I’ve been reading A LOT recently due to audiobooks and graphic novels from my local library. It has been so refreshing and invigorating to be reading again, but at the same time it is difficult to keep up with reviews here and on Instagram.
Unfortunately, I can’t post full length reviews for every book I read right now (remember that I have a toddler), so here is a small glance into my thoughts on some series I am currently reading.
I am currently making my way through several series. These are only the series that I am actively reading right now, not all of the series that I am in the middle of overall.
“The Search for Wondla” by
This space opera style children’s fantasy is such a joy the entire ride. The writing is accessible to most ages, but still mature and respectful of its audience. These are the types of children’s books that I love. They don’t treat kids like they are dumb, and adults can easily enjoy them. This series is full of complex and flawed characters, deep world building, alien politics, a complex timeline/backstory, and a riveting plot. Additionally, the author did the illustrations throughout the print book himself, and they are absolutely beautiful.
I have read the first two books in this series already, and plan to finish the final book by July. I absolutely love this series and will purchase if for our child when she’s old enough.
- Sci-fi Fantasy with aliens
- lab grown and modified people
- climate change
- far future
- politics, technology, and moral questions
- wide cast of alien lifeforms
- found family
- family death, violence, war, imprisonment, medical trauma, experimentation, poaching, small enclosed spaces, drowning, falling, and more.
“The Wayfarers” by Becky Chambers
This series takes place far in the future after humanity has fled Earth into the deeper parts of space and joined a system of alien species. This wholesome, cozy space opera is brilliantly written, diverse, queer, and complex. There is a varied cast of unique and scary realistic characters for each reader to find one to latch on to. Chambers has a superpower for having difficult conversations in their books while keeping the tone and experience light and cozy. These books are like a warm hug on a cold day. They are realistic in the representation of struggle, but never lets the reader lose sight of hope.
I just finished “A Closed and Common Orbit” in May and hope to get to the third book in the series very soon. I am a big Chambers fan, and my love for their books only grows with each installment.
- Space opera
- Distant future for humanity
- diverse, queer, and challenges social norms
- AI, aliens, humans
- interspecies coupling
- found family
- characters of all backgrounds
- character driven
“Warmer” by various authors
This collection of short stories is supposedly about global warming. I have read two now, and neither of them impressed me. The writing is not good and the stories are barely a story. They don’t actually make a point about global warming, but instead serve as an outlet for the authors to preach their ideas through the character’s thoughts and dialogue in random bursts. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with what they are saying. I just think dropping some random scenes that barely link together with little logic between monologues of hopeless climate change anxiety is not compelling. These should have been essays or talks, not an attempt at short fiction with a doomsday message and zero plot.
I do not recommend these novellas unless you need to waste your time in small 30 minute increments. Actually, if that’s what you need, I would recommend the Zoey and Sassafras children’s books or the Forward collection (also by Amazon Prime).
“5 Worlds” by various authors
This brilliantly constructed graphic novel series was illustrated and written by a handful of very talented people. A found family of kids travel through space from planet to planet trying to light the beacons that they think will save the world based on legends they learned about. It’s funny, action packed, and complex. I think most kids would find something to like about this series; I know I would have when I was younger. I definitely think this series should be adapted to the screen. There are tons of positive messages and ethical questions. The vast range of cultures and species is amazing, and the plot had me invested from page one.
I am currently reading the third volume, and have the fourth and fifth lined up for June. Such a binge-able series that I highly recommend.
- space travel, aliens, action
- politics, unique planets and cultures
- found family, friends, character development
- conversations around social issues like racism, classism, sports, AI, and more
- absolutely beautiful art and brilliant plot
“Murderbot Diaries” by Martha Wells
The TBR Book Club just finished reading the first four novellas in this series in May, and it was so much fun! These books are such a ride. Murderbot is so relatable with its social anxiety, introverted tendencies, apathy, and love for media. I have never related more to a character, and it isn’t even human! I also love that Murderbot doesn’t have a gender, doesn’t have a desire to be human, and struggles with understanding itself. So many great conversations in this series.
I have the fifth and sixth books lined up for June, and I can’t wait! I also recommend the audiobooks; they are quite good!
- nonhuman main character
- agender, asexual, antisocial, anxiety, and neurodivergent representation
- sarcastic, quirky, hilarious narration
- space travel, action, politics
- found family, moral/ethical questions
“Zoey and Sassafras” by Asia Citro
This sweet little series features a little girl who loves science. She inherits the responsibility of helping magical creatures from the forest behind their house from her mother, who is an actual scientist. Zoey and her cat go on adventures, learning about the scientific method and their environment in order to help magical creatures. There are lovely messages around family, friends, health, science, pollution, and climate change. I highly recommend these books for parents to give their kids.
I have read the first six books so far, but plan to continue the series as my library holds come in. They are quick, easy reads that always bring a smile to my face.
- POC main character in children’s book
- science focus
- ethical and ecological conversations
- mystery solving using scientific method
- educational (even for adults) while still fun
- lots of wildlife and magical creatures
- teaches kids empathy and compassion and community service
“Bloodright” by Emily Skrutskie
A Space Opera with conversations around colonization and politics. This series largely features political intrigue and a heavy hand in rebellion. The main characters are military raised and obviously in love. But things get complicated for these young men, and it’s a ride you won’t want to miss.
I recently finished “Bonds of Brass”, and couldn’t believe how much I loved it! I am waiting on a library hold for the sequel, and the wait is agonizing! The first book ended in such a climactic place with amazing setup for book two. I literally can’t wait.
- queer romance
- space opera with space and planetary travel
- crazy, borderline psychotic side character they can’t get rid of but also can’t do this without
- politics, royalty, conquest, dirty sci-fi, found family