Got the new COVID-19 bivalent booster yesterday, so I’m taking today and tomorrow off in case I have any side effects. So far so good, I’m fine, which means I have the opportunity to dig into my email backlog! So here, have another ebook report!
Acquired for free from Tor.com:
The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo. Book 1 of the author’s Singing Hills Cycle. Offered for free by Tor.com via their occasional freebies program, so I nabbed it.
Acquired from Kobo:
The Steal, The Bait, and The Heist, by M.J. Rose and C.W. Gortner. Romantic suspense/heist/caper series, set in the 50’s. Nabbed these because I think I saw them mentioned on Dear Author? Regardless, the concept sounded kind of delightful, and all three entries in the series are available for a low price, so I got ’em.
The Four Profound Weaves and The Unbalancing, by R.B. Lemberg. Grabbed these because they are set in the Birdverse, a setting that appears to be explicitly pro-queer and pro-trans, and I feel like I need more of that in my fiction right now.
Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis. I’d say I got this on the strength of this Smart Bitches guest review, but let’s get real here: it’s a story about Leia Organa and Han Solo, and how the hell could I not pick this up? :D
Y’all have probably noticed that the vast majority of my blogging activity lately has been all about the Skyrim. Still though I do periodically try to remember that I need to beat down my email queue, and also get caught up on things like “which new ebooks do I need to make sure and pull into Calibre?”
So here’s a roundup of ebook activity over the last several months, since today is a “beat down the email queue” kind of day.
Acquired from Project Gutenberg:
Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Nabbed this because they did a readthrough of it on Tor.com’s recurring Reading the Weird column, and I felt it was high time I checked this out.
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
A Half-Built Garden, by Ruthanna Emrys. SF. Combo of first contact/climate catastrophe type novel. (And as I write this, pretty sure this book is actually about to drop.)
Nona the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. Book 3 of her Locked Tomb series, because of fucking course I’m buying this book, after the awesomeness of Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth.
The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean. Ordered this because of this preview posted to Tor.com, which seized me by the highly original idea of a secret lineage who survives by literally eating books.
Station Eternity, by Mur Lafferty. SF/Mystery, book 1 of the forthcoming Midsolar Murders series. Queued this up because I very much enjoyed a couple other Lafferty titles, Six Wakes and The Shambling Guide to New York City.
And acquired from Kobo:
For the Wolf, by Hannah Whitten. Fairy-tale-adjacent YA.
A Curious Beginning, by Deanna Raybourn. Mystery. First book of her Veronica Speedwell series.
Wrath Goddess Sing, by Maya Deane. Fantasy. Nabbed this because it’s a trans retelling of the Trojan War, reimagining Achilles as a trans woman. I am here for this.
A Lady for a Duke, by Alexis Hall. Historical romance. Nabbed this because the heroine is a trans woman and I am real interested to see how this plays out in a historical romance context.
The Calyx Charm, by May Peterson. Book 3 of her Sacred Dark series. And yet another one I’m grabbing because trans heroine. In this specific case, I love that cover, the heroine has amazing hair. <3
The Jane Austen Project, by Kathleen A. Flynn. SF. Nabbed this as it’s a combo of SF/Time Travel, a love story, and heavy emphasis on Jane Austen! Hoping this will be as engaging as it sounds.
The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi. SF. Nabbed for general “because Scalzi has a very consistent history of entertaining the hell out of me”, and also, kaiju!
Just Like Home, by Sarah Gailey. Horror. Nabbed because Gailey also has a consistent history of entertaining the hell out of me.
Nabbed from Kobo and Amazon explicitly on the strength of various reviews by James Nicoll:
The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman, translated by Melanie Magidow. Kinda adore that cover.
The Stardust Thief, by Chelsea Abdullah. Fantasy. Inspired by Arabian Nights.
January Fifteenth, by Rachel Swirsky. SF. Nabbed because I like the concept of exploring what a UBI in the United States might actually look like in terms of effects on a selection of citizens.
Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963) and Rediscovery 2: Science Fiction by Women (1953-1957), edited by Gideon Marcus. I’m not normally an anthology reader, but I really liked the concept of these ones, revisiting stories written by women in the earlier years of the SF/F genre.
The Red Palace, by June Hur. Mystery. Nabbed this because it’s a period mystery not set anywhere in Europe. It’s in Korea. Highly interested to check this out.
