Jim C. Hines is one of the best authors in SFF right now as evidenced in this latest series that published late last year. I’m more of a fantasy reader usually, but sometimes science fiction titles really grab my attention and won’t let go. That’s what happened with this fun, cynical read! Just look at the series title: Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse. I love it! And the author did a great job balancing science, janitor jargon, intrigue, and action. There were looks of interesting aliens. And a fun look at how Earth’s human population fell into a feral state.
A fascinating aspect of this book was the use of pronouns. Various alien species were treated differently according to their preferences. One of the main characters uses they/them/their always. There was another race that doesn’t recognize gender, so a conversation alternates female and male pronouns. A third race uses zie in place of gender. And except for giving a brief reasoning for each use, the text doesn’t call attention to it. It’s just accepted.
I did occasionally get lost in the science jargon but never for very long. I think there’s enough to give meaning to the crew’s actions and the universe overall, but not so much that readers will dnf because they can’t follow along.
I loved this snarky crew and can’t wait to see what other mysteries they uncover in book 2!!
In his hilarious new sci-fi series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know–your standard apocalypse.
The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.
Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.
Escaping the attacking aliens–not to mention her shambling crewmates–is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.
As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.
Jim C. Hines has proven himself a master of humorous fantasy with his Jig the Goblin novels, and has turned the usual fantasy tropes sideways and upside down with his Princess and his Magic Ex Libris series. With Terminal Alliance, the debut novel in his humorous military science fiction series, Jim takes us into a brand-new universe of entertainment certain to appeal to fans of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
In a world of soaring continents and bottomless skies, where a burgeoning new science lifts skyships into the cloud-strewn heights and ancient blood-borne sorceries cling to a fading glory, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs is about to be married to a man she has barely heard of, the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.
Born without the sorcery that is her birthright but with a perspicacious intellect, Isabelle believes her marriage will stave off disastrous conflict and bring her opportunity and influence. But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Aided and defended by her loyal musketeer, Jean-Claude, Isabelle plunges into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, she unravels the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.
I was so ready to love this book. The cover is gorgeous, the reviews were fantastic, and I love so many other fairy-based stories. Unfortunately, this was just felt meh. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t feel compelled either. Honestly, I couldn’t stop comparing it to some of my absolute favorite fae books and authors (i.e. Holly Black, Sarah Maas, and others).
I finished it and liked it. The character connection just wasn’t there for me, and that’s usually what grabs me in a story. I think this was a debut novel, maybe. So I’m hoping to read more of her books in the future.
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Since learning I could listen to audiobooks at work, my two favorites, so far, have been Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight and Godsgrave! There was even a scene in Godsgrave that I really wanted to recreate. I let it percolate in my mind for a little bit before sketching it out and stippling the entire thing. Although this piece was on 9×12 paper and relatively small, the tiny dots made my hand cramp up and it took a bit longer to finish. But I can officially say that I have completed it 🙂 I’m so proud of my little picture.
These last few months have been crazy, and I haven’t been doing much posting on here. I do want to share some books that released over the last 3 months that I haven’t had a chance to read or review. I don’t think I’ll do it this way next year due to a change in my reading plans, but I’ll have dedicated post to explain that very soon!
That’s it for this year! I know I missed some of your favorite books, so let me know your favorites in the comments.
Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I almost forgot to post about all the amazing books that released in September this year! I haven’t read even a tenth of them, but I definitely want to make sure other people know about all these delicious looking titles!
Ready to Read-Look for My Review Later:
Books I Plan to Read as Time Allows:
Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!!
As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .
Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not sotypical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.
American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.