Happy Wednesday friends! So now that I am back into the lab full-time, I am back to listening to audiobooks full-time. I realized that I am able to finish quite a few in the span of a week, so I decided that rather than write a full review after every single one, I am going to do a recap of the audiobooks that I read for the week with mini-reviews.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
As soon as the Moira Quirk started screaming Bah-Blang, Bah-Blang as the bells chimed in the opening of this story, I instantly knew that this was going to be an incredible listening experience. Moira Quirk expertly executed the roles of Gideon Nav and Harrowhark ‘Harrow’ Nonagesimus. Not only was the necromancer storyline intriguing but the banter that was brilliantly infused into every part of this storyline made me love this story even more. I need more Gideon and Harrow in my life, and I absolutely can’t wait to the next book! 5 stars.
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza–but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys–an old flame from Asha’s past–reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.
This series has been quite literally, one hell of a ride. There have been so many different emotions along the way, and Obsidio was the perfect ending to this trilogy. I loved how each book focused on a different location during essentially the same time point and how all of these storylines beautifully weave together to conclude with a bang. I will definitely be rereading this series! 5 stars.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Two sisters travel the same streets,though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.
In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.
Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.
Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.
Long Bright River is a gut-wrenching, dark, and harrowing family drama that doesn’t hide the gruesome consequences of the opioid crisis. The story focuses on the lives of Mickey and Kacey; two sisters that come from the same broken home but lead vastly different lives as adults. Mickey is a Philadelphia police officer who regularly patrols the streets of Kensington, which is sprawling with drug addicts, prostitutes, and homeless people. Kacey is intimately familiar with these streets since she herself must sell her body to satiate her crippling drug addiction. Mickey is on a case to investigate the slaying of a sex worker, but the story spirals into addiction and how it affects not only family but an entire community.
I am honestly still reeling from my thoughts and emotions about this book. Moore’s writing is both atmospheric and visceral. She provides an eye-opening account of addiction and does not spare you the gory details. My heart ached for Mickey, for Kacey, for Thomas (Mickey’s four year old), for their grandmother who raised them with an iron fist. I was completely pulled into this story from the first few chapters. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I exhaled a deep breath that I was holding the entire time. This book is a timely and brilliant must read. 4.5 stars. (Thank you to libro.fm and Penguin Random House for the gifted ALC.)
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of poetry; especially modern poetry. I’ve just never really had an appreciation for it. That being said, OMG Elizabeth Acevedo has made a believer out of me. These poems were visceral and raw. I could feel Xiomara’s pain and emotions in every word she wrote. So many incredible topics were covered in her poems: teen angst, expectations of females, expectations of minority females, lust, love, questioning one’s beliefs, etc. What also took this book to the next level was the audio. It’s narrated by Acevedo herself, and the passion with which these poems are spoken is palpable. It’s only 3.5 hours long and worth every second. 4.5 stars.