The Language of Roses, by Heather Rose Jones. This appears to be a queer/aromantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and that’s certainly unusual enough to make me want to check it out.
Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars, by Leigh Brackett. Got this on the grounds that Brackett is known for having been a writer on The Empire Strikes Back, and I wanted to check out some of her other work. This title is actually two of her books in one release. Not a fan of the cover, but there wasn’t a better one to be had!
Previous pre-order from Kobo that showed up:
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Acquired from Amazon:
Legends and Lattes, by Travis Baldree. Grabbed this because I heard a lot of buzz about it earlier this year, putting it into the general area of “cozy fantasy”. I really love the idea of a big butch orc running a coffee shop. <3
The Flamingo’s Fated Mate, by Elva Birch. Nabbed this because I heard about it via C.E. Murphy’s newsletter, and it sounds hilarious, as a sendup of shifter romances. :D
Song of the Forever Rains and Dance of the Burning Sea, by E.J. Mellow. Grabbed these because they were talked up on Smart Bitches. Intrigued by the prospect of a series about a group of siblings raised to be incredibly powerful magic users.
Beneath Devil’s Bridge and The Patient’s Secret, by Loreth Anne White. Nabbed for when I’m in the mood for thrillers.
At the Quiet Edge, by Victoria Helen Stone. Also nabbed for when I’m in the mood for thrillers.
Pre-ordered from Amazon:
Symphony for a Deadly Throne, by E.J. Mellow. Book 3 to go with the two books above.
Another overdue ebook roundup post. Here are titles I’ve picked up over the last few months.
Acquired from Kobo:
Star Trek: Discovery: Wonderlands, by Una McCormack. Grabbed this one as it fills in a gap at the beginning of Season 3, covering the events of the year Michael Burnham spends waiting for her ship to catch up with her.
The Demon Equilibrium, by Cathy Pegau. Paranormal/historical romance, also queer. Picked this up on the strength of this review on Smart Bitches, also on the strength of Pegau being a fellow Carina author!
Olive Bright, Pigeoneer, by Stephanie Graves. Mystery, set in Britain in WWII. Nabbed this because I saw the review for Book 2 on Criminal Element, and that sounded interesting enough that I looked at their review of Book 1 as well, which I then purchased.
The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. Non-fiction. Picked this up because it went on sale in ebook form for a little bit, and because I’d heard it talked up on Smart Bitches podcasts. Account of what happened with young women working in radium dial factories in World War I.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers. SF. Nabbed this as this is the first book in a new series from her, and I’ve really liked her strong character-driven SF so far. And her titles. <3
A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger. Fantasy YA. Got this out of interest in SF/F from indigenous authors; Darcie Little Badger is Apache.
Hild, by Nicola Griffith. Historical fantasy. Nabbed this because I’ve been interested in reading it for a while, and was reminded I still needed to buy a copy.
The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. Another thing I’d been interested in reading for a while, and which finally popped off the queue to be bought.
Scales and Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis. Fantasy/fantasy romance, I think. Book 1 of her Regency Dragons series. Nabbed this just because I do love the Regency era + magic or fantasy elements.
Lady August, by Becky Michaels. Historical romance, Book 1 of her Linfield Hall series. Got this one because Book 2 of the series showed up in this Cover Awe post by Smart Bitches, and I was impressed enough by that cover to look up more about the series. Saw that A Rake Like You was actually Book 2, so I went and got Book 1 to read. (And I gotta say, I like this trend of illustrated covers on romance novels lately.)
Certain Dark Things, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Because as I note below, Mexican Gothic was huge fun, swinging out to find more of this author’s work now.
Battle of the Linguist Mages, by Scotto Moore. SF. Grabbed this pretty much on the grounds of any SF involving linguistic nerdery sounds like SF I need to be reading!
The Pages of the Mind, by Jeffe Kennedy. Fantasy romance. Nabbed this because another thing I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and because I really like the imagery on the cover. Picked this up for free by redeeming points on my Kobo account!
Pre-orders that showed up from Kobo:
The Thousand Eyes, by A.K. Larkwood. Book 2 of her Serpent Gates series. I really liked Book 1, The Unspoken Name!
Pre-order placed with Kobo:
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Nabbed this because holy shit Mexican Gothic was fun, and because Kobo’s recommendation algorithm actually correctly deduced that another book by her is Highly Relevant to My Interests. This book is due to drop in July!
