The best books where different cultures mix in a fantastical world

Who am I?

I am fascinated by how people communicate. I enjoy when different cultures clash and cooperate. Coming from another country and growing up in California exposed me to my first taste of different groups. Traveling around the country and the world has allowed me to see the vast variety of people and I continue to wonder how we can get along together.

I wrote...

In the Horde's Way

By S.A. Gibson, Rachel Bostwick (illustrator),

Book cover of In the Horde's Way

What is my book about?

When a new trooper starts working at the Southwest Library, she meets Alaya, the Librarian's daughter. But for Henrietta, a soldier with a secret, this young woman may hold the key to expelling the invaders. The events that follow launch Henrietta on a dangerous and epic journey, leading her into the councils of the invaders and chieftains of the tribes that rule the desert land of the Southwest. But an even greater danger is coming. Something is moving into the land, something more evil even than the dominating ruling clans. Facing the rising threat, Henrietta must join with the librarians and old enemies to build a stronger alliance. In this tale of the future world without modern technology, each character must make decisions of loyalty and commitment that will shape the future.

The books I picked & why

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The Girl With All the Gifts

By M.R. Carey,

Book cover of The Girl With All the Gifts

Why this book?

I was surprised what a good read this was. I don't often read zombie stories, but I enjoyed this one. This book joins a growing list of different takes on a zombie tale. I found the story fascinating from the first pages to the end. The shocking reveal had me gasping, but it was consistent with the rest of the book. I appreciated how well it was laid out. This book goes into the connection and competition between two species of humans. It takes a hard twist at the end that is shocking and heart-wrenching. You will enjoy it.

Sanyare: The Last Descendant

By Megan Haskell,

Book cover of Sanyare: The Last Descendant

Why this book?

Rie is a kickass heroine who must survive in a world where humans like her don’t fit in and are not respected. The story mixes creatures of different types, high elves, dark elves, pixies, goblins, imps, and more. Handles the problem of an inferior trying to deal with more powerful friends and enemies. Great story.


By Rose Montague,

Book cover of Jade

Why this book?

Jade is a being of mysterious power who has traits of shifter, witch, fae, and others. She serves the police force in Winston, in a world in which supernatural beings are everywhere, but are discriminated against. She must solve a mystery and fight to protect herself and her friends. I enjoyed this story. I think you will enjoy it if you like fantasy.

Ancillary Mercy

By Ann Leckie,

Book cover of Ancillary Mercy

Why this book?

Bresq, the main character, is a very unusual creature. She is powerful, intelligent, and driven by compassion. It is interesting to read about a galaxy-spanning empire built on the bodies of human troops, sentience warships, and AI/human hybrids. The story explores themes of oppression, gender, identity, colonization, survival, and revolution. The way this book handles gender is to make it impossible to think about gender, in the ways we are used to. Good book and series.


By Debbie Manber Kupfer,

Book cover of Umbrae

Why this book?

Miri, our protagonist explores her strengths and weaknesses. She has lost her dearest friends, and journeys to Israel, in part to follow the trail of her lost love.

The story has several intriguing side plots. We learn the origin of werecats. We follow Miri's family members as they get caught up in the Nazi persecution of Jews in World War II. We see inside a conservative community in Israel. And, the world of Umbrae is shown to be a wondrous and scary place. I enjoyed seeing the characters, good and evil. Finny, the cat, is fun, devoted, and willing to travel around the world and into Umbrae to help her friends. 

This is another strong entry into the story arc of the P.A.W.S. series.

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