The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker – Release Date: October 12, 2021
Hello everyone! Today I am happy to share with y’all an excerpt from the newly released, THE KEEPER OF NIGHT by Kylie Lee Baker. Thanks again to Inkyard Press for providing me with the excerpt of Chapter Two of the book, an eARC and letting me join in on the blog tour! Hope y’all enjoy.
Julie Kagawa meets Scythe in this captivating and evocative journey into Death’s domain as one soul collector seeks her place in the underworld of 1890s Japan. Book 1 of a planned duology.
Death is her destiny.
Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough yearns for the acceptance she has never found among the Reapers who raised her. When the Shinigami powers she can no longer hide force her to flee for her life, Ren and her younger brother—the only being on earth to care for her—travel to Japan and the dark underworld of Yomi, where Ren hopes to claim her place among the Shinigami and finally belong.
But the Goddess of Death is no more welcoming than the Reapers who raised her, and Ren finds herself set on an impossible task—find and kill three yokai demons, and maybe, just maybe, she can earn a place in Death’s service. With only her brother and an untrustworthy new ally by her side, Ren will learn how far she’ll go to win the acceptance she craves, and whether the cost of belonging is worth any sacrifice.
At the far edge of London, somewhere between nightmares and formless dreams, the Reapers slept by daylight.
The only way to enter our home was through the catacombs of the Highgate Cemetery, through a door that no longer existed. It had been built there long ago, when the Britons first came to our land and Ankou carved a hole in their world so that Death could enter. But humans had sealed it shut with layers of wood, then stone, then brick and mortar, all in the hopes of keeping Death out.
By the nineteenth century, humans had mostly forgotten about the Door and what it meant. Then, when the London churchyards began to overflow with bones, the humans had searched for a place just outside of London to bury their dead. By chance or fate, they’d built their new cemetery right on top of the Door. It turned out that Death drew all of us close, even if we weren’t aware of it.
No streetlights lit the path through Highgate at night, but I didn’t need them to find my way home. Before I’d even passed through the main gate, Death pulled me closer. All Reapers were drawn to him, our bones magnetized to the place of our forefather. As soon as I entered the cemetery, a humming began just under my skin, like a train’s engine beginning to whir. My blood flushed faster through my veins as I brushed aside the branches of winter-barren lime trees and low-hanging elms. My boots crunched shattering steps into the frosted pathways as I ran.
I stumbled through jagged rows of ice-cracked tombstones on uneven ground and through a village of mausoleums, finally reaching the gothic arched doorway of the catacomb entrance. The pull had grown unbearable, dragging me along in a dizzy trance as I descended the stairs into the cool quietness of damp bricks and darkness. The labyrinth would have been unnavigable if not for the fervent pull.
At last, my hands came out to touch the wall where the Door used to be, but now there were only damp bricks and an inscription on the arch overhead that read When Ankou comes, he will not go away empty in rigid script. I dug one hand into my pocket and clutched my clock, pressed my other hand to the bricks, then closed my eyes and turned time all the way back to the beginning.
Time flowed through the silver-and-gold gears, up into my bloodstream and through my fingertips, dispersing into the brick wall. Centuries crumbled away, the mortar growing wet and bricks falling loose. One by one, they leaped out of their positions in the wall and aligned themselves in dry stacks on the ground, waiting once again for construction. Objects were easy to manipulate with time, for I could draw from their own intrinsic energy rather than siphoning off my own. Rather than paying in years of my own life, I could borrow years before the bricks crumbled and quickly repay the debt when I put them back.
I stepped through the doorway and the pull released me all at once. I breathed in a deep gasp of the wet night air, then turned around and sealed the door behind me. The bricks jumped back to their positions in the wall, caked together by layers of mortar that dried instantly, the time debt repaid.
The catacombs beyond the threshold spanned infinitely forward, appropriated as resting places for Reapers rather than corpses. Mounted lanterns cast a faint light onto the dirt floors and gray bricks. It was almost Last Toll, so only the last Reapers returning from the night shift still milled around, their silver capes catching the dim light of the tunnels, but most had retreated to their private quarters for the morning.
I turned right and hurried down the block. The low ceilings gave way to high-arched doorways and finally opened up to a hall of echoing marble floors and rows of dark wood desks. Luckily, there was no line for Collections this close to Last Toll.
I hurried to the first Collector and all but slammed my vials into the tray, jolting him awake in his seat. He was a younger Reaper and seemed perplexed at having been awoken so unceremoniously. When his gaze landed on me, he frowned and sat up straight.
“Ren Scarborough,” I said, pushing the tray closer to him.
“I know who you are,” he said, picking up my first vial and uncapping it with deliberate slowness. Of course, everyone knew who I was.
He took a wholly unnecessary sniff of the vial before holding it up to the light to examine the color, checking its authenticity. The Collectors recorded every night’s soul intake before sending the vials off to Processing, where they finally released the souls into Beyond. He picked up a pen from his glass jar of roughly thirty identical pens, tapped it against the desk a few times, then withdrew a leather-bound ledger from a drawer. He dropped it in front of him, opened the creaky cover, and began flipping through the pages, one by one, until he reached a fresh one.
I resisted the urge to slam my face against the desk in impatience.
I really didn’t have time to waste, but Collections was a necessary step. I didn’t consider myself benevolent in times of crisis, but even I was above leaving souls to expire in glass tubes instead of releasing them to their final resting place, wherever that was. And besides, a blank space next to my name in the Collections ledger meant a Collector would pay a visit to my private quarters to reprimand me. The last thing I needed was someone realizing that I’d left before Ivy could even report me.
