6 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books by Asian Authors

Hi everyone! Since May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite books by Asian authors. I already published a post with some of my favorite Romance Books by Asian Authors and now I want to talk about my favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. Without further ado, here they are:

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage is the story of a girl who is taken to the royal palace to be the body double of a hated Princess in her public appearances and has to be ready to die in her place. While living in the palace, she becomes entangled with a rebellious group.

This book is perfect for fans of slow character driven stories set in a rich and unique worlds inspired by non-western cultures. This book in particular is Morrocan-inspired and it provides a thought-provoking message about the importance of culture and traditions, especially for communities that have had a lot taken from them due to colonialism and persecution. This book is also great for fans of captivating and complex female characters with complicated relationships with each other.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand is a Mughal India-inspired fantasy about a nobleman’s daughter with forbidden magic in her blood, who needs to resist the cruel agenda of an empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods.

This book has a fascinating magic system and mythological creatures; a villain that’s cruel, mannipulative and conniving; two strong and resilient main characters; a slow-burn love story that’s so touching and beautiful that I get emotional everytime I think about it; and amazing writing that kept me gripped the entire time. If any of those things sound interesting to you, I would encourage you to pick up this book because you won’t regret it!

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Not Your Sidekick is about a girl who’s the daughter of superheroes but ends up getting an internship with a supervillain, which takes a dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

This book is set in an interesting post-apocalyptic world and it includes amazing conversations about gender and sexuality, while also showing the behind the scenes of being a superhero like hilarious problems with a superhero’s suit and the media spectacule surrounding their lives. If you want a Sci-Fi book with villains that are not so evil and heroes that are not so good, this is for you!

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch is about a girl who accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead and then she has to leave her home and go with an older bone witch to another land for training. Once there she discovers that dark forces are approaching and she has a role to play.

If you like slow character driven stories that have little plot, but that include a fascinating world and magic system, I think you’ll like this one! One of my favorite parts of this book is that it’s told in two timelines, which works really well fot the story because there’s glimpses of where the characters are going to end up, but you don’t know how they get there and it becomes this very intriguing element of the story. If that sounds like something that you would enjoy, I would recommend that you check this book out.

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

A Sparl of White Fire is about a princess in hiding, who pretends to be a servant until it’s time to claim her stake in the political landscape when she publicly wins a contest for the most powerful warship in existence to help her brother win his crown back.

TThis book takes place in a universe full of gods and goddesses from Indian lore, which gives a unique and intereting setting to the story. It has political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships, tension and heartbreak. This book has one of the most shocking endings I have read, it will litetally blow you mind. If any of that sounds like something you’d like, give this book a chance!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An ember in the Ashes is a Roman-inspired fantasy about a girl and boy, whose destinies get intertwined when she infiltrates the military school where he is a student to get information for the rebels who will help her free her brother in exchange.

If you like really intense and nerve wracking reads, where you spend the entire time worried about the characters, this is probably a book you’ll enjoy. This book has an interesting and refreshing setting, captivating main characters and intriguing villains. The writing is amazing and it’s very fast-paced. If you prefer action packed books, this may be the book for you.

What SFF books by asian authors would you recommend? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Are you planning on reading any of them?

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9 Sci-Fi Book Recommendations

Sci-Fi Book Recommendations.png

Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing a post that I had so much fun writing. Down below, there are 9 Sci-Fi book recommendations divided in categories according to prominent elements of the story. The list goes from the stories that have the most in common with our reality to the ones that have the least in common. 

Without further ado, here are 9 Sci-Fi books that I loved that I would totally recommend!

