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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot - Kat Howard

I picked this up on sale because someone was talking it up on twitter. I did not read the back of the book then, or before I started it. So I knew this was a book about sisters sharing a house after years apart.


In my head I had filed this as maybe gothic horror or something?


Which is a long walk to say that I didn't know I was following up reading a fairy filled UF with with an aspiring artist narrator by reading a fairy filled contemporary fantasy with an aspiring artist narrator.


And yet these books could not be more different.



This could easily have been a much longer book. Howard has plenty of strange and beautiful imagery to work with and quite the flair for lovely writing. Instead this is sparse. Just the scenes the reader needs to get from A to B. No wasted space, each paragraph both beautiful and sufficient. 


It's a long, slow burn of a book with a not complex plot and foreshadowing galore. Where little seems to be happening and yet I had a hard time putting it down. What might be next filling my thoughts during the morning commute and distracting me from conversations.


This is a very interesting as an examination of relationships between women. The narrator could easily be in competition with her sister, but instead is completely supportive. They have a housemate who is beyond rude, and respond by making sure to include her in house activities. There are two different horrible mothers. Not stepmothers, no. Mothers.


So, yeah, lovely read. Beautiful and sad and magic and true.


Don't miss this one.