As July neared its end, I searched for more books. Again, the same authors were continuously suggested to me, over and over and over, mainly N.K. Jemisin and Octavia Butler. Since I was already one book into Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, I decided to try another from Butler: Wild Seed, book one in the Patternist series. I also continued my off-and-on theme of reading two books at once and decided to take a chance on Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, a book without a black lead. Instead, Labyrinth Lost stars a Latina girl who happens to be a bruja (a witch) but doesn’t want to be.

Labyrinth Lost was amazing! Magic, other-worldly travel, deception, friendship, acceptance, and lots of little culture references (many of which I'm sure are completely lost on me). Cordova begins hinting at "something" very early on, something I originally ignored because, "Nah, can't be." But oh my, the reveal? UNF! I loved it! There are so many twists here and so many great characters. I'll definitely be reading book two at some point next year. Wild Seed, on the other hand... It's nothing like Kindred, in the worst of ways, sadly. I see many elements of things I love in this story: there are people with abilities and a pretty-well developed antagonist, regardless of the sick and heinous things he does. And while I morally have an issue with how the antagonist goes about things, this is not where I find fault with the story. Some people suck, that's life. His "suck" is written well. My issue with Wild Seed is that it felt like there was no actual story! Anyanwu (our protagonist) has some challenges to face, sure, but she's always safe. There's no real danger, despite Doro's threats which hold less and less weight as time goes on. There's no time limit forcing her hand or other external forces. I don't remember any moment in that book that left me wanting more, eager to find out what happened next. I did manage to finish *Wild Seed*, though. It wasn't "bad," though it does happen to be one of my least favorite reads of the year (The Root is still the winner of that category). I bought the entire trilogy box set (digitally), so I'm sure I'll finish it at some point, but it won't be any time soon. I decided next to keep it simple. I picked up The Obelisk Gate, book two in the The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, next and read this by itself. With many things being revealed in book one, we enter book two with some new viewpoints. What happened to the daughter is revealed and we find a little bit more about Guardians. And... so much. So. Much. More. I have nothing bad to say (though book one is still my favorite), and I don't want to talk about it too much because of spoilers. But maaaaannn. I can't wait to reread this series one day. I'm going to pick up book three early next year, I think, well before the planned TV series.

I’ll cut this post off here; I should be able to cram in all my other reads for the year, including all the short stories I read and listened to. And it’s a lot.

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My 2018 Reads, Part 4: Wild, Lost, and Broken.

One surprises, one disappoints, and another is as good as expected. Can you guess which? Labryinth Lost, by Zoraida Cordova; Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler; and The Obleisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin