Book Review – The Best of All Possible Words by Karen Lord


Goodreads Synopsis:

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.


So, this is another book I got because the one I originally wanted (Redemption in Indigo) wasn’t available and again, I’m super glad I got it instead because I adored this book. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved everything about it.

The Sadiri used to be the rulers of the galaxy but due to an attack on their planet, there are now only a few of them left. A group of refugees settle on the planet Cygnus Beta and are on a mission to find potential wives due to the fact that the majority of the survivors are male. Delarua is a civil servant from Cygnus Beta and is assigned to work with the Sadiri as they travel around the planet to various communities to see how similar they are to the Sadiri, who have strong telepathic abilities, and to find out if they would be willing to consent to be their wives. The story follows the adventures of the small group as they travel around visiting all these groups and the adventures that follows. The plot is not very fast paced, indeed it moves very slowly and focuses more on the relationships between the characters, particularly those of Delarua and Dllenahkh, one of the Sadiri, as they learn more about each others cultures.

Now, the characters in this are all fantastic. I loved them all and they all seemed very well developed with their own goals and personalities. The interactions between them all were great and I enjoyed watching them develop together as a team. One of the characters, Lian, is also gender neutral and it mentions that they may potentially be Asexual however it is not confirmed due to the fact that Delarua just states that it is “none of their business”. I was really pleased to see the inclusion of a potential Asexual character and indeed the way Lian acts throughout the novel does seem to confirm it.

The worldbuilding of this novel was also super interesting and I really enjoyed seeing all the different regions of the planet and the different communities in them. One of my favourites was definitely the group that were having difficulties agreeing on minor points of their culture, so decided to adapt a completely new one together along with a new language and so ended up being a mixture of Celtic fairy folk (They spoke Welsh, but were part of the Seelie Court from Scottish myth).

Due to the slow-paced nature and heavy focus on relationships between characters, I know that this book might not be for everybody. Personally, I adored it and would highly recommend it, however if you’re looking for something fast-paced then this is probably not the book for you. It’s definitely fantastic though and I can’t wait to read more of her books!

Also, as this is set in space it definitely counts as more than 5000 miles from my location for the ReadHarder challenge! (I mean I will be reading other books that are set 5000 miles from my location on Earth, but I adore this one so much that I’m putting it down for the challenge)


Book Review- Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson


Goodreads Synopsis:

We’d had to be cut free of our mother’s womb. She’d never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby’s head, torso, and left arm protruded from my chest. But here’s the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn’t. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.

Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things–a highly unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby’s magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.

Today, Makeda has decided it’s high time to move out and make her own life among the other nonmagical, claypicken humans–after all, she’s one of them. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse space, Makeda finds exactly what she’s been looking for: an opportunity to live apart from Abby and begin building her own independent life. There’s even a resident band, led by the charismatic (and attractive) building superintendent.

But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to discover her own talent–and reconcile with Abby–if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .


This was the only book by Nalo Hopkinson that my library had , so I had to get it instead of Brown Girl in the Ring which is what I originally wanted. Turns out, I’m very glad this is the book they had because I adored it, and it’s definitely made me want to read the rest of her books!

The book starts off with Makeda looking at a new place to live as she wants space from her twin, Abby, and because unlike her sister, she has no magic, known as “mojo”. However, the next day it turns out that their father has gone missing from the care home he was in and nobody has any idea where he’s gone.

One thing I really liked about this book was the characters. They were all very diverse in a variety of ways – Abby has one leg shorter than the other and so relies on crutches to get around while Makeda suffers from seizures, a lot of them are queer and of course they’re not white either. Their family, a mix of human and non-human, are also all very interesting ranging from their Uncle, who is literally Death, to their twin cousins who watch over twins. One of the main themes of the book was family and relationships and it was really nice to see the relationship between the two sisters and how they both dealt with their various issues.

The worldbuilding and descriptions in the book are just fantastic. You feel really immersed in the story and despite not having much familiarity with the myths that inspired it, I was still able to enjoy the story. It definitely made me want to learn more about Orishas though as they feature heavily in this book and I feel there were a lot of references that went over my head. Despite that, I still adored the book and would highly recommend it. One thing I should mention is that there is some incest in the book, as that may make some uncomfortable, however it makes complete sense in the book given that it deals with supernatural entities – so it’s similar to that found in the Greek pantheon.

Short Story Review – Runtime by RoAnna Sylver


So, I’m currently participating in the #AceBookClub on Twitter and our first book was Chameleon Moon which I absolutely adored and after devouring it, I just had to read more about Parole and the characters that I’d grown to love.

This is a short story focusing on Regan, one of the main characters in Chameleon Moon. It’s set just before the events in Chameleon Moon and give you an excellent background to the events in the beginning of the book and lets you see what some of the other characters are up to. As somebody who had already read Chameleon Moon, I absolutely adored it for the added look at characters I loved (especially Kari, I can never have too much of her!) and for some interesting insight into Regan’s past. The world-building is just as fantastic in this story and I really enjoyed the additional look at some of the characters and of the world in general. The story can also serve as an excellent introduction to the world of Parole as, being a prequel, there are no spoilers for the first book. Indeed, reading it first will even help explain a couple things in Chameleon Moon.

I would definitely recommend this short story, both to fans of Chameleon Moon and to those who haven’t read it before as an excellent introduction to a fantastic world. I would also highly recommend #AceBookClub because if this is the quality of the books they pick, I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Book Review – The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz


I found out about this book on an excellent list of books with ace/aro characters on Two Book Thieves . I was immediately drawn to it just for the name alone and since it’s only a novella I felt I had plenty of time to fit it in amongst my other reads.

So, this book follows two characters – the first is Clara who is a skilled technician who works on “Raises” which are robotic AI companions in the shape of various animals. She moves around a lot, and the book starts with her moving to Seattle. While there, she visits The Cybernetic Tea Shop which is run by Sal, one of the few remaining humanoid robots. Robots were declared illegal years ago and Sal now has to cope with dwindling business and threats from groups who are against Robots. When Clara meets her, she has been running her tea shop for almost 300 years, in memory of the original owner. Clara then becomes a regular at the tea shop and a relationship begins to grow between the two of them.

I adore this novella. I love every single thing about it from the fantastic world-building to the excellent characters. If I was to try and find a complaint, it would be that it was too short and that I want even more! However even then, the story never felt rushed and felt very natural. The characters are very well developed and I adored the fact that it is an Asexual romance story. The “Raises” were one of my favourite parts of the world-building as I can definitely see that becoming a thing in the future as who wouldn’t want a cute AI pet?

Anyway, this is a novella that I strongly, strongly recommend. Unfortunately it’s only available in e-book format which is a pity as this is something I’d absolutely love to have on my shelf. However, that does mean that you can get it and start reading it straight away!