I really wanted to write a review of A Blade so Black. Mainly because I'm a huge Slayer fan (Angel before Buffy but that's neither here nor there) but not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. Needless curiosity got me. Verdict?
When life well, lifes... sometimes it becomes hard to even lean on the things that get you through, like reading, writing and my little corner of the internet. So instead of relying strictly on deadlines and what I planned, once I was passed September 4th, I went to what I wanted to read, which changed things up. That isn't to say I didn't want to read what I planned. Not at all. I just had a couple ARCs calling to me (one I am not planning to review till *ahem* November* and one not coming out till the end of the month) but it was the right choice! They really helped me connect with things I had to deal with and the other helped me laugh, and just get of my own head. If I end up reviewing it sooner than expected? So be it.
Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heidi Heilig has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a bipolar woman through the main character, Jetta, who simply refers to it as her malheur, the french word for misfortune. Heilig discusses writing a bipolar heroine at the end of the book. She balances writing Jetta's manic highs driving her family's successful shadow plays, her ability to defend herself and control spirits through necromancy. However, it also causes rash decisions and leads to actions that harms herself and those she cares the most about. This comes with the depressive lows where she withdraws, panics and sleeps due to the exhaustion of fighting it all because of a driving resilience, intelligence and need to not have her malheur define who she is nor her life.
If poetry could be prose then Nova Ren Suma would be the Beatles of it. Her lyrical and often mesmerizing phrasing pulls beauty and atmosphere off the page and fills your senses. Much like an pointillist painter gives you a whole scene from afar but it becomes a blur of tiny points of paint the closest one gets to the portrait.
Parker Peevyhouse turns out a solid 3.5 star debut in Echo room, which begins with a ground hog day motif. This tool could have dragged on but works because like Rhett and Brynn, readers have no clue what is happening.
What are the rules of the Fight Club? You do not talk about Fight Club. You DO NOT talk about Fight Club! If someone yells "stop!", goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight. You might be asking why I'm bringing up Fight Club in a review of Sacrifice Box but lets be honest. Is there ever not a good time to bring up Fight Club? And did it ever go well to break the rules of Fight Club? Right. Plus, like Fight club, this box has a set of rules. Never come to the box alone. Never open it after Dark. Never take back your sacrifice. All seems straightforward, right? When is anything straight forward for twelve-year-olds I ask you. Taking a lot of the best parts of Stephen King, Stewart starts off Stand by Me and goes straight to It in Final Jeopardy, without the thirty-year time skip (well, not for Mack, Hadley, Lamb, Arkle, and Sept).