But when the Collector uncorked my fourth vial and held it up to the lamp, swirling it in the light for ten excruciating seconds, I began to wonder if I’d made the right decision.
The bells of Last Toll reverberated through the bricks all around us, humming through the marble floors. In this hazy hour between night and day, the church grims came out in search of Reaper bones to gnaw on. Night collections had to be turned in by then, while day collections had to be processed by the First Toll at dusk.
The Collector sighed as he picked up my fifth vial. “I’m afraid I’ll have to mark your collections as late.”
My jaw clenched. “Why.”
“It’s past Last Toll, of course,” he said.
My fingers twitched. The lamp on the Collector’s desk flickered with my impatience, but I took a steadying breath.
“I was here before Last Toll,” I said, trying to keep my voice even.
“According to my ledger, your collections still have not been processed,” he said, spinning my fifth vial in his left hand.
I sighed and closed my eyes. Of course, I knew what he was doing. Chastising a “latecomer” would earn praise from higher management. It was the easiest way for him to climb the ranks—to exert his power over the half-breed. He would be praised for his steadfastness and gain a reputation as a strict and immovable Collector, while I could do nothing to complain. I could explode his lamp and send glass shards into his eyes, but that wouldn’t make him process my vials any faster. The fastest way to get out of there was subservience.
“Forgive me, Reaper,” I said, bowing my head and dropping my shoulders. I let my voice sound timid and afraid. “I apologize for being late.”
The Collector blinked at me for a moment, as if surprised that I’d given in so quickly. But he looked young and power-hungry and not particularly perceptive, so I wasn’t too afraid that he’d see through my tactic. As expected, he sneered as if I truly had offended him, finally beginning to process the fifth vial.
“It’s a great inconvenience to both Collections and Processing,” he said, “though I wouldn’t expect a half-breed to understand the workings of the educated Reapers.”
The only believable response to his goading was humiliated silence, so I hung my head even further and tried to make myself as small and pathetic as possible. It wasn’t hard, because the memory of the night’s events was still wringing my heart out like a wet rag and my skin prickled with nerves so fiercely that I wanted to claw it all off and escape before Ivy could find me, yet here I was, brought to my knees before a glorified teller. I imagined being a High Reaper, being able to reach over and smash his face into his blotter and shatter his owlish glasses into his eyes for delaying and insulting me.
His lamp flickered more violently and he paused to smack it before finally finishing with my last vial. He placed all seven in a tray and pressed a button that started the conveyor belt, sending the souls down to Processing. The moment he put a black check next to my name in the ledger, I stood up straight and turned to leave.
His hand twisted into my sleeve, yanking me back.
I shot him a look that could have melted glass, but he only pulled me closer.
“There’s the matter of your sanction,” he said.
“My sanction,” I said, glancing around the office to see how many people would notice if I simply twisted the Collector’s neck. Too many.
“For your tardiness, of course,” he said, smirking sourly. From his position stretched across the desk, the lamplight caught in his glasses and turned them into two beaming white moons.
The standard punishment for failing to make curfew was a night on the pillory, hands and feet nailed to the wood and head locked in a hole that was just slightly too tight, letting you breathe but not speak. The other Reapers could pull your hair or pour mead over your head or call you a thousand names when you couldn’t talk back. But the worst part wasn’t the nails or the insults. It was the Reapers who did nothing but look at you and sneer like you were nothing but an ugly piece of wall art, like they were so perfect that they couldn’t fathom being in your place. And far worse than that was my own father and stepmother walking past me and pretending not to see.
“Come back at First Toll,” the Collector said. “We’ll find a nice place to hang you up by the Door.”
It took every ounce of restraint I had left to keep my expression calm. This was the part where I was supposed to say, Yes, Reaper, and bow, but he was lucky that I hadn’t smashed his glasses into his face with my fist.
As if he could smell my defiance, he pulled me closer. His glasses fell out of the lamplight, revealing a deep frown.
“Scrub that look from your face,” he said. “Remember that I’ll handle your collections in the future.”
The future, I thought.
Luckily, I didn’t have a future.
The light bulb flashed with a sudden surge of power, then burst. Glass shards rained down over the desk, forcing the man to release me as hot glass scored his hands. Some of his paperwork caught fire, and he frantically patted out the flames with hands full of shards.
“Yes, Reaper,” I said, bowing deeply so he wouldn’t see my smirk as he sputtered about “bloody light bulbs, I knew we should have kept the gas lamps.”
Then I turned and rushed off to the West Catacombs.
Kylie Lee Baker grew up in Boston and has since lived in Atlanta, Salamanca, and Seoul. Her writing is informed by her heritage (Japanese, Chinese, and Irish), as well as her experiences living abroad as both a student and teacher. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Emory University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree at Simmons University. In her free time, she watches horror movies, plays the cello, and bakes too many cookies. The Keeper of Night is her debut novel.
Hello y’all!! This is my first non-review/blog tour post since I don’t know when to be honest. At least since sometime last year, when I started becoming less active on here. I have been wanting to revive my blog again for a long but things happen! Life happens. It gets super hard to manage a blog when you’re working, when the world is burning, and your mental health is shit. I’m hoping to make an official “I’m back from my hiatus (?)” post soon though and talk about things that have happened last year and this year.
