ARC Review: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

b>Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future.”

The Deep simply blew me away with its powerful prose and blend of history and fantasy. It’s a story of memory and history, the individual versus the group, of identity, of pain and of hope. This is such a beautifully crafted and powerful story that I can’t recommend enough.

“Forgetting was not the same as healing.”

The Deep arcDescended from pregnant African women thrown overboard from slave ships, the wajinru have no long-term memory, instead choosing to live in the moment without the burden of the past. It is the responsibility of their historian – Yetu – to hold the memories for them so they aren’t lost, and once a year they have a ceremony to remember the history for a brief time. But the weight of the painful and traumatic memories consumes Yetu and threatens her life.

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ARC Review: The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

What a delightfully atmospheric and imaginative read this book is! I was swept away by the world-building and atmosphere.

“Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters. The great Old Floods had done more than exile humanity to the depths of the oceanic abyss. They had also ravaged humankind of all faith and, like expiring pockets of air, sucked out any belief they would ever again live in peace.”

The Light at the Bottom of the World is set in the year 2099, about sixty-five years after a cataclysmic climate event made the ocean’s waters rise and the surface of the Earth uninhabitable. What remains of humanity lives 1,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, stuck in the past and afraid of the unknown.

Shah absolutely nails the atmosphere. Even though I have never done more than snorkeling, I could envision the world that she created. Dark and mysterious, a never-ending expanse for exploration but danger in every crevice. The world-building is fantastic and the tone of writing captures the anxiety and fear of what lurks outside of safety. Because while humanity has continued, it’s as dangerous as ever.

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The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson

Words cannot express how much I loved this book. I loved this book so much that I bought a finished copy when I was only 10% into my eARC. (Which was a great decision, it is so damn pretty!) If you enjoy books that feature good sibling relationships, intricate world-building, female friendships, then this book is for you.

“Words pierced like talons, hooking deep.”

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Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

My favorite reading experiences are when a book takes me by complete surprise. It isn’t often that I pick up a book without any influence from other readers, but I picked Roar up at just the right time. I don’t even know how to write this review, which is probably why I spent half an hour contemplating which Stormling affinity I would have (⛈️ Skyfire, if you must know). If you enjoy incredibly vast world-building, magic systems, found families, with a dash of morally grey and corrupt characters then you need to pick this one up immediately!

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