Juliet Marillier‘s TOWER OF THORNS just got a bit more real.
Here’s the cover posted on her Facebook page – it’s a lovely evocative one! The artist is Arantza Sestayo, who also did the cover for the first book, DREAMER’S POOL, I think. It’s going to be a long wait until November…
It feels like everyone’s talking about Courtney Milan‘s NA contemporary romance TRADE ME this week, so why not join in, right?
I liked her answer here about why she’s writing a story with an Asian heroine.
Yet the questions I’ve been asked over and over are about Tina: Why are you writing a Chinese heroine? At Berkeley?
Nobody has asked me, “Why a billionaire? You’re not a billionaire.” Nobody has said, “This is your tenth full-length book and up until this point, I had no idea you were Asian. What took you so long?”
I finished TRADE ME earlier this week, and have thoughts. Not least because of the diversity of characters in the book and how it wasn’t in your face, it just was (it reminded me of Andrea K Höst‘s AND ALL THE STARS in that aspect). As I suspected, Milan’s voice* really suited contemporary – the narration was clean and smart, and some scenes were so on the money. I loved the interactions between Tina and Blake and how their conversations felt real, as did their chemistry. And the story caught me up (especially the last third or so, when it felt like the plot was on the verge of spiraling out of control… but didn’t). However, the world-building around the billionaire aspect felt a bit hand-wavey and non-authentic to me (obviously I’m speaking from a position of knowledge here), and it was almost like the main characters existed in a vacuum. We had Blake’s dad (loved their complicated relationship) and Tina’s mum (ditto), but everyone else felt a bit placeholder-y. I’m glad there are two more books in this series planned, because I really want to get to know the secondary characters a bit more.
*Though I have to wonder at the first-person POV present-tense narration – is this an NA thing? For the record, it’s not something that bugs me (I used to detest first-person, but once I got past that, present v. past tense didn’t even make me blink), but first-person/present tense is so prevalent in the YA/NA genre nowadays, it’s like someone dictated that it was the only way to go.
I’ve a post drafted around Kickstarters which will hopefully see the light of day soon (I’ve a lot of posts stuck in draft mode, come to think of it). But ICYMI and if you like SF short stories, the Queers Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter is good value for money (IMO) with a wide selection of rewards at various levels.