Here's what I read in June and July:
I've said in the past I'm not a fan of crime-based fiction, but as with Milo James Fowler's Charlie Madison books, I loved Red Planet Blues. Skillfully blend speculative fiction with crime noir and I'm in, and Sawyer does this in heaps. It's not hard to see why he's both a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author. Red Planet Blues is a must-read recommendation from me, especially with the action taking place on Mars.
Moondust was a riveting read, with a strong ecological theme at its heart. Whilst there were a few moments that stretched credibility, this young adult thriller set on the Moon kept me hooked. I'm hoping to read more from this author.
When I was a teenager, I read a lot of my dad's Clive Cussler books. When Nighthawk hit the shelves where I work, I couldn't say no. Whilst I did enjoy it, there was way too much back history I'd missed by starting a series on book number 14 to truly appreciate it. Still a great read, though.
Find Me was a strange read, but one I feel has been unfairly judged. This young adult novel, set during a pandemic, wasn't always a coherent read and was at times quite odd. But I think many readers have missed the point - it was meant to be weird, odd, and disjointed. You'll either love or hate this book.
Four superb, short dark reads set in Susan Kaye Quinn's Singularity Series. Though these four stories can be read independent from the series, I'd recommend reading The Legacy Human first - it will give you some much-needed context. As always, you can't go wrong with a Quinn story.
I feel torn when it comes to reviewing I Owe You One Galaxy. On the one hand I wanted to punch the air with a resounding yes whilst reading the first half - a sort of young adult Firefly in the making - but on the other hand, it descended into way to much tell and not nearly enough show. Then there were moments that made little or no sense. Having said all of that, there is no doubt Verona has the imagination needed to be a great writer, and there was actually a book by another author on my July reading list that I deleted from my eBook reader after just 20 pages. I Owe You One Galaxy was not that bad.
Genesis Earth was well written and I didn't want it to end. If you like sci-fi and space exploration, it's a good, solid read. Were there a couple of plot points that seemed doubtful? Yes. Did it matter? No. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
Choosing a favourite read among all of the above was tough, but in the end Netherspace won. Set 40 years after aliens first came to Earth, I was fascinated by the book's premise - how does humanity trade with species it cannot understand? Fascinating, thought-provoking, and beautifully written, another must-read recommendation from me.
I ended July with 60% of my Goodreads Reading Challenge completed. Thirty-one books, equaling 8004 pages.
Right. Time to turn off the laptop and get some much-needed sleep. I'll be back in two weeks with a new surname and, hopefully, many happy stories to share.