Honestly, it’s unfair how fast time passes these days. I feel like I’m prepping next month’s hype post as soon as I publish one! Nevertheless, June has many great offerings as well, and I’m thrilled to shout about some of them. Do check out our 2022 overview HERE as well for more suggestions what to read – this is a brilliant year for books, and June is an especially good month, with titles like Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane (I’m reading this right now and it’s so good) or Ava Reid’s Juniper & Thorn!
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings is out from Orbit on June 23rd and presents a magical New Orleans. A debut novel and testament to the stellar lineup that Orbit have coming this summer, this is set in a city both familiar and foreign. This Nola is a place where haints dance the night away, Wise Women keep the order and songs walk, talk and keep the spirit of the city alive. And Perilous Graves, failed magician, calls it home. But then, nine songs of power escape from the magical piano that maintains the city’s beat – and life. And Perry and his sister unexpectedly are put in the position of having to save the city… This sounds hilarious and absolutely charming, bonkers in the very best way. YES PLEASE! Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
I am always up for fun YA fantasy. And if it’s inspired by medieval legends or literature, even more so.The Song That Moves the Sun by Anna Bright is out on June 28th, and partly inspired by the work of Dante Alighieri – which is not seen very often! It also has an absolutely gorgeous cover which makes me covet the physical object rather than just listening to it on audio… This is a standalone contemporary fantasy romance, though with a focus on complex female friendship as well, which I appreciate. At the centre of the story stand best friends Rora and Claudia, who feel like their lives are spiraling out of control. When they meed Major and Amir, two boys who hail from one of the secret cities of the spheres, ruled by the magic of astrology, they find out that chaos is spreading everywhere. Rora and Claudia embark on a whirlwind journey to discover the source behind it, the truth about themselves and the world around them, and find the story of Dante and Beatrice, two long-ago explorers following this path… Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Clementine by Tillie Walden is out on June 28th from Image Comics. I got to read an early ARC of this – my review will be out over on Grimdark Magazine very soon. I love Tillie Walden’s art and approach to storytelling, and so I absolutely adored this too. Clementine is set in the universe of The Walking Dead, though it does not require any prior knowledge (we all know I don’t have any!), and it will appeal to fans of Walden’s work, graphic novels and coming of age stories alike. It is a gritty story about survival, but also a tender story about friendship, self-discovery and love in unfortunate circumstances. It’s not always an easy read, but it is a heart-felt one, never losing hope in a grimdark world. More of this please, even if zombies usually really aren’t my thing! Pre-order a copy of Clementine via Book Depository here.
I can’t believe it’s already time for the next hype post. May has come around very quickly, so have a look at some of our most anticipated books for the month. As always, do have a look at our 2022 overview post for inspiration HERE as we’re trying not to repeat titles.
The Dance Tree by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, out on the 12th of May is her second foray into adult fiction, after The Mercies. The latter took my heart by storm, with its lyrical writing and haunting story, so I can’t wait to read another of her adult books. This one is set during the dancing plague in Strasbourg in 1518, a legendary historical event. It tells the story of three women, pregnant Lisbet, her best friend Ida and Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe, newly returned from six years exile for an unkown crime. And no one will tell Lisbet what Nethe did all those years ago… This promises to be another brilliant book by Milwood Hargrave, combining deeply human, individual stories with embedding them in greater historical events, especially those affecting women most of all. These are slow, character-driven stories, but such amazing ones and I cannot recommend her books more – I don’t think there has been a single one, in any age category, that I did not love. Pre-order a copy of The Dance Tree via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
How to be Eaten by Maria Adelmann, out at the very end of May (31st) sounds like a book explicitly written to please me. It mixes a feminist approach to fairy tales with literary analysis and mythological retellings. In a story that is described as wickedly funny, five women meet in a support group to process their trauma in present-day NYC. All corresponding to fairy tale archetypes and representing modern day interpretations of these beloved stories, they start out wary of each other, judging the slightly weird backgrounds and story the other women have. But with time, they realise they have more in common than they thought, and start to consider what brought them together and how they can rescue each other. This hits so many of my favourite tropes, and I can’t wait to give it a read. Pre-order this one via Book Depository here.
