Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Harrow the Ninth

I do acknowledge that I didn’t write much last week. It was a week where I was tired and I hadn’t really read a lot, so I decided to take a small week off of writing to give myself some time to recuperate and make sure I was still enjoying what I am doing. And I am, don’t worry, just needed a week to rest and calm down.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

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*Published August 4, 2020*

This was such a good book!!!! I was so confused and into the story and it just made me want to scream!!! Then I get to towards the end and it made so much sense!! I really need to reread this book and most likely listen to it because I need to know what Harrow’s voice sounds like!

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to the sensational, USA Today best-selling novel Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor’s haunted space station.

She answered the Emperor’s call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

This book was so good! I will admit, I was confused for the majority of the book, but I wasn’t so confused as to not continue reading. I knew there was something hinky going on, but the hinky didn’t make sense until about 3/4 of the way through and once I got there, I screamed! It all made sense! And I started to connect all the dots, all the things previously started to make sense! I won’t tell you what’s going on because spoilers, but seriously, if you’re going to read Harrow the Ninth, you won’t forgive me for posting spoilers.

One thing that made this book confusing is that the narration switches between second person and third person and the timeline is all over the place. It switches between Harrow being on God’s ship as they start to work on destroying the dying planets, and Harrow being back at Canaan House where she was summoned to figure out how to become a Lyctor. As we bounce between these two timelines, you start to figure out that there seems to be a difference between what we read in Gideon the Ninth and what we’re reading now in Harrow the Ninth. This discrepancy is there, but you can tell that there is something interesting going on so you keep reading. You can’t not keep reading if just so you know why there was a discrepancy, why there is confusion, and WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!

For me, once I got to the reason for the discrepancy, to why there was weirdness, it was the best part of the whole book! I loved that part of the book and it made the beginning of the book make sense and I enjoyed the book 1000% more! I was starting to laugh out loud at certain points and if anything, knowing the reason of the discrepancy made the book so much better! I really need to own this book series now because space lesbians and laughter. Now I need to get my hands on Alecto the Ninth but that’s not coming out till 2022 at the very earliest!

Are there ever good twists in books? Do you enjoy twists in books, or do you think they are just to “subvert expectations?” Comment below and let me know what you think about twists and expectations.

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Beauty, Glory, Thrift

Beauty, Glory, Thrift by Alison Tam

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*Published June 13, 2017*

I saw this pop up last year on a Goodreads, or BookBub or something bookish list on how to make your reading goal with these short stories. This one sounded very intriguing, so I had to put in on my list for this year. It took me a while to find it, I had to go to the publishing site and read it there, but it was good and I’m glad I did it!

I am Thrift and I want to leave this place, and see the far ends of the universe, and never spend another moment in stasis ever again. Take my hand and bring me with you…

On a lost planet in the depths of space, goddess-sisters Beauty, Glory and Thrift split their time between stasis and bickering, forever waiting for new visitors to their forgotten temple. Enter a thief, who comes searching for treasure but instead finds Thrift—the least of the goddesses—who offers powers of frugality in exchange for her escape.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This was a well-rounded short story. We have Thrift, along with her sisters, locked in stasis until someone comes to worship them. Once someone shows up, they all try their hand at getting said person who is there to take them away. The only one to have succeed at this has been Thrift, and she ends up being taken by a thief. Ironic? But when Thrift leaves her sisters and her planet behind, some things start to come to light. She may not be what she claims to be.

As our thief tries to figure out how to to get rid of Thrift, Thrift sees that there is much more to the world, and the universe, than she originally thought. And the more time Thrift spends with our thief, the more she doesn’t want to go back to her sisters and her home planet.

This book is definitely a short read, very short, but it gives a look into a new world where technology allows for things to happen that may actually happen soon. It also gives a look at what choosing for yourself means, verses what you think it means. If you enjoy space and figuring out who you are versus who you are, the I highly recommend you try out Beauty, Glory, Thrift. What have you figured out about yourself that you wouldn’t have otherwise? How has that changed the way you see yourself? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in arcs, book reviews, ebook, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads ARCs: Salvaged

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux

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*Published October 15, 2019*

I received this ARC from NetGalley. This in no way affects my thoughts on the book or the following review.

salvagedI know, I know, I am so late to the party with this ARC but I am glad that I finally read it because it is amazing!

