We’re nearly done and y’all are nearly finished with me giving these updates! This week, I read two more of the books, putting me at 9/10! That means, one book left! I’m a bit excited, tbh. I’ve loved doing this readathon, but it’s been a lot of work. But, let’s get to my reviews of what I read.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
CW: violence, gore, murder, domestic abuse, PTSD, and human experimentation
When I picked this book, it was pretty random. I needed a heist book for the prompt. Literally all the books I could think of, I’d read or DNFed or didn’t have any interest in. I actually had one picked out and my library didn’t have it. So, I saw this on my dash with a review about it being a heist. So, I picked it. (Also, I’d read another book by him and enjoyed it!)
And, damn, was this a ride.
The world itself was so interesting. There are the Founders, who founded this new city and world. However, they pine back for the old people who built things that were quite impossible. The Founders do their best to follow their lead by using magic or something to make stronger, more powerful artifacts like the people before them.
Sancia is a thief, a very good one thanks to something odd about her. She’s given a mission to steal something from a lord of a city. It has a lot of power behind it and people desperately want it.
What I liked most about Sancia was that she wasn’t like other female characters in fantasy books. She was thoughtful. She didn’t brashly rush into things, nearly getting herself and everyone else killed in the process. She thought. She thought things through to make calculated moves. She was just an impressive character. Oh, and she’s queer. It’s never stated outright, but there are only female love interests shown for her.
The book then introduces more people. The son of a powerful Founder, a man who collects artifacts, a woman who works for the collector (and is also queer and going to be a part of a burgeoning sapphic romance), and others. Basically, we got ourselves a team.
Throw in epic fights, an interesting world that kept expanding, and some very interesting pasts, and you got a recipe for a great book.
As I said, it was so impressive. I really loved reading every little bit of it because I wanted to know what was going to happen. It was just a damn good book and I’m super excited for the next one.
Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi
CW: racism, sexism, sexual assault, abandonment, homophobia, and others
I was recommended this book by someone on Instagram after watching their story and seeing them gush about it. So, I mentally filed it away as a book to read. The thing that that bookstagrammer, an ownvoices reviewer for this book, lauded this book showing authentic black voices in ways that weren’t depressingly sad.
Basically, this book shows black life in America. The good, the bad, the usual. It showed joyous stories. Sad stories. Stories of teenagers discovering themselves and their identities.
I’m a very white person, skin color and upbringing. I don’t know the world that black people navigate, simple as that. I’d never claim to, but I’m always looking for ways to better understand it. And, I tend to stay away from books that I see as “torture porn”. For me, that’s just excessive sadness and bleakness and each page, there’s another terrible thing happening. Basically, an Ellen Hopkins novel. It’s just not a genre that I gravitate to. Contemporary isn’t my thing a lot of the time.
But, I really loved this book. Seriously. I finished it in less than 24 hours. Started it at 7:40 in the morning, then I finished it the next day around 6:30.
And, honestly, I really enjoyed it. The stories were great. The voices were fantastic. While I’m not sure if I’d ever read it again or want to own it, I’m so glad that this book exists to give voices to people who aren’t always in books. And, it was fun for me to read these various stories and learn more about lives other than mine.
Have you read either of these? What did you think?
Are they on your TBR? (Because I’d recommend both!)