September Book Haul

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
ARCs and review copies:

When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas

When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.

Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Ana, Hank, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves?

In an imaginative and heartfelt exploration of human—and non-human—nature, Leah Thomas champions the unyielding bonds between family and true friends.

I suuper love that cover.







The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine (Ravenspire #3)
Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer (Spindle Fire #2)
Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst
A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole





Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall
The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana





Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
More than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer



Creators, Conquerors, Citizens by Robin A.H. Waterfield


"We Greeks are one in blood and one in language; we have temples to the gods and religious rites in common, and a common way of life." So the fifth-century historian Herodotus has some Athenians declare, in explanation of why they would never betray their fellow Greeks to the enemy, the "barbarian" Persians. And he might have added further common features, such as clothing, foodways, and political institutions. But if the Greeks knew that they were kin, why did many of them side with the Persians against fellow Greeks, and why, more generally, is ancient Greek history so often the history of internecine wars and other forms of competition with one another? This is the question acclaimed historian Robin Waterfield sets out to explore in this magisterial history of ancient Greece. 

With more information, more engagingly presented, than any similar work, this is the best single-volume account of ancient Greece in more than a generation. Waterfield gives a comprehensive narrative of seven hundred years of history, from the emergence of the Greeks around 750 BCE to the Roman conquest of the last of the Greco-Macedonian kingdoms in 30 BCE. Equal weight is given to all phases of Greek history-the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. But history is not just facts; it is also a matter of how we interpret the evidence. 

Without compromising the readability of the book, Waterfield incorporates the most recent scholarship by classical historians and archaeologists and asks his readers to think critically about Greek history. A brilliant, up-to-date account of ancient Greece, suitable for history buffs and university students alike, Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens presents a compelling and comprehensive story of this remarkable civilization's disunity, underlying cultural solidarity, and eventual political unification.




Bought:
 
Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis (The Harwood Spellbook #1)

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancĂ©, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.







When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Hidden Bodies by Carolyn Kepnes (You #2)
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
The Nature of a Pirate by A.M. Dellamonica (Hidden Sea Tales #3)



The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.



It was a pretty good month,book-wise.


Cover Reveal: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Tuesday, September 19, 2017




Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Publisher: Tor Teen

Expected: 2018



A YA fantasy called Dark of the West is the first in a planned series set in a realm similar to 20th-century Europe. Told from dueling points of view, Dark of the West follows a pair of star-crossed lovers: an idealistic princess trying to suppress an impending uprising, and a young fighter pilot who has been given the job of spying on her.








 And finally... the gorgeous cover:











I can't wait to read this when it comes out in 2018!







Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Monday, September 18, 2017
Title: Wallbanger
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: romance, New Adult
Series: Cocktail #1
Pages: 358
Published: November 27, 2012
Source: borrowed library
Rating: 1/5


Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.

I heard really good things about this book, so while I didn't love Nuts by the author, I decided to give Wallbanger a try anyway. The gist, a young designer moves in next door to a playboy and hears his sexual conquests through the wall sounded like it could be really funny. But, like Nuts, I'm left wondering if Alice Clayton has ever actually had a sexual experience.

First issue. Wallbanger is 358 pages long and there is no plot. No conflict. Our heroes meet. They're instantly attracted to each other. They faff about in California and Tahoe and make a lot of meatball related puns. They take a sexy trip to Spain together, declare their love, and have a lot of sex. In the last 100 pages, the author tries to force Caroline's sexual dissatisfaction as a big plot point, but it's literally resolved with one good tupping. There are five books in this series, three of them about Caroline and Simon. What could there possibly be to say about these characters for another 800 pages? There wasn't enough to say for the first 200.