A WOMAN ON THE RUN. A CAPTAIN ADRIFT IN SPACE. ONE OF THEM IS INFECTED WITH AN ALIEN PARASITE.

In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.

Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she’s come to hate, and her messed-up life. She’s run all the way to outer space, where she’s taken a position as a “space janitor,” cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can’t escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she’s given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.

But the Brigantine’s crew are very much alive–if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won’t be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite’s onslaught…or it may take over the entire human race.

This was such a good book, and I was taken aback by how much it read like a horror flick. There’s something weird going on with the company that Rosalyn Devar works for, more and more ships are going dark and she has to clean them up. But a ship that shows it has gone dark, shows that there are possible crew members alive, Rosalyn does what Rosalyn does; she goes into the ship, trying to figure out what has happened and what she can do to rescue the crew that is still there.

Once on board though, things take a dark turn for the worst, a parasitic alien has taken hold and has started to murmur into the crew’s minds, to make them think of the parasite as “Mother.” As each member of the crew starts to succumb to “Mother’s” enticings, you can see that Rosalyn knows some of what she is about. She starts to recognize that the parasite is more than what it seems, that there is something more to what it is trying to do in this ship that has gone dark.

As Rosalyn and the few crew members that seem to retain their human sides, their human memories, work together to find out what and where this mess started, Rosalyn starts to realize that there is more here that deals with her previous life than she would like to work with.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book and I do wish that I had actually read it sooner, I would have appreciated it more last year before all of this mess popped out. What do you like about deep spaces stories? Do you want to visit the stars? Comment below and let me know!

 

Posted in audiobooks, book reviews, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Listens: The Martian

Yes, yes, I know. I have reviewed this audiobook so many times. Just let me LOVE this book!!!!

The Martian by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray

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*Published March 22, 2013*

I will never not listen to this book. Never. I love this audiobook! And I will always listen to this book when there’s nothing else.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Okay, you guys have read my review multiple times. You know just how much I love this audiobook. But I shall tell you again. The ridiculousness of this story and the love of humanity that shows through in this story is my favourite! I love Mark Watney and how much we can see that he does want to live, that he will do all that he can to live, and everyone else is working from Earth and Hermes in order to bring Mark Watney home.

Please, just listen to this book! Please!!!

Posted in book reviews, comic books/graphic novels, goodreads, marvel, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Shuri, Vol. 1

Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search For Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor

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*Published May 7, 2019*

shuriI loved watching Shuri in the Black Panther movie that came out a few years ago. She was sassy and fun and probably the smartest character I had seen in Marvel movies since Iron Man. I absolutely loved her and was excited to read her story in the comics.

The world fell in love with her in Marvel’s Black Panther. Now, T’Challa’s techno-genius sister launches her own adventures — written by best-selling Afrofuturist author Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by Eisner Award-nominated artist Leonardo Romero! T’Challa has disappeared, and everyone is looking at the next in line for the throne. Wakanda expects Shuri to take on the mantle of Black Panther once more and lead their great nation — but she’s happiest in a lab, surrounded by her own inventions. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them down! So it’s time for Shuri to go rescue her brother yet again — with a little help from Storm, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, of course! But when her outer-space adventure puts the entire cultural history of her continent at risk from an energy-sapping alien threat, can Shuri and Iron Man save Africa?

I think what I enjoyed most about this is that Shuri is not afraid to be herself. She is the smartest person in Wakanda and as such is creating all of these new things in order to be of use. She also loves trying out all of her new technology, rather than taking on the mantle of the Black Panther. But when her T’Challa goes missing in space, Shuri is called upon to take up the mantle of the Black Panther. She refuses, but when a black hole appears in Africa, Shuri rushes to see how to fix the hole before it swallows all of Africa whole.

