Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

Ring Shout was written with anger, not hate. The propulsive plot, fiery action, and themes that are layered at such light-speed that its quick but potent inclusions is almost invisible, could only be done with writing fueled by anger. That’s because hate is too slow—it festers like mold until its subject is a monster without Read more

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Set in a world (Portland) with its mythos and magic firmly rooted in elements of the ‘here and now,’ Bethany C. Morrow’s debut young adult novel, A Song Below Water, is a coming-of-age story certain to change the game. It’s hard to know what to expect from a book touted as a story of “Black Read more

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Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

You can tell when someone has written the story of their heart because the work just sings. And you’ll find that here in RAYBEARER. And I think because I felt the love pouring off the page, it was impossible for me to put this book down. There are some stories you walk away from knowing Read more

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SAVAGE LEGION by Matt Wallace

[SPOILERS BELOW: Why? Because some books you need to just talk about in their fullness, and this is one of them] This novel makes me think of being an English major in college again, but in the best possible way. Literary criticism and how to understand and employee it was one of the pillars of Read more

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NASOMI’S QUEST by Enock I. Simbaya

Nasomi’s Quest isn’t the most streamlined story—it’s a patchwork of threads coming together to create something that’s a telltale sign of a raw but rough novel. But the fabric and construction isn’t difficult to look at. By celebrating family values and enduring love, while humanizing the layered envy and bitterness that is inside us all Read more

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THE CITY WE BECAME by N.K. Jemisin

[Spoilers lie ahead] N.K. Jemisin is a genius and at I think at this point it’s indisputable.  Just as The Broken Earth trilogy was a treatise on the leylines of oppression, THE CITY WE BECAME is a dissertation on the power of our collective urban existence and the stories that emerge from it.  It’s a Read more

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REVIEW: Black Girl Unlimited

“So I have many stories in my head to explain the world.” There’s a lot to be said about taking the plunge to write an autobiographical piece laced with sexual violence, abuse, drugs, and all the tragedies that plague black girls and women from a young girl’s perspective. There’s more to be said for this Read more

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REVIEW: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi is refreshingly relevant, painfully recognizable yet unequivocally original. The swift story pacing and gritty character development wrap its stark themes up in magic, mayhem, and the collective memory. This is a supernatural dystopian hellscape deeply rooted in a contemporary America. Blackness, in its many forms and the never-ending necessity to Read more

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REVIEW: Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callendar

Kacen Callender didn’t write a historical fantasy novel. They didn’t write a slavery-centered novel for the sake of it. They wrote, in my humble opinion, a compelling, unprecedented tragic hero’s journey. If you’re going into this expecting a more generic fantasy that happens to take place in a slavery-centric world, then you’ll be discrediting your Read more

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