Max Gladstone

The Best #SciFi and #Fantasy Books I read in 2021

These books weren’t published in 2021, but I read them this year, and I enjoyed every word. I read others but if I don’t like a book, I don’t review it.

 

 

  1.  The Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone. What an imaginative, creative, marvelous read. If you’re looking for original space opera, this novel certainly fits. Full Review

 

2.  Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.  I read this Hugo and Nebula winner cover to cover in one sitting. It deserves the awards. Full Review

 

3.  The Salvage Crew by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne. What started as a simple mission to recover ship parts became more and more immersed in problems and complexity. Full Review

 

4.  The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley.  From a realistic start, the story evolves into the more mystical and magical. The town of Bedlam is quite fantastic: glass cliffs; pollen that is bioluminescent; trees that can float on air; and stone statues that move.  Full Review

 

5.  A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. The galaxy it’s set in is awe-inspiring and full of novelty, yet it is also very familiar, which makes it an easy read. Full Review

 

6.  Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz. Most of us love to get lost in the beauty of our daydreams, which is very much like how the magic works in this book. It’s a great adventure with a great dose of self-discovery. Full Review 

 

7.  Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. The plot twists were fun and the action exciting. The character journey was as pivotal as the mystery of finding the witch creating the monsters.  Full Review

 

8.  Tentacles and Teeth by Ariele Sieling. Starts off at a gripping, intense pace and doesn’t let up. Full Review

 

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: Empress of Forever #BookReview

The Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone is spectacular. Wow! What an imaginative, creative, marvelous read.

If you’re looking for original space opera, this novel certainly fits. The concepts were huge and small at the same time, depending on how you wanted to take it. It’s hard not to envy what goes on in Gladstone’s head and then how he puts it in written form.

The main character is a Steve Jobs type, who starts off the story by running from the feds. She is then transported into another time, and, it seems, another universe. Viv starts running and never stops in this world and on the others she visits during the course of this delicious adventure.

What’s worse than being locked away by the feds? Hmmm, maybe killer robots and warrior monks. Then there’s an empress who rules the galaxy, who attacked Viv and brought her into this crazy galaxy.

Viv uses her smarts to survive and attract a rag-tag group of misfits who work to help her get home. One review said this story was a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy. And, it is. It’s fun, it’s poetic (beautifully written), thought-provoking, and took me into a world like I’ve never read or seen before. Fantastic!

The character are unique and alien and amazing and familiar.  There were twists and turns to keep the story fresh and brilliant. Can you tell I loved it? Max Gladstone is an author I now want to read more of, and I highly, highly recommend Empress of Forever.

A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she tries to outrun people who are trying to steal her success.

In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine.

The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider–until Vivian Liao arrives. Trapped between the Pride―a ravening horde of sentient machines―and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.