I have been reading Kiersten White’s YA since her debut many many years ago, and especially since I’ve been on a bit of a horror and thriller binge recently, I’m very excited for her adult debut. Hide is out on the 24th of May, and set in an abandoned amusement park – which, even the setting is creepy as hell. The challenge has contestants spending a week hiding in the abandoned park without getting caught, offering a life-changing sum of money as a prize. Main character Mack is sure she’s meant to win this. After all, she’s an expert at hiding, as it’s what’s kept her alive while the rest of her family has perished. But when people start disappearing one by one, she starts to realise that this may be far more sinister than she imagined and that she may have to find a way to work with the other contestants if she wants to survive… It sounds like a deliciously dark thriller, keeping readers up all night reading (or not sleeping from the creepy) which is exactly what I want right now. Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Perennial favourite of the book community The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has given me a taste for the glamour of old Hollywood, for the golden age of film. And Siren Queen by Nghi Vo, out on the 10th, seems to scratch exactly that itch. Featuring a Chinese American lead in a universe not made to accommodate anyone who doesn’t fit a very narrow mold, Vo explores a world in which an outsider conquers this world on her own terms, with a fantastical bent where monsters are real. The blurb for this one is brilliant, so have a read:
“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.
But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.
Pre-order this one from Book Depository here.
We’re running late this month, but better late than not at all. As always, do have a look at our 2022 overview post for inspiration HERE as we’re trying not to repeat titles. One that nonetheless deserves pointing out again is Spear by Nicola Griffith, which was one of my (Fab’s) absolute favourite reads of 2021 and is finally out on April 19. You can read my review of it over on Grimdark Magazine HERE.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li is out on April 5th and surprisingly for us not a SFF novel! It is a heist novel set around a Chinese American student sick of Western museums being full of looted and stolen artifacts – so he plans to steal them back. Will Chen is a senior at Harvard when he is approached with a job offer: to steal back five Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing. The prize: fifty million dollars. The risk: their futures, and yet another thwarted attempt to get back what colonialism has stolen. And so Will puts together a crew of Chinese Americans to fill the roles needed for his heist. And all of them have just as complicated a relationship to their identity as he does. This book sounds brilliant in so many ways – a fun heist, AND a clever exploration of identity and the way in which the aftereffects of colonialism still impact society? Yes please! I’m a sucker for commercial books with deeper themes, toeing that line between entertainment and making the reader think, so this is a dream book for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Kaikeyi by Vishnavi Patel is out on April 26 and seems to be one that has received little attention from the blogging community – at least from what I’ve seen – but huge hype from fellow authors. Inspired by Indian mythology, this is a story about cosmic evil, gods and a princess trying to change the world for the better. Kaikeyi is the only daughter of the Kingdom of Kekaya, raised on stories about the power of the gods – something which she doesn’t see or experience in her own life. Desperate, she turns to these stories and uncovers a magic that is hers alone, transforming her into a warrior and diplomat, set on improving the world for herself and the women around her. But these stories don’t bring only good and so evil threatens the cosmic order… I have heard so many good things about this and it sounds like something I will love! Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley is released on April 19 and is this month’s YA contender. And tbh, I was sold on the pretty cover before even reading the blurb (though to be fair, I read and liked Adrienne Tooley’s debut, so it had that going for it). Sofi lives in a world where only five musicians in the kingdom are allowed to compose and perform original music – the Musik. And her father is one of those – which means Sofi has been training her whole life to step into his shoes. Except, on the day of auditions, she suddenly loses to a girl called Lara who has never played the lute before. Which is odd, given that magic is strictly forbidden to be used on music. As her father dies on the same day, Sofi becomes obsessed with proving that Lara used magic to cheat her way to becoming a Musik… until she realises that there is more to Lara than she thought and Sofi has to work hard not to fall for the girl who stole her future… Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Alas, it is already the end of the month again and time to go over the books and think about what we’d like you to think about putting on your March TBRs. Have a look over our choices in the yearly Megapost here, and then read through these additional books here – we’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy! From the Megapost, I’d especially like to point out Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore – all of their books have been five-star reads for me, and even though I haven’t read this one yet I’m sure it will be fantastic too – and Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi, the Robin Hood retelling of my dreams – set in the Holy Land, with a Muslim girl protagonist (see my review over at Grimdark Magazine here). The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller is also one that will likely appeal to lots of readers here, I’ve been comping it as Gideon the Ninth meets Alix E. Harrow (review at Grimdark Magazine here).
Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas is a YA graphic novel out on March 8th. And we all know how much both graphic novels and knights are catnip for me… The blurb sounds super interesting, a new take on the usually westernised concept of knighthood – definitely one I’ll try to get my hands on very soon. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link) if the blurb below catches your attention too.
Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the subjugated Ornu people, Knighthood is her only path to full citizenship. Ravaged by famine and mounting tensions, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again, so Aiza can finally enlist in the competitive Squire training program.
It’s not how she imagined it, though. Aiza must navigate new friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the unyielding General Hende, all while hiding her Ornu background. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” that Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in greater danger than she ever imagined.
Aiza will have to choose, once and for all: loyalty to her heart and heritage, or loyalty to the Empire.
The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang is also out on March 8th. I’ve really been getting into Asian translated fiction in the past year or so, and adored Rebellion’s anthology Sinopticon (translated and edited by Xueting Christine Ni), so I’m especially excited about this anthology made up fully of contributions by women and non-binary authors, translators and editors. All of the stories included here have not been published in English before and give a great insight into the vivid culture of Chinese SFF past and present, preparing the Western audience for the Worldcon in Chengdu in 2023. From the blurb: “In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.” I love discovering other culture’s approaches to storytelling, and I know I’m going to fall head over heels for this anthology when I get my hands on it. Order a copy from Book Depository here.
A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee is a YA fantasy out on the 1st of March. Inspired by Japanese legends, this is full of demons, adventure and plans gone wrong – and it sounds delightful. From the blurb: “In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.” Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta is another YA fantasy out on March 1st. I really like how I have been able to travel in time and space through YA while being firmly rooted to my tiny London flat during the past two years. The Lost Dreamer promises to transport us to ancient Mesoamerica and introduces the reader to a lineage of seers resisting the patriarchical state that would like to see them destroyed. And I’m all here for the destruction of the patriarchy! It tells the story of Indir, a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers – she carries the rare ability to Dream truth. But she also holds secrets that will allow the new king to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end… Interwoven with hers is Saya’s story. She is a seer, but not a Dreamer, never been formally trained, and exploited by her mother as they travel from town to town. But as Saya loses the necklace she’s worn all her life, she discovers that she may have more gifts and that the life she knows may be a carefully constructed lie… This sounds really interesting and unusual! Order a copy via Book Depository here.
And again it is time to talk about next month’s releases! To start, a reminder to check out our yearly preview post HERE, as we’ll try and not repeat books – there are simply too many great ones to be highlighted! And tbh, February is a bumper month there already, it really is a fantastic month for new releases.
Fab: I am an utter mystery addict right now, and one of my recent favourites was Mia P. Manasala’s Filipino and food themed Arsenic and Adobo. Homicide and Halo-Halo is the second book in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Series, and continues the story of Lila and her set of meddling aunties, the not one, but two, attractive and successful bachelors in her life and all the chaos that comes with life in Shady Palms. The books are in turn funny, charming and full of food – and in particular, Filipino food, which may be one of my obsessions… I can’t wait to delve into the shenanigans of Lila and co and figure out who truly killed the pageant judge that Lila’s cousin/frienemy Bernadette is accused of murdering! Pre-order via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Fab: It’s high time we added some non-fiction to our hype posts, and A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them by Neil Bradbury sounds like a brilliant choice. A blend of true crime, science and medical history, this puts the substances first and foremost. It tells the story of murder and mayhem through the eleven ‘deadly molecules’ that are portrayed in this book, looking at how they work, how they affect the body on a molecular level and what the damage they inflict tells us. It sounds absolutely fascinating and like a great resource for both morbid curiosity and any budding writer who may be including poison in their work… Pre-order via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Fab: From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos is queer Jewish YA fantasy, and if that doesn’t tempt you, I’m not sure what will. Hannah and her family have spent their life in motion, running from something that Hannah’s mother never explained. And on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday, she wakes up transformed. Her mother leaves her and her brother alone, promising to be back with a cure – but never returns. And so Hannah and Gabe are drawn into a search for answers, a family they never knew and a history more tragic and fantastical they could have imagined. As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah has to figure out her curse to save herself and her loved ones. It sounds like a wonderful story and I am looking forward to diving in. Pre-order this via Book Depository here.
Sun: I surprised myself with how much I loved Sisters of the Vast Black and whilst it made a perfectly fine standalone I’m really glad we’re getting Sisters of The Forsaken Stars to see how the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are coping with the fallout of their decisions.
After releasing crucial details Central Governance had been hiding from their citizens, the sisters are constantly moving around in a bid to remain out of sight, if not necessarily out of mind. However, their decision is making them a focal point for more rebellious sections of citizens, angry at Central Governances’ direction and sooner or later the sisters will have to choose to what extent they get involved.
I really enjoyed the first as the nuns had a great deal of agency and had a mix of characters who were both believers with a thoughtful examination of how this affected their choices and those who were there for more pragmatic reasons. Pre-order via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Across a Field of Starlight is about two non-binary kids, Fassen and Lu from two very different communities who meet when Fassen’s spaceship crashes on the planet Lu is surveying. Although they remain separated their friendship continues amidst a backdrop of change and unrest, with a threatening empire getting stronger and closer to both communities.
The cover art for this looks lovely and O Human Star had clear crisp art that was a joy to follow so odds are good Starlight will be the same. I’m really looking forward to learning about Fassen and Lu. This is out 8 February. Pre-order via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Welcome to the third year of monthly hype posts! As a reminder, check out the massive all-encompassing 2022 post HERE – we’re going to try and not repeat books except to point you towards reviews we’ve written to try and give as many books the space to be featured, especially early in the year. From there, I’d like to mention Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, which I’ve reviewed over on Grimdark Magazine – check out the full review here. But without further ado, this is what the team is excited for in January.
Kat: Rhonda Parrish is the undisputed Queen of Canadian Speculative Fiction Anthologies, and on January 11th, she will be releasing the third installment in her Punked Up Fairy Tales series Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls. With this series, we’ve already seen retellings in the diesel/decopunk and steampunk/gaslap styles, and now with this new anthology, we’ll be introduced to a collection of cyberpunk-inspired fairy tales – both original stories and new spins on familiar favorites. Parrish is adept at curating themed anthologies, and I have no doubt this installment will provide a variety of cyberpunk tales that will engage any fan of the subgenre. You can pre-order Kindle or Paperback copies of this anthology from Amazon.
Fab: Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz has an incredibly stunning cover. It got my attention just based on that already – out on January 18th, this is the story of Hazel, who wants to become a doctor more than anything else in a time when women aren’t allowed to attend university. But she manages to convince a renowned professor to break the rules if she can pass an anatomy exam beforehand. So it’s a good thing she’s just met Jack, a resurrection man, one who digs up corpses to sell… But Jack has his own problems: there are strange men hanging around the cemeteries, and his friends are disapearing off the streets. Set in the early 19th century in Edinburgh, the story promises murder, bodies acquired both legally and illegally and of course mystery and tension in spades. Pre-order a copy from Book Depository here.
