Awesome Books You Should Be Reading: Firebird and Other Stories by R. Cooper

firebirdI am a huge fan of R. Cooper, and have read (almost) everything she’s written. If you have any interest in feelsy love stories between two guys (often with supernatural stuff going on), you need to read basically everything she has ever written.

But let’s talk about Firebird.

This book is a TREASURE. It is the crowning jewel in R. Cooper’s already stunning array of amazing books, and I am just… “book hangover” does not begin to cover it.

Firebird is told in a series of short stories, all in the same world as Cooper’s other “Beings in Love” books.

Cooper is the absolute queen of the “mutual pining” story. All of her characters are distinct, complex people with their own personalities, and yet she weaves them together with their perfect counterpart, in an brilliant, entertaining story like absolute magic. Every time.

In Firebird, the stories go from 1930 to present day, with Kazimir, the firebird, being a shiny golden thread throughout. One couple hears him singing on a street corner, another is a fanboy whose love interest gets jealous of how much he likes him. A child introduced in the first story is seen as an adult years later. It’s very masterfully done, just the right amount of connection for the stories to belong in a book together without being overburdened with trying to hard to be clever.

I basically wept through the last 20% of this book, it was so beautiful. And then sat up straight when I started the last story, waking up my sleeping partner shouting “IT’S THEM! IT’S THEM!” and then “I KNOW THE ENDING!”

This book is fantastic. All of R. Cooper’s books are fantastic, but this one is quite possibly my favorite. I would recommend it to absolutely anyone who loves love stories. It is <i>fantastic.</i>

P.S. … As someone who has read the entire series, I kept sitting up and making undignified squee noises over the hints and suggestions of her other characters. A human and fairy couple offhandedly mentioned (Cal’s parents?). A town of werewolves “up north” taking in refugees (Wolf’s Paw?). And as someone who got into her books by starting with The Boy and his Dragon, I pretty much lost my mind to see those characters revisited.

P.P.S. If I were a mythical creature, I would be one of R. Cooper’s fairies. We have more or less the same personality traits (and addiction to sugar). 😉


Awesome Books You Should Be Reading: The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter

The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter is incredible. The story immediately pulls you into a world so rich you can taste it. Everyghost dragons daughter page is packed with worldbuilding, atmosphere, and personality. Not a word is wasted.

And the world is awesome. If I’m not mistaken, it is Chinese-inspired, and weaves an urban city and a magical world together into something so very, very fun to read. Math-based magic. Girls creating a magical robotic translation machine. The struggles of modern urban life (debt, mass transit, scraping by ’til payday) in a magical world where demons patrol the streets at night and every person has a spiritual companion animal that they can talk to in their thoughts.

And did I mention the majority of the characters in it are queer?

I was given this book to read for free in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as a “LGBTQ geek girl story” and as the internet would say… I’m always a slut for LGBT geek girl stories! 😛 I went into it unfamiliar with the author’s work and not really expecting anything great out of it, but I was immediately blown away. Every new thing revealed in the story made me more and more excited until I was halfway through and tweeting the author like, “HEY WAIT A MINUTE. THERE’S MORE AFTER THIS, RIGHT? RIGHT?” FYI – There is more after this, two stories set in the same world but both with different characters. I’m definitely going to be reading them!

This story is a short read and it’s only a dollar on Amazon. I highly, highly encourage you to give it a read.