*Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for the ARC.*
Without spoilers, Dual Memory is a science fiction novel that takes place on a secluded isle sometime in the future. It is full of artificial intelligence (from personal assistant gadgets to the security systems in buildings), raiders, intrigue, and alien lifeforms.
Sue Burke does a fantastic job weaving Antonio and Par Augustus's points of view, and I found I enjoyed the Leviathan League and Bronzewing subplots, despite not generally loving wartime stories. The novel is packed with interpersonal connections, mystery, and character, and I will definitely be tracking down Burke's other novels because I enjoyed this one so much.
I'd recommend this book to fans of Her and readers who appreciate conscious machines, futuristic war scenarios, and moral ambiguity.
To start, I'd like to thank Tor Nightfire for the ARC.
This book gripped me on page one; I didn't want to put it down, and when I had to, I found myself wandering back to Maeve and her horrifying yet fascinating personality.
Leede's writing is brilliant. She really captures the essence of a late twentysomething in Anaheim, CA with the notion that they are other, superior, a lone wolf. Her descriptions were visceral and disgusting, and I mean that in the best way possible. Though the book isn't overflowing with gore, there is a fair amount of it, and it is done with finesse and tact.
While I enjoyed the story, I would have preferred the ending to be less obvious. Despite being predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed Maeve's journey into madness and debauchery from beginning to end.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers set in California, American Psycho, or female serial killers.
What an ambitious debut! A parasitic Institute, the gothic landscape of a dystopic future, humans with machines for body parts, and another parasite on the verge of destroying life as Verdira and Inultus know it.
I initially picked this up because I loved the comp. title, Wuthering Heights. Unfortunately, nothing about Leech, apart from living in isolation, found its way into this novel. Sure, there are gothic elements galore, and some parallels to Frankenstein, but if you're looking for a deeply flawed yet realistic romance, this isn't the book you're looking for.
I loved the prose. Ennes has a knack for imagery and setting. My main criticism is that there was too much going on. In isolation, many of the elements would have worked well, but lumping them together and stitching them into a whole at the tail end of the novel didn't really work. I also felt let down by the ending, but perhaps it was meant as a cliffhanger.
Though it wasn't perfect, I'd recommend this to fans of ambitious sci-fi with a gothic slant.
*Thank you to Tor for the advanced copy.*
The Book Eaters is a fantastic fantasy debut and my favorite read this year. It tackles themes such as tradition, motherhood, trauma, and found family while staying grounded and whimsical. I loved the contemporary yet quirky background of the Families, and I adored Devon and Cai.
The six Families are backward, conservative, and traditional. Everything they do is for the greater good of the book eater line. However, when Devon's son is born with a proboscis tongue, she knows they'll never let him live. He is a mind eater and must be taken care of.
The novel weaves the past with the present in a way that solidifies the horrors of the Families and the traditions they uphold. I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a grounded fantasy, family dynamics, and novels that upend and question tradition.