The fates of four parallel worlds collide in V.E. Schwab‘s A Darker Shade of Magic, the first in a trilogy of high-concept fantasy novels from the Monsters of Verity author. Pairing a plane-shifting magician with a ne’er-do-well teenage pirate, Schwab invites readers into a world in which magic is real, and another version of their home is only a token away. Continue reading
If there’s one thing I have learned as a voracious consumer of speculative fiction, it’s that not every strange, narrative happening requires a thorough explanation. In fact, it’s rather nice to not overthink the whys of a fun fantasy, to just go with the flow and accept a novel’s events as they come along. In that respect — and indeed in most respects — Forrest Leo‘s The Gentleman makes for one of the most enjoyable reads I have laid eyes on since starting this website.
To fans of Black Mirror, Jillian Tamaki‘s new graphic novel Boundless provides an earnest, but less foreboding, look at the ways in which technology and modern living can go awry. In each story, This One Summer co-author Tamaki draws from all-too-real anxieties about life in the social media age, mashing them up with a Kafkaesque sense of magical realism that leaves the reader feeling refreshed, instead of weighed down. Continue reading
In an age of dystopian over-saturation, it’s rare that a bleak, near-future novel comes along with a fully functional capacity to unnerve. Swedish author Karin Tidbeck accomplishes the near-impossible feat of composing such a book with Amatka, the tale of a lowly government worker with too much curiosity and too little experience. Continue reading