Skip to content

Book Chat #67 – Books by Susan Kaye Quinn, Carol Van Natta, and Sarah Raasch

This Book Chat is a combination of one book from the end of last year, and two from this January! I'm reading a lot of novella that were submitted for the anthology I'm co-editing, so it might be a few weeks before I have anything new to share.

WHEN YOU HAD POWER by Susan Kaye Quinn (ebook)

After hearing Susan talk a lot about the genre “hopepunk” and how writing this book brought her a lot of joy, I picked it up as soon as it came out. I'm so glad to say that I really enjoyed this story. I love the world that Susan built, full of joy, hope, and new ideas on sustainability and family. There's a lot here to love including a diverse cast and a mystery to really sink your teeth into. Lucia is wonderful, always looking to the future with love in her heart and a fire in her veins. The family that she happens into is a lot of fun as well. I see this story as an allegory for our future, and I hope that we, as a society can come together to conquer all the things that are wrong from extremism to climate change. As it says at the end of the book's blurb, “We’re in this together, now more than ever before.”

MINDER RISING by Carol Van Natta (ebook)

I was excited to move on to the second book in this series, and it was a real treat! This novel follows Lièrén Sòng as he rehabilitates and figures out the mystery of what happened to him and his fellow CPS coworkers during a brutal shuttle crash. There are conspiracies in every shadow and it takes a while but eventually Lièrén realizes that CPS has been lying to him as well. And then there's Imara Sesay, a woman he comes to know who works the bar at the hotel where Lièrén is staying to convalesce. Their subtle romance really worked for me and kept the story moving. I found that in my off hours, I was thinking about this book a lot! And each time I set the book down, I couldn't wait to get back to it. I can't wait to read more in this series!

ICE LIKE FIRE by Sarah Raasch (audiobook)

As you all know by now, I'm not a huge fantasy fan, but this series really caught my attention. There were a lot of twists and turns in this installment of the story. I enjoyed following Meira through the different kingdoms and getting a glimpse at how everything worked. I found Meira herself to be quite daft at times, unfortunately. She just kept making rash decisions and not learning from her mistakes. I would have thought that by this point, she would have grown a little more. But it looks like the story wants to go in the “she must die to save them all” direction, so I'm not sure how much more time she'll have to grow? Hard to say. Regardless, there was a lot of action and adventure here to make any reader happy, including me. And I do want to see how far Meira can go in this story. I'll probably take a break from the series and finish it up in the summer! I definitely want to know how it all ends.

S. J. Pajonas