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I'd been looking for heart-warming upbeat fantasy as a counterpoint to the reams of dark fantasy I'd been reading. A post on Reddit's r/fantasy around a similar ask taught me that the community had a term for the opposite of ‘grimdark’ - ‘noble bright’. There were a number of responses citing books that fit the sub-genre, and of the lot, two that interested me were Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor and Martha Wells’ Books of the Raksura
Warning - Spoilers abound
If you know nothing about the book, stop reading this review now and go read the book instead.
Paul Kalanithi's poignant memoir has been on my reading list ever since I read a review of the book on NYTimes, then followed that to an article by him. For a day or two, I went down a rabbithole about his life and around his work and his family in that funny way that the internet does to you where one minute of idle research stretches into two hours of obsession.
Mira Grant is the name Seanan McGuire writes her horror under. Her October Daye urban fantasy series is one of my favorites, so I was keen to try this out.
Into the Drowning Deep is a good rip-roaring novel in the Michael Crichton vein. It starts with a big idea - what if Mermaids are real - and then backs it up with enough science to make it plausible and wraps it in a voyage of discovery.