SUPERHEROES

Secondhand Origin Stories coverSecondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth

I feel like superheroe books are the perfect way to start reading sci-fi because people are usually familiarized with superheroes thanks to the blockbuster movies. A superhero book I love is Secondhand Origin Stories, a character driven book full of secrets and mysteries and complicated family dynamics, a corrupt goverment agency, discussions about technology and ethics, as well as discussions about systematic racism, racial profiling and incarceration of black people. If you love superheroes and you want a very diverse (in terms of race, sexual orientation and disability), thought-provoking Sci-Fi book, you’ll probably enjoy this!

not-your-sidekickNot Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee 

Another book about Superheroes, but this one is fun and it shows the silly parts of being a superhero, things that go from hilarious problems with the superhero suits to the spectacule that is the whole superhero life and how fake it can be. This book is set in an interesting post-apocalyptic world and it includes amazing conversations about gender and sexual orientation. If you want a Sci-Fi book with villains that are not so evil and heroes that are not so good, this is for you!

TIME TRAVEL 

InvictusInvictus by Ryan Graudin 

If you haven’t read many time travel books, I think this a great place to start. This book is entertaining and while it explains the technical side of time travel, it does it in a way that’s  understandable and interesting and it doesn’t go into too much details and it doens’t get too complicated. This book has amazing and diverse characters and fascinating dynamics between them and an ending that’s both surprising and bittersweet. If you want to give time travel books a chance, I would recommend this one!

SET ON EARTH

Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 

Sleeping Giants is a book that takes place entirely on earth and for the most part only involves humans, even if there’s a giant robot and most of the book is about finding out more about it. This is one of those books where you slowly discover along side the characters something that changes everything. The best part about this book is that it addresses important discussions related to science, politics and power and how they are all connected. If you are looking for a Sci-Fi book that it’s thought-provoking, full of unlikeable yet compelling characters and told in a interesting format, this is for you.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily SkrutskieThe Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie 

Another book that takes place entirely on Earth, but a futuristic, full of changes version of Earth. Well, really it takes place on the sea but, you know, it’s planet Earth.  This book has sea monsters and pirates and from the beginning it throws you right in the middle of a very complex and intricate situation and it’s entirely up to you to catch up as soon as you can with the state of the world. In that sense, it can be a little harder to get into especially if you are someone that doens’t read that much Sci-fi or Fantasy. I’ll give this book extra points for having an amazing f/f relationship between a pirate and a trainer of sea monsters.

SET IN SPACE + ALIENS

bintiBinti by Nnedi Okorafor 

This is such a short book but it packs a big punch. The amount of worldbuilding that Okorafor managed to include in this book is outstanding and the overall message of acceptence of other cultures and being willing to communicate with other than are different from us is so powerful. This is a very introspective book and fouses a lot on character development. If you want a Sci-Fi book that has fantastic worldbuilding and an amazing main character that reflects and changes a lot thoughout the story, this is perfect for you!

The long way to a small angry planetA Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

This is a captivating and thought-provoking story. One of the strenghts of this book is that diversity is at the forefront of the story and it’s included in an interesting and thoughtful way; there’s different species, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, body types, cultures, religions and so much more that are represented. If you like quiet books that are character driven, beautifully written and tackle important themes, this is a great choice for you.

MADE UP UNIVERSE

Mirage-Cover

Mirage by Somaiya Daud 

If you are a Fantasy reader that wants to get into Sci- Fi, this is a great book to do that since it has a fantasy feel to it thanks to the fact that it takes place in a made up universe. Mirage is perfect for fans of slow character driven stories set in a rich and unique worlds inspired by a non-western culture (in this case,Moroccan inspired). This book is also great for fans of captivating and complex female characters with complicated relationships with each other. If you want more in depth thoughts, check out my full review.

A Spark of White Fire

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Another great book for Fantasy readers to get into Sci-Fi, this also takes place in a made up universe, where there’s royalty and gods and goddesses from Indian lore. A Spark of With Fire has political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships, tension and heartbreak. If any of that sounds like something you’d like, give this book a chance!

What are some Sci Fi books you would recommend it? Have you read any of the book on this list and did you like them?
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9 Books with Trans Main Characters

9 books with trans main characters

9 Books Monday is a feature here on the blog, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation for a minority/marginalized group. In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: bisexual female main characterslatinx mcblack mcmuslim mc, lesbian mc and asian mc.

