It’s that time of the month again: it’s time to discuss my favorite books from July! This month, I have two fiction books, one non-fiction, and a graphic novel.
Every Heart a Doorway (McGuire): All Nancy wants to do is to return to the Underworld she found after she went through a door; however, her family just wants her to go back to a normal life. When she is forced to attend a special school intended to achieve that goal she instead finds children like her; all have the ability to open doors to worlds that they could call home, and each one wants to return but must learn to live where they do now. However, someone starts killing children, bringing darkness to this newfound sanctuary. I found the concept behind this story unique; the plot is quick and engaging, and I found the underlying message satisfying. Fans of stories such as Harry Potter and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will find much to enjoy in Every Heart a Doorway.
Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening (Liu and Takeda): Maika Halfwolf, a seventeen year old Arcanic (half human, half animal), has a monster inside. Desperate for answers, she breaks into the Cumea stronghold to interrogate a woman about answers. Leaving with more questions, Maika begins a quest to find answers and control the monster. However, thanks to her actions, forces that have long lain dormant have awakened, and war may once again be on the horizon. Monstress is a compelling story with plenty of action and strong world-building; Maika is a compelling, well-rounded heroine. Her anger is terrifying to behold, but Liu provides little details–such as her love of her friend Tuya–that make her sympathetic. Takeda’s beautiful and detailed illustrations bring this story to life; her backgrounds are intricate, and her drawings of characters convey so much. This graphic novel will pull you right in, so do not miss this one (especially if you like epic fantasy and horror)!
Time Salvager (Chu): James Griffin-Mars is a chronman–he time travels into the past in order to salvage key resources so that humankind can continue to subsist another year. James is exhausted, worn down by the lives he’s seen snuffed out and the loss he has suffered; he is seeking a way out. When James jumps back to acquire equipment from a research facility, he rescues Elise, a research scientist, breaking the first of the Time Laws. James’ actions force him and Elise to go on the run and will uncover some hard truths about this universe. The gruff, miserable James and passionate Elise balance each other out well, and the plot has all the marks of a fun, fast thriller.
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching (Smith): Last, but far from least, is Mychal Smith’s Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching. In this book, Smith explores how to grow up to be a black man. He unfolds his story about growing up torn between expectations and the things he thought he needed to do to become a Black Leader. Smith uses his own experiences to discuss and challenge the racist and sexist systems; for me, his ability to talk about those big issues was made this book so excellent. His writing style–which is colloquial and intense–pulled me in, and I devoured this one in about a day. If you care about racial and related social issues or found Between the World and Me powerful, you should definitely check this one out.
That’s all for this month! See you next time!