Fab: The Red Palace by June Hur, out on the 25th, is another very intriguing historical novel. Set in eighteenth century Korea, Hyeon is an illegitimate daughter with few options traditionally open to her. But she has persevered and crafted herself a place as a palace nurse – until she is thrown into the world of palace intrigue and politics when there is a string of murders and her best friend and mentor is accused of being the culprit. To save her mentor, Hyeon has to work fast and diligently to find the true murderer, and it looks like it may be someone very powerful indeed… This sounds brilliant and like a book that will keep me up reading late into the night – while showing me a world I don’t know much about. I can’t wait to learn more about Korean historical culture and dive into Hyeon’s story. Pre-order this via Book Depository here.
Fab: I’m a sucker for a good YA fantasy that I can get stuck into and read obsessively. And Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes, out on the 4th of January sounds like it fits that bill perfectly. Just read this tagline: “A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic” – that sounds brilliant and addictive. It’ll probably not be the deepest of books but I don’t need it to be. I just want to be entertained and have an evening well spent with a fun book. Josslyn gets accidentally involved with dangerous magic – which may cost her her head in more than one way – and is desperate to rid herself of it as soon as possible. And the only person who seems to be able to help her is the wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who is as infuriating as he is handsome… Pre-order this one from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
And it’s already time for the final hype post of 2021! We have a few more books to share for the end of the year, but keep your eyes peeled for our 2021 favourites, and we hope to keep you supplied with recommendations far into 2022 and onwards. Keep an eye out for our (huge) 2022 Megapost!
Fab: The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska is the last of my highly anticipated releases of the year. Out on the seventh, this is another queer standalone from the author of The Dark Tide, which I loved last year. Just read this delightfully queer tagline about two bi girls and tell me not to press pre-order right now: “In a snow-cloaked kingdom, two wicked rivals secretly compete for the pure heart of a prince, only to discover they might be falling for each other.” This SCREAMS Fab. I am so hype for this, and hope this too will be a 5 star read, just like Alicia’s debut. Pre-order a copy via Book Depository here.
Kat: First of all, can I take a moment to gush about this cover? Absolutely gorgeous! In fact, I pre-ordered a physical copy of this book directly from Jeffe Kennedy, because that cover deserves a place on my shelf! But honestly, all gushing aside, it’s not just the cover that has me hype about this anthology – it’s the authors. Some of the best fantasy romance authors have come together to put out this collection of holiday stories together, and I couldn’t be more excited to dive in. Fire of the Frost, which includes novellas from Darynda Jones, Amanda Bouchet, Grace Draven, and Jeffe Kennedy is a holiday must read for any fantasy romance fan! You can preorder the eBook here. Physical copies can be ordered directly from Jeffe Kennedy’s website, but will also be available from retailers once the book has been released on December 2nd.
Sun: I love Marie Brennan’s eye for detail and as one of the co-authors with Alyc Helms the first book of this series, The Mask of Mirrors was full of small but powerful detail that brought a fantasy version of Venice to life. In the second of this trilogy, The Liar’s Knot I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next to Ren, Grey and Vargo. Where the 1st book left off there was a tenuous peace but with everyone lying to each other and politics being volatile in a vacuum it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart. This comes out on the 9th and I’ll probably devour it in a day, just like the previous one. Look for a review on this one closer to the time. You can pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Time for some November hype! We have quite a variety of books for you to get excited about in November, ranging new installments in massive Epic Fantasy series to an adorable graphic novel. There’s a little something for everyone in this list!