Second, this book only vaguely makes sense if it was finished in 2002 and put on a shelf until 2012*. It's completely dated. It's essentially Sex in the City fanfiction. I can actually hear Sarah Jessica Parker in my head every time Caroline laments the loss of O, the physical manifestation of her orgasm. Her masturbation session is one of the most bizarre and out of touch chapters in the history of modern literature. First, she dons a pink babydoll negligee, the sexy nightie of the 1980s. She turns on INXS, because Michael Hutchence does it for her (1983 - 97). She then begins her first fantasy, kissing Jordan Catalano (My So-Called Life 1994). This then morphs to running away with Jason Bourne (2002). Finally, she pulls out "the big guns". She goes Clooney. Danny Ocean (2001), George from Facts of Life (1985), and then, the big finish, Dr. Ross from ER (1994 - 98). Again, this book was released in two thousand and twelve. Caroline would have been thirteen when Clooney left ER and eight when My So-Called Life came out. Where's the Spiderman kiss, Adam Brody, Legolas/Aragorn (personal preference here)? And the music choices. Neither character listens to anything more modern than Prince the entire book. It's not timeless, it's weird.

I said in Nuts, the sex was garbage. That was after Clayton had had nine years to hone her craft.

"His hi-there against my hoohah". Read that again with your own eyeballs and tell me how I can get a job as an editor, because clearly this world is lacking. Plus the idiom is "sweating like a whore in church". Why would the church whore be moaning, Caroline?

As I felt I had to give a disclaimer against The Rabbit in my last Clayton review, so must I urge all people with vaginas to not pour honey on their crotches. I'm not sure about the health and safety of flour and raisins down there either, but absolutely no sugar darlings. It will only end in tears and Monistat.

Simon's previous lovers all have one weird quirk that Caroline nicknames them for. Spanx, likes to be spanked. Ok, a little judgy, it's not that weird. The Giggler laughs as she orgasms, which again, real thing, not that big of a deal. (Though it's written, like "Simon, hehehehe. Don't hahahaha. Stop heehehee." Which...not really, and I'm always irrationally annoyed by sex scenes where characters yell their partners names a hundred times.) And then there's Purina. Oh my god, where do I start. First, she meows in bed. Like a cat. So like a cat that Caroline's cat climbs the plaster and attempts to mate with her through the walls. So like a cat that, months later, the real cat escapes from Caroline's apartment and chases Purina through the halls, into Simon's apartment, and trees her on top of a dresser in his attempt to stick his cat penis in a human woman who, assumedly, does not emit cat pheromones. This is a real scene in a real romance novel. Worse, the last chapter of the book is told from the cat's POV. His last thought before the acknowledgements is of Purina, the one that got away. The author thought this idea was so funny it's literally the final line of the book.

Clayton tries a few different writing styles. The majority of the book is first person past. There are a few epistolary sections, consisting of text messages between the MCs and their BFFs. There's the car scene, which alternates between interconnected first person present inner monologues of Caroline, Simon, Mimi, and Ryan. (Caroline: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Simon: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Mimi: I hope this gas station has bubble gum! Ryan: I hope this gas station has condoms. See it's funny because the two who aren't dating want the same snack and Ryan just wants to have sex with Mimi!) And of course, as I mentioned, the book ends with the cat's POV. It feels disjointed and unpolished.

I cannot explain how this book has an average rating of 4.1 on Goodreads. It's horrible. One of the worst books I've ever read. It's not even funny bad, just pointless.



*so in the course of writing this review, I asked my Books and Murder crew to proofread a paragraph. In so doing, we discovered Wallbanger is a P2P fanfiction, originally entitled Edward Wallbanger. So while it was commercially published in 2012, the story was written in 2008, which makes the references the tiniest bit more acceptable. It also raises significantly more questions, such as why Alice and Rose have morphed into Samantha and Charlotte from SitC.


Waiting on Wednesday: City of Brass

Wednesday, September 6, 2017






I was already interested in this fantasy - of course - but then I saw the UK cover and knew it had to be mine ASAP.




Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . .






Publication Date: November 14 2017
Publishers: Harper Voyager
Pages: 528





Top Ten Books For My Coblogger

Tuesday, September 5, 2017



Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, where the prompts are made up and the schedule doesn't matter! Jessie came up with this idea while Jamie was on hiatus, but frankly I think all coblogging teams should do this one. Because now I have five birthday/Christmases sorted.



