You know that feeling when you move back home after college and your dead grandmother's ghost haunts you, and home is so different now?! And then your grandmother starts following you around, and she's constantly roasting you, and she knows you're gay but your parents don't? And then she wants you to work out that tiff she's having with the local gods--along with the mob? This book perfectly captures that relatable experience. It's a seriously good and endlessly exciting novel, both a fascinating exploration of the author's own culture and an all-too-real depiction of graduating into today's workforce, one that reckons with the lasting effects of imperialist systems of governance and globalization, and that looks straight-on at violent systems where women and queer people take the brunt of the injustice.
In Dickinson's first science-fiction novel since his dazzling Masquerade fantasy series, aliens have uncovered evidence of possible weapons of mass destruction on Earth--and it's the most daring and over-the-top sci-fi book I've encountered in ages. Good beyond words, it's the anti-imperialist, radical pacifist, technicolor mind-blowing lightshow you've been waiting for. It shimmers with explosive insight, like a funhouse mirror leftist lampooning of the Tom Clancy thread of propagandistic spy novels by way of space opera. Or even the wide-screen baroque majesty of Arkardy Martine's Teixcalaan duology meets the hilarity- and despair-inducing violence of Tamsyn Muir's Locked Tomb series.
After over two decades of dominating the short story field, Kelly Link has published her first novel, and it is magnificent--massive, lovely, and decadent, featuring a cast of weird characters I instantly fell in love with: four terrifyingly awkward and realistically cruel teenagers come back from the dead, not entirely sure how they died in the first place, whose experiences play out on the various registers of sad, funny, sad-funny, and funny-sad. There's also small-town Americana, fairy tales, myths, romance, sex, queerness, magic, death, and uncanny modernity; Link has gone from gut-punching short stories to weaving the best kind of long novel, one that thoroughly delights in its wide scope and expansiveness.