Hi, I'm Em! I'm mainly a sci-fi/fantasy/horror reader, but I also read a lot of YA, romance, and (probably sad) contemporary fiction.
This fantasy book takes readers on an adventure with retired pirate captain Amina al-Sarafi as she gets pulled into one last job. Joining on her on her adventure are a poisons expert who has one solution to every problem, a cheery first mate with a penchant for consensual kidnapping, and al-Sarafi's cowardly demon husband. I could have spent six more books with this cast of characters, and I recommend this book to all pirate fans, buff old women fans, quirky demon fans, and pretty much everyone else.
Supernatural horror + historical fiction + trans protagonist = a horrifying Antarctic expedition. I have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it-- Wilkes combines genres and characters that are often not seen together and makes them linger.
This YA sci-fi romance made me lay face-down on the floor. It is a feat to make a book with only three on-page characters feel so full, and there is a reveal halfway through the book that made me walk laps around my apartment.
A sapphic romance novel with Jewish protagonists! The main characters of this novel make one of my favorite pairings I've read in any romance novel. This book is endlessly charming.
James Acker dares to ask the greatest question of our time: what if the captain of the track team and the captain of the field team had feelings for each other? His answer is the funniest book I've read this year with charming, hilarious characters.
Never once while reading this horror novel was I able to predict what would happen next. Monstrilio is about a family grieving the death of their son while also learning how to acclimate to life with the Lung, or Monstrilio-- a piece of their deceased son's lung that his mother fed until it came to life. Told from four different perspectives-- the mother's, the father's, a family friend's, and Monstrilio himself-- this story looks at grief, at humanity, and at what happens when parents try to make their children into something they are not.
We Ride Upon Sticks follows a group of high school field hockey players as they sign their souls away to a demonic force within an Emilio Estevez notebook so they can win more games. Told in first person plural, this novel is a feat of characterization; Barry's ability to make each member of the team feel distinct while also blurring the lines between them as Emilio's hold grows stronger sweeps readers into the deal along with the team.
William Day, also known as Eat-Em-Fresh Day, the infamous fourth lieutenant-turned-captain of the Reckoning, is haunted by an Arctic voyage that ended in desperation, in death, in devouring his shipmates alive to keep the meat fresh. But most of all, he is haunted by the disappearance of his Reckoning shipmate, confidant, and the locus of his repressed feelings, Jesse Stevens. When Day is given the opportunity to return to the Arctic and find Stevens, he agrees to captain the Resolution and hopefully find the man who has haunted him for the last fifteen years.
Wilkes's second novel is a feat of complex characters, of chilling atmosphere, of writing that haunts the reader as much as it haunts the characters.