Noor-A Book Review

My copy of Noor by Nnedi Okorafor was kindly provided by NetGalley and DAW publishing for a thoroughly honest review. Thanks!

Noor is, as of writing this, scheduled for release on November 16, 2021.

Noor is the story of AO, a young woman who, through circumstances of her birth and a car accident, is heavily augmented. One day, while shopping in the market, everything goes horribly wrong. Now she is on the run. Along the way she meet a Fulani tribesman named DNA, who also finds himself on the run.

Since everything is streamed, the whole world has seen their crimes and is glued to their screens watch the chase play out. Now AO and DNA must flee from their pursuers across the unforgiving desert, with very little hope of survival.

I guess I should start off by saying that I really enjoyed Binti by the author. I thought that book was really well done, so I hoped this book would be just as thought provoking and entertaining as that one was. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Noor was a fast paced adventure story that also encourages you to stick it to the man. Or, at the very least, the very large corporation. It uses Africanfuturism (the author’s preferred way of calling it) to tout the dangers of letting a corporation become to big.

The characters are wonderfully written. You really feel for AO and DNA’s plight as they race through the unforgiving desert wasteland that makes up their only refuge. AO and DNA could not be more different and yet their dynamic is brilliantly done.

Speaking of the desert. Nope. Do not want to go there. Not even for a short visit. The desert in Nigeria has undergone a massive cataclysm that makes it inhospitable to human life, and it’s there that our main characters must flee.

This book did not end the way I thought it would, which is a good thing. But I also think it was the only way it could have ended. I dislike predictable endings. Because when I say I really thought it was going to end a different way, I mean it.

But what do I rate it? I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

November (and December) 2021 New Releases

Have you gotten your pre-orders in for October?

Yes?

Good.

Now it’s Novembers turn. With a little bit of December thrown in.

BTW, if your wondering why I’m stressing pre-orders now, instead of towards the beginning of this particular month like I usually do, go read this post.

On to the books!

A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske- November 2nd

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.

Well this sounds fun. I mean really, magical societies? I’ll read that.

Lore Olympus Vol 1 by Rachel Smythe- November 2nd

Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place—and her own power.

If you at any time read Lore Olympus online, you know how good it is. And here is your chance to finally own it! This collects episodes 1-25 of the web comic. I highly recommend picking this up.

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen- November 2nd

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable—she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .

Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn’t, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

This YA tale sounds like a good time. And that cover art is stunning.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor- November 16th

Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt…natural, and that’s putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was “wrong”. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.

Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the “reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist” and the “saga of the wicked woman and mad man” unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn’t so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.

I have high hopes for this next book by the author of Binti.

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger- November 9th

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She’s always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he’s been cast from home. He’s found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

This sounds so good. Like, really good.

Roxy by Neal and Jarrod Schusterman- November 9th

The freeway is coming.

It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.

Ramey, I.

The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.

But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.

Which one are you?

This take on the modern drug crises sounds so good. And harrowing.

Year of the Reaper by Makaii Lucier- November 9th

The past never forgets . . .

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land,leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret–one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

I can just see the main character showing up back home trying to get all the people the heck out of his house.

Eldar Race by Andrian Tchaikovsky- November 16th

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.

But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) with responsibilities (she tells herself). Although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).

But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, and his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…

I’m curious to see what a fantasy by Andrian Tchaikovsky looks like, because he is really know for his sci-fi offerings.

You Feel It Just Below the Ribs by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson- November 16th

Born at the end of the old world, Miriam grows up during The Great Reckoning, a sprawling, decades-long war that nearly decimates humanity and strips her of friends and family. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she emotionally exiles herself, avoiding relationships or allegiances, and throws herself into her work—disengagement that serves her when the war finally ends, and The New Society arises.

To ensure a lasting peace, The New Society forbids anything that may cause tribal loyalties, including traditional families. Suddenly, everyone must live as Miriam has chosen to—disconnected and unattached. A researcher at heart, Miriam becomes involved in implementing this detachment process. She does not know it is the beginning of a darkly sinister program that will transform this new world and the lives of everyone in it. Eventually, the harmful effects of her research become too much for Miriam, and she devises a secret plan to destroy the system from within, endangering her own life.

But is her “confession” honest—or is it a fabrication riddled with lies meant to conceal the truth?

