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A person who was once a starship plans revenge against the one who killed her while wrestling with the unexpected and sometimes inconvenient humanity of herself. Featuring thorough worldbuilding, amazing characterization and a fascinatingly casual subversion of gender in writing, Ancillary Justice is a fast, engaging and engrossing read. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis
In an alternate London, magic is performed by demons summoned by magicians. Nathaniel is learning how to be a magician in a corrupt system. And Bartimaeus is a powerful djinn who cracks wise in the footnotes. Engaging, insightful, and funny! ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis
Where A Song of Ice and Fire deals with people at the top of society, Two of Swords chronicles a great war between two halves of an ancient empire from the point of view of, mostly, the people at the bottom. Each chapter of the first two volumes changes to a different protagonist with their own story, and though the third volume follows just one character, it ends up weaving these individual threads into a strong, compelling narrative tapestry. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis
If you're an avid follower of Tsyaston's (aka Shen, Shencomix, or Owlturd), there's nothing here you haven't seen; instead it's a collection of some of the best comic strips he's released so far, and a perfect primer for those unfamiliar with Shen's particular blend of #relateable content - getting beat up on by Life, and overcoming the obstacles Life throws at you (not always in that order). This collection includes one comic from Shen's arc, ""Fly to the Heavens on a Bicycle Made of Stars"; I would have loved for the full saga to be included to cap off the book. Still, it's a great collection to have. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis
There's a genre of fiction where a lone person living after the end of the world finds a wild dog, and through mutual respect form a bond, look out for each other, and provide companionship for each other.
In Giant Spider & Me, the person is 12 year old Nagi, the dog is an arachnid the size of a small car, and the bond is formed over food. The story itself is very sweet and relaxing - Asa, the titular spider, is very cute (even when they're shown being terrifying) and I kinda want an Asa of my own. And startlingly, it is a cooking manga, so in each chapter Nagi prepares a different dish, talking through it for anyone that might be listening as well as for the reader, and afterward an ingredient list for the recipe is displayed with a full-page splash of the finished dish.
Ultimately, it's the perfect read for a quiet, rainy day, and now I really want to try making pumpkin dumplings. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis