Moira J. Moore’s Heroes series are light SFF novels that I would never have heard of, let alone picked up, if not for Pam’s review (some spoilers) comparing them to Doris Egan’s Ivory books. There are four of them so far: Resenting the Hero, The Hero Strikes Back, Heroes Adrift, and Heroes at Risk. The fifth is coming out at the end of July, and the series is envisioned as finite.
The thing that interests me most about these books is the worldbuilding. The characters live on a planet that was colonized through spaceships and the usual science fiction means, but are managing to survive there only through the efforts of Sources and Shields, pairs who are able to redirect the planet’s many natural disasters through inherent talents. Something is going to be revealed about the way those pairs actually work, and I want to know what it is. I have Suspicions (ROT13: gung gurl’er npghnyyl hfvat zntvp), but they seem so difficult to pull off successfully I don’t actually know if I want to be right.
The characters’ home continent is casually multiracial, and one of the main characters is of Asian descent (whitewashed on the (quite terrible) covers, of course). In the third book they go to a southern continent that felt more stereotypical to me, but I think it’s reasonable to see the overall story as undercutting the harmful stereotypes.
Basically these are light fast reads with some interesting stuff in the background. I wouldn’t suggest you run out and get them now, but I may revise that when the series is finished. (Oh, unless you have a low tolerance for first-person narrators who aren’t particularly good at reading or expressing emotion, in which case you should just skip them.)