I do have to say, that this version of Shuri is not my favourite. I still enjoyed the story of Shuri wanting to be herself, and not what her nation wants to be. But the personality of Shuri in the movies is more the millennial mindset. I loved her more in the movies, but I think that’s because I could actually see her more than I do in the comics.

Have you read any Shuri comics? What do you think of her and of Wakanda? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in arcs, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads ARCs: The 5th Gender

The 5th Gender by G.L. Carriger

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*To be published May 18, 2019*

I received this ARC from the author. This in no ways affects my thoughts and review of the book.

**TW: MLM, suicide, sexual acts

5th genderDo you love space? Mystery? Diversity? The learning between peoples of two different cultures for the betterment of both? If you said yes to at least two of these, I will say that this book is a good choice for you.

A species that has no word for murder, has a murderer aboard their spaceship. 

ALIEN 

Tristol lives in exile. But he’s built a life for himself aboard a human space station. He’s even begun to understand the complex nuances of human courting rituals.

Detective Hastion is finally flirting back!

MURDER 

Except that Tristol’s beloved space station is unexpectedly contacted by the galoi – a xenophobic species with five genders, purple skin, and serious attitude. They need the help of a human detective because there’s a murderer aboard their spaceship. Murder is so rare, the galoi don’t even have a word for it.

Tristol knows this because he is galoi.

ROMANCE 

Which means that he and Detective Hastion are on the case… together.

Delicate Sensibilities? 

Contains men who love other men in graphic detail, regardless of gender, biology, or skin color… and lots of emotively sexy tentacle hair.

This was such a sweet book! I loved it and I loved how much a culture of a society can affect how they treat those that are of greatest importance. On a space station where there are none other like him, Tristol pines after the human detective Drey Hastion. Drey Hastion also pines after Tristol, but seeing only a flighty, flirty purple alien with very fluffy animated hair, Drey does what he can to keep himself from developing more feelings that just physical attraction.

Once these two mutually pining people figure out that they DO actually like each other, they start being exclusive, because that is all they really wanted with each other. But I think what I love most about Drey and Tristol is how much they learn from each other. This is especially needed when a galoi ship comes into port requesting the assistance of someone who knows how to find someone who has taken a life, but not by accident.

I loved watching Drey and Tristol not only realize that they are mutually pining for each other, but that they actually are well fitted for each other, not only in their partnership in trying to find who killed the galoi on the galoi ship, but sexually as well. They learn that they need to communicate with each other if they want to be able to actually work with one another. It’s something that all relationships need and G.L. Carriger shows this admirably. I love that Drey and Tristol accept each other fully and it makes they both happy, especially when both have almost given up on being completely happy with their preferences in life. Tristol has given up all that he knew, all that grew up with, just to escape his planet, but it leads to his ultimate happiness.

As Drey and Tristol seek to find answers, they also see that working with each other they are able to help each other understand better and this will possibly lead to better understanding for the galoi race. What do you think of space mysteries? How does communication help with mysteries, or everyday life? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Night Masquerade

The Night Masquerade (Binti #3) by Nnedi Okorafor

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*Published January 16, 2018*

the night masqueradeThe final book in the Binti series, we see what has happened to cause essentially another war between the Meduse and Khoush, the violence now touching Binti’s family and the Himba.

The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene–though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives–and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Don’t miss this essential concluding volume in the Binti trilogy.

In this final book, we see Binti work with her newest friend Mwinyi from the Desert People, to hopefully, finally bring peace to the Meduse and the Khoush. Unfortunately, when things start to come to a head, violence fall upon her family, Binti is far from home. By the time she gets back home, things have been destroyed, both for the Himba and for Binti.

While her elders don’t quite trust Binti because she no longer looks or acts Himba, they let her act as an intermediary between the Meduse and the Khoush. But not everyone is willing to let go of their hatred and someone shoots during the peace negotiations. Things go south and Binti is taken from her home again. I won’t spoil the ending, but it continues the themes of the past two books of change and accepting that change and how change is not always a bad thing.

What do you think of science fiction? Do you enjoy it or not? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Home

Binti: Home (Binti #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

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*Published January 31, 2017*

binti homeThe second novella in Binti, we join Binti and Okwu at Oomza University a year after Binti and Okwu were admitted and we see Binti struggling to come to terms with being far from her family and how this will impact her culture, her family, and her.

