– What Happened –
Hello, bookfriends! I used a fair amount of annual leave in August, which meant plenty of extra reading time. I was able to get through the five books on my monthly To Be Read list, as well as a bonus two.
The House of Styx was a stunning read and is currently in my top three favourite books of 2020. I can’t wait to start Künsken’s The Quantum Evolution series which, it has been recently announced, will receive a further two instalments. The Phlebotomist and Red Noise were very fun counterpoints to this more atmospheric sci-fi, and both are an absolute blast to read.
I also went on a completely unplanned horror deep-dive with books featuring vampires, zombies, witches and necromancers. The self-published May Day by Josie Jaffrey is a fun, vampiric police procedural, and it was also my first physical ARC. Josie is a prolific self-published author, and I recommend checking out her work.
Wranglestone features a developing m/m relationship amidst a zombie apocalypse and was another of my favourite August reads. I’d love to find more normalised gay male relationships in SFF where the focus isn’t on romance, coming out or discrimination, so if you have any recommendations, do let me know!
Another bit of excitement in August was being featured on Alex the Martian‘s website as part of her new blogger Q&A series ‘In the Spotlight’. Check out the full interview to learn more about me, and follow bookblurb.ca for more blogger Q&A posts as well as fantastic SFF book reviews.
– The Damage –
In ‘What’s up, August?’ I began documenting my monthly book purchases in an attempt to confront my newfound superpower that is book buying. Sadly (happily?) this did NOT work, as this month I bought five additional books compared to July, for a grand total of 22.
Physical books and pre-orders
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Sorcery of a Queen, the second book in Brian Naslund’s Dragons of Terra series, so obviously I had to buy the first instalment. The Traitor Baru Cormorant has been on my To Be Read list for around five years, so I decided to invest in the entire trilogy (because covers). I intend to read both of these series in October!
The central picture is a limited edition, signed copy of Yoon Ha Lee’s The Hexarchate from Anderida Books. This is my most significant book investment to date, and I’m in love with this set!
I also backed two fantastic publishing Kickstarters. The first is Don’t Touch That: An Anthology of Parenthood in SFF. Aside from my nephew – the cutest kid who ever lived – I tend to avoid children at all costs. But with an amazing list of 24 contributing authors including Aliette de Bodard, K. A. Doore and Devin Madson, I’m excited to see where this anthology goes.
The second Kickstarter is The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman. Shawn is the owner of Grim Oak Press and The Signed Page, so I was interested based on the promise of a stunning edition alone. When I saw the blurb from Robin Hobb and found out that the story involves both dragons and giant mecha, I couldn’t resist!
– What’s Gonna Happen –
As September is Self-Published Fantasy Month, I will only be reading self-published titles. I’ve had a few authors contact me via my blog recently, so this worked out perfectly. Check out the SPFM website for book recommendations and information on how to participate. You can also follow the event on Twitter and Instagram with the #SelfPubFanMonth hashtag.
A couple of these are more sci-fi than fantasy, but SPFM have said they’ll let it slide!
On September 14th, I will be sharing my review of The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short as part of the book tour organised by Story Tellers on Tour. In all honesty, I signed up for the tour because I love the cover. But having now read the plot summary which sounds fantastically dark, I’m looking forward to the read.
When a sinister creature murders one of the conquerors’ soldiers, Brohr’s violent reputation makes him the prime suspect. Haunted by a rage-filled ghost, Brohr’s disturbing possessions quickly become the reason for all of his troubles…and the only way he can survive. With a grandfather bent on dragging him into a failed rebellion, and a deadly comet hurtling toward his embattled world, Brohr sets off on a quest to save his people and uncover the truth about a war stretching back into the ancient past. Can he discover the true power of a Skald’s voice before the world itself ends in ash and flame?
Shortly after I joined Book Twitter, there was a book tour for The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey. Since it received a slew of positive reviews from bloggers I trust m, and it features magic, astral demons, forest monsters and spirit dimensions, I’m excited to finally read this novel. I will be sharing my review on September 21st as part of the book tour arranged by Xpresso Book Tours.
The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes. The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame. It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.
Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land. Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.
What will you be reading this September?