PositiveNew York Journal of BooksThe first half of Harrow the Ninth is a twisting, teeming squabble of mashed up memories and confused worldbuilding ... Where Gideon the Ninth was filled with sarcasm and bitterness that drove the narrative, Harrow the Ninth carries a deep melancholy and a distinct sense of entitlement ... Long-laid plots come into focus in the back quarter of the book and the final 150 pages are an action-packed delight. Whether the journey is worth the wait will depend upon the reader and their initial ability to connect with Harrowhark ... The ending is incredibly well planned out, sharp, and strong, and leads well into the upcoming third book. Whether readers will want to chance another character point of view change and potentially even less time with Gideon Nav, remains to be seen.
RaveThe New York Journal of Booksa whirlwind of dark fantasy and dark humor, all wrapped up in sarcastic, delightfully sapphic Gideon Nav. The narrative oozes with voice and every sentence rattles with Gideon’s disaffected attitude and the creepiness of skeleton bones ... There are countless gems of dialogue throughout ... The only potential pause in an otherwise flawless narrative is the ending which, while heartwrenching and beautifully rendered, does have strong elements of the Bury Your Gays trope. Whether this will be realized in the sequel remains unclear, and so readers should be aware that the ending is not what most would hope for, but fits thematically within the world ... should be on everyone’s To Be Read pile, particularly readers who enjoy dark fantasy and humor, as well as anyone who has ever yearned for a chance to make their mark in a (skeleton-filled) galaxy.
S. A. Chakraborty
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksAt once familiar and deep ... Little time is spent rehashing prior events and instead the book focuses immediately on the three POV characters: Dara, Ali, and Nahri. The detailing also remains lush without becoming purple, and it is easy to see, smell, and taste the world of Daevabad in just a few pages ... Chakraborty manages what many epic fantasy writers have never achieved: a world where everyone can see themselves not only mirrored, but powerful ... will appeal to fans of epic fantasy across the board, from those beholden to monarchy tropes to those who seek the worldbuilding as its own character. Even for those new to epic fantasy, there is something to find, whether through the evolution of Ali’s magic, Nahri’s love quadrangle, or the brutal palace politics that drive everyone, and everything, to ruin.
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"The Monster Baru Cormorant offers a deeper, yet still hedonistically seductive look into the Empire of Masks. Multiple POV narrators, jumping from first person to third, present to past, flawlessly detail the web of events that spiral around Baru as she drives herself mercilessly forward to honor Tain Hu’s requests ... A hard, mesmerizing book, The Monster Baru Cormorant will have deep appeal with fans of both dark and low fantasy (\'hard\' fantasy), as well as those looking for the world-as-character detailing found in many of the more popular epic/high fantasy worlds.\
Sergey and Marina Dyachenko, Trans. by Julia Meitov Hersey
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"Vita Nostra is a dark, enthralling fantasy quite unlike any other. Avoiding many contemporary plot devices, the book relies instead on an intoxicating sense of place and vivid character development. It uses only the barest edge of traditional fairy tale and magical fantasy tropes and takes them in unexpected directions, surprising the reader on every page. One part coming of age tale, one part contemporary magic school, and a sizable part dark reality, Vita Nostra is a beautiful, aching, nearly debilitating fantasy that bruises, and thrills, the heart.\
PositiveNew York Journal of Books\"Scientific research as well as ample anecdotal evidence is presented with relatively equal weight, and there are numerous instances of a blurring between science and the paranormal. The author acknowledges these issues, however, and while the line between fantasy and reality is somewhat murky, the information is delivered with a dose of humor and introspection ... Filled with just as many anecdotes as actual studies, the book tries to present dreaming as an exciting, exploratory pastime ... While the book is bound to appeal to lay readers, science enthusiasts should consider passing on this book in favor of more rigorous texts ... Why We Dream has broad shelf appeal and explores an interesting topic, to be sure, but falls just short of the mark in terms of scientific rigor.\
PositiveNew York Journal of Books\"Alice Isn’t Dead... [blends] a horror/thriller storyline into a story about relationships, and anxiety, and the universal human quest for the divine ... While the foundation of the plot and its themes is nothing new and will likely remind readers of any number of mainstream horror writers, there is a freshness here borne from the simplicity of the tale, the feeling of the road, the #ownvoices descriptions of anxiety and perhaps most importantly, two women who are simply allowed to be in love without having to define or prove the validity of their relationship ... There were numerous opportunities were Keisha’s personality could have been extended and developed ... he book is an easy, well-paced read with a smooth plot and characters you can’t help but root for.\