Daniel José Older is a phenomenal fantasy author who explores important topics such as cultural identity, finding your truth, and the immigrant experience through his stories in such a way that it becomes relatable for just about anyone reading it. He’s relatively new to the writing scene, but he’s definitely an author to follow. I started reading his books last year and have been hooked ever since!
When painted murals around Brooklyn start fading and changing before her eyes, Sierra realizes that something incredibly odd is happening. That odd occurrence could have something to do with the fact that she comes from a family of shadowshapers - those who can imbue art with a soul. The Shadowshaper series (TN OLD) is a phenomenal and very timely story about the importance of cultural heritage, finding your truth, and standing up for yourself and your family.
Fresh Ink (TN FRE) is an anthology with short stories from diverse, award-winning authors who use their short fiction to explore heavy topics such as gentrification, coming out, and poverty. The writing is never heavy-handed despite the difficult and potentially triggering topics. Also with the variety of stories and perspectives in this anthology, it’s not hard to find something to relate to and enjoy.
Half-Resurrection Blues (PB SF-F OLD) is the tale of one of New York’s strangest detectives - he’s not quite undead, but he’s not alive either. Carlos Delacruz is an inbetweener, only partially resurrected from death, but he has no recollection of the life he lead before joining the New York Council of the Dead. Though Carlos lives on the border of life and death, he still needs to have something to do - and that something is solving supernatural mysteries all around New York City. This snarky story is suspenseful, hard-boiled noir filled with wit, sarcasm, and snark.