The Conductors by Nicole Glover
March 2, 2021 by John Joseph Adams
This book was really so inventive from concept to completion and I was interested in it from the second I heard about it. This is a post Civil War-set fantasy where some Black people have magic they can perform based on constellations – this magic is brought over from Africa – and white people need wands to perform magic. The book deals with incredibly difficult topics – obviously with the post Civil War setting it revolves around slavery and discriminations extensively. The world building is complex and a bit hard to grasp – but I read a lot of PNR so I’m used to a steep curve at the beginning. Beyond the fantastical the racism and discrimination in this world is just like it is today. The plot of this book revolves around solving a murder mystery.
Hetty and Benji are the two main characters and I adored them. They protected their true feelings from each other at almost all cost and that’s such a romance character thing to do that I loved. They have a marriage of convenience so Hetty is always wondering if there are any feelings on Benji’s side at all. Of course I loved the romantic subplot the most because I’m me but I also didn’t think the murder mystery was as strongly developed. The world was so incredibly interesting to me with the magic and how it’s used that I’d love to visit it more. There is a great cast of secondary characters I loved.
CW: racism, slavery, murder
The Hate Project
April 27, 2021, by Carina
The Hate Project is the follow up to The Love Study, which I really enjoyed last year.I didn’t like this one quite as much as the last one and I couldn’t quite figure out why the whole time I was listening to it. Oscar and Jack are basically grumpy and grumpier – which is a combo I love. Jack is the MC whose head we’re in the entire book, we begin when he’s lost his job and is unsure what to do next. He accepts the Herculean task of cleaning Oscar’s grandmother’s house for a good-size amount of money and then the two wind up in a casual no-feelings-attached fling.
But where my problems stem from was around the characterization around Jack. He has a lot of anxiety, which I can relate to so much. I absolutely fell in love with how his friends accept this and make allowances for it. They appreciate how much it can incapacitate him and just make necessary adjustments – it’s so wonderful! But there comes a point in the book where Jack crosses over from anxious to…almost overwhelmingly paralyzed. I’m aware that could have been a specific choice the author made for the character but it threw the pacing off for me because it felt like the book stood still for too long because of this paralysis. This could also be an example of hating characteristic I see in myself so…who knows!? I loved Oscar and the grandmother – their relationship is tender and grumpy, it’s perfect. Ripper’s writing is just really unique.
CW: anxiety, grief, panic attacks