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2021 Hugo Award Finalists

Every year the World Science Fiction Society awards the Hugo award to outstanding works of Science fiction and Fantasy. The past several years have seen a boom of incredible new fiction in these genres, and last year was no different, featuring some standout work from both new and established authors. Some of my personal favorites from the finalists are Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin, and Axioms End by Lindsay Ellis.

We’ve created a list featuring the nominees for Best Novel, Best Series, Best YA Novel, and Best New Writer which you can check out here. Winners are announced in December, so you have plenty of time to read them all before then!

Book Review: Piranesi by Suzanne Clarke

“Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant.”

This is the setting of Piranesi, a beautiful and enormously creative new novel by Susanna Clarke that is equal parts mystery novel, survival story and journey of self discovery. The reader follows Piranesi “The Beloved Child of the House” as he gathers food and supplies from the House’s seas while occasionally receiving gifts from his only friend, the enigmatic Other. As Piranesi journeys through his home, aids the Other in the search for some lost and secret knowledge, and delves into the mysteries of his own past. All the while readers are given glimpses of the strange and wonderful world that Piranesi inhabits, and the many shadowy corners of Piranesi’s own mind.

Piranesi is one of the best books I have read in years, and one that stuck with me long after I had finished it. I’d recommend Piranesi to readers who enjoyed Circe, House of Leaves, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Book Review: The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie

As a fan of Joe Abercrombie’s other work and someone who enjoyed the previous installment in the series, I’ve been eagerly anticipating The Trouble With Peace all summer, and it was definitely worth the wait. 

A direct sequel to last years A Little Hatred, The Trouble With Peace picks up right where Abercrombie left readers. The newly crowned High King Orso must navigate ruling a country where both the nobles and the commoners despise him, while Sabine dan Glotka slowly recovers her shattered business and shaken confidence all while grappling with the secrets that she has discovered. In the north Leo dan Brock discovers that ruling suits him much less than being a warrior, and is pulled into intrigues he may not be suited for. Meanwhile, Rikke, her mind unstuck in time and paralyzed by visions of the future must find a way to close her “long eye”. All of them are caught in the middle of a changing world where rising tensions, dueling conspiracies, and conflicted loyalties could spell the doom for them all.

The Trouble With Peace has almost anything that you could ask for in a fantasy novel, action, intrigue, humor, even a little magic. All of this with some of the best realized characters I’ve ever seen. Abercrombie has never written typical fantasy and this is no exception. Filled with twists, turns, and double crosses, as well as the gritty action that Abercrombie is known for, all building to an explosive climax that defies the conventions of typical fantasy fiction, I was on the edge of my seat every second of the way. It comes highly recommended for those who enjoyed Game of Thrones or The White Queen, and anyone else who loves stories driven by drama and intrigue.