Book Review: Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin

OUT NOW! Thank you to Riverhead and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

48635845♥♥♥♥ (4 stars)

I adore Schweblin’s work. Fever Dream blew me away when I read it a few years ago, so imagine my excitement when I was approved for an ARC of Little Eyes. This book was not what I was expecting, and I struggled to focus for a lot of it (that could very well be due to living during a global pandemic, however), but in the end I came to appreciate the quiet points made in Little Eyes. It’s a slow but fascinating look at the overlap of technology and the human desire for connection

Little Eyes has a speculative-lite premise, focusing on several narratives as the world gets caught up in the latest tech craze: Kentukis. Kentukis are small robotic stuffed animals that can be bought and kept in the home like a pet. The catch is that the robots are independently and anonymously operated by strangers who buy codes/connections to “dwell” in the Kentukis (via tablet, phone, or computer) and thus, in other people’s homes. You are either a “dweller”, someone who buys a connection to be paired with a Kentuki and remotely control a robot somewhere else in the world, or a “keeper”, someone who buys the little robot and keeps it as a pet. The narratives focus on both “dwellers” and “keepers,” and, not to give too big of a spoiler, it doesn’t go too well for either set.

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Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Thank you to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Image from Goodreads

The Night Circus was a bit of a slow burn phenomenon for the bookish world. Over the 7/8 years since it was published, people have found it and fallen deeply in love with it at their own pace. I didn’t go crazy over The Night Circus when I first read it, but all these years later I find myself thinking about it a lot. The atmosphere, the setting, the magic, the character relationships. It really stuck in my brain, so I was very excited to hear that Morgenstern was finally coming out with a new book this year!

I was shocked when I saw The Starless Sea available for request on NetGalley. I had just assumed it would remain elusive and exclusive to only the most renowned of book reviewers. I was even more surprised when I was approved for the digital ARC.

A real quick synopsis: Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a grad student studying immersive media (video games) design and storytelling. One day he stumbles on a mysterious book in the library that appears to be a collection of short fairy tales and folklore. The thing is…a true story from his childhood is in this book. No one else knows this story but Zachary, and on top of that, the book looks to have been written way before Zachary was born. He starts to do some digging and in the process gets stuck down in a weird underground magical library where clothes are perfectly tailored for him and the food is exactly what you need and cats wander everywhere. But there is like, no one else in this library. The space itself is confusing and labyrinthine, and time and place don’t hold much power.

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