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Read in 2021

So these are all the books I’ve read so far in 2021, whether I ended up reviewing them or not!

  • The Orchard of Lost Souls – Nadifa Mohammed (19 Dec 2020–3 Jan 2021)
    ★★★½ Historical fiction following three women/girls from very different walks of life during Somalia’s descent into civil war. Full review »
  • The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) – R.F. Kuang (4–11 Jan 2021)
    ★★★ Fang Runin calls on the phoenix to help her defeat the warlords, the Hesperians, and the regime of her former classmate Nezha. Full review »
  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) – Martha Wells (11–14 Jan 2021)
    ★★★★ In a far future dominated by corporations, one SecUnit – part organic, part machine – has hacked its governor unit to achieve autonomy, which it mostly uses to watch soap operas and slack off on work. Full review »
  • Amnesty (The Amberlough Dossier #3) – Lara Elena Donnelly (17–20 Jan 2021)
    ★★★★ Amberlough is now run-down and changed after years of Ospie rule. While the population clamours for collaborators like Cyril to be sent to the gallows, Lillian and Aristide launch separate schemes to try to keep him with his life. Full review »
  • The Weight of the Sunrise – Vylar Kaftan (28 Jan 2021)
    ★★★★ An alt-history where the Inca Empire rebounded after an initial deadly outbreak of smallpox and continued into the 18th century. They encounter Americans offering a vaccine. More thoughts »(external link)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) – Becky Chambers (6–14 Feb 2021)
    ★★★★★ An emotional space opera following a talented tech who was raised by an AI, and an AI now dealing with life in an artificial body. Full review »
  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) – N.K. Jemisin (16–19 Feb 2021)
    ★★★★★ The first part of an epic fantasy trilogy, set during the beginning of the end of the world. Full review »
  • Break the Dark (The Rubicon Saga #3) – Cheryl Lawson (20–25 Feb 2021)
    ★★ Finale to a science fiction trilogy following the plight of a beleaguered human settlement on Mars. Full review »
  • Cloudstreet – Tim Winton (20 Jan–2 Mar 2021)
    ★½ Gritty and earthy literary fiction about two working-class families sharing a huge old house in Western Australia between 1944–1964. Full review »
  • The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) – N.K. Jemisin (3–7 Mar 2021)
    ★★★ Second part of an epic fantasy trilogy set during the end of the world. Full review »
  • Dark Matter – Blake Crouch (8–12 Mar 2021)
    ★★ Science fiction thriller where a happy family man is ripped away to an alternate reality where he’s an award-winning scientist. Full review »
  • La pasión según Carmela – Marcos Aguinis (4 Dec 2020–13 Mar 2021)
    ★★★★ Historical fiction following two lovers and Cuban revolutionaries as the new regime they fought for drifts away from its initial noble intentions. Full review »
  • The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) – N.K. Jemisin (14–18 Mar 2021)
    ★★★★ The dramatic finale to an epic fantasy trilogy set during the end of the world. Full review »
  • Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) – Martha Wells (20–21 Mar 2021)
    ★★★ Murderbot teams up with a transport ship’s AI and takes on a contract as a security consultant to investigate its own past.
  • The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri (23–31 Mar 2021)
    ★★★★ Two brothers born in Calcutta around the time of Independence take very different paths in life, as one is drawn to the Naxalites and the other moves to the US. This was a reread. Full review »
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (1–7 Apr 2021)
    ★★½ Casiopea, an impoverished relative of a wealthy family, accidentally crosses paths with a Mayan death god and embarks on a quest to restore him to his throne. Full review »
  • The Sleep Room – F.R. Tallis (11–14 Apr 2021)
    ★★★★ James Richardson, a young psychiatrist, takes up a position at a remote facility in East Anglia, where six of the patients are kept unconscious at all times under a controversial treatment regime. Inexplicable things start happening. Full review »
  • A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan #2) – Arkady Martine (13 May–4 Sep 2021)
    ★★★★ Mahit Dzmare is summoned back to serve the Teixcalaanli Empire, this time to help negotiate a first contact situation with an alien race that’s been knocking off Teixcalaanli warships with disturbing efficiency. Full review »