Geez, this post has been sitting in my Drafts folder for quite some time! I have no particular excuse for this, other than just being very, very lax on getting this post written up! But since I’ve started doing all the Skyrim posts, seeing my Drafts folder on my WordPress site kept reminding me this post was there, and ever so patiently waiting for me to deal with it.
Let’s deal with it now, shall we?
Acquired from Kobo:
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. This is the book on which the movie of the same name was based, and I bought it on the strength of the buzz about the movie.
Unconquerable Sun, by Kate Elliott. SF/Space Opera. Also, a lesbian version of the saga of Alexander the Great IN SPACE, as I understand it. SIGN ME UP.
Death of a New American, by Mariah Fredericks. Book 2 of a mystery series I’d already bought Book 1 for.
Stealing Thunder and Gifting Fire, by Alina Boyden. Books 1 and 2 of a fantasy series featuring a transgendered heroine.
A Peculiar Combination, by Ashley Weaver. Book 1 of a historical mystery series featuring a heroine whose lockpicking talents get her drafted into supporting Britain during WWII.
Mirage and Spectrum, by Julie E. Czerneda. SF. Books 2 and 3 of the Web-Shifter’s Library series.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers. SF. Book 4 of Chambers’ Wayfarers series. And, I’m given to understand, the last one!
Acquired from Amazon:
Wings of Fury, by Emily R. King. Fantasy set in the time of Greek myth.
The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi. SF/mystery. Ebook version of the audiobook of the same name, which I’ve already listened to and enjoyed. Nabbed this just because I’m a completist, and because the audiobook for Book 2 came out.
Spacer’s Cinderella, by Adria Rose. SF/Romance, Space Opera. As you might guess from the title, a version of the Cinderella story set in space.
Acquired from Audible (which also essentially means, acquired from Amazon, but I’m counting this differently):
Murder By Other Means, by John Scalzi. The aforementioned Book 2 audiobook for John Scalzi’s Dispatcher series. Like Book 1, this is narrated by Zachary Quinto.
Kobo pre-orders that showed up:
The Conductors, by Nicole Glover. Historical fantasy set during the 1800’s, with heavy Underground Railroad themes in the plot.
Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells. The next Murderbot book. Yes please, I’ll have some!
While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams. A Supreme Court thriller written by Stacey Abrams. Yes, that Stacey Abrams. She’s got an established career as an author but with this book, she’s writing under her actual name rather than the pen name she uses for her romances, Selena Montgomery.
Amazon pre-orders that showed up:
Heartbreak Bay, by Rachel Caine. Book 5 (and final, due to Caine’s passing away) of the Stillhouse Lake series of thrillers.
Kobo pre-orders I’ve placed:
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs, by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson. Prequel novel to the Within the Wires podcast, which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.
Acquired for free from Tor.com:
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, by Nghi Vo. Fantasy. Book 2 of the Singing Hills Cycle series, and I really ought to nab Book 1 before I read this, I think!
Acquired as a Kickstarter reward:
Daughter of the Lilies. Fantasy, graphic novel release of the excellent webcomic of the same name that I’ve been following at daughterofthelilies.com. The author and colorist teamed up to put out a print edition of the first storyline they’ve done, and I was a backer for their Kickstarter.
Soulstar, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. Book 3 of her Kingston Cycle, which i am very much looking forward to reading.
Pre-orders that I placed:
Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest. This is Priest’s mystery debut, but given that the heroine is a psychic, it’s clearly going to be a mystery with paranormal elements. Sign me the fuck up.
And, acquired from Kobo because I was in a mood to expand this author’s presence in my library:
A Madness in Spring, The Dress of the Season, The Game and the Governess, The Lie and the Lady, The Dare and the Doctor, and Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night, all by Kate Noble. All historical romance. A couple of these are standalones, a couple of them are novellas, and all of them are ones I look forward to reading. Noble’s on the short list of authors who historical romances I have actively enjoyed, and I’ll look forward to checking out more of her work.
(Note also for anyone besides me who likes reading historical romance: A Madness in Spring and The Dress of the Season were both available for free on Kobo, where I got them. You may wish to consult your ebook vendor of choice to see if you can get them for free as well, if you want to check out this author.)
The entire Themis Files trilogy (Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and Only Human) by Sylvain Neuvel. SF. Grabbed this because I got book 1 as a freebie a while back in paperback, and I liked it, and the ebook went on sale. So I went ahead and got all three of them.
