Reading in the Time of Coronavirus

Today’s post is going to be something a bit different. Instead of one big review, it’s going to feature a whole bunch of mini-reviews, in the style of if you like this, you’ll love this! As we can all expect to be spending a lot more time at home (on the positive, more reading time!), I thought I’d feature a lot of lovely books to try and give you some inspiration for the days and weeks to come. This is also completely not selfishly motivated to help me reduce my NetGalley backlog at all, obviously – and unconnected to the fact that I’ve been ill and can’t focus for long enough to write proper reviews!

So without further ado, if you love…

…dragons, slow-burn enemies to lovers and wlw fantasy in the vein of Tehlor Kay Meija’s We Set the Dark on Fire, Nina Varela’s Crier’s War or Rebecca Kim Wells’ Shatter the Sky, check out The Sky Weaver by Kristen Ciccarelli!

While The Sky Weaver is nominally the third in the Iskari trilogy, each of the books works just as well as a standalone. In this one, Safire, commander of armies, is vexed by Eris, a pirate and thief until they are forced to cooperate for the good of the realm. Throughout their quest to find Asha, the last Namsara, their lifes and fates become entangled and their hate evolves into something more… Beautifully written and well paced, this thrilling and action packed story will captivate you from start to finish! While the romance is not at the centre of the narrative, it is one of the most well-crafted slow-burn relationships I have ever read, and I have been on the lookout for something similarly well written ever since I read The Sky Weaver! The book also features dragons, aka the best animals ever, so there’s absolutely no reason not to order this from your indie of choice! I’ll leave a Hive link here for your convenience!

…creepy historical novels, ghosts, and eerie atmospheres in the spirit of Marian Womack’s The Golden Key, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre or Mira Grant’s Into the Drowning Deep, give Alma Katsu’s The Deep a go.

Set in a dual narrative on the Titanic in 1912 and her sister ship, the Brittanic in 1916, The Deep follows young Annie Hebbley as she leaves home and works on both ill-fated ships. Following a series of unexplained events, and heists, join Annie in questioning her sanity. A haunting tale of obsession, The Deep takes unexpected turns and features a host of morally questionable characters that demand your attention. While this high-seas narrative does not feature any mermaids, the book as a whole is as alluring as a siren. Order yourself a copy from your indie of choice or here!

…ragtag bands of misfits, political turmoil and anti-heroes as seen in such wonderful books as R.F. Chuang’s The Poppy War, Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow, K.S. Villoso’s The Wolf of Oren-Yaro or Half a King by Joe Abercrombie, then I suggest you put Dave Wragg’s The Black Hawks on your TBR!

Chel is just your average dude. And then he accidentally breaks his oath and swears a new one to a prince. Now he has to bring said prince across the country. Except, both he and the prince are utterly clueless what they’re up against. On the way, they join forces with the eponymous Black Hawk Company, a wonderfully scrappy band of mercenary rogues, shenanigans and political mess ensuing. An entertaining debut featuring an excellent cast of characters full of flaws and personal motivations, Dave Wragg has delivered an intriguing beginning to his series. Thrilling and humorous, The Black Hawks is one to distract you from the worries of 2020. Treat yourself to a copy here.

…magical YA full of ensemble casts, dark forces looming and artificially created powers, reminiscent of great reads such as The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco or The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, check out the Diviners series by Libba Bray. Book four, The King of Crows was just published and concluded the series wonderfully (yes, I’m cheating slightly).

The King of Crows is an explosive conclusion to the last ten years of Diviners stories. Evie and her band of diviners now face a an enemy threatening the world as they know it: the King of Crows. Having lost the goodwill of the people thanks to events earlier in the series, they undergo one last mission to try and repair the rift between worlds. Featuring a diverse cast addressing many of the issues present in early twentieth-century America, the characters evolve and grow into their own in order to defeat the King of Crows. My one gripe with the book was that, as the group was split into several smaller parties, the narrative was too split up, leading to a lack of depth in the individual plots. I would have preferred a tighter book at times. But then, that is personal preference, and I still very much enjoyed my read! You can order yourself a copy of this massive brick here.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with copies of all these wonderful books in exchange for my honest opinions!

4 Comments

  • Justin

    Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

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    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress like yours– but the theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

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    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of yourself during the coronavirus scare!

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