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

This book and the last book are a continuous storyline, a storyline where Binti learns that not only is she Himba, as she has been told all her life, but she is multiple cultures and people now. She has connections to what the Himba call the Desert People, to the Meduse, and to humankind in general. But Binti doesn’t want to be a multitude of people, she just wants to be Himba, that’s all she has known since she was small, she is Himba and Himba don’t leave. But leaving creates a divide, a divide Binti didn’t expect to be within her family when she comes back, a divide she thought would be easily breached when she did come home.

I enjoy this particular book because I can see real emotion within Binti. She’s someone who is not only scared of who she is becoming, but of who she is right now as well. The more she changes, the more she wants to stay the same which is what a lot of people are going through. I have felt some of her emotions when change has come upon me, change that I do not want but it is change that has turned out for the better, once I looked back and saw what that change did for me.

What changes have come up in your life that you did not expect? Did you seek out the change, but did change find you? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Binti

Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

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*Published September 22, 2015*

bintiMy library’s website does a thing each month on its catalogue, where it features a certain theme for that month. Last month, it was Black History Month, and the book river was featuring Black authors and I saw Binti and it’s blurb caught my attention. I placed a hold on the first book and read it and placed a hold on the next two right away. So good!

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

First things first, Binti is a small novel/novella. I was not quite expecting that when it arrived at my library, so I wasn’t sure what kind of story would be told in that short of a time. But as I was reading through, I was drawn into the story of a Himba girl leaving her home, her family, and her planet for the very first time. Now, I have very briefly studied the Himba and Himba culture in college, as my Anthropology 101 professor who I also TAed for, studies Himba culture and he used his studies in his teaching. So, I’m glad for that as I was able to better understand some of what was going on, but Nnedi Okorafor also explains Himba culture in such a way so it is not a deterrent to reading this book.

What I love most about this book though is that even though it seems to go quickly and deals with a lot of math (yes, there is math), the story doesn’t feel like it’s been pushed to the side. It all makes sense, and I love that we are in Binti’s head. We understand why she leaves but we also understand why she lets the Meduse change her in such a way to help them.

The only minor, extremely minor gripe I have about this book is that it is almost too short. But, I also believe that if it were longer, I would not like it as much as I do. The shortness of the story is why I gave it only three stars, but that’s the only reason. I just wanted more and I then got more with the next two books.

What do you guys think of short stories? Do you like them? Do you wish they were longer? Why or why not? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Skyward

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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*Published November 6, 2018*

skywardThank you again to Clovis, my awesome Sanderson-loving coworker, who brought this fully to my attention. The main reason I read this one is that he wanted me to kind of vet it for him. I was planning on reading it anyway, just not as soon as I did, which was as soon as our library’s copy came in. He even held it behind the desk for me so that I could be the first person to check it out. And while not a part of the Cosmere, as far as I can tell, this is still a spectacular young adult book about space and learning about yourself.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and combat the Krell. Pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race.

Becoming a pilot has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above the earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending Flight School at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa’s world twice as deadly . . . but just might take her skyward.

I loved this new world that Brandon Sanderson has brought! A colony of humans trapped on a planet, beneath the surface where they must struggle to grow larger than a few hundred in one settlement. But for Spensa, this is a world that suffocates her. She wants to fly, be a pilot, like her father before her. We also see her father’s death has intertwined into her own fate and it causes Spensa to not only feel tension at the mention of her father but doubts about herself as well.

I love that we can see Spensa and her flight grow together and become more than what anyone thought they could be. With this being a war though, and a war fought in space, Spensa and her flight experience loss. A loss that they have never had to deal with before and one that teaches them they cannot take their lives for granted. We also see Spensa confront the death of her father in a way that she was not able to before, especially when she finds out more about his death. We see her rage not only at the world, but at herself, the Flight Academy, and her father. We also see her learn to control that rage and do what she does best, which is fly!

What are some of your favorite reasons to read? Do you read every book of a particular author? Comment below and let me know!