Review – Otaku by Chris Kluwe

Otaku by Chris Kluwe Otaku
By: Chris Kluwe
Illustrator: Vault49 (Jacket Art)
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Chris Kluwe’s debut fiction novel, Otaku, hit bookshelves everywhere in March of 2020. Kluwe is a former NFL player, lead designer for the tabletop card game Twilight, and author of a nonfiction collection titled Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.

Review- The Hierarchies

The Hierarchies
By: Ros Anderson
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Dutton
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this book I was interested but also skeptical. A book written from the POV of a robot that was built for one purpose – to serve her “Husband” didn’t sound super interesting until I reached the part of the description where she becomes curious and begins to think of the world beyond her assigned role. I’ll say this, it was a very wild ride indeed.

Where to begin with this book. First of all you should be aware as a reader that there are graphic depictions of sex. If that is not your thing, don’t read this book. It’s literally everywhere.

I have to say I was surprised by my changing emotions with this book as I read it. I was gripped at first, plowing through the story but then some scenes completely turned me off and I had to put it down. Maybe it was the content of the scene, maybe it was the style of the story being told through’s eyes, maybe it’s because I needed a break but I definitely had times where this book wasn’t exactly for me.

I really enjoyed the social commentary of the world in this book. Yes it’s talking about a not-so-distant future but the lessons, as with all dystopian novels, apply to the world we currently live in. In a world where being Born or Created assigns you a class, where the created robots and Dolls are little better than dirt, and the exploitation of all of the Created ones is rampant, there was a lot to take in on the similarities in our own world. is a perfect guide through this strange and twisted world as she grows curious about life beyond her Husband, the man who paid for her and who keeps her locked away except for when it pleases him. Her oddly flat tone, even through the sexually explicit and horrifying scenes both helped and hurt me as a reader in this story. I was glad that some of the difficult scenes were presented as odd or out of protocol for as it helped me get through them but then it also made it harder for me to connect to her.

One thing about this novel that I applaud is the recognition that money equaling power and therefore the ability to do as your please is a horrendous way for the world it exist. We see it every day in our world; rich people (and more specifically rich men) get away with crimes because they can afford a lawyer or the people they harm are too afraid to go after them given their power. This book definitely hits a lot of feminist points as well as social justice in general and I applaud Anderson for tackling these subjects in such a unique way in her debut novel.

The Hierarchies is set for release on August 25th, 2020. If you’re looking for an interesting take on dystopian novels, filled with unique insights on the world we currently live in, I’d recommend The Hierarchies to you, as long as you can stomach some intense moments while reading. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thank you to Dutton, NetGalley and Ros Anderson for the ARC of this book!

Review- Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16)

Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16)
By: Jim Butcher
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Series: The Dresden Files

It has been a long time coming for book number sixteen in the Dresden Files. Book fifteen, Skin Game, came out in 2014. Yes, 2014 so six years ago now. I will say I am luckier than most fans in that I came into my Dresden files obsession in the last few years so I read Skin Game in 2017. Still, it’s been three years and I admit I had to go back and re-read the last couple books to remember where we’d left off.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Berkley for the ARC. It was the highlight of my quarantine.

As we are sixteen books in this series if you haven’t read the others stop reading the review now, go back and start with book one Storm Front. This is not a series to read out of order. If you’ve read all the other books and want to know what I think about Peace Talks please read on.

Review – This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This Is How You Lose the Time War
By: Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Saga Press
Award: Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novella (2020), Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novella (2019), British Science Fiction Association Award Nominee for Best Shorter Fiction (2019), Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction (Ray Bradbury Prize) (2020), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2019) Reddit r/fantasy Stabby Award for Best Novella (2019)

If you like time travel, romance, and epistolary style novels look no further. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is an utterly fantastic novel and so very deserving of the many award nominations it’s been nominated for recently – including a Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novella (2019), British Science Fiction Association Award Nominee for Best Shorter Fiction (2019), and Ray Bradbury Prize (2020).

#MangaMonday Review – Levius/est Vol 1

Levius/est Vol 1
By: Haruhisa Nakata
Illustrator: Haruhisa Nataka
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Levius/est #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Direct sequel to the manga Levius, Haruhisa Nakata’s Levius/est Vol. 1 is a science fiction manga. It opens after a devastating war. But now, things are different. Mechanical Martial Arts has brought the people together. Unlike normal martial arts, these are fought with cybernetically altered fighters whose blood turns into steam.

Review- The Compound

The Compound
By: S.A. Bodeen
Release Date: April 29th, 2008
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

I picked this book up off of one of those “Blind Date With A Book” tables at Barnes & Noble. The description of this book read “Let’s build a fortress to protect our family. Oh shit! We can’t get out!” That, along with the genre of YA being marked on the wrapped book I decided it could be interesting. Purchasing the book (along with a stack of others) I came home and opened the gift I’d given to myself, hoping it was the right choice off the table.

Review – The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull

The Lesson
By: Cadwell Turnbull
Release Date: June 28, 2019
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Award: Audie Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2020)

First contact with aliens is breathed new life in Cadwell Turnbull’s novel, The Lesson. While this is Turnbull’s first novel-length work, his short fiction has appeared across the web and in literary magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction and Lightspeed. His work has also been included in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019.

Review – Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan

Perihelion Summer
By: Greg Egan
Release Date: April 19, 2019

Greg Egan’s Perihelion Summer is a science fiction novella a bit different from his other works. This past Hugo and John W Campbell Memorial Award winner usually writes in hard science fiction, but this novella focuses a bit more on events without necessarily going as deeply into the science behind them.

Review – The Municipalists by Seth Fried

The Municipalists by Seth Fried The Municipalists
By: Seth Fried
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Seth Fried’s novel The Municipalists is a fun read featuring government officials, sentient AI, and a potential terroristic plot set in America’s biggest city. With a little bit of near future science fiction and a mystery to solve, there’s a bit of everything tucked away within these pages. Thematically, the story explores people, their relationship to newly emerging technologies, such as advanced AI, as well as the cities we’ve.