In the meantime, I have been dying to talk about some upcoming books!! So here’s a typical anticipated summer releases list for you to enjoy or not. I decided to separate these books into arbitrary categories so do with that what you will. Please enjoy this list and I hope I have convinced some of y’all to look into these for yourself! Let’s have a good summer full of reading, chilling out and also staying 6 feet apart and away from me with a mask still on please.
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / LITERARY FICTION RELEASES (JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)
This is the straight up fantasy category. The lush and descriptive type of fantasy that takes you to a whole other world.
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – Release Date: June 1
Woodsy, fantasy romance with a monster boyfriend/husband?? Indulge me please. I’ve been waiting for this book ever since it was announced and I cannot wait to devour it.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo – Release Date: June 1
Not only is this a retelling of The Great Gatsby but its also queer, Asian, and magical. I’m also lucky enough to have been given an arc of this 👀👀👀 Review to come obviously for this one!
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Release Date: June 8
This is the start of a fantasy trilogy featuring morally grey sapphic characters. I’ve heard so many great things about Tasha Suri’s first series, Empire of Sand & Realm of Ash. She’s also an author that I follow on Twitter and she seems chill. IDK There is something about authors that are just kind of chill and cool on Twitte that makes me want to read their books more.
The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid – Release Date: June 8
Will anyone hate me when I say that I have read this book already? I will have a review up soon for this one because WOW. This book. I hope my review can give this book justice to how damn good it was. I also have the the book itself in person and it is GORGEOUS. I am begging y’all to grab this book that if you want a fantasy story that hits you dark and brutal themes of nationalism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. I would definitely check into the trigger warnings for this book before going in.
This a mix of contemporary/historical settings and characters.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – Release Date: June 1
I haven’t read Red, White & Royal Blue and I KNOW I WILL READ IT EVENTUALLY. But One Last Stop just really sounded more my speed. Queer Kate & Leopold?? This sounds a lot of fun and I need more fun in my life. I’ll more than likely take this as a beach read since I am going to hit the beach at some point this summer. Vaccinated baby!!!
The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue – Release Date: July 6
Okay so I have to point out that this has not been the only book released this year about boarding schools and specifically all-girls schools. There’s at least 3 others that also fit in this category from this year alone. It’s a sub-genre that I have come to realize that I enjoy reading about because its usually mystery and coming of age all rolled into one. Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of my favorite films and I think that’s where I get my admiration for this type of story.
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So – Release Date: August 3
This a collection of short stories that is specifically about Cambodian Americans dealing with race, sexuality, and generational trauma from the Khmer Rouge genocide. I’ve been wanting to read more short stories and I think this sounds like it would be interesting.
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Release Date: August 17
I have to first address the cover because it is both HOT and COOL. Tell me that isn’t a hot as fuck cover. But also super cool and badass. Moving on from my cover love, this is a historical noir from a new favorite author of mine. Mexican Gothic was one of my favorite reads from last year and I’m super intrigued to see how Silvia Moreno-Garcia goes into historical noir. She’s an author that puts so much work into research and it shows. Plus her writing is so lush and captivating.
I guess this is also like the previous category of books. There are two thrillers and two contemporaries.
Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung – Release Date: July 13
This sounds like it will be a strong book about grief as well as the experience of immigrants. Also not a book set in the U.S. as its set both in China and Canada. I know its random that I point that out but I also don’t for some reason read many non-US books which I obviously should fucking fix.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris – Release Date: June 1
This had me at Get Out meets The Stepford Wives which is quite the comp to make. This about a young Black woman who works a book publishing house in New York where she has been the only Black employee until the new girl arrives. It seems like they’ll get along fine but the new girl starts to leave her hostile messages and things begin to spiral out.
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett – Release Date: June 1
Not going to lie but I actually am kind of wanting to read this because 1) the author is hilarious on Twitter. She’s always trending somehow?? 2) She’s a Florida author and this is set in Florida. I am naturally biased towards books set where I am from. But I mean the book does sound intriguing. The synopsis sounds almost basic but also eerily unsettling??? I guess that’s how I would describe it because it sounds like its going to be a messy ride and I am here for it.
The Comfort of Monsters by Willa C. Richards – Release Date: July 13
Set in the early 1990s during the time Jeffrey Dahmer was caught, a teenage girl also happened to disappear and it follows the sister’s story to piece together what actually happened. Also I saw the name “Gillian Flynn” and immediately added this to my tbr.
This is the “whatever else is left to talk about” category. A mix of genres and authors.
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones – Release Date: August 31
This is described as Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th which sounds cool as hell. I’m also very excited because of the hype and praise surrounding his release from last year, The Only Good Indians (which I am also dying to read). And yeah that title is hardcore.
Star Eater by Kerstin Hall – Release Date: June 22
The synopsis does not at all mention that this book is about cannibalism but it is apparently about cannibalism but fantasy. This sounds fucked up to be honest and I am here for it.
Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie – Release Date: June 22
Another thing I am into, books about music. This book leans into the 1960s/1970s folk music scene which is an era I vibe with. Bob Dylan. Joni Mitchell. James Taylor. This apparently is partially based off James Taylor and Joni Mitchell’s love affair. Sorry Bob.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – Release Date: July 13
Okay this might sound fake but I had a WIP that was also about final girls joining up together to face up against one villain. RIP The Final Girls Club. Damn you Grady Hendrix for also going for the most obvious story idea to tell and doing it before me. But this seriously sounds super cool. It probably will be better than anything I put on paper.