I’m not gonna lie, I singled this one out because of Jeffrey Cranor. He’s the co-creator of Welcome to Nightvale. I’m assuming this will be a little out there as a result of that.

Absynthe by Brendan P Bellacourt- December 7th

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.
 
Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.
 
But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Alternate history mixed with magical realism. Sounds great!

The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska- December 7th

Karnawał season is a time for mischief and revelry. For the next few weeks, all will be wintry balls, glittery disguises, and nightly torch-lit sleigh-parties.

Unbeknownst to the merrymakers, two uninvited girls join the fun. Zosia and Marynka are drawn to each other the moment they meet, until they discover they’re rivals, who both have their sights set on the prince’s heart. If one consumes a pure heart, she’ll gain immeasurable power. Marynka plans to bring the prince’s back to her patron in order to prove herself. While Zosia is determined to take his heart and its power for her own.

Their ambition turns into a magical contest with both girls vying to keep the prince out of the other’s grasp, even as their attraction to one another grows. But their attempts on his life draws the attention of the city that would die for him, and suddenly their escalating rivalry might cost them not just their love for each other, but both their lives.

I’m sorry, but “let’s carve the heart out of the nice guy prince” sounds amazing.

Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes- December 7th

All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still doesn’t allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis’s parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He’s determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).

When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan-he’s going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the ’80s isn’t the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis’s estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse-and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.

One of the blurbs said it had Back to the Future vibes and I was like, yes please.

And there you have it. All the November and December new releases that sound interesting to me. There are several sequels that are also coming out, like the Bone Shard Emperor on Nov 9th, or Jade Legacy on Nov 30th, but I don’t usually include sequels. I did feel like you should know about them though.

And as of writing this, these are the current publication dates, though that could change.

Happy Pre-ordering!

New Releases for October 2021

If you saw my previous post about the predicted book shortage, you are like me and want to know all the new releases so you can start prepping now.

Ask for those gift cards early!

Let your family know it isn’t a ploy to get more books now, and have them pre-order for you so they can give the books as gifts! 

I’m doing a little of both.

I know I said I was going to create a master list, but with all the books coming out in October, I am having to split this into two blog posts. So here is the list of Octobers new releases so you can get started on those pre-orders!

Once More Upon A Time by Roshana Chokshi- October 5th

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose
and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…
But alas, no more.
“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”
their friends and family warn.
They resign themselves to this loveless fate…
A year and a day pass.
And then their story truly begins…

Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire…But first they must remember what that is…

This sounds adorable and fun. We could all use a little fun in our lives right now.

Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events by Brent Spiner- October 5th

Set in 1991, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation has rocketed the cast to global fame, the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and a series of disturbing letters, that take him on a terrifying and bizarre journey that enlists Paramount Security, the LAPD, and even the FBI in putting a stop to the danger that has his life and career hanging in the balance.

Featuring a cast of characters from Patrick Stewart to Levar Burton to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to some completely imagined, this is the fictional autobiography that takes readers into the life of Brent Spiner, and tells an amazing tale about the trappings of celebrity and the fear he has carried with him his entire life.

I had to pre-order this one, as I am a life long Trekkie. Also, it just sounds fun.

The City Beautiful By Aden Polydoros- Oct 5th

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
 
But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
 
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

This YA story sounds like an interesting fantasy murder mystery.

Briarheart by Mercedes Lackey- October 5th

Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. She’s the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King’s Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no ambitions to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she’s ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora’s christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.

Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam’s dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.

It’s a YA Mercedes Lackey book. How could I not mention it?

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow-October 5th

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no-one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

I’m not saying I pre-ordered it, but I pre-ordered it.

Child of Light by Terry Brook- October 12th

At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by an unusual stranger who claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?

I have an ARC for this, so a review is coming next month. But still, new Terry Brooks!

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield- Oct 12th

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny spaceship, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.

NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras “Kaz” Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it.

But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.

Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists, and tension of The Hunt for Red October, The Apollo Murders is a high-stakes thriller unlike any other. Chris Hadfield captures the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of space, and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour as only someone who has experienced all of these things in real life can.

Everyone’s favorite singing astronaut has written a sci-fi mystery book. No, I’m not excited for this at all.

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta-October 12th

“What’s done is done.”
Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.

Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.

This sounds so cute! I had to include this adorable YA fantasy romance.

