Welcome to Rachel Ross's recommendations! Check out what Rachel R has been reading below.
Welcome to the Grand Abeona Hotel, the finest luxury spaceship hotel the galaxy has to offer. As the Abeona coasts through space serving grand food, gorgeous views, and relaxing experiences, the staff work in a flurry to keep the whole thing from falling apart. Meanwhile, there is a mystery wrapped up in the heart of the Abeona that threatens the livelihoods of everyone on board. Curtis threads her narrative neatly through a wide cast of characters as if they are each a bead on a string, tying the ends of the story together neatly with Carl, the longtime manager (and one-time stowaway) who holds the ship together. Floating Hotel really captures both the brain-curdling frustration and giddy camaraderie that comes from working in hospitality, and as we step from character to character we learn about their previous lives and current relationships while catching glimpses of the capitalist hellscape they inhabit. In some way or another, they’re all seeking connection and a place to belong, no matter how transitory that place may ultimately be.
Sidelined by a battle injury, stalwart orc Viv is forced to recuperate in a tiny seaside town. There she meets a mousey bookstore owner, spitfire gnome, dwarven baker, and a literal bag of (reanimated) bones. Baldree’s return to his realm of cozy fantasy is a quiet triumph, conveying beauty in the mundane, the joy of sharing a book together, and the sweet melancholy of how some people who only briefly pass through our lives can nevertheless be carried in our hearts for a lifetime.
Marske masterfully concludes her Last Binding Trilogy with A Power Unbound. Following another shift in character perspective, long-held secrets are finally revealed, relationships are deepened, and all hell breaks loose. It was immensely satisfying to watch all of our underdogs coalesce rather violently into an unstoppable team against the dangers arrayed against them. Somehow, my least favorite character from book one became my favorite of the entire series. Alternating hits of searing spice with tender emotional beats, this is everything you could want from a final volume, leaving you with possibly the worst book hangover of your life (in the best way).
Finally, a fantasy book that proves you can craft a living, breathing world without a staggering word count. Coming in under 300 pages, Godkiller is a tightly woven story evocative of the Witcher series with its visceral setting, rousing fight scenes, and found family moments. These characters will steal your heart, including the titular and bawdy Godkiller Kissen, a knight turned baker and a noble girl mysteriously bonded to a god of white lies. I’m excited to see what lies ahead in this series!
Join Jamie Loftus as she rockets around the continental United States on a mission to sample as many hot dogs as possible during the tumultuous summer of 2021. A mashup of travelogue and history lesson, Loftus expounds on the humble origins of the hot dog, the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest, and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile as she consumes dogs at independent joints from coast to coast. I was delighted! And disgusted!
Get ready for mayhem, action, politics, and impossible choices as open clan warfare erupts in the city of Janloon, where jade imparts magical abilities to those capable of wielding it. Jade City kicks off a riveting urban fantasy trilogy packed with morally dubious characters, dynamic fights, intrigue, and family drama.
Dive into the world of video game development with Schreier as he illuminates the turbulent histories behind beloved games, from Stardew Valley to the Witcher 3. I enjoyed how each chapter explored a different game development team and the unique challenges each studio overcame before releasing their creations into the world. I walked away from this book with a new appreciation for the craft, labor, and love needed to produce a spectacular video game.
An awe-inspiring true story of survival on the polar ice following a dramatic shipwreck. I loved how Lansing deftly recounted the ordeals faced by this dauntless crew and their indomitable captain. This book truly is a tribute and testament to the endurance of the human spirit.
A delightful compendium of short stories featuring 75 different pigments, dyes, and hues. This beautifully designed book perfectly blends art and science into bite-sized histories. This is a great book for anyone who’d like to learn about the cultural impact and significance of our most fascinating colors.