YOUNG ADULT RELEASES (JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)
This category is the YA horror/thriller category and this year it looks strong. I’ll especially love to talk about the ones coming out in the fall/winter season as well. There’s another book that fits here but I am purposely leaving it out for aesthetic reasons.
Darling by K. Ancrum – Release Date: June 22
A dark retelling of Peter Pan which K. Ancrum is known to deliver on dark topics. The synopsis itself is pretty vague and mysterious as to what the hell is happening. But that somehow makes me more excited to read this one. I have an ARC for this and hopefully I will be getting into it soon!
The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino – Release Date: August 10
Demonic books, boarding school, dark academia…what could be better??? I am actually rubbing my hands over the thought of reading this. This is the kind of spooky shit I have been craving.
The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters – Release Date: July 20
I adored Ghost Wood Song, the author’s debut which you should check out! This one is a sapphic Southern gothic/ supernatural book. I crave for more Southern gothic stories TBH.
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – August 3
Sapphic dark academia in the house!!! We love to see it!!!
This is a mix of books that have mostly contemporary settings grounded in realism but also two have have fantastical elements.
The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt – Release Date: June 8
This deals with a seaside town during stormy weather season and also deals with depression and suicide. So this could be a difficult read for myself since those issues hit hard for me. But I like the premise enough to want to try to read it.
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride – Release Date: August 17
So this is an interesting mix of novel-in-verse contemporary and ghost story. It sounds like it will be a haunting read and I didn’t look into it any further than that because novels-in-verse are easy for me to go in without knowing too much about them.
Dangerous Play by Emma Kress – Release Date: August 3
I have been wanting to venture into YA sports books which there seems to be a lack of. Not non-existent but just very limited and they don’t seem to get as much coverage as fantasy and romance contemporaries do. I am interested to see how this portrays sexual assault and the trauma of it.
This Poison Heart by Kaylynn Bayron – Release Date: June 29
I believe this is a retelling of The Secret Garden which I story I ADORED in my childhood years but also I recognize that its a story that could use a good retelling and especially one from the perspective of a person of color. I’m also a sucker for plant magic fantasy. Give me all the cottagecore vibes please.
This is the WLW category. HAROLD.
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta – June 29
Aimed at fans of Pacific Rim (that’s me) with a sapphic romance, I really think this could be a fun read. I actually preordered this a while ago so I have been anxiously waiting for the finished copy to show up for a long time now but I also have an ARC and I am dying to find time to read this!! To my knowledge I haven’t read any book with mechas in them, which is honestly such a weird thing because that whole category of cyberpunk/sci-fi is huge in anime, if you’re a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gundam and of course Pacific Rim.
Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson – June 8
I actually have no idea what the hell this book is really about. From the synopsis I get the hint of fantasy ~but make it apocalyptic~ which is my absolutely my thing. Also it is of course sapphic. I kind of like that I’m going into this not knowing much tbh.
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould – August 3
Ghosthunting!! Haunted towns!! Horror!! Sapphics!! *In the tune of Shania Twain’s Man I Feel Like a Woman* Let’s go ghouls!!
Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson – July 6
This sounds like the perfect summer read, its about two girls at a music festival and falling in love. I personally love books that are about music and about the fans of music. Look at that cover and tell that this isn’t going to be cute af.
That’s my little list, let me know some of your most anticipated summer releases. Also what do you think of this year in books thus far? Has it been a good/okay/bad year for book releases? Have you already found a favorite book of the year or do you expect this next half to have a new favorite in store?
2020 has certainly been a year. The book world has no doubt been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the most recent Black Lives Matter movement. Book release dates have been delayed or changed to later dates, which pushed a lot of books I wanted to read into the later half of 2020. I have many 2020 releases on my radar and I wanted to share them with y’all.
Also for all of my posts I’ll be sharing this carrd for any who reads to check it out, donate and learn about the things that have happened and are currently happening in the world right now.
And before I get into talking candidly about books on my TBR I want to make my stance clear about who I am and what my blog stands for.
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
Even though its set during 1992 California, the synopsis of this novel and the themes are still relevant and timely to current day politics and movements. I actually don’t know too much about the Rodney King Riots, which is a damn shame and honestly goes to show how much the U.S. school system fails to teach students about the U.S’s racist history.
THEY WISH THEY WERE US BY JESSICA GOODMAN
Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying with a dash of The Secret History in this slick, taut murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island.
Okay so my interest in this mostly lies within its comp to The Secret History but I’m also compelled by the Gossip Girl comp. I really enjoy dark academia and snobby privileged kid stories set in prep schools. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure. I enjoy their pretentious names and attitudes and enjoy that by the end they usually get punished for thinking they are above everyone else. Also this was recently optioned for a TV Series, known as The Player’s Table.
LOBIZONA BY ROMINA GARBER
Some people ARE illegal. Lobizonas do NOT exist. Both of these statements are false.Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
A werewolf fantasy series that sounds unique and actually interesting??? Sign me up!! I’ve heard from many raving reviews about this book that this is an amazing start to a new fantasy series. I cannot wait to be a part of this hype train for a fresh and diverse fantasy series from an Argentine author.
THE DARK TIDE BY ALICIA JASINSKA
The Wicked Deepmeets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city.
It’s a sapphic dark fantasy. That just about sums up why I’m interested in reading this. I’m a simple girl. I like witches. I like queer witches.
SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING BY RAQUEL VASQUEZ GILLILAND
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
Y’ALL!!! I’ve been so excited for this book ever since it was announced on Publishers Weekly. It’s already optioned for a TV series! I love alien stuff and I’m interested to see how this author ties alien mythology with that of the current day politics dealing with ICE. Also I’m a sucker for not only beautiful covers, but beautifully BLUE covers.