This time I’m doing 9 books with Trans Main Characters:

4 Books I Read and Loved

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore : This is a beautifully written magical realism book, where one of the main charcters of the story, Samir, is a bacha posh: a child assigned female at birth selected to live as a boy until puberty. But it turns out Sam is not “living as a boy,” he is a boy. Beside the trans rep, there’s also pakistani rep and latinx rep (#ownvoices).

Coffee Boy by Austin ChantThis is an #ownvoices novella about a trans boy who has a crush on a campaign strategist, who happens to be a bisexual man, and who he meets while working in an internship for a politician. The story is cute and fun and it has steamy and explicit content.    

Redefining Realness by Janet MockThis is a non fiction book about the life of Janet Mock, a biracial trans woman that has worked as a writer, jornalist and TV host. The book starts when Mock is a child living in poverty and continues through her adolescence including a very detailed account of her transition and all the heartbreaking obstacules she faced, and ends when she is a successful writer. This books tells the honest and captivating story of an incredible woman.

Not your Villain by C.B. Lee This is the second book in a series but I’m pretty sure you could read it without reading the first one, since a lot of what happens in the first book is included in the beginning of this book. In Not Your Villain, the main character is Bells, a superhero that can shapeshift which helps him in his life as a trans guy. But then he became the country’s most-wanted villain after discovering a cover-up by the League of Heroes. This book is full of adventure and  fun and it has a diverse cast of characters.

5 Books on my TBR 

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo:  This book is about Amanda, a trans girl that just moved to a new town, starting at a new high school after a bad experience at her last one because of bullying and transphobia. In the new school everything is great, she is dating an amazing guy and has a ton of friends, but she isn’t sure if she should tell people about being trans or not. This books has a trans main character, a trans writer and a trans model on the cover.  Recently I read a short story by this author and loved it, so I ‘m hoping to read this book soon.

Dreadnought by April Daniels: This book is about Danny, she is trans, lesbian girl, who suddenly gets powers when Dreadnought (a superhero) dies in front of her. She immerses into this superhero world where she finds allies and enemies. This makes me think about Not Your Sidelick & Not Your Villain, which I love, and that makes me excited to read it. Also, I have heard nothing but great things about this one.

I Was Born for This by Alice Osmand: This has a main character that is a biracial (Indian and Italian) gay trans guy and he’s part of a famous boy band. The story unfolds when he unexpectedly mets a fangirl and they both end up having to face things in their lives. The other main character  is a Persian Muslim Hijabi who’s questioning her sexuality and I have heard there’s also really diverse side characters. I’m really excited to read this one, especially since I haven’t read any of Osmand’s books.

trans 2

Peter Darling by Austin Chant: This is a Peter Pan retelling. In this book, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up and he had to resign himself to life as Wendy Darling. 10 years have passed and now Peter’s back in Neverland, everyone is grown up and he’s falling in love with Captain Hook.  It’s a short story, #ownvoices in terms of trans rep, and since reading Coffee Boy I have been meaning to read another book by this author.

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein: I discovered this book recently, the author describes it as a biography of sorts and it’s about a trans woman that has suffered multiple traumas and that has a job helping others by cleaning up the fetid houses of the mentally ill, the hopeless and the murdered. That sounds so cool that I can’t wait to read it.

Books Releasing Soon  

I think it’s important to mention that I usually have a thrid category in my 9 Books Monday, where I pick books that are being realesed soon. Nonetheless, I couldn’t find books with trans main characters releasing in what’s left of 2018. I found out about Undertow, the second book to Darkling by Brooklyn Ray, which has a trans character as the love interest, and someone also told me that Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare has a trans character that has some chapters told from his point of view, but that’s it. It’s such a shame that there’s still so few realeses with trans main characters and I hope that by reading and promoting the ones that are already out, we get to have many more books with trans rep in the future. 

Have you read any of these books? did you enjoy them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Do you have recommendations for books with trans main characters? 

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