Any Sign of Life by Rae Carson- October 12th

Paige Miller is determined to take her basketball team to the state championship, maybe even beyond. But as March Madness heats up, Paige falls deathly ill. Days later, she wakes up attached to an IV and learns that the whole world has perished. Everyone she loves, and all of her dreams for the future—they’re gone.

But Paige is a warrior. She pushes through her fear and her grief and gets through each day scrounging for food, for shelter, for safety. As she struggles with her new reality, Paige learns that the apocalypse did not happen by accident. And that there are worse things than being alone.

This sounds really depressing. And slightly spooky.

Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds- October 12th

For thirty years a tiny band of humans has been sheltering in the caverns of an airless, crater-pocked world called Michaelmas. Beyond their solar system lie the ruins of human interstellar civilization, stalked by a ruthless, infinitely patient cybernetic entity determined to root out the last few bands of survivors. One man has guided the people of Michaelmas through the hardest of times, and given them hope against the wolves: Miguel de Ruyter.

When a lone human ship blunders into their system, and threatens to lead the wolves to Michaelmas, de Ruyter embarks on a desperate, near-suicide mission to prevent catastrophe. But an encounter with a refugee from the ship—the enigmatic woman who calls herself only Glass—leads to de Ruyter’s world being turned upside down.

Well that all sounds…terrible. Which of course makes me want it.

The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber- October 19th

The House of Rust is an enchanting novel about a Hadrami girl in Mombasa. When her fisherman father goes missing, Aisha takes to the sea on a magical boat made of a skeleton to rescue him. She is guided by a talking scholar’s cat (and soon crows, goats, and other animals all have their say, too). On this journey Aisha meets three terrifying sea monsters. After she survives a final confrontation with Baba wa Papa, the father of all sharks, she rescues her own father, and hopes that life will return to normal. But at home, things only grow stranger.

This one sounds so good. Consider me intrigued.

Hench by Natalie Zina Walchots- October 19th

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?

As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured.  And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.

So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing.  And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

I’m sorry, but I love the premise for this one so much it made my Christmas wish list this year.

Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn- October 19th

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Ooh…an Ark. Consider me curious.

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson- October 26th

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.

Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.

This one sounds pretty good too!

And as of writing this, these are all the current release dates, though that could change. Get those pre-orders in now!

It’s a month of great releases to be sure.

TTT-Books on My Fall 2021 To-Read List

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday! TTT “was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.”

Wow. Is this a hard Top Ten Tuesday or what?

I’ll come up with ten books, but that doesn’t mean I’m actually going to read them. Because I don’t always read the books on my TBRs.

And, of course, I just have to remember to add them to my actual TBR’s over the next two months.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso

The final book in the Swords and Fire trilogy, I’ve been meaning to read this since last year! I just never got around to it. Shame on me. The first two books were great, so I have high hopes for this one.

We Could be Heroes by Mike Chen

Jamie and Zoe have no memories, but what they do have is superpowers. I picked this up through Book of the Month a while back and have been wanting to read it for a while now.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

A school that wants you dead. This one has been sitting on my TBR cart for a while, so it’s about time I pick it up, right?

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The sequel to Mistborn is on my current TBR, and I am determined to read it this fall!

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

It seems like the fall is the perfect time for a horror book. Plus I really enjoyed the authors last book. So fingers crossed!

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

A horror book in which some of the KKK are actual demons? Yeah, perfect fall/spooky season read.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle

All Tom does is deliver a book. And it opens his world to the occult. This fantasy horror book sounded really interesting. And again, a good Halloween read…I hope.

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

I read The Hazel Wood last year and really enjoyed it, so I need to read the sequel. Here’s hoping I remember to pick it up!

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

A story about a boy who sees monsters and lets them into his life. Now why does a horror book sound heartwarming? This will be an October read, for sure.

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Who knew C.S. Lewis wrote Sci-Fi? I sure didn’t until I picked this up. I’m looking forward to reading this.

Well, there it is. My fall TBR. Will I actually accomplish something and read all the books on this list? Who knows? I surely hope so. Now I just have to figure out which books I’m going to read in which months!

Oh the choices!

All the Books I Bought in August 2021

Well.

I seem to have bought a few books last month.

Oops.

The Humans by Matt Haig

An Alien comes to Earth to stop a scientist after he solves a math equation and steps into his life. This was a book club pick that, due to a hectic month, I wasn’t able to read. I am determined to read this one this year.