1. The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen

Why won't you let me love you, Jessie? This book is amazing. Jamie McKelvie's art will blow your mind. You're going to love Lucifer as David Bowie and Sekhmet as Rihanna. You love mythology and mythological retellings and sassy teen girls in London. Plus there's a spinoff set in 455 about the second sacking of Rome. We love Rome.

2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This is the book of my heart. It's weird and funny and relatable and I think it's must read for anyone with or who loves someone with mental illness and I want Jenny to be our best friend so you should read this to be prepared when I build some sort of Ohio/Arizona/Texas teleportation system.

3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Best graphic novel. Best sci-fi series. Best space opera. Ever. Including movies. Yes. Don't @ me.

A sweeping love story of two soldiers on the opposite side of an intergalactic war and their efforts to find peace and freedom to raise their child. And the entire plot turns on a supermarket romance novel.

Plus there are robots with TV heads, a cat that can tell if you're lying, and the main character breastfeeding like a boss right on the front cover.(And a fuck ton of frank, realistic depictions of mental illness, PTSD, drug dependency, racism, jingoism, sexism, so many isms.)

4. Written in Red by Anne Bishop

I want you to read this, but I'm also nervous because Rohini from wotmania just read it and voted it the worst series she's read this year and she's much smarter than me. But I think this is such an interesting take on the standard supernatural creature UF and I like Meg so much.

5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I NEED to talk about this book with you. What happens to Susan when she's too old to return to Narnia? How did Alice cope after Wonderland? (She didn't, see Looking-Glass.) It's such an interesting premise and then, in typical Seanan fashion, she puts a bunch of teenagers with tenuous grasps on reality into a murder mystery. Did you guess the killer???

BONUS:
Why is she biting his cheek?????????????????
6. Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Misery loves company.






1. Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

Yes I am also already making you finish his original fantasy series - but I am perpetually bemoaning you about the awesomeness of those particular books; let's switch it up a bit this time. Instead, let me tell you this standalone: it stars a deadly, irreverent assassin who must kill 10 people in 10 days. So she incites a rebellion in a simmering city. It's magnificent and Pyrre is a perfect Dani character. I mean... there is murder by spider.

2. The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #1)




The queer fantasy book of your dreams! I know how much you look for rep in our favorite genre and... don't often find a mirror. I know that while one book can't fix that problem or erase it, reading this lush fantasy centered on two utterly badass (in different ways!) badass nonhet ladies will hopefully make you smile. And also cry, because I'm me and this book also hurts. I know you're tired of "[usually male noun]'s daughter" titles but don't worry -- that's not what this title references.

3. The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Wayfarers #1)





I'm half way there with you on this book -- I've gotten you to buy it at least. I just need to get you to put eyeballs on paper and READ IT. If I tell you it's all about gays in space and new cultures and creatures and ALIENS and SPAAAACE -- will that help? There are big ships and tiny ships (both the space and relation variety) and so many fun, memorable characters.

4. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke #1)




Yes most of the blogging world and our friends hated or DNF'd it. But I loved it and I also know how much you love Hodge's writing and imagination. It's by far the most I have ever liked the story of Romeo and Juliet -- they were teens who knew each other for days before dying IT'S NOT A REAL ROMANCE -- so maybe it's the inclusion of the zombies? Maybe it's the stone-cold badass that is the Juliet, full of life and passion and agency? Or maybe it's Romeo and Paris, the unlikeliest of detective duos, acting like CSI investigators with a psychic mind link? Maybe it's Hodge's unique and creative worldbuilding? Or maybe it's all the gay headcanons this book seems to beg for. I dunno. I just really, really dug this. I think you would, too.

5. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust






We both love a good fantasy/fairy tale retelling. We are both pretty stridently and unapologetically feminist persons. This is the kind of story tailor-made for us. There are rich characters, creative interpretations of a familiar story, and villains that are complexly-drawn rather than just being simply eeevil or, say, hating a stepdaughter just for existing. It's fun and clever and original.








...ATTASU: The Flintstones by Mark Russell

Friday, September 1, 2017

Once, when I was a wee blogger with stars in my eyes and a song in my heart, I realized the bloggers I wanted to emulate all had a thing. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has snarky romance reviews and Help a Bitch Out, where readers try to reconnect with books they only half remember. A Reader of Fiction's Christina has Cover Snark. Cuddlebuggery has Buzz Worthy News and TV Reviews and that time Kat made a fantasy island shaped like a penis. What will be my legacy, bb Danielle wondered into the night sky.

