Natasha Pulley

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

 

 

 

Speculative Fiction Worth Reading: The Bedlam Stacks #BookReview #fantasy

Natasha Pulley is one of my favorite new writers. I fell in love with The Clockmaker of Filigree Street. So, I eagerly purchased this book. The Bedlam Stacks didn’t disappoint.

Pulley revisits the theme of friendship, and the story centers on a trip to Peru. Malaria is keeping British interests in India from thriving. Therefore, it’s imperative to get viable cuttings from the cinchona tree. The  bark is used to treat malaria.

Merrick Tremayne is recruited to make the expedition a success. His family connections and expertise in botany make him the top choice, despite a debilitating injury.

If you enjoyed She by H. Rider Haggard or Erewhon by Samuel Butler, you’ll be delighted with this tale of a grand expedition.

An Adventure to Peru

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. It’s a town I’d love to visit. If only it existed!

The Bedlam Stacks is a thoroughly enjoyable escape. I will definitely add Pulley’s third book to my next book run.

Description

In 1859, ex–East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall with an injury that almost cost him his leg. When the India Office recruits him for an expedition to fetch quinine–essential for the treatment of malaria–from deep within Peru, he knows it’s a terrible idea; nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who’s made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is eager to escape the strange events plaguing his family’s crumbling estate, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for the edge of the Amazon.

There he meets Raphael, a priest around whom the villagers spin unsettling stories of impossible disappearances, cursed woods, and living stone. Merrick must separate truth from fairy tale, and gradually he realizes that Raphael is the key to a legacy left by generations of Tremayne explorers before him, one which will prove more valuable than quinine, and far more dangerous.