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Just like his father, who built a park around them, Noah sees monsters. But unlike the rest of his family, Noah opens the door and lets them in. This book has been on my radar since it came out last year and when I saw it at my used book store I snatched it up!

Falling & Uprising by Natalie Cammaratta

Serenity never questioned her island’s boasting as the last dry land on Earth, but soon she begins to question everything. This was written by one of the members of one of my books clubs! Huzzah!

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

This is basically John Green reviewing the current geological age. He reviews geese y’all. Geese. I bought it for that alone. Also, if you want to pick it up, every first edition is signed by the author.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Vern is seven months pregnant and fleeing the only life she has ever known for the safety of the woods. But even in the woods, Vern is hunted. I picked this up in the B&N book haul sale, where books were 50% off.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Starr lives in two worlds, her prep school, and her home life. But when her childhood best friend is killed by police, it upends her communities. And only Starr knows the truth of what really happened that night. This book feels like a very relevant and important read. So glad I found it at my local used book store.

The Walking Land by Callie Bates

When Elanna is accused of the murder of the king who raised her, she must flee back to the land where she was born, and the birth father she despises. I picked this one up from my favorite used book store in Knoxville, TN, McKay’s!

Provenance by Anne Leckie

Ingray wants nothing more than to take her place in her mother’s kingdom as her rightful heir. So she hatches a plan to free a thief and steal an artifact. Sounded fun and the author has a great reputation. Another McKay’s find!

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien

Myrra is a contract worker with the Carlyles family, with fifty years left on her contract. But when they die, she must go on the run with their baby, and their terrible secret. Also there is a spaceship. So yeah, another Barnes and Noble book haul find.

The Inheritance of Orquidea Davina by Zoraida Cordova

Orquidea Divina lives a strange life. her pantry never runs dry and she never leaves her land. Ever. So when she summons her family to her side, they expect answers, that they don’t get. Now it’s seven years later and her family has received several powers, but an unknown enemy is determined to destroy them. Um, yes. I got this through Book of the Month. Sounds so good.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi has a house. It has infinite corridors. Oh, and an ocean in it. I picked this one up through Book of the Month as well. So excited to read it.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Jess had given up on love, until she heard about a dating service that uses DNA based matching. But surprisingly, she is matched, at 98%, to the companies founder. I’m still not sold on this whole modern romance thing, but I didn’t hate In a Holidaze (I gave it 3 stars) so I thought I’d give another book by these authors a try.

Supernova Era by Cixin Liu

A star has died and it will shower the earth in deadly radiation. It’ll take a year, but everyone over the age of thirteen will die. What a concept.

Axiom’s End by Lindsey Ellis

Cora’s father may or may not be the whistle blower that told the world the truth about extra terrestrials. But Cora wants nothing to do with her father, or the press that seems to be following her around. A story about aliens? I’ll take it. A good used book store find.

And there you have it. My book store finds this month. It’s a bit of a long list, so I think I’m not going to buy very many books this month. I’m hoping I can get away with just the book club picks. And one of those I already own!

Every Book I Read (Sorta)-August 2021

So this was the month of my first themed TBR. Greek setting/myth retellings. I pretty much failed. Kind of like how my cat sat on my book’s dust jacket and completely ruined it.

Le sigh.

So here’s the books I read or didn’t finish cause the library took them back before I was done.

Yeah, that happened to.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

The story about what is, essentially, a robot and her relationship with the world around her. This book wasn’t blowing my mind, but I was only halfway through when the library reclaimed it. I am back on the waiting list for it for now. But it was a solid 3 star read for me, for what I read.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

It’s a book of essays and chapters about the things and thoughts that bring the author comfort when he’s struggling. I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of quotable lines in it, which is great if your looking for that pearl of wisdom to hold to through a dark day. 4 stars.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

If you don’t know by now, this is the story of Percy Jackson, a demigod, who is charged with finding Zeus’ lightning bolts. As usual, the book is much better than the movie, but I only gave the book 3 stars. No particular reason. It wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t great. So yeah, 3 stars. I have heard the series gets better though, so I may continue it.

I just don’t know.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

A retelling of the Iliad, this is the story of Patroclus and Achilles. And I didn’t like it. I know, unpopular opinion. I just didn’t like the overly flowery prose. I couldn’t get past it. Drove me nuts. Sorry folks, I gave this 1 star and DNF’d it.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

The story of the Minotaur’s sister. It just wasn’t for me. I may try to read it again in the future, but for right now, it’s a no for me. 1 star.

Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science’s Most Puzzling Discovery by J.P. McEvoy, Oscar Zárate

This is the illustrated story of quantum physics. I love physics. I did not love this. It took me two months to read. Two months! The Horror! I did end up giving it 3 stars, but I can’t remember anything I read, so there’s that.

Now on to everyone’s favorite part of the post, the stats! As always, the stats come from The Storygraph. Want to see yours? What are you waiting for? Go join!

Moods

Well, apparently I was feeling emotional this month, as I picked three emotional books. I also picked three adventurous books, so you know, all’s normal there.

Pace

The pace of my books was split evenly between the three categories. I kind of love that.

Page Numbers

One book under three hundred pages? Only one? I must up my short story intake! Or, I could not view this as a failure and look at it as if reading five books over three hundred pages is a positive thing, because it is.

Fiction VS. Non-Fiction

I read two non-fiction books this month! Two! This far out strips my usual reading average of none!

Genre

This month was an interesting mix of genres. But what does literary mean? Is that just fiction that they are struggling to find a place for? Because I thought Klara and the sun was Sci-Fi, but it was listed as literary. Oh well.

Ratings

In a shocking move by me, I have no five star books this month. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I may be broken. Also a non-fiction book got four stars! Well, dang.

And there you have it everyone! My books and stats for the month of August! I don’t think I did too bad considering I was out of town for two weeks and had no time to read.

Go me!

But I failed at my TBR, so maybe not go me?

Oh well. Them’s the breaks!

Every New Release I Want-August 2021

I have searched the finest internets to find these, the newest of releases!

Huzzah!

Shard of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky-August 3rd

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . . Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers. After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete. Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

I’ve heard good things about this particular author, but I’ve never read any of his other work. This seems a good place to start.

Holdout by Jeffrey Kluger-August 3rd

Walli Beckwith is a model astronaut. She graduated at the top of her class from the Naval Academy, had a successful career flying fighter jets, and has spent more than three hundred days in space. So when she refuses to leave her post aboard the International Space Station following an accident that forces her fellow astronauts to evacuate, her American and Russian colleagues are mystified. For Walli, the matter at hand feels all too clear and terrifying for her to be worried about ruining her career. She is stuck in a race against time to save a part of the world that seems to have been forgotten, and also the life of the person she loves the most. She will go to any length necessary, using the only tool she has, to accomplish what she knows is right.

Mysteries! In space! Aboard the ISS! Also, that cover is fabulous.

The Pariah by Anthony Ryan-August 24th

Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path – one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier’s life in the king’s army.
 
Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces,
both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine’s rise, Alwyn faces a choice: can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

Betrayal, the apocalypse, and venegance? I’ll take it. Sounds like a season of Buffy the Vampire slayer to me.

The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng- August 10th

Her birthday should be like any other night.

One minute Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She’s got twelve years of the wrong memories in her head and she’s married to Eric, a man she barely knew in high school.

Racing to get back to her old life, Kelly’s search leads only to more questions. In this life, she loves Eric and wants to trust him, but everything she discovers about him—including a connection to a mysterious tech startup—tells her she shouldn’t. And strange things keep happening. The tattoos she had when she was an artist briefly reappear on her skin, she remembers fights with Eric that he says never happened, and her relationships with loved ones both new and familiar seem to change without warning.

But the closer Kelly gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift. And if she can’t figure out what happened on her birthday, the next change could cost her everything…

This is time travel-y. I like the sound of this one.

In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu- August 31st

The city of Ora is watching.

Anima is an extrasensory human tasked with surveilling and protecting Ora’s citizens via a complex living network called the Gleaming. Although ær world is restricted to what æ can see and experience through the Gleaming, Anima takes pride and comfort in keeping Ora safe from harm.

When a mysterious outsider enters the city carrying a cabinet of curiosities from around with the world with a story attached to each item, Anima’s world expands beyond the borders of Ora to places—and possibilities—æ never before imagined to exist. But such knowledge leaves Anima with a question that throws into doubt ær entire purpose: What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?

This book sounds very intriguing. I wants it.

The Shimmering State by Meredith Westgate- August 10th

Lucien moves to Los Angeles to be with his grandmother as she undergoes an experimental memory treatment for Alzheimer’s using the new drug, Memoroxin. An emerging photographer, he’s also running from the sudden death of his mother, a well-known artist whose legacy haunts Lucien.

