Book Haul!

I don’t know how we always get here. I told myself not to buy any more books until the new year because I have enough to read until Winterkeep comes out at the end of January. But my poor little TBR shelf looked so desolate and lonely with only three books on it. So… I have more books now. Whoops.

Novels

1. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden–Wizard

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…

The second book of the Dresden Files has arrived on my shelf. I know, I know, I said I didn’t really enjoy Storm Front, but it wasn’t without its quirks and I’m told the series gets better. I can afford to give the series a second chance.

2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

After reading Stiefvater’s Raven Boys, I’ve been craving another YA urban fantasy book, sue me. And after enjoying books like A Song of Wraiths & Ruin and even The Hate U Give, I really want to keep pushing the boundaries of the books I read. I want to pick up books I wouldn’t normally think I’d like. I hope they keep surprising me with their goodness. And, fine, the whole Arthurian thing definitely piqued my interest a little bit.

3. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope

I don’t hate science fiction, okay, but I’m not a huge fan of reading science fiction, especially of the deep space variety. But… I mean… it’s Paolini. Maybe the Inheritance Cycle wasn’t anything particularly ground-breaking, but it hit some type of way when I was a young reader, and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars has been getting some good reviews. So, fine, I’ll read it, even though it’s a thick boi.

4. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Once, a hero rose to save the world. He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and defeating the Lord Ruler. A new kind of uprising is being planned—one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine: a teenage street urchin named Vin.

Once, a hero rose to save the world and failed. This time, can a young heroine succeed?

Only recently, I finished reading Wheel of Time, and as many of you probably know, Brandon Sanderson was chosen to finish the last three books at Robert Jordan’s untimely passing. I personally thought Sanderson’s writing style was quite different from Jordan’s, but now I’ve grown curious. Maybe I’ll like Sanderson’s writing once I see him working on his own series.

5. 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.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

I probably would have read this book eventually. Schwab is an excellent writer; I loved Darker Shades of Magic. But it wasn’t a high priority until I started seeing a lot of positive reviews online and decided to take a closer look at it. Now it’s jumped very high on my reading list and I hope to be starting it very soon.

6. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Me, seeing a lot of buzz around the book online: I don’t think it’s my cup of tea… It’s just gonna be another generic YA romancy book… There are other books I’d rather read.

Me, stumbling across it in the bookstore, with like four books already stacked in my arms: FINE.

This is why I should not be allowed loose in a bookstore…

Graphic Novel

7. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Art by Danica Novgordoff)

Sixty seconds.

Seven floors.

Three rules.

One gun.

The Goodreads synopsis is much longer but this is all that’s on the inside flap of the graphic novel, and just thumbing through the pages was enough to get me interested. It’s not fantasy or anything; the artwork is just stunning.

Short Stories

8. A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.

I happened to come across this title while searching for some more books written by black authors, and the cover is beautiful, and it’s literally SFF short stories, so what could go wrong?


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