Will I twinkle while I shake it or will I bump it with a trumpet?
Hello fam and welcome to a new-ish feature here on Ageless Pages Reviews, ...And Then The Aliens Show Up, an examination of weird and bizarre fiction. I say new-ish, as I've long gained a reputation for reading that which should not exist. Hell, my very first review for APR, Modelland by Tyra Banks could easily bear this logo. I love bad books. Books that take left turns and books that were never on the path to begin with. Sometimes they're intentionally funny. Sometimes the humor is in how unintentionally funny they are. Sometimes they're just sad relics of the past. Regardless, I'd rather talk about one wtf book than a million mediocre ones.

Today we're discussing a reboot that is truly divisive. Fans call it the best graphic novel of 2016. Detractors claim the update ruins not only the book itself but memories of the childhood original.


You remember The Flintstones, right? It was The Honeymooners in the Stone Age, a relatively lighthearted Hanna-Barbera sitcom that ran six years in the sixties and fifty years in syndication. It followed everyman Fred Flintstone as he didn't get the respect he deserved from his nincompoop boss, shrew wife, and dumb-as-a-stone best friend. Even his pets don't respect him, as the cat puts him out at the end of the credits. But of course at the end of 30 minutes, everyone comes to see the patriarch just wanted what was best for them and he's usually rewarded with a kiss from a now docile Wilma or a giant steak. Or both.

The new series starts off with a modern tour guide showing an ice mummy of a Neanderthal to an audience stand in. She tells him that right here in Bedrock Valley is archaeological proof of a stone age society, more advanced than any other discovered. A pan into the map and suddenly we're in Bedrock "100,000 years ago". The anachronistic combination of rock and tusk buildings combined with riffs on modern brands, (Starbricks, Outback Snakehouse,) proves familiar and sparks a chuckle. We meet Mr. Slate, in the process of hiring three Neanderthals for his quarry. "Twice as strong as homo sapiens, and have no formal concept of money." The Slate of my childhood wasn't quite so blatant, but his decision to have Fred wine and dine the new hires so they'll bring their friends to Bedrock is a typically Flintstonian setup. However, a phone call to Wilma reminds Fred that he has "Veterans' Group" with Barney and sets our spidey senses tingling. A few panels later, we see the iconic Order of the Waterbuffalo hats, only to be juxtaposed with this.


It takes just twelve pages for Russell to establish that this is not the retelling you thought it was.

This take on the Flintstones is daringly political. Veteran's affairs are at the forefront, as the similarities between Fred's war and Vietnam aren't subtle. You're going to see veterans sleeping on the sidewalk and coping with PTSD while governmental support and funding goes to a statue of a monkey. Gay marriage is tackled more hamfistedly than I'd like, but as the Australia postal vote is actively going on, maybe someone will get this sledgehammer approach into their head. There's an issue on elections and also some serious snark on political funding to the sciences. This divergence from the source material is head-spinning and what makes the comic so polarizing.

While each issue stands alone, very much like a 30 minute television episode, there are a lot of through lines along the entire book. One of those is the cruelty of capitalism, as Mr. Slate hires cheap, "foreign" labor to take advantage of and abuse. His refusal to pay a living wage continues to the story about the invention of the shopping mall and the Bedrockians accumulation of "crap", which leads to Fred and Barney being forced to take second jobs selling vitamins, (it's funny because Flintstones vitamins are still the most popular children's vitamins, see?) Finally in a story where Carl Sagan's stone age doppelganger predicts the end of the world, Slate is left alone in his mansion, his amenities no comfort or protection from dying alone.

