Jan 31
2019

Publishers Weekly starred review for Ancestral Night

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

“Anyone who enjoys space opera, exploration of characters, and political speculation will love this outstanding novel, Bear’s welcome return to hard SF after several years of writing well-received steampunk (Karen Memory) and epic fantasy (the Eternal Sky trilogy). As an engineer on a scrappy space salvage tug, narrator Haimey Dz has a comfortable, relatively low-stress existence, chumming with pilot Connla Kuruscz and AI shipmind Singer. Then, while aboard a booby-trapped derelict ship, she is infected with a not-quite-parasitic alien device that gives her insights into the universe’s structure. This makes her valuable not only to the apparently benevolent interstellar government, the Synarche, but also to the vicious association of space pirates, represented by charismatic and utterly untrustworthy Zanya Farweather. While fleeing Zanya, Haimey and her crew discover a gigantic, ancient alien space ship hidden at the bottom of a black hole at the center of the galaxy, and at that point, things start getting complicated. This exciting story set in a richly detailed milieu is successful on many levels, digging into the nature of truth and reality, self-definition vs. predestination, and the calibration of moral compasses. Amid a space opera resurgence, Bear’s novel sets the bar high.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Jan 28
2019

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee is a NYT Bestseller!

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee has debuted at #2 on the New York Times middle grade hardcover best sellers list! Congratulations, Yoon!

Jan 24
2019

Horn Book Magazine on Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“Thirteen-year-old Min is feisty and clever, and she has a powerful secret: she’s a gumiho, a fox spirit disguised as a human. Min can shape-shift and use Charm (fox magic) to alter others’ perceptions and emotions. She enthusiastically wields these powers when she ditches her “dismal life” on the barren planet Jinju in order to track down her brother Jun, a Thousand Worlds Space Forces cadet who’s gone AWOL. Min’s epic adventure leads to run-ins with spaceport security guards, gamblers, and ghosts. She impersonates a dead cadet on a starship battle cruiser and encounters the legendary Dragon Pearl, a mystical orb that creates life. Lee has a knack for world-building. His richly detailed, cohesive, original vision is a lively mash-up of outer-space sci-fi and Korean culture and folklore: starships have gi, an energy flow; pirates fly in groups of four because it’s a number that signifies death; characters, both supernatural and human, eat gimchi and play the board game baduk; Min befriends a dragon cadet who can summon the weather—sometimes inadvertently—and a dokkaebi (Korean goblin) who carries a magical spork. The dokkaebi is also a nonbinary character, who’s referred to with gender-neutral pronouns—a small detail that’s woven in matter-of-factly and just as smoothly as all the other strands in this engaging space opera.” — Horn Book Magazine

Jan 21
2019

Shelf Awareness on Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“In DRAGON PEARL, Yoon Ha Lee (the Machineries of Empire series) melds elements of Korean myth, science fiction and adventure stories into a strong, cohesive narrative that fans of multiple genres will enjoy…Lee’s inclusion of Korean mythological aspects isn’t limited to supernatural beings; it also impeccably incorporates “geomantic arts–the flow of gi and the cosmic balance of the universe” into how the Space Forces’ battle cruisers are engineered. All these components work in harmony to shape Min’s quest, immersing readers in her journey.

Lee’s epic romp through space also includes discussions about prejudice (“Other supernaturals, like dragons and goblins and shamans… wield their magic openly” and are even praised for it, while foxes must pretend to be extinct), nonbinary identity (“This [guard’s] particular badge… had a small symbol next to the name that let me know they should be addressed neutrally, as neither female nor male”) and inequality between rich and poor (“Whoever this councilor was, I doubted she was thinking about people like me and my family, who could use the Pearl’s powers to make our lives less desperate.”) Lee handles these topics sensitively without burdening her audience.

DRAGON PEARL shoots for the moon and lands flawlessly, delivering a rollicking and meaningful space adventure.” — Shelf Awareness

Jan 14
2019

Kirkus on Ancestral Night

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

“Bear, then, offers plenty of big, bold, fascinating ideas in a narrative that culminates in a double showdown with a dazzling array of said thoughtful beings…. Impressive at the core. Readers who relished the Jacob’s Ladder trilogy will certainly enjoy this one.” — Kirkus

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