Interesting mystery with a neurodivergent narrator/heroine. Molly is a 25-year-old maid at a fancy hotel. She loves her job and takes pride in doing it precisely. At a loss since her Gran died a few months before, she puts her faith in people who are nice to her, but not the nicest people. When she finds a wealthy businessman dead in his bed, her life is turned upside down as she becomes the primary suspect. This was a fun mystery, not the greatest, but a good read.
Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life, by Lulu Miller
This was a runaway bestseller and I very much understand why. Ostensibly an examination of taxonomist David Starr Jordan, who was also the first president of Stanford University, it is also an examination of what gives life meaning in its undeniable chaos. This is an outstanding book that I tore through. (Nonfiction generally takes me ages to read.) I can’t recommend this book enough. I will definitely be rereading it too.
Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells
Reread, of course. Murderbot forever!
Hunt the Stars, by Jessie Mihalik
The human/volaff war is over, but for ex-soldier Tavi and her crew, it’s not that far off. When she accepts a job from notorious volaff general, Torran, to find a stolen item in enemy territory, she plans to get the job done and move on much richer. Except they find a plot that may lead to a renewed war. Not to mention that the heat between Tavi and Torran is too hard to ignore. I loved Mihalik’s Consortium Rebellion series and was about to reread that series when I came across this new title. Lots of fun. Looking forward to the next in this series.
The Ex Hex, by Erin Sterling
A fun, magical romance that I listened to. Vivian is a reluctant witch in Penhallow—a city founded for those with magic. After nine years, her first love, Rhys, returns to the town and the curse she laid on him by accident all those years ago activates. As the magic in the town goes crazy, Rhys and Vivian have to work together to break the curse. This was a genuinely fun read. Nothing heavy or untoward, just silly romance.
Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor
A reread in prep for the third and final book in Okorafor’s Nsibidi Scripts series. Sunny faces more advanced juju and more dangerous adventures in northern Nigeria. It’s hard to talk about this book because so much is going on. Its setting is so foreign to me that I feel like once I start trying to describe the story, I won’t know where to stop. That said, anything by Okorafor is worth reading and this series is at the top.
The Aquanaut, by Dan Santat
Newbery Award winning illustrator Santat’s first graphic novel since Sidekicks, which I loved. In this story, an oceanography ship goes down. The creatures at the bottom of the ocean create a land suit out of the wreckage in order to escape the dangers of the sea for Aqualand—a Sea World-like place that they believe is paradise. Sophia, whose father was lost on that ship and whose uncle runs Aqualand, finds the “aquanaut’ and befriends the creatures within. This is a surprisingly emotional story, even while the concept is silly in the best way possible.
Winterkeep, by Kristin Cashore
Another reread (lots of those last month). No one writes YA political fantasy thrillers like Cashore. Returning are beloved characters Bitterblue, her sister Hava, and Giddon from the Seven Kingdoms as they travel to newly discovered country, Winterkeep. In Winterkeep, we follow Lovisa, a teenager who is uniquely situated to investigate the mystery surrounding her disappeared uncle and a sunk ship. Always happy to return to the Graceling world.
The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi
I think this is the first full-length Scalzi I’ve read. I found this book a quick, enjoyable read, but also a bit shallow. I’ve liked his short stories and commentary that I’ve read, but this was a little meh, though the premise is super fun. When Jamie, a gig worker in food delivery, gets the opportunity to join an organization that works in animal conservation for a huge amount of money, he takes it of course. When he finds out that the animals aren’t polar bears but gigantic monsters in a different dimension, he adapts with speed to the new world.