Alice Payne Arrives is a fun novella about women of color being awesome during all time periods. Alice is an 18th century Englishwoman who has a side hobby of robbing men who are known to be rapists or wifebeaters with the help of her lady lover’s automaton. Prudence is a 22nd century teleosopher (someone who studies the way time travel changes history) with a drastic plan to end the History War.
Reading Gideon the Ninth for the first time is a chaotic dump of dense entertainment; Rereading Gideon the Ninth is a masterpiece. The first time through, it took me about 100 pages to be fully invested in the story, though Gideon’s brash attitude and compelling internal voice (and external, to be clear) endeared me to her immediately. Still, it wasn’t until Gideon and Harrow left home for the challenges in Canaan House with other necromancers and cavaliers that I became fully invested. The second time through? I was all in, immediately!
Martha Wells has written a series of novellas and occasional novels about Murderbot, a security robot that I adore. I mean, how can you not immediately fall in love with a character and a story that begins with “I’m a murderbot, but instead of murdering I’ve watched 35,000 hours of tv.”
I can’t say I liked this book, but I’m so glad I read it and I want everyone in the world to read More Happy Than Not. I read the entire thing in one night: it was wholly engrossing, and then the plot kicked me upside the head and I learned a new kind of desperation for MUST READ. This is not a feel-good book, but it might leave you feeling….no I can’t do the cheesy “more happy than not” line. Because honestly, I closed the book feeling more UNhappy than not. I tend to expect my YA books to have happily ever after endings, and this one was serious is a wonderful but disconcerting way.