Kat: My bookish friends know that I am a complete Tad Williams fan-girl, and so its no wonder that Brothers of the Wind is first on my hype list for November (out on the fourth). Williams revists his world of Osten Ard in a second prequel to the The Last King of Osten Ard series. This novella (mind you, a Tad-Williams-length novella) takes place a thousand years before the events of The Dragonbone Chair, the first book in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, and will finally give fans of Osten Ard some of the backstory of the Sithi, Ineluki, and the events the led to the epic battle between the Norns and humanity. I cannot wait to dive back in to Williams’ prose, explore new history and world-building surrounding Osten Ard, and meet new characters. Oh, and can we talk about that cover?! Gorgeous! Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Kat: Bec McMaster’s Dark Court Rising series comes to completion this November with the final book in the trilogy, Curse of Darkness, out on the 2nd. I read the first installment in this adult, Epic Fantasy Romance last year and was intrigued by both the world-building and the plot. The story is set in a dark, magical world inhabited by both dark and light Fae. The romance is enemies-to-lovers, but McMaster puts an twist on that trope that makes for an interesting read, and also sets up a cliff-hanger ending that makes you itch to grab book two. Knowing that book three was coming out this fall, I decided to wait before reading the second book, so that I could read all three straight through. So, I’ll be restarting the trilogy this month in prepartion for the final book, and I’m excited to see how the fantasy and the romance pans out! Get a copy via the various e-book retailer links on the author’s website here.
Fab: One of my favorite graphic novels of all time is Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker. So it’s no wonder I’m highly excited for Tidesong by Wendy Xu, her solo graphic novel out on the 16th of November. The story features a young witch and a water dragon and it sounds so damn cute that I think it’s INCREDIBLY mean that no one has ensured that I get a copy on or before release day yet. (I know, I could just pre-order it myself, which is probably what I’ll end up doing). With comps to stories like Howl’s Moving Castle and The Tea Dragon Society you know that this one will be a perfect feel-good book to curl up with on a day you have the sads, which is the kind of graphic novel that I love most of all. Pre-order a copy via Amazon here.
Fab: This month is full of comfort releases for me. I have listened to all of the books in the Outlander series so many times in audio because the narrator is so amazing that Claire, Jamie, Brianna and co feel like family by now. So to say that I’m excited for Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon is a bit of an understatement. Out on the 23rd, this continues the long-running saga of the time-travellers in the eighteenth century, and we’re due a big reunion. I’ll be listening to the audiobook the day it comes out, but I’m sure the print version will be just as good. These books really aren’t my usual genre, but they’re just such comfort books. Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link) or the audio via Audible here.
And it is time for a monthly hype post again! Notable mentions should go to Sistersong by Lucy Holland, which still stands at my favourite book of the year and which is finally being released in the US this month (it has been out in the UK since April). See my review for it over at Grimdark Magazine here. The other book that I reviewed a while ago and am still very excited about it finally being available to you all is The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta. See my review for this delightful YA novel here. I’m also delighted that Anna has decided to join me this month by shouting about a book that I’m also very excited about.
Anna: There’s a post doing the rounds on social media about revising fairytales: how, effectively, arguing that Goldilocks would have just been eaten by the three bears misses the point of the genre altogether; how, instead, we can celebrate the ingenuity and magic of familiar characters adapted to modern society. And that’s something I’m really hoping to see in A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow, out on October 5th.
It’s a reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty story, focusing on Zinnia, whose mysterious health condition dictates she won’t live past twenty one. But, when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel on her birthday in imitation of the familiar fairytale, she finds herself plunged into strange worlds and meeting unexpected allies. This will be my first encounter with Harrow’s work (I know, I know, I’m woefully behind!), but I am really glad it is this one and can’t wait to get a hold of it.
Fab: Rick Riordan is probably the most influential Middle Grade author writing today – and he is brilliant. I loved his Percy Jackson Universe and I can’t wait to see what he does with Daughter of the Deep, released on both sides of the Atlantic on the 5th of October. This is a standalone take on Jules Verne’s 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, starring Ana, a high school freshman at a school that specialises in all things aquatic. As per usual with Uncle Rick’s work, she gets tangled up in a grand adventure, as she finds out more about her family and circumstances. I love both MG and his writing, so this is very high up on my list for books I desperately need and I know it’ll be brilliant. Order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Fab: It is no secret that I am a huge V.E. Schwab fangirl. So I’m very excited to finally get to read Extraordinary. This is a graphic novel based on the world created in the Villains series of novels, but featuring new characters and standing on its own. The story revolves around Charlotte Tills, who following a fatal bus crash, seemingly dies only to wake up to discover she has become an EO — a person with ExtraOrdinary abilities. In Charlotte’s case, it’s the ability to see people’s deaths, but when she looks into her own future, sees her own murder at the hands of the self-proclaimed hero and notorious EO killer Eli Ever, who is currently in prison for the murder of Victor Vale. Refusing to accept her fate, Charlotte sets off to find – and change – her futurebefore it comes for her. Victor and Eli are fantastic characters and this story set between Schwab’s Vicious nad Vengeful sounds amazing, and I look foward to diving back into the world. Pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link) – they even have signed copies!
