Book Review: Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sharks in the Time of Saviors is steeped in place in the best kind of way. Kawai Strong Washburn’s jaw-dropping prose gives an intimate family portrait of a working-class family strung tensely between Hawaii and the mainland. Washburn blends Hawaiian mythology, tensions related to class and race, and the perennial struggle of finding how to belong in a family. The natural world is a character in and of itself that pulls on the characters’ destinies, making the novel immersively Hawaiian through and through. The multiple perspectives of the novel create a revolving door that provides different paths to understanding the sacred energy that permeates the modern setting of the book in surprising and irreversible ways.



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Book Review: The Need by Helen Phillips

The Need

The Need by Helen Phillips

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Terrifying and visceral, The Need makes looming monsters out of our most primal and mundane thoughts. It explores the endless exhaustion and elation of parenthood, while also using anxiety as its plot’s rocket fuel. I loved the uneasy ambiguity permeating each page. Phillips is a wizard of language whose novel here is the narrative equivalent of smashing a vase on the floor. Bam!



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Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of OrĂ¯sha, #1)

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


All the adventure and suspense of the high fantasy genre, swirling with Black power, magic, and rage. Tomi Adeyemi uses her book to address racism, oppression, and police brutality through the lens of an alternative ancient Nigeria where magic and might are currencies of power. A necessary YA parable for our times, with gorgeous imagery and memorable characters. Can’t wait for the film!



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