Book Review: The Marrow Thieves

The Marrow ThievesBook Review for The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

 

I’ll admit that I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile and have only recently picked it up. Then when I did, it took me some time to read because of the disturbing content – and that is not to say that this content isn’t worthwhile, but it is hard. It took me time to digest. Some books are like that for me and I respect that.

This is a very timely YA speculative fiction set in the not too distant future. There is environmental collapse and Indigenous people hold a biological key that white people need and feel they have the right to take. This is a future looking exploration of the residential school system that Indigenous people were required to attend.

The book follows Frenchie, a teen who has joined a group of other Indigenous people trying to survive in the wild and relearn the old ways while avoiding the recruiters who will take them to the schools.

The Marrow Thieves is compelling, hard hitting, informative, hopeful, and absolutely beautifully written. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dimaline’s absolute mastery of imagery and gorgeous sentences. She has also created an interesting array of characters that I was completely invested it.

I also loved the storytelling aspect to the book, how, within the larger narrative, characters told their own “coming to” stories of how they joined the group.

This is an important book, one that would be perfect for a book club or classroom discussion (though some readers might need support due to the triggering content). And even though it is technically YA, I wouldn’t let that dissuade you from reading it.

 

 

TW: rape, murder, genocide, residential schools

(ID: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline on a red background.)

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Book Review: The Witch’s Heart

The Witch's HeartBook Review: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

 

I was so excited to see this absolutely gorgeous book (props to whoever designed this cover) about Norse mythology and a witch. I love retellings and witches, so this was right up my ally.

After Angrboda angers Odin, she is left wounded and alone but makes a life for herself, deciding to stay out of sight and harm’s way. However, she falls in love with Loki and they have 3 children with fates that put them all in danger.

There is so much research obvious in this novel – and reconciling of the fluidness of myth. Angrboda is an interesting character, fiercely protective of her children, haunted by visions and glimmers of her past life, impatient with the world of the gods and their whims.

I enjoyed her friendships with the women who visit her, her independence, and her fierce loyalty, all of which make for some interesting ups and downs – joy and conflict.

The author writes beautifully and had me completely engaged, creating a wonderful picture of the world Angrboda lived. I didn’t even get confused with the world building, which can sometime be difficult in myth (and I appreciated the glossary at the end for more information). I happily and easily lost myself in this book.

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Book Review: The Echo Wife

The Echo WifeBook Review for The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

 

This evocative sci-fi thriller is set in the contemporary world, but one where cloning of people is starting to happen, and Evelyn is on the forefront of this research. Her husband, Nathan is unhappy in their marriage and clones her, creating Martine as his idea of an ideal wife. Now he is dead and the two women have to clean up the mess.

This is an interesting mix of thought experiment, an examination of women’s roles, pushing the bounds of technology and ethics, and what it means to be human.

Evelyn is cold, methodical, and diabolically brilliant. She’s hard to like, but she is fascinating. She feels she knows the lines of human and clone. She is willing to do the gruesome things to prefect her science. But when she meets Martine, the lines get blurred and it’s fascinating.

Martine, though she is Evelyn’s clone, is her polar opposite. She’s been designed to the be the perfect wife, attentive, nurturing, and self sacrificing. But she’s also a quick study.

These 2 women coming together to deal with Nathan’s death makes for an interesting ride. I love this kind of book that makes you think about everyday issues that we sometimes take for granted, like what makes a good wife, what limits should science have, and even what makes us human.

This is definitely a book I raced through, even though it’s not your typical thriller and is a little on the slower side. This is definitely a book I’d recommend for those who like speculative fiction.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: The Wild Heavens

The Wild Heavens book with a blue tree backgroundBook review for The Wild Heavens by Sarah Louise Butler

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This is a beautifully written book, set in the wilds of Northern BC – and the descriptions of nature and the wildlife are certainly an amazing reason to read this book. It takes place over the course of a day, with reflections back into Sandy’s life and childhood, creating a dual timeline.

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Sandy’s grandfather had seen a sasquatch years ago and has been on the lookout for it ever since, instilling the same curiosity in his granddaughter, Sandy. This is a meander tale of their lives in an isolated cabin in the wilderness, how nature and the sasquatch has shaped them.

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The relationships in the book are lovely and well done – parents, children, friends, lovers – they are all authentically done. The author managed to explore a wide range of humanity with a very few characters. I really felt for Sandy and her quest to find the sasquatch and the life she wants to live, watching her come into her own.

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There is a mystical aspect to the book, revolving around the sasquatch, but also around nature itself, which is a character in itself. The descriptions are lush and beautiful and well worth reading for any nature lover.

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Thanks so Edelweiss and the publisher for the review copy.

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