Beach Read, by Emily Henry. Contemporary romance. Grabbed this because Smart Bitches reviewed it quite positively, and while I don’t normally read contemporaries, this sounded kind of delightful. In no small part because of the schtick of both the heroine and hero being writers and challenging each other to write each other’s genres.
The Duke Who Didn’t, by Courtney Milan. Historical romance. Acquired for general “because Courtney Milan” reasons, but also, I’m quite interested to see how she sets up a historical set in Britain but with protagonists of color.
The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer. Book 1 of her Enola Holmes series, which I nabbed since we just watched the new movie adaptation on Netflix. I found it quite charming, and the ebook was on sale for $2.99, so I snapped it up.
Acquired from Amazon:
Chaos Reigning, by Jessie Mihalik. Book 3 of her Consortium Rebellion series, sci-fi romance. Nabbed it because it went on sale price and I did like book 1, so.
And last but not least, acquired from John Scalzi:
Clash of the Geeks, by John Scalzi and other authors. Chapbook parody fantasy, with stories explaining exactly what’s going on in a painting depicting Scalzi as an orc, fighting Wil Wheaton who’s riding a unicorn pegasus kitten. As you do! Scalzi posted about it on his Whatever blog, and offered freebie copies of the chapbook to readers, so I took him up on that. Because this year? This year definitely calls for some supremely silly reading.
Because I may have been doing a lot of Kobo lately!
Pre-orders for The Relentless Moon,Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi, The Immortal City, and Harrow the Ninth all showed up. It’s PREORDERPALOOZA up in here. But I’ve already counted all these titles on totals, so I won’t count them again here.
Newly pre-ordered from Kobo:
When No One is Watching, by Alyssa Cole. Nabbed this because I already know I love Cole’s work, and I love her in particular because she’s excellent at handling various sub-genres of romance. It’ll be interesting to see how she handles writing a thriller!
Bought straight up from Kobo:
Haunted, by Cathy Pegau. Not sure if this is mystery, paranormal romance, or maybe a little bit of both, but it sounds charming and I told Cathy straight up on Twitter that I loved the cover.
Interference, by Sue Burke. SF. Nabbed this because it’s the second half of the duology that started with Semiosis. While I wasn’t a hundred percent in love with that book, it did still stand out in my mind as one of the more original SF novels I’ve read lately, and I want to see where this storyline goes next.
Seven Devils, by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May. SF, and in particular, self-described as “feminist space opera”, which I am HERE FOR. Also was totally sold by the authors pitching it on Twitter thusly: “If you wished Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars had more murder, women, and sapphic moments, we wrote this for you. IF YOU WANT TO SEE ASSHOLE FASCISTS GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE, we wrote this for you”. SOLD.
The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi. SF, book 2 of his Interdependency series. Nabbed this because I also know I already like Scalzi’s work, and I enjoyed book 1 of this series in particular, The Last Emperox. I know this one’s been out for a while, but I finally got it when it went briefly on sale for $2.99.
And oh yes, can’t forget this either:
Silver in the Wood, by Emily Tesh. Fantasy. Grabbed this one from Tor.com’s freebie ebook of the month club. I’d had half an eye on this one, so was pleased to see it available as a freebie!
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy. This was a freebie from their ebook club mailing list.
Acquired from Amazon:
Aurora Blazing, by Jessie Mihalik. Book 2 of her Consortium Rebellion sci-fi romance series. Nabbed this one because it was cheap, even though I haven’t read book 1 yet. But I love the titles, I love the cover, and I love what I’m seeing in the blurbs on these so I anticipate liking these quite a bit. And I’ll freely admit I like the similarity of vibe to Jupiter Ascending given off by this series’ book titles. I’m hoping the actual books will have a similarly fun vibe.
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal. SF, book 3 of her Lady Astronaut series. Because fuck yeah, I want to read this one! Books 1 and 2 were awesome. <3
Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. Book 2 of her Locked Tomb trilogy, which I pre-ordered the fuck out of as soon as I finished Gideon the Ninth, Book 1. Because goddamn that book rocked.
Bought from Kobo:
Truthseeker, by C.E. Murphy. I have this one already in print, and I’ve already read it, but now it’s finally out in ebook form. Yay!
Chimera, by Mira Grant. Book 3 of her Parasitology series, which I’m finally ready to read now that I’ve re-read books 1 and 2!