STAR DAUGHTER BY SHVETA THAKRAR
This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.
Diving into my most vain reason for adding a book to my TBR, this cover is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS. But the synopsis is equally as compelling. I adore contemporary fantasy settings and I’m also fascinated with the fact that the MC is the daughter of a mortal and a star. A F*CKING STAR. That’s cool as hell.
WHERE DREAMS DESCEND BY JANELLA ANGELES
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.
One of the many upcoming YA retellings of Phantom of the Opera, but honestly bring them all on!!! I’m here for it! This one especially because it’s diverse and has some Moulin Rouge elements that make my filthy Phantom heart flutter. Can’t wait to consume this.
ELATSOE BY DARCIE LITTLE BADGER & ILLUSTRATED BY ROVINA CAI
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
An Indigenous graphic novel that sounds beautiful and magical. I can’t wait to read this. I also love the art style from Rovina Cai.
THE COMPANION BY KATIE ALENDER
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family. Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night. And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate. But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome older brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself. Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.
This sounds delightfully creepy. I’m probably going to wait to read this for Halloween season.
HARROW LAKE BY KAT ELLIS
A can’t-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who’s not afraid of anything–until she gets to Harrow Lake.
This is everything I’ve ever wanted. This is giving me Friday the 13th and I Know What You Did Last Summer vibes. Being teen slasher stories back!
THE INSOMNIACS BY MARIT WEISENBERG
A sharp and romantic novel about two suburban teens who can’t sleep uncovering the secrets of their neighborhood by night. Think The Summer I Turned Pretty with flashes of Rear Window
This combination of YA romance and Hitchcock thriller sounds so impressive and wild. Like romance with some freaky shit going down? I’m in.
NONE SHALL SLEEP BY ELLIE MARNEY
The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.
Two things I am obsessed with SADIE (one of my favorite YA thrillers ever) and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (one of my favorite films ever). How could I not like the sound of this???
THROWAWAY GIRLS BY ANDREA CONTOS
Caroline Lawson is three months away from freedom, otherwise known as graduation day. That’s when she’ll finally escape her rigid prep school and the parents who thought they could convert her to being straight. Until then, Caroline is keeping her head down, pretending to be the perfect student even though she is crushed by her family and heartbroken over the girlfriend who left for California. But when her best friend Madison disappears, Caroline feels compelled to get involved in the investigation. She has her own reasons not to trust the police, and she owes Madison — big time.
Uhhh prep school + murder. Gimme this now. Also this is apparently sapphic 👀👀👀
WE ARE NOT FREE BY TRACI CHEE
Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco. Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted. Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.
Another part of US history that the US school system actively tries to pretend never happened, Japanese internment camps during WWII era. Like I said regarding the Rodney King riots, I don’t have much knowledge about the topic of Japanese interments camps. I’m not expecting this story to teach me everything about this topic but it’s a start for me to actually learn more about this time and also the horrific treatment of Japanese American citizens.
THE UNRAVELING OF CASSIDY HOLMES BY ELISSA R. SLOAN
In vein of Daisy Jones & The Six and Everything I Never Told You, this debut novel probes the dark side of fame after a former pop star ends her own life.
It’s not everyday I get to say that I’ve interacted with an author because I am timid as hell and have made the most lukewarm author interactions on Twitter. But this author happens to be a fellow book blogger!!! I’m so excited to read this not just because I’ve interacted with them but also it sounds awesome!
CEMETERY BOYS BY AIDEN THOMAS
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
We love to see when necromancy goes wrong!!! One of the most up and coming hyped books of the year, CEMETERY BOYS is going to be a ride!
FLYY GIRLS – LUX: THE NEW GIRL & MICAH: THE GOOD GIRL BY ASHLEY WOODFOLK
Meet the Flyy Girls. The group of girls who seem like they can get away with anything. Veteran author Ashley Woodfolk pens a gorgeous and dynamic series of four Harlem highschoolers, each facing a crossroads of friendship, family, and love.
There’s TWO books coming out at the same time from this new series. They’re both contemporary and aimed at a younger teenage audience. I’ve also seen where these will be released in paperback first off meaning it will be more accessible to its intended audience. I haven’t talked about it yet but I think YA novels should make paperbacks available from the start because from remembering when I was a young teen I could. never afford a hardback. MAKE YA MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ITS AUDIENCE!!!
ROAD OUT OF WINTER BY ALISON STINE
Urgent and poignant, Road Out of Winter is a glimpse of an all-too-possible near future, with a chosen family forged in the face of dystopian collapse. With the gripping suspense of The Road and the lyricism of Station Eleven, Stine’s vision is of a changing world where an unexpected hero searches for a place hope might take root.
I’ve been craving a near future dystopian for a while. I mean we are basically living in a dystopian so I want to escape into another one. At least one that doesn’t involve anything related to the one we’re going through.
TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM BY YAA GYASI
Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.
HOMEGOING was very good. One of my favorite reads and I’ve been waiting desperately for Yaa Gyaasi’s next novel and it’s finally here!!!
WHO I WAS WITH HER BY NITA TYNDALL
Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.
I know this sounds sad but I’m here for sad. Also for bi rep! I actually don’t know too much about this one besides looking at the GR synopsis.
