Can you guys believe we’ve already finished September? That there are only three months left of 2020? On the other hand, can you believe it’s still 2020?
On the bright side, I had a great reading month in September. I read two novels (both adult SFF) and one memoir. The lowest rating I gave was 4.5. Honestly, I’d say this has been one of my best reading months so far this year.
Summary: This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring— madman, world-crusher, savior— has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
My Thoughts: I loved this installment in the Broken Earth trilogy just as much, if not more than The Fifth Season. Jemisin, you’ve done it again, you crazy genius!
Summary: For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit, as she uses a series of narrative tropes— including classic horror themes— to create an entirely unique piece of work which is destined to become an instant classic.
My Thoughts: I honestly don’t know how to properly convey the depth of my appreciation and admiration for and of this memoir. Machado takes different genres and lenses through which to examine her abusive relationship with her ex-girlfriend in a way that makes this more than merely a recounting. The most haunting part is the continued use of the second person— Machado is talking to her past self, but the reader feels as though they are living through the torment she suffered. As a lesbian, I especially appreciated insight into the sad reality we too can face and why our abuse often goes unrecognized. In the Dream House is easily one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.
Summary: Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying— from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.
On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works— and shamelessly flirts— with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.
But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined— and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
My Thoughts: The things that grabbed me most about this book were the world-building, the writing, and the protagonist. The plot isn’t what I expected, but exciting nonetheless. The romance could’ve been better handled, the easiest fix being to add Dell into the story more. I suspect this is a standalone, but I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more in this world. All in all, a solid debut! Check out my full review here!
What did you read in September? Tell me about it in the comments!