Fab: The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl is out on the 26th from Sourcebooks Fire. Fitting well into my current dark academia obsession – the story is set in a boarding school – as well as incorporating reimagined fairy-tale heroines, this is a can’t-miss book for me. Ella, Yuki and Rory are the talk of school gossip at Grimrose Académie after the death of their friend. While it has been ruled a suicide, they are convinced that there is more to the story – and discover that they are cursed to repeat the doomed endings of their stories until they find a way to break the cycle. This sounds like such a fun, escapist story right up my alley, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s also supposed to be queer, which makes it all the more delicious. Pre-order a copy from Blackwell’s here.
Fab: Midnight in Everwood is M. A. Kuzniar’s adult debut. I’ve loved her Middle Grade The Ship of Shadows, so I was always going to be intrigued by her adult writing. Make it a reworking of the fairy-tale of the Nutcracker and basically a magic ballet novel and give it a cover this pretty and you have me hooked. Set in winter in Edwardian society, the heroine of this story is Marietta, a girl who loves ballet, but is at a point where she will have to give it up to take her place in life. But a magical stage setting transports her into an enchanted forest full of danger, treachery and glamour and she has to keep all her wits together if she is to escape. It sounds like a perfect wintery read as we are going into the colder seasons – I’ve got it on pre-order and can’t wait to curl up with the book and a hot chocolate. Out on the 28th, you can pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Better late than never, right? I usually do these in the middle-ish of the month looking out but oops, it’s already the second of September and I’ve been remiss in getting this out to you all… I’m going to blame this on *gestures at world*. So without further ado, some books to look out for in September – it’s going to be a short one and an all adult one this month.
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo, out from Tordotcom on the 28th. Think of this as the gay answer to Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House and Victoria Lee’s A Lesson In Vengeance, two books I absolutely adored. Not that they aren’t plenty queer themselves, but Summer Sons features THE best disaster gay boy ever: Andrew. Mr. why-of-course-I-am-straight-why-ever-would-you-ask. The book coasts by on vibes, excellent writing and some of the best characters and character tension I have ever read. Oh, and of course there is creepy ghostly goings on, dark academia and drag racing. And a hot drug dealer. If you haven’t hit pre-order by now, I don’t know what to tell you, this is just such a brilliant book – my review will be up over at Grimdark Magazine soon, and you can grab your copy via Blackwell’s here.
I am quite salty that I haven’t managed to get my hands on an ARC of Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. Out from Tor on the 28th as well, I’ve got a bunch of friends who have had the privilege of reading and reviewing this one already and every single one of them has absolutely raved about this book. From the blurb: “Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.” This just sounds like such a delightful book and I know I will absolutely fall for it when I finally get it. Order a copy from Blackwell’s here.
The third book on this list is Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, published by Atria on the 7th. Zoraida’s basically got me convinced to read anything she writes these days so I wanted to read this before I read the blurb (and damn, if the cover alone isn’t reason to pick this up) – but the blurb also sounds fantastic. It’s a generational story set in around a family used to a life filled with small magic that they never ask many questions about. But when Orquidea, the Matriarch, invites the family to her funeral, they hope for answers, only to be faced with more questions. And as time passes and their gifts manifest in different ways it becomes more and more pressing to find those answers… It sounds like a magical story to fall in love with. Pre-order it from Blackwell’s here.