling via an airship to a distant land. Once the traveling party reaches the sealed city, the pace is breakneck, with dangers both expected and unexpected, and puzzles that need to be solved, followed by a savage twist in the tail. These books are so filmic; I would love to see them adapted for the screen.

The Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells, book five, finishes off the Raksura series with many dramatic events that…make me want to read more of this series, but there is no more. I especially want to see more of Malachite and Pearl together, they fight crime bantering. And more of Bramble the Arbora. I think this is a series that will reward re-reading.

Relatives in Spacetime by feldman and Thassalia tosses Tony Stark, Natasha Romanov, and Bruce Banner into 1950s Cuba where they encounter Howard Stark trying to convince Maria Carbonell to marry him while Peggy Carter is having one last fling with Angie Martinelli in the middle of a spy mission and the Jarvises provide support and occasional commentary. And Dottie Underwood just happens to be around as well. It’s time travel facilitated/inflicted by Odin, and has a lot of plot, intriguing character study, and mutual pining between Natasha and Bruce. Yes, that eventually gets resolved, but the story doesn’t centralize their relationship. I loved all the details about Cuba. Recommended especially if you like lengthy, plotty genfic.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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