GROWN BY TIFFANY D. JACKSON
Korey Fields is dead. When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom
Tiffany D Jackson is well known for her hard hitting thriller contemporary stories like ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY’S NOT COMING. Stories that explore racial issues and the nuances that involve Black lives. This sounds sort of like a murder mystery with a character that sounds like R. Kelly, so this will be on the darker side. I have to mention that I love the cover. It’s minimalist but stands out so vibrantly.
HORRID BY KATRINA LENO
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.
One of my most anticipated this year. Everything about HORRID sounds like my nice spooky cup of tea. And can we talk about that cover?? It’s hauntingly beautiful.
LEGENDBORN BY TRACY DEONN
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.
I’m calling it now that this will be the next big YA series. It’s Arthurian mythology but with a Black Girl lead. I’ve been following this author on Twitter and I trust her vision and she’s a Loki fan. I just have a feeling that this will be the YA series that I fully immerse myself into.
WATCH OVER ME BY NINA LACOUR
Watch Over Me is another stunner from Printz Award-Winning author Nina LaCour, whose empathetic, lyrical prose is at the heart of this modern ghost story of resilience and rebirth.
You had me at ghost story! This seems like it won’t be as much as much horror as it will be more of a quiet horror story that focuses more on the psyche and emotions vs spooky, which I’m okay with. I adore the cover and I think this will be a beautiful read.
WHITE FOX BY SARA FARING
After their world-famous actor mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thaïs left their remote Mediterranean island home—sent away by their pharma-tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive. Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thaïs discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into the island’s surreal society, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.
This sounds cool as hell. Combing film with an eerie thriller/horror! I don’t want to look too heavily into this, this genre is IMO meant to be gone into with no knowledge of what’s to come.
VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD EDITED BY ZORAIDA CORDOVA & NATALIE C. PARKER
Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Just right after witches, vampires are my second favorite supernatural being. Vampires are so cool and alluring. I’m very excited to read this anthology and see what kind of vampires we’ll get to see. Vampires are making a comeback baby!!!!
EVERY BODY LOOKING BY CANDICE ILOH
Every Body Looking is a debut novel in verse in the style of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds. Candice Iloh’s book tells the story of Ada–daughter of an immigrant father and an African American mother–and her struggle to find a place for herself in America and in her own family.
I’ve discovered by reading THE POET X and BLOOD WATER PAINT that I actually enjoy novels in verse (?) Which was something I never expected to enjoy but now I want to read all the novels in verse out there. This even has a comp to Elizabeth Acevedo. Also this is going to be a duology and there’s something that compels me about contemporary duologies and series in general much more than fantasy ones now. I feel like it much rarer to get a contemporary set series. Unless it’s on the more romance side.
MISS METEOR BY TEHLOR KAY MEJIA & ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE
There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.
Two of the biggest names in YA, both queer Latinx authors. This is the collaboration we didn’t know we needed. I’ve read AMM and I love their magical realism writing and stories.
A DEADLY EDUCATION BY NAOMI NOVIK
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
Listen I loved UPROOTED and SPINNING SILVER. I even bought Illumicrate’s 90 something dollar worth special cover editions for both of them. I’ll read whatever Ms. Novik throws my way. But besides my adoration for her work, this sounds cool as hell. Dark wizard school with maybe a villainous/morally grey female protagonist? I fuck so much with that shit.
BURNING ROSES BY S.L. HUANG
When Rosa (aka Red Riding Hood) and Hou Yi the Archer join forces to stop the deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside, their quest will take the two women, now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, into a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.
Uhhh this sounds badass as fuck. I don’t know much else to say. I’m here for it though.
HUSH BY DYLAN FARROW
A stunning and timely debut from activist Dylan Farrow, Hush is a powerful feminist fantasy full of surprising insights, that casts a ray of light into the shadows of a society based on silencing and lies.
Anything that’s most likely a big fuck you to that scumbag W*ody A*len is something I like to see.
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE BY V.E. SCHWAB
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Truth be told, I haven’t read anything from Victoria Schwab. So there’s a good chance this will be the first one form her that I pick up. What can I say? I love a good Faustian deal story and a story where someone falls for the literal devil.
WE WERE RESTLESS THINGS BY COLE NAGAMATSU
From debut author Cole Nagamatsu comes an atmospheric contemporary fantasy about three teens coming of age in the wake of a mysterious death.
I swear I saw a Twin Peaks comp for this book and Twin Peaks is the magic phrase to make me pick up anything. A perfectly haunted read for October.
A CUBAN GIRLS’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW BY LAURA TAYLOR NAMEY
Teenage master of Cuban cuisine, Lila Reyes, is eager to inherit her family’s Miami bakery along with her sister, Pilar. But between spring and graduation, Lila’s abuela dies, her best friend abandons her, and her long-time boyfriend dumps her. Fearing Lila’s emotional health, her parents defy her wishes and entrust her summer to family and their Winchester, England inn. Even though she’s given a space to cook at the inn, she longs for Miami, the seat of her Cuban roots. Being a Miami Cuban baker is her glorified past and destined future, forged by years of training by her loving abuela.
Possibly the fluffiest of reads on my radar, I have to some fluffy romance and this promises it. The cover is so cute! Also I love Cuban food so much so I can’t wait to have my mouth water.
THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN BY C.L. POLK
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.
Sorcery is a topic of interest as I have a story idea about sorcery so it makes sense that I would want to read a story similar to what I’m writing. With this being an October release, magic will be in the air.
THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES BY ALIX E. HARROW
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
Witches during the time of suffragettes sounds interesting! I haven’t read from this author yet but I have heard wonderful things about The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but also some valid critique about that novel having a mixed race MC and the author being white. So while I am interested in this novel in particular, I’ll keep my ear and eyes open on anything that seems provlematic
BLACK SUN BY REBECCA ROANHORSE
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.
Rebecca Roanhorse is an author that’s been on my radar since I heard of Trail of Lightning and the praises I’ve seen everywhere on Book Twitter I am so excited to read a series from a Black Native author.
A GOLDEN FURY BY SAMANTHA COHOE
In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.
Alchemy, Philosopher’s Stone, and ~magic~? Possibly my most anticipated October release. I just my October to be filled with a book full of magical alchemy.
THE TRUTH PROJECT BY DANTE MEDEMA
Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Koenig was sure of many things going into her last year of high school. For one, she wasn’t going to stress over the senior project all her peers were dreading—she’d just use the same find-your-roots genealogy idea that her older sister used for hers. Secondly, she’d put all that time spent not worrying about the project toward getting reacquainted with former best friend and longtime crush Kodiak Jones who, conveniently, gets assigned as Cordelia’s partner. All she has to do is mail in her DNA sample, write about her ancestry results and breeze through the rest of senior year. Done, done and done But when Cordelia’s GeneQuest results reveal that her father is not the man she thought he was but a stranger who lives thousands of miles away, Cordelia realizes she isn’t sure of anything anymore—not the mother who lied, the life she was born into or the girl staring back at her in the mirror. If your life began with a lie, how can you ever be sure of what’s true.
It’s about time someone wrote a hard hitting contemporary about ancestry and DNA tests. I think the concept is so compelling and it’s one that may not get attention with it being released alongside a lot of hyped fantasy titles but I hope it gets some recognition.
BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL BY MARA FITZGERALD
A dark, queer YA fantasy that’s perfect for fans of the Three Dark Crowns series and Wicked Saints. After Emanuela Ragno kills the one person in Occhia who can create water, she must find a way to save her city from dying of thirst.
I’ve seen this novel mentioned so much on Book Twitter and I had waited in anticipation for its cover reveal, so I have high expectations for this book.
WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED BY SHANNON DITTEMORE
Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy about a rig driver’s journey to save her friend
By solely mentioning MAD MAX FURY ROAD, I have HIGH expectations for this to be epic and grandiose while also exploring the themes that MMFR portrayed so well. With a comp like that I can’t help but expect nothing but excellence
YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD BY JESSIE ANN FOLEY
From Printz Honor winner and William C. Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes the story of one girl’s battle to define herself as something other than her reputation.
Aside from the fact that this shares the title of a great Amy Winehouse song, the story of a troubled teen girl is up my alley. I haven’t seen much talk around this so I hope it doesn’t end up being a overlooked because it sounds like it could actually be good.
COME ON IN EDITED BY ADI ALSAID
This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.
Another anticipated anthology of mine. I can’t wait to read these stories!
PLAIN BAD HEROINES BY EMILY M. DANFORTH
The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit.
There’s something surprising to me that this book isn’t already being hyped up? It’s from the author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and it’s not being talked about already?? Maybe because it’s aimed at adults but even established YA authors who venture into adult lit get some attention (Schwab, Bardugo, etc.) but it sounds like it would have strong crossover appeal. I also love the title. PLAIN BAD HEROINES. We always need those ❤️
AMONG THE BEASTS & BRIARS BY ASHLEY POSTON
Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.
No lies. I love the cover. But maybe there will be something about this that ends up drawing my attention further. I enjoy a good curse story. So there’s something with more substance that I can give for putting this on my to read list.
As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive. Less
KINGDOM OF THE WICKED BY KERRI MANISCALCO
From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series… Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…And an intoxicating romance
No I haven’t read her best known series (I promise to get to it one day!!). Yes I am here because I heard this serves some excellent enemies to lovers romance. Which I am trash for. That’s all folks!
THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD BY REBECCA MAHONEY
Debut author Rebecca Mahoney delivers an immersive and captivating novel about magical places, found family, the power of grief and memory, and the journey toward reconciling who you think you’ve become with the person you’ve been all along.
I’ve yet to hear anyone mention this title and I think it deserves some mention. It promises a beautiful, thoughtful and magical look into PTSD and grief, which are things that I can relate to.
MAGIC DARK AND STRANGE BY KELLY POWELL
The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders.
This sounds like the PERFECT October read! Necromancy + murder mystery!!! I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this one.
THOSE WHO PREY BY JENNIFER MOFFETT
Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.
Say the word cult and I am yours. Also the YA marketing team is really using that SADIE comp loosely and dangerously. But I love this sound of this novel.
THE QUEEN’S COUNCIL: REBEL ROSE BY EMMA THERIAULT
Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue—and a touch of magic
Yes yes yes. It’s yet another YA Beauty & The Beast retelling. This one seems to be a more of a “what happens after happily ever after” scenario and I’m a sucker for B&TB. It all depends on the execution for me and I hope this succeeds in winning me over.
THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS BY CHLOE GONG
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
This sounds like it’ll be a *delight* haha It’s been a while since I’ve read a Romeo & Juliet retelling and this one will bring on a fresh new voice and take on that classic tragic love story. I also have to shoutout the author’s Twitter account has the best content!
THE BRIGHT AND BREAKING SEA BY CHLOE NEILL
Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery.
