The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War R. F. Kuang

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Colourism
  • Racism
  • Mass rape
  • Gang rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Forced marriage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sterilization
  • Medical experimentation
  • Scars
  • Dead bodies
  • Death of a classmate or colleague
  • Decapitation and dismemberment
  • Knife violence
  • Graphic mass murder
  • Graphic murder
  • Physical assault
  • Torture
  • Trauma
  • Captivity and confinement
  • Military violence
  • War themes
  • Explosions
  • Fire and arson
  • Flooding
  • Bullying and hazing
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The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF’s toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it’s about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Forced sterilization
  • Gun violence
  • Explosions
  • War themes
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Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes. To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Misogyny
  • Ableism
  • Homomisia
  • Transmisia
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Forced sterilization
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Graphic childbirth
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Burns
  • Death of a child & infant
  • Torture
  • Gun violence
  • Fire
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning
  • Cult
  • Graphic animal death
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An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.

Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Misogyny
  • Homomisia
  • Transmisia & misgendering
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Slavery
  • Graphic rape
  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Child sexual abuse implied
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Self harm
  • Abortion
  • Forced sterilization
  • Medical procedures, including graphic surgery & amputation
  • Needles
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a parent
  • Police brutality
  • Torture
  • Lynching
  • Fire
  • Captivity
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The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When a recent arrival from Virginia tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • White supremacy & the Klu Klux Klan
  • Slavery
  • Rape & sexual assault
  • Paedophilia
  • Domestic violence
  • PTSD
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Sterilization
  • Murder
  • Lynching
  • Whipping
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The Ascent to Godhood by Neon Yang

The Ascent to Godhood by Neon Yang

The Protector is dead.

For fifty years, the Protector ruled, reshaping her country in her image and driving her enemies to the corners of the map. For half a century the world turned around her as she built her armies, trained her Tensors, and grasped at the reins of fate itself. Now she is dead. Her followers will quiver, her enemies rejoice.

But in one tavern, deep in rebel territory, her greatest enemy drowns her sorrows. Lady Han raised a movement that sought the Protector’s head, yet now she can only mourn her loss. She remembers how it all began, when the Protector was young, not yet crowned, and a desperate dancing girl dared to fall in love with her.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child trafficking
  • Rape & paedophilia
  • Suicide
  • Forced sterilization
  • Death of a toddler
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