The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James. Nabbed this one because I really enjoyed the other book I recently read by her, and because this went on sale.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson. Fantasy. I know this got a lot of positive press when it first came out, but I know certain things about how this story plays out that make me leery to engage with it. But I’m willing to give it a shot for free.
Acquired from Subterranean Press as a freebie:
Kingdom of Needle and Bone, by Mira Grant. A Grant novella, dealing with a pandemic scenario. I hadn’t read this one before and you could make a good argument that maybe this isn’t the thing I want to read right this instant. But I’m also a fan of confronting personal fears through fiction! Plus, see commentary elsewhere on this list re: reading All the Grant/McGuire, and this is one of hers I haven’t read yet.
Acquired from Kobo:
Feedback, All the Pretty Little Horses, and Coming to You Live, all by Mira Grant. I’d read Feedback before from the library, and I’d read the other two as part of a library read of the Rise release that had all of the Grant novellas to date. But this is me finally acquiring ebook copies of all three of these, in the midst of a major Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire readathon.
The City of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty. Fantasy. Grabbed this one when it was available at a discount.
Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier. Fantasy. I had this on my list to read as a library book, but it went on sale for $1.99, so I went ahead and nabbed it.
Cold Fire and Cold Steel, by Kate Elliott. Fantasy, books 2 and 3 of her Spiritwalker Trilogy. I haven’t read book 1 yet, but these went on sale for a low price, so time to nab ’em!
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole. Sci-fi romance. I’ve already listened to this in audiobook form, but now it’s coming out in ebook, so I thought I’d nab an ebook copy too.
Apparently, when I social distance during a quarantine, I go TIME TO BUY ALL THE BOOKS.
Acquired in print from Third Place Books:
The Return of the Shadow, by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien. This is one of the extended History of Middle-Earth series that Christopher Tolkien put together out of his father’s papers, which I got interested in after seeing the excellent character study series of posts Tor.com put up citing these books as sources. Also bought to have an excuse to order something from Third Place during the covid-19 crisis.
Acquired from Subterranean Press:
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. Got this one because they were briefly offering it for free. SF/Space Opera, novella. I believe it’s also a Holmes pastiche?
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The Immortal City, by May Peterson. Book 2 of her Sacred Dark series, Book 1 of which I’ve already bought but haven’t read yet. Buying Book 2 sight unseen just because fantasy romance!
Network Effect, by Martha Wells. The forthcoming Murderbot novel which is due out in another few weeks. I gotta get caught up on some Murderbot, clearly!
And outright bought from Kobo:
Horrorstör, by Grady Hendrix. Horror, but funny horror. Noted this when it came out some time ago, though the concept sounded cute. I.e., an IKEA-like store is totally haunted. Finally nabbed it at a sale price.
Storm of Locusts, by Rebecca Roanhorse. Urban fantasy. Book 2 of her Sixth World series. Book 1 was excellent, so I’m looking forward to reading this one!
The Blacksmith Queen, by G.A. Aiken. Fantasy. This one’s been talked up a lot on Smart Bitches as a fantasy with great female character interaction, and I’m for that!
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. YA horror, with zombies. Grabbed this one since it’s a post-Civil-War zombie story and I am quite interested to see how it plays out.
Thornfruit, by Felicia Davin. Book 1 of a fantasy romance series. Grabbed it because it was free at the time.
Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy, by Martha Wells. Books 3 and 4 of the Murderbot Diaries. Grabbed because I (heart) Murderbot!
In an Absent Dream and Come Tumbling Down, by Seanan McGuire. Books 4 and 5 of the Wayward Children series. Looking forward in particular to Come Tumbling Down.
Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers. SF, book 3 of her Wayfarers series.
“A Dead Djinn in Cairo”, by P. Djèlí Clark. This is the short story that sets up the universe for The Haunting of Tram Car 015.
Also acquired from Kobo, but these ones in particular are all because they’re Hugo nominees, either for Best Novel or Best Novella:
To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers. Same author who wrote The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which I liked, and I have been meaning to catch up on her work. Contender for Best Novella.
This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Been hearing a lot of good things about this one. Contender for Best Novella.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. Contender for Best Novel.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark. Contender for Best Novella.
Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire. Because boy howdy have I heard a lot of good things about this one. Contender for Best Novel.
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine. SF. Contender for Best Novel.
And lastly, acquired from Amazon:
Problem Child, by Victoria Helen Stone. Book 2 of her Jane Doe thriller series. I quite liked book 1 and will be interested to see how this one goes.