Alex Brown Reviews This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

This Poison Heart, Kalynn Bayron (Bloomsbury 978-1547603909, 384pp, $18.99, hc) June 2021.

Briseis Greene has a thing for plants. Liter­ally. Ever since she was little, Bri has had the inexplicable ability to make plants grow. Plants react to her emotions and often bend toward her as if she were a walking, talking ray of sunshine. Her adoptive mothers, Thandie and Angie, don’t quite know what to do with her. ...Read More

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Alex Brown Reviews Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur

Folklorn, Angela Mi Young Hur (Erewhon 978-1645660163, $26.95, 416pp, hc) April 2021.

It’s rare that I finish a book and find myself at a loss as to how to review it, but here we are with Angela Mi Young Hur’s sophomore novel Folk­lorn. Ostensibly, it is a novel about the daughter of immigrants trying to solve the mystery of what happened to her sister, but it is so ...Read More

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Alex Brown Reviews The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

The Witch King, H.E. Edgmon (Inkyard 978-1-335-21279-5, $18/99, 432pp, hc) June 2021.

Wyatt Croft is angry. Born a witch in the king­dom of Asalin, a magical realm hidden inside our own, Wyatt was raised at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Witches are the “corrupted” and “abnormal” children of the fae. Where the fae can do big, powerful nature magic, witchcraft must be taught and controlled. His whole life ...Read More

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Liz Bourke and Alex Brown Review She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor 978-1-250-62180-1, $27.99, 416pp, hc) July 2021. Cover by JungShan.

She Who Became the Sun is Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut novel, and it is an astounding first effort. It sets itself in China in the middle of the 14th century, in the failing years of the Yuan dynasty (the empire of the successors to the khan­ate inherited by Möngke Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson). ...Read More

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Alex Brown and Colleen Mondor Review Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez

Written in Starlight, Isabel Ibañez (Page Street 978-1645671329, $18.99, 368pp, hc) January 2021.

Written in Starlight begins not long after the chaotic events of Woven in Moonlight, the first book in Isabel Ibañez’s young-adult fantasy duology. Ximena, the fake condesa, and Princess Tamaya remain in the capital as Catalina, the actual condesa, is banished to the jungle where she is expected to die. All Catalina has ever ...Read More

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2020 by Alex Brown

2020 has been a hellish year for so many reasons, but one of the few bright spots has been the mass of absolutely incredible fiction that managed to get published. Usually I’m able to read a good chunk of new books, particularly young-adult speculative fiction, but what with – waves hands dramatically – everything, my reading this year took a sharp left into romance fiction. It’s become my main reading ...Read More

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Alex Brown Reviews Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga 978-1-534-43767-8, $27.99, 464pp, hc) October 2020. Cover by John Picacio.

“Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so.” Rebecca Roanhorse kicks off her latest novel, Black Sun, with an opening line that hits hard, then rolls into one of the best first chapters I’ve read in a very long time. After I finished it, I had to set the ...Read More

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ALEX BROWN

ALEX BROWN is a queer Black librarian and writer. They have written two books on the history of Napa County, California’s marginalized communities. They write about adult and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror as well as BIPOC history and librarianship. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access set the foundation of all their work. Alex lives in Southern California with their pet rats and ever-increasing piles of books. ...Read More

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