It’s been a pretty great reading year for me. I might have not have hit as many books as in years past, but the quality of books that I’ve read this year have been stellar (and I have a few more great books in the stack that I’ll likely finish by year’s end).
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Nghi Vo’s Siren Queen unfolds the story of Luli Wei, a talented and beautiful Chinese American woman, who is desperate to become a star in pre-code Hollywood. In order to do so, she navigate the fair-like realm of the Hollywood system, which exacts a sharp (and sometimes deadly) price on those who long for fame. The magic here is at once beautiful, wicked, and mundane.
Vo’s prose is rich and lyrical, evoking a sense of magic, menace, and desire on nearly every page. Siren Queen is a work of art; it is powerful and evocative — a book that I plan to read again and again.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
The City We Became is another masterpiece from N.K. Jemisin. It presents a vision of New York City as a living creature about to be born with a human avatar — except a dark presence nearly aborts the process and the avatars of various boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island) are awakened to hold back the tide of darkness.
Jemisin is a phenomenal writer, and the story she unfolded in this book made me fall in love with a place I have never been. I cannot wait for a sequel.
Continue reading “Books I Loved Reading in 2022”
One of the challenging aspects of trying to read all the noms in the Best Graphic Story category is that many of the works are later volumes. So, if you’re not keeping up â€” like me â€” that means you need to first read the previous volumes before reading the actual nominated work just to follow the storyline.
Which is what I did withÂ Paper Girls, Volume 3, and no regrets on that front, because this is a fun story. Shortly after Halloween in 1988, four young paper delivery girls find themselves confronted with a litany of bizarre occurrences â€” including futuristic teenager rebels, odd spaceships, and dinosaurs flying through the sky â€” that lead them on a series of time traveling adventures.
Volume 3 reunites the four girls after the events that separated them in previous volumes, and they find themselves trapped in a past highly affected by tiny rips in space. The people there collect the multitude of future technologies that come through. As the girls try to help out a young woman with an infant, a time traveler pops through, offering a few more fragments of insight into what’s really going on.
I’m a sucker for a good time travel romp (which I’m sure I’ve said a dozen times before) and this one is solidly loopy and fun,, but what really makes this story great is that each of the paper girls interesting in their own right. Each deals with the adventures in their own way, revealing their own strengths and perspectives â€” while also addressing issues of first periods, family concerns, and questions of what it means to grow up. I totally dug this one.
Paper Girls, Volume 3 â€”Â written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher â€”Â is nominated for Best Graphic Story. All my Hugo related posts are under the 2018 Hugos tag and you can check out the complete list of nominated creators and works here.