Jun 292022
 

Locus: Premee Mohamed’s And What Can We Offer You Tonight is also a stunning (and Nebula-nominated) example of what short fiction can do…sharp and full of contained fury. Mohamed’s world is a brutal one where people deemed unuseful are culled by the authorities. If you are not fabulously wealthy or serving said one-percenters, you are not likely to live long. That makes Jewel’s job as a high-priced courtesan her literal lifeline. When a fellow sex worker is murdered by a client, then suddenly returns from the dead with nothing left to lose, Jewel is thrust into the mystery. Is solving it worth her own death? The story, however, is only loosely about who the murderer is. Instead, it’s a barely controlled scream about power and abuse that infuriates and satisfies. If this were novel length, it would be overwhelming. But here…Mohamed distills keenly felt emotions into a heady shot.

Jun 242022
 

Library Journal: Rachel Morgan has stepped into the role of subrosa for Cincinnati: a role that makes her responsible for all of the supernatural beings in the city, not just herself. Her life is going well, for once: her relationships with her loved ones and allies are firm; demons are starting to respect her (mostly); and her best friend, Ivy Tamwood, is coming home. But with Ivy comes trouble, in the form of a master vampire whose job is to prove that Rachel murdered the city’s master, (which she did not—she just transformed her into a mouse). Hoping for assistance from her new ally, the demon trickster Hodin, Rachel soon discovers that Hodin has his own plans. Adding to the complications, her former teacher Al, the only one who may be able to save Rachel and the rest of the city, would rather see her fail. Harrison’s character and world development is showcased once again with Ivy and Rachel’s relationship; the shadowy Washington, DC, vampire council; and the interplays of hope and horror in the plot.

VERDICT “The Hollows” continues its solid supernatural storytelling, and fans will celebrate the return of its sarcastic witch-born demon.

Jun 012022
 

Booklist: Intriguing and well-plotted fantasy mystery. The author’s fans will welcome the chance to continue exploring Amalo alongside this mild-mannered but tenacious detective.

May 252022
 

Tor.com: It’s no small achievement to tell a compelling story across the three books of a trilogy. That’s challenge enough, but for a handful of writers, simply doing that isn’t quite enough. I can think of a handful of examples of this, which takes the already-difficult task of following a novel with a sequel done in a new genre and further complicates things. Jeff VanderMeer’s done it twice, with the Southern Reach and Ambergris trilogies.And having read Premee Mohamed’s The Void Ascendant, I can confirm that she’s pulled it off as well with her Beneath the Rising trilogy.

Titles are funny things, and The Void Ascendant might well have the most inaccurate title imaginable. This is a maximalist narrative, with Mohamed throwing both knowing pop culture references and thematically-resonant explorations of trust, forgiveness, and justice into the mix. This is a book, and a trilogy, that can encompass entire genres in thoroughly unexpected ways. And it brings a memorable and accomplished trilogy to a close with aplomb.

May 242022
 

Booklist: Jackson provides a poignant but uplifting conclusion to his spellbinding, fast-paced Founders Trilogy, expanding the complex world with more innovative concepts and new characters.

May 202022
 

Publishers Weekly: Muir tackles a new perspective in this characteristically brilliant successor to Harrow the Ninth, which offers a much more personal and tightly framed focus than the rest of the Locked Tomb series. Nona’s been alive for six months with no memory of who she was before awakening in her new body. She enjoys working as a teacher’s aide, petting dogs, and hanging out with her squad of friends, and she has no desire to reckon with the world beyond her comfortable little life: the zombies, the resettlements, the giant blue sphere that hangs above her planet. But whether she likes it or not, Nona’s true identity is the key that shapes the empire, and with that empire in disarray, every force in the universe has their eyes on her, fixated on who she may have been and who she could become. Muir’s skill is such that readers will be desperate to find out the truth of Nona’s background but will still savor the quiet moments with this heartbreaking character. Nona’s lovely, simple, and occasionally silly voice works especially well in juxtaposition with the dark, dense backdrop of the series so far, creating a riveting contrast. Readers will be on the edges of their seats.

May 112022
 

Publishers Weekly: A shamed warrior becomes responsible for the salvation of all Mkalis’s realms when an old enemy returns for revenge in Hall’s exciting sequel to The Border Keeper. The many realms of Mkalis serve as an afterlife for residents of a world called Ahri. Warrior Tyn, of Res Lfae’s realm, has been suspended from her position as Second Spear and struggles to come to terms with the role she played in the battle with the goddess Kan Fanieq and the knowledge she’s gained about her past life. Determined to make amends, Tyn agrees to testify at the Tribunal of Kan Buyak, who will be tried for conspiring with Kan Fanieq to forge illegal God Instruments. Intrigues arise when Res Lfae’s realm is attacked. With the realm’s leader missing, it falls to Tyn; First Spear, Vehn; and Rion, the newest initiate of the Spears, to withstand the invasion. Though some ensuing plot twists feel shakily set up, each of the realms within Mkalis is richly imagined and unique, and Hall describes both the land’s chilling horrors and its lush wetlands in vivid detail as Tyn and her allies search for a weapon powerful enough to protect their home. The innovative worldbuilding is sure to enchant fantasy readers.