Art reveal for The Red Scholar’s Wake, by Aliette de Bodard

Thumbnail: a teal background with flowery decorations. On the left, a black rectangle in the shape of a book cover, with white question marks on it. On the right, the text: "Art reveal: The Red Scholar's Wake"

Very excited today to take part in an art reveal for The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard, which came out from Gollancz yesterday and can be found in all your favourite shops. In case you missed it, you can also find my review here.

The Blurb

‘So romantic I may simply perish’ Tasha Suri, award-winning author of THE JASMINE THRONE

LESBIAN SPACE PIRATES. Enough said.’ Katee Robert, NYT bestselling author of NEON GODS

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

And without further ado… the art!

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Small reviews: Space Operas

Teal title card with the headline: "small reviews: Space operas", a darker blue border and flowery decorations

I’ve always considered myself primarily a Fantasy fan, but it turns out that I end up reading – and enjoying – a lot more scifi, and in particular space operas, than I originally expected. And then getting overwhelmed with all the ones I want to review. So this is my attempt at a snapshot of all the Good Stuff I’ve read and didn’t have time/spoons to review but that I think really deserve a read.

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Author highlight: Courtney Milan

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I may read mainly scifi and fantasy, but I’ve developed a healthy love for romance recently (more like, since I found out there are good queer historical romances if you know where to look).

I’ve been following Milan on twitter ever since the whole Romance Writers of America debacle (if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’re probably better off not knowing, but it boils down to: racism) and her threads and law opinions are always very interesting. And yet I’d never read any of her books until this year.

Thankfully, Scribd has a lot of her work on audiobook, so I remedied that earlier this year, and I’ve enjoyed every book from her I’ve read so far. If you love diverse historical romance (or even contemporary romance), flawed characters with mental health in particular as a key topic, and characters (especially men) who learn to be better, I fully recommend giving her books a try!

(Also, and this seems like a key fact everyone needs to know about: Pele the dog sometimes co-signs her books with his pawprint!)

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ARC review: The Red Scholar’s Wake, by Aliette de Bodard

Teal banner with stylised flower decorations. On the left, the cover of The Red Scholar's Wake, showing two women holding hands at the bay window of a spaceship looking out into space. The ship is in red and purple tones, with the sky in dark blues and pale pinks. The ship interior is intricately decorated, with red fish sculptures at the top framing the window (and book title).
On the right, the blog post title: The Red Scholar's Wake, by Aliette de Bodard.

I’ve got a few reviews out about Aliette de Bodard’s work already (like Fireheart Tiger, or Seven of Infinities), so is it any surprise that I wanted to read Red Scholar’s Wake? I was very excited to get approved for the ARC. I buddy-read it with my friend Tessa and I was so glad to have someone to scream to about it. Thanks to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Small reviews: Mermaids edition

If you remember, back in late April I decided to do a Mermay-challenge where I’d read the mermaid related books I owned. It did not go very well, I read maybe 1 of the books on my TBR and then 1 from the library. But I’ve also read a bit more since then and thought I’d give them a bit of a spotlight.

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Small Reviews: all the good stuff from the past month(s)

I have read so many good books since… June? July? That I didn’t find the time or energy to review. Ideally I’d want to give each of them a big, long, gushing post, but as I keep postponing that and my memory becomes wobbly on the details, I figured it’s better to write SOME review than none at all!

I read upwards of 20 books in July, and I did kind of burn myself out in the process – and then lots of personal, health, and work related things happened so I’ve been putting the blog on an involuntary hiatus, but reading remains my primary hobby and I want to share with you all the good stuff I read in the meantime! I will likely do a few of these instead of cramming them all in the same post.

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ARC review: The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean

I received an audio ARC of the Book Eaters, but I didn’t have much time to listen to audiobooks the last two weeks, as I was with family most of the time. So I started this audio a while back now and very slowly. But as the story picked up (and I was back home) I just couldn’t stop listening and actually read most of it over 2-3 days!

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Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

I was first exposed to this book in highschool English class, when I was still at a pretty low level of English, and had no clue there were even Indigenous people in Australia. I did not even really understand the concept of a rabbit proof fence, it always seemed so wild to me it had to be fictional. We read extracts (I understood maybe a word in ten), watched a scene or two of the movie, and bits of a documentary about Indigenous Australians and the tough conditions they had to live in due to systemic racism. I

It stayed with me, but how hard it had been to read compared to other book extracts we read that year, also stuck with me, so I never really looked into it more. I assumed it was beyond my level, written to be very obscure, as some nonfiction books can be.

Fast forward to this year, I’ve been living in Ireland for about 4 years and I don’t remember how it came to mind but I decided I had to read it again and see if I still found it hard.

I got it from the library and, my friends, it is so short? About 150 pages. And yet it’s one of the most impactful books I read this year.

I wanted to talk about this book, but at the same time I don’t want to do a straightforward review. I’m a white woman, living in Europe, and approaching this topic from a willing-to-learn perspective* but this is not my lived experience at all and I don’t want to be over here trying to pass a judgement on what I’ve read. Instead, let me just tell you about it (or tell you about the topic through this book).

What is Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence?

tw: colonialism, racism, prison, kidnapping, child abuse, mentions of rape

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June recap, half year wrap-up, July bingo

For this wrap-up since we’re now halfway through the year I will look quickly at my monthly reads, then my progress so far this year, before delving into my plans for July.

June wrap-up

June was such a great month for me! I actually read the most books out of any month this year so far, with 17 books read in total (and 3 DNFs).

2 of the read books were e-ARCs so I’m once again more or less on track with my netgalley shelf. On top of that I read another 3 ebooks. I’m still very far from my goal of reading 30 ebooks this year, but every single one counts!

I got to say, I read mostly audiobooks, and mostly books under 300 pages. Though, of the audios I read, it’s about half and half between over/under 8 hours. I’m really enjoying the new audio tracking features on The Storygraph that allows you to track how many hours of audio you’ve read, instead of counting those as pages!

So, for this month I’ve read over 2500 pages of paper/ebooks, and 55h of audiobooks! Not bad, if I say so myself!

Which brings me to…

Half Year Recap

Can’t believe the year’s half gone already!

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