So this was added to my TBR because of the cover (Rovina Cai’s art is GORGEOUS) and I have been craving some pirate/seafaring adventure stories with female leads, thanks to the resurgence of Pirates of Caribbean I’ve seen lately on my Twitter timeline. I loved Elizabeth Swann!!! PIRATE KING!!!
HOW THE KING OF ELFHAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES BY HOLLY BLACK
This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.
I still need to finish The Folk of the Air series by reading THE QUEEN OF NOTHING, but I have to say that I’m excited for this bonus novel. It’s definitely fan service material but honestly I crave more of this series and it’s characters particularly Jude and Cardan.
RUINSONG BY JULIA EMBER
In Julia Ember’s dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy Ruinsong, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.
The other Phantom of the Opera retelling I’m excited for. Mostly because it’s f/f.
A CURSE OF ROSES BY DIANA PINGUICHA
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…
Possibly one of the most gorgeous and compelling curses I’ve ever heard of. Turning things into flowers by touching or swallowing them? Sounds nice but I would still love some food. In all seriousness this sounds lovely and it’s also a sapphic fairytale from an OwnVoices Portuguese author.
THE GOOD GIRLS BY CLAIRE ELIZA BARTLETT
Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.
Unlikeable female characters!!! That’s all I really need to be interested in a story like this. And add some murder. I’m sold!
I’ve you ever made it this far here’s a gold star for you ⭐️ and I appreciate you 🙂
Thanks for reading and let me know what 2020 releases coming up yp
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
8.5/10 Ravens (4.5/5 STARS)
Featuring one of the most stunning covers I’ve ever graced my eyes upon, An Enchantment of Ravens is an enchanting tale of true love, whimsical faerie antics and the beauty of humanity through art and passion.
While this is a relatively short novel, coming in at 300 pages long, this still gave enough of a story to feel satisfying. I also think that the short-length gave helped its world-building feel less overwhelming to me. There wasn’t too much or too little of it. The writing was also so flowery and immersive. I loved Margaret Rogerson’s descriptions of Whimsy and the seasonal lands of faerie.
I adored the characters in this, especially Isobel and Rook, the main couple of the story. Isobel was a great heroine, with a down-to-earth personality and a passion for art that made her easy to root for. Rook is a typical prince like character, arrogant, charming, and trying to prove himself but he’s also a very sweet, genuine nice guy who respects Isobel.
The side characters were each interesting in their own ways. My favorite was Gadfly for numerous spoiler-y reasons but I appreciated him a lot. I also enjoyed Isobel’s family, her aunt Emma and her goat sisters, March and May (yes goat sisters). They had a mystical charm to the story even without the mischievous and trickster faeries that lurked in the latter half of the story.
I have to be honest and say that Isobel and Rook are indeed very much an insta-love couple, but I can like a cliche such as that when it’s executed well, and it is here. The romance was charming and also one of the healthiest relationships I’ve read in a fantasy novel. There’s a discussion that the characters have about consent that this very nuanced and I appreciated seeing brought up.
The only downsides I had with An Enchantment of Ravens was the pacing and the fact that I wish there was a sequel to this story. (I NEED MORE OF THIS SWEET ROMANCE Y’ALL)
If you want to read a story that involves magical fae and a wonderfully executed romance with autumnal vibes, check this one out!
I can’t wait to read the next book that Margaret Rogerson writes and see what other worlds she comes up with next! 🙂
Science-Fiction & Fantasy are some of my most favorite genres and in these recent years there have been many names thrown out whenever someone mentions their favorite SFF series or standalone. Many of those names are the ones I’ll be talking about today. These are some of most hyped SFF authors, specifically female SFF authors.
She mainly writes YA, specifically in magical realism / fantasy genre. I’ve heard absolutely nothing but AMAZING things about her books. Her writing and characters are highly praised and she also writes great queer rep. I already own When the Moon Was Ours, ordered Wild Beauty recently, and if I do enjoy them, I’ll will definitely be looking forward to Blanca & Roja, but it already looks like a book I’d enjoy anyways. ALSO THESE COVERS!! Whoever makes her covers should get a raise.
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author and I’ve heard many incredible things about her stories. I’m interested in reading more SFF that isn’t by white people and/or based off of Western-oriented folklore & mythology. Also Black Panther‘s Afro-Futuristic themes really got me excited to see more themes like that and I saw some posts saying that Nnedi Okorafor’s books are filled with it. I own Who Fears Death & Binti(#1).
Victoria Schwab (a.k.a V.E. Schwab)
She mainly writes fantasy for YA and New Adult audiences and her most known book series are the Darker Shades of Magictrilogy & Monsters of Verity duology. She’s a pretty big name right now and I still can’t believe I haven’t read anything by her yet. I currently own Vicious (#1).
Yet another YA writer whose writing has been described by many as beautiful and gorgeous. Also pretty hyped about these, because the synopsis for both books below seem so bizarre and I LOVE BIZARRE SHIT. Like give me that weirdness. I currently own the entire Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. Strange the Dreamer (#1) is at my library, so I might be getting that very soon!
I only know of her duology, which features The Star-Touched Queen & A Crown of Wishes. Both, from what I’ve read and been told about them, have lyrical and gorgeous writing and worldbuilding and that’s all I can ask for in a great fantasy story. Also I believe that this is based on Indian mythology which is refreshing to read since there’s so much Western / European centric fantasy series out there. She also has another series that is also based on Indian mythology, Aru Shah and the End of Time, which looks cute and is a middle-grade. I may pick it up but I’m not really into middle-grade, TBH. Also these covers are STUNNING.