Sophie has just landed the lead in the upcoming performance of La Sylphide with the Los Angeles Ballet Company. She still waitresses at the Chateau Marmont during her off hours, witnessing the recreational use of Memoroxin—or Mem—among the Hollywood elite.

When Lucien and Sophie meet at The Center, founded by the ambitious yet conflicted Dr. Angelica Sloane to treat patients who’ve abused Mem, they have no memory of how they got there—or why they feel so inexplicably drawn to each other. Is it attraction, or something they cannot remember from “before”?

Books that play with memory have become more and more interesting to me recently. But having your memory messed with by a drug, now that’s interesting.

What books are you looking forward to this month?

Every Book I Bought-July 2021

Well, I didn’t do as bad this month as I did last month.

Improvement is always a welcome thing.

Also, I bought quite a few newer releases, and that ate up my budget. And the cookbook. I can’t forget the cookbook.

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

Robots up and walked out into the wilderness one day in what humanity calls The Great Awakening. Now, years later, a traveling monk happens to meet a robot who has come to find out how humanity has done, and it asks the question, what does humanity need?

Soulless by Gail Carriger

This book was chosen by one of my book clubs for the month of July, and was described as Buffy meets Jane Austin. I like Buffy, so I picked it up.

The Unbroken by C.L Clark

This book had me at the tagline: “Every Empire Demands Revolution”. The description also mentions assassinations and massacres. So naturally, when Orbit books emailed about it being on sale, I snapped it up.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

A collection of essays, notes, and stories the author wrote to himself to remind his future self that things aren’t always that bad. I loved the way he wrote the Midnight Library, so I snatched this up.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A group of “final girls” form a support group to help each other deal with what they have been through. But someone starts picking off the girls one by one, it’s up to them to figure it out and save themselves. I loved The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, so I thought I’d give this one a try. I’m hoping it works out, especially since I’m not a big horror person. This could end badly.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Danso is on the verge of achieving greatness. There is just one small problem, he doesn’t want it. I love that concept. And when I saw this book in the store, I may have snatched it up super quick. Like, embarrassingly quick.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Prince Kiem has long been a family disappointment, and he is commanded to marry Count Jainan, widower and murder suspect. I’ve been intrigued since I heard about this earlier this year, so I bought whilst in the bookstore. I should just avoid those at all costs.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Complete and Annotated by Luke Dempsey

This is pretty much what it says on the cover. The whole of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, complete with annotations. I bought it as a gift for the hubs, as he loves Monty Python. Picked it up for ten bucks! It’s on Amazon for fifty.

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters

After those he loves are brutally murdered, Tau wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Also, there is magic, which Tau does not posses. This book has been all over the bookish community for a while now, so I thought I’d pick it up. I also thought the hubs might like it to read while I was out of town for two weeks.

Marvel Eat the Universe: the Offical Cookbook by Justin Warner

TikTok is a terrible place where people can learn all about interesting books. Take this cookbook that I turned around and bought two seconds after learning that it existed. There be nerds up in here.

The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

This series is about Alxia Tarabotti, a preturnatural, one who is born without a soul. It was described on the Amazon listing as Buffy meets Jane Austin, and yes, I did buy all 5. The first one was a book club pick for the month, so I picked it up. Stay tuned for a review!

And that’s it, that’s all the books I bought last month. A smaller list compared to the two previous months. I’m going to try to buy fewer books next month, but that may not work out so well.

We shall see.

Every Book I Read-July 2021

Well, I made travel TBR last month. How did it go?

We shall see!

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

The story of a girl who is told a story about a woman who has a tiger spirit by her mom, only to wake up with the same tiger spirit in her! I’m not gonna lie, I DNF’d this book. I just couldn’t get past the writing style and as a result had a hard time getting into the story. I know there is an audience out there for this book, it just isn’t with me.

The Left Handed Book Sellers of London by Garth Nix

When Susan heads to London to find her father, she accidentally stumbles across Merlin, who is part of a shadowy organization called the Booksellers who protect society from the otherworldly. I gave this quirky little book 4 stars. I really hope we get another book set in this world.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Red has the misfortune of being born the second daughter. This means she will be sacrificed to the Wolf of the Wilderwoods. You can read my full review of this book here, but it’s safe to say I loved it. 5 stars.

Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

This story follows Chih as they learn about the exiled Empress In-Yo from Rabbit, a member of the Empresses house. This short novella was expertly done, and I can’t wait to read the next story in Chih’s journey to chronicle to truth of things. 5 stars.

Bow Legged Buccaneers From Outer Space by David Owain Huges

So the premise of this book is a little weird. A group of uber nerds from the 1990s takes over a city that ends up being walled up as a result of the lawlessness that reigns inside it. A friend, who shares my bookish tastes recommended this one to me. Um, I gotta disagree with her. I DNF’d this one. I don’t chaotic writing styles, and that’s what this book had. Also, it was just a little too weird for me.

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

The story of a monk, Sibling Dex, who heads off into the remote woods and meets Mosscap, a robot who asks what humainty needs. I loved this short novella and fell in love with the characters. Becky Chambers certainly doesn’t shy away from the hard questions. I gave it 5 stars.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

The story of Alexia, a preturnatural, who wants to solve the mystery of why a vampire attacked her. I have a review on this book forthcoming, so stay tuned to find out my thoughts on this book! Spoiler alert, I bought the whole series.

Changeless by Gail Carriger

The sequel to Soulless. Sorry that I can’t tell you what it’s about, it would spoil the ending for Soulless! I will say it’s very good. 5 stars.

Blameless by Gail Carriger

And this is the sequel to Changeless. Again, the plot would spoil the previous book. But it was good. I enjoyed it muchly. Oh wait, 5 stars…again.

Well, look at that! 9 books (2640 pages)! Huzzah!

But as far as that original TBR went, I failed it. I read 3 of the 5 books on that list. So I still have those to read later on at some point. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Mmm…cookies.

On to the stats!

I love posting my stats each month. They give me an opportunity to look back and see how I’ve done with my reading and, well, yeah, I love it. As always the stats are brought to you by The Storygraph.

Moods

I read 9 books this month, and it seems that every one of them was adventurous. It was interesting to see that three of them were dark. I only figured on two of them being considered dark. Oh well.

Pace

It’s seems I was quite fond of medium paced books this month, reading 4 of those.

Page Numbers

Books over 300 pages are coming in hot this month!

Genres

I love seeing the genre break down of my books. I always assume that Fantasy is my most read Genre, given it’s what I am drawn to the most.

Star Ratings

Um, I may have a problem with handing out 5 star ratings. Maybe.

Also, if you don’t follow Jaysen on the TikTok what are you even doing with your life? He goes by Ezeekat if you want to check him out.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna have to go buy some cookies now.

Monthly Wrap Up-July 2021

Hello and well met! It’s time for the monthly wrap up, where I wrap up my blog posts for the month into one nice, neat place in case you missed one!

Did you miss one? That’s okay. You can always sign up to follow the blog in the bar to the right of the post! That way you don’t miss anything!

Now that I have begged sufficiently for this month, on to the wrap up!

Every Book I Read-June 2021: June was a great reading month for me. I read 8 titles and completed my TBR. If you count DNF’ing one of the books as completing it.

Every Book I Bought in June 2021: I gave up on the book buying ban in May, and June was no exception. I bought a fair few books in June, and my pocket book was angry with me as a result.

Every New Release I Want-June 2021: I love looking up all the new releases from the internets. A point I seem to make every month when I make this post. I also managed to pick up a few of the new releases this month, which is unusual for me, as I normally buy older releases from, say, book outlet.

Two Week Trip TBR: I went away for a fun (and chaotic) two weeks with my mom and my brother’s kids. I made a TBR to satisfy my reading needs during the long drives while we were gone.

Project Hail Mary: A Book Review: In which I reviewed Andy Weir’s latest offering. Check out my spoiler free review here!

Somewhere New: I’m going on a trip! I’m very excited and I know my fellow travelers are as well! Squee!

Bookish T-Shirts: I went online, out of curiosity, and fell down a rabbit hole of book related t-shirts. I was nice enough to take you with me.

For the Wolf-A Book Review: Well look at that! I achieved my goal of writing two book reviews this month. Go me!

WWW Wednesday-July 28th: I tried my hand at the WWW Wednesday meme. I gotta say, I enjoyed it. I may not be able to do it every week, because I am a mood reader, but we shall see!

And there you have it. A comprehensive list of all the blog posts I put up in July! I hope I inspired you to pick up a book this month!