More subtle, Wilma has been reimagined as an artist. She's seen making handprint paintings in her first appearance. The giraffe easel and kangaroo brush holder debate the deeper meaning. Later, Wilma is contacted to be part of an exhibit of amateur talent. The show is a disaster, full of art snobs who sneer that cave paintings are "so retro they're daring". Wilma relates to Fred that when she was a child, her tribe was nomadic and left handprints in caves before they journeyed south, so they would always be remembered. It's a very touching scene, unexpected immediately following a joke about vaping. Several issues later, with no fan fare, Wilma asks Pebbles and Fred to pose for a family portrait. Knowing the Flintstones, this is usually done with a woodpecker inside a camera, chiseling the stone before turning to the viewer as Mel Blanc quips about his aching head.


Another review I saw lambasted the "reoccurring joke" of veterans committing suicide. Respectfully, the joke isn't that veterans are at risk of suicide. The joke is the governmental support of veterans after they return from wars. We're not supposed to laugh at Joe, reaching out to the suicide hotline. We're supposed to laugh that he's been left on hold for three days, because even in this hyperbolic state, it's not that far off from real suicide services for vets. 

It's a laugh so you don't cry panel.

Tonally, the book is all like that. The above suicide panel comes in the middle of a story about teenage aliens coming to Bedrock for Galactic Break. Sight gags of animals as household appliances are tempered with stories of Bowling Ball praying for death so Fred will stop rolling him. I could have used a few more light touches, to be honest. The election/war issue is extremely heavy and even the pun of "Prayo Clinic" can't walk back infertility and the adoption of the last child of a race. The panel of Fred realizing he's unwittingly committed genocide is devastating.


It should have been the last issue in the collection. How do you go from this to moth sex?

With the Hanan-Barbera name right on the front of the volume, you'd be forgiven for expecting Viva Rock Vegas than Platoon. Your childhood favorites aren't here, but that doesn't make Flintstones Vol. 1 a bad book. Most of the satire is sharp. Religion may be low hanging fruit, but by Gerald did I laugh. The art is detailed and very pretty for the most part. The size difference between the men and women is disgustingly blatant but not exaggerated enough to work as it's own commentary. Therefore it comes off as sexist instead of skewering traditionally misogynistic comic art, but otherwise the character designs are recognizable while feeling fresh. Love Wilma's swimsuit for the hot tub party and Pebbles never ending supply of band shirts. (Speaking of bands, there's a reference to Peaches' Fuck the Pain Away so A+ music taste, Russell.)

Do I recommend The Flintstones? If, like my blog partner, I get to the part where I say, "...and then the aliens show up!", you say, "please stop talking", nope I guess I don't. But if you're curious about Great Gazoo being Earth's game warden, have at it.

Jessie's End of Summer Book Haul

Wednesday, August 30, 2017




ARCs/Review Copies:

 Heart of Iron by Ash Poston


 Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

 I loved Ash Poston's debut novel - a hilarious nerdy moden reinvention of Cinderella titled Geekerella- and this blend of science fiction, space, and Anastasica could not sound more fun or original.








27 Hours by Tristina Wright 
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre  
Everless by Sara Holland (Untitled #1)  
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock (The Risen Kingdoms #1)
Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra (Asiana #1) 
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross (Untitled #1)





The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey  
The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam
Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist   
Ban This Book by Alan Gratz




Dread Nation by Justina Ireland


A story of the undead like you’ve never read before, Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is a fresh, stunning, and powerful meditation on race in America wrapped in an alternate-history adventure where Confederate and Union soldiers rise from the dead at the end of the Civil War.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.





Bought:



Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (DC Icons #1) - favorite author takes on inconic fmeale suphero. 100% here for it.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (The Valiant #1) - female gladiator series soon to be on TV!
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes - loved Oakes' debut The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly so much I bought this on faith.
Soleri by Michael Johnston (Soleri #1) - inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear. So yeah, I needed it.





An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington (Licanius #2) - this one is a risk since the first book was pretty much a fantasy starter-kit... but we shall see.
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan - my friends show mixed reviews but it was on sale for kindle so I figured 'why not?'.
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell (Mechanica #1) - an impulse buy entirely down to it being on sale and the cover. I am a weak person.
Rosemary and Rue by Sean McGuire (October Day #1) - I enjoy the author's other works and this series has been recc'd and talked about by Christina. I was far too curious to ignore it on sale for less than $2.






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