The first 200 pages were not written well. I was bored and felt growing discomfort with the mangled Middle Eastern culture this fantasy book was premised on. At least the next 150 odd pages picked up a little in terms of plot and also storytelling, so I didn’t end up thoroughly hating Rebel of the Sands. Still, this book has so many problems, I’m relieved I didn’t order the sequels before finishing this one first.
For better or for worse, the UK book cover of Defy the Stars isn’t befitting of the story. Romance isn’t central to the plot. The overarching theme was what constitutes humanity, which I thought was explored exceedingly well in this book. It was also about sacrifice to save others and the chase to live forever.
After reading and enjoying Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe last year, I couldn’t wait for The Inexplicable Logic of My Life to be released. On several counts, Sáenz’s book lived up to my expectations. The prose, though simple, once again was stellar! I love introspective characters, and after reading two books from Sáenz, I’m convinced that he’s a master at writing them. And while single parents are ubiquitous in YA fiction, Sal had an adoptive father who was gay, thereby expanding representation for non-traditional families.
Spellslinger is a rather quirky book, which I enjoyed very much. A young mage who’s struggling with magic, a traveller passing through who can’t keep her hilarious social commentary to herself, and a snarky talking squirrel cat? This combination was most peculiar, making me laugh and smirk throughout.