Right now I’m writing about Afrofuturism but I wanted to make sure I highlighted some of my favorite reads over the past month.
An Empress of Salt and Fortune – Nghi Vo
After the passing of a beloved empress In-yo, her trusted handmaiden, Rabbit, tells the true story of the monarchs’ rise to power to a clerical nun in search of answers.
This is what I want from a novella, a solid moving contained story. I understand that novellas are usually series, but I think they should be able to stand on their own. If not, why not just make three novellas into a long form book?
The reader is also given a glimpse of a rich world with vast potential. I really like Chih, the clerical nun and their hoopoe, Almost Brillant, and think they are solid characters to follow through the sequels as we learn more (it was just announced that there’s going to be three more sequels!). I still have a few more of the Hugo nominated novellas to read but this was a strong one to start with and the others have a high bar to clear.
A Dowry of Blood – S.T. Gibson
A Dowry of Blood is a new horror reimagining of Dracula, but it focuses solely on his relationship to his ‘brides’, Constanta, Magdalena, and Alexi. Constanta is our narrator and from early on we see that this is a story about how the brides escaped from the control of their abusive and controlling husband.
“You did not let me keep my name, so I will strip you of yours. In this world, you are what I say you are, and I say you are a ghost, a long night’s fever dream that I have finally woken up from. I say you are the smoke-wisp memory of a flame, thawing ice suffering under an early spring sun, a chalk ledger of debts being wiped clean.
I say you do not have a name.” (19)
I think there’s enough gore to satisfy horror fans, but the prose of this novel is highly lyrical, usually seen in literary fiction. Ultimately it’s about a consuming relationship and a woman who spends centuries as the plaything rather than an equal. I also appreciate that Gibson’s focus is on how damaging emotional and verbal abuse can be, showing how the fear he has placed on the people he is supposed to love sucks the life out of them (literally and figuratively).
(Trigger Warning: there is a small amount of physical/sexual abuse towards the end of the book.)
Parable of the Sower Graphic Novel
I love both Parable of the Sower and its sequel (I actually have a post about them coming out next week!) and I was excited that the new graphic novel adaptation was nominated by the Hugo awards.
After reading this adaptation, I’m still of the mindset that you should read the books if possible. They are just so rich and even though the graphic novel does a great job capturing what made Parable of the Sower such a fantastic book, it just can never be the original.
I did appreciate that I was able to get a thorough summary of the book alongside some amazing artwork. The art really highlights how diverse Butler’s book is and a dystopian that actually has Black and brown people at the forefront.
Quick Lit is a monthly meme hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy