February Wrap-Up

I had a pretty great reading month in February. I read a total of 11 books, most of them in the fantasy genre with one horror novel thrown in for variety. That brings my total for 2017 so far up to 27 so that means I am more than a quarter of the way through my Goodreads Reading Challenge!

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

'Salem's Lot

Rating: 4/5

One of the best horror novels that features vampires. Stephen King creates incredible characters, puts them in a realistic small town setting – and then unleashes hell. Full review here.

Midnight Riot (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch

Midnight Riot (Peter Grant, #1)

Rating: 4/5

The first book in a great urban fantasy series that can best be summed up like this: wizard cops in London. Full review here.

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant #2) by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)

Rating: 4/5

The second book in the Peter Grant series is even better than the first one! (And I really like the first one.) Full review here.

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3)

Rating: 3.5/5

Honestly, not my favourite book in the Peter Grant series but it’s still an enjoyable read. Full review here.

The Home Crown Advantage (Peter Grant #1.5) by Ben Aaronovitch

The Home Crowd Advantage (Peter Grant, #1.5)

Rating: 4/5

This is a short story in the Peter Grant universe that takes place during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It’s a fun story and it fits in well with the rest of the series, but it’s not required reading.

Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)

Rating: 4/5

One of my favorite books in the Peter Grant series. This one ends with a major twist! Full review here.

Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)

Rating: 5/5

Hands down, the best book in the Peter Grant series. Missing children! Carnivorous unicorns! Aliens that are not really aliens! Full review here.

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch and Lee Sullivan

Rivers of London - Body Work

Rating: 4/5

The Peter Grant series translates so well to comic book format. A really great adventure that sees Peter dealing with haunted cars!

Rivers of London: Night Witch by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, and Lee Sullivan

Rivers of London: Night Witch

Rating: 4/5

Another great Peter Grant comic book spinoff – although I will say the plot was a little hard to follow.

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)

Rating: 4/5

So, so, so, so, so good! And we get to see a big dramatic reveal in this one! (Hint: It has to do with a certain Faceless villain!) Full review here.

An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds #1) by Foz Meadows

An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1)

Rating: 4.5/5

Feminist fantasy with diverse, queer characters and fantastic world-building. My favorite read of the month! Full review here.

What did you read this month? Let me know!

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Suicide Reviews: An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds #1) by Foz Meadows

An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1)

Date Published: August 2, 2016

Published By: Angry Robot

Number of Pages: 496

Synopsis: When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war. There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. 

Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic. Can one young woman – a very accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena?

An Accident of Stars is a refreshing, feminist fantasy with an incredible cast of complex, dynamic characters and spectacular worldbuilding.

It has been described as ‘Narnia for grownups’ but it is so much more than that. Yes, there are the familiar portal-fantasy tropes – a character from modern-day Earth finds a doorway into another world and goes on a fantastic series of adventures. But Foz Meadows puts her own unique twist on it – there isn’t just one alternate dimension, there is an entire multiverse and people who are able to travel to other universes are called ‘worldwalkers.’ Thankfully, the author makes the wise decision not to overwhelm the reader with dozens of different worlds but instead focuses on one: a magical fantasy world of clashing nations and complex politics.

And what an incredible world it is. The worldbuilding in this novel left me absolutely gobsmacked. There are several different religions, nations, and ways of ruling those nations. For example, there is a nation called Veksh and it is a strictly matriarchal society. Women hold the most important positions of power and, while men are not exactly slaves, they are definitely considered to be second-class citizens. I love how Meadows actually took the time to explore just how a matriarchal society would work. Believe me, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and women holding hands and everyone gets along – it is just as fraught as a patriarchal society, with power struggles and backstabbing and even attempted murder. But it is so fascinating and so wonderful to see women as real people instead of being relegated to the role of ‘hero’s love interest.’

I can’t tell you how amazing it is to read a book where the female characters outnumber the male ones. You would think it would be jarring to read because we are so used to seeing movies where there is only one token female character dropped in among an all-male cast. But it felt like the most natural thing to read about these women who fight and love and scheme and argue and have their own plans. Each and every single one of them is flawed and they all have agency. So instead of the Bechdel test, I propose that we have the Meadows test: does your story (be it a book or a film) have multiple, named, female characters that each have their own story arc and are responsible for driving the plot forward? I think if we used that test, we’d get a lot more stories that actually represent women as real people.

Fantasy is often labeled as escapist fiction with no relation to the real world. This could not be further from the truth and if you want an example of that, just read An Accident of Stars. If you read between the lines, there is so much social commentary on a wide variety of subjects: feminism, sexism, racism, trans issues, rape, religion, marriage, polyamory – the list goes on. But Foz Meadows doesn’t preach – she shows our world through a different lens by viewing it from another fantasy world.

My one minor complaint about this book is that one of the romantic relationships felt slightly underdeveloped and rushed. I would have liked to see it drawn out a little more.

But there’s also a part with dragons. So in the end it evens out.

The ending was an emotional roller-coaster that left me devastated while also hinting at what’s to come in the next book. I cannot wait to find out what happens.

If you are looking for a feminist fantasy book that features diverse, interesting characters, I highly recommend An Accident of Stars. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Top 10 Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would

Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would:

 

1) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

The first book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, was described as a mash-up of Cinderella and the Terminator so of course I was excited to read it. While I was expecting a fun read, I did not expect the epic scope of the series and the wonderfully diverse cast of characters that I fell in love with.

2) Vampire Academy series/Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

I do not have a great history with teen vampire books (hint: it rhymes with dielight) so I was definitely a bit skeptical when I picked up the first Vampire Academy book. To my surprise, it turned out to be a fun, soapy, sexy read with badass female characters.And I was shocked when I loved the Bloodline series even more!

3) The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's Son

This was one of those novels that I kind of just picked up at the library at random, intrigued by the fact that it was set in North Korea. After I read it, I was absolutely blown away by its beauty, intelligence, and profound heartbreaking story. It has now become one of my favorite books of all time and I always recommend it every chance I get.

4) Intimate Enemies by Shana Abe

Intimate Enemies

I have an unabashed love for romance novels and this one is near-perfect. The characters, the romance, the plot – I love everything about it. It’s something I would recommend to people who claim not to like romance novels.

5) The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

I heard the Lux series described as ‘Twilight with aliens’ so I was a bit apprehensive when I picked up the first book. Now, the Lux series is total brain candy, but it is good. I love the characters (Daemon Black is definitely in my harem of book boyfriends) and the books are just so fun and sexy. Everything that Twilight should have been.

Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would:

1) Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)

Bridget Jones’ Diary is one of my favorite romcoms of all time. I had seen the film at least 5 times before I picked up the book. And because I loved the movie so much I thought I would love the book too….nope. That is not what happened. I found book Bridget to be annoying, vapid, whiny, and incredibly shallow. She is all of these things in the movie too, but on the page I just found her to be totally unsympathetic.

2) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 because I absolutely adored Hodge’s debut novel, Cruel Beauty. While I thought the writing was quite beautiful, the rest of the novel failed to live up to my expectations. I felt as if the author was trying to cram way too much into one novel that might have worked better as a duology. There were parts that I found completely incomprehensible and I didn’t really care for any of the characters.

3) Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

I was really excited to read Divergent. It was getting a lot of buzz and was being compared to the Hunger Games. So I read it…or at least I tried to read it. To be honest, I never finished it. I thought the writing was flat, the world-building was vague, and the characters were so poorly sketched, I had trouble trying to remember who was who. And I thought Tris was kind of an asshole.

4) Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

I love erotica – I’ve been reading it off and on since I was fourteen years old. So when the Fifty Shades phenomenon exploded (ha) I just had to check it out. And, oh, I was so disappointed. Lots of sex, but very little sensuality, unbelievably bad writing, and I wanted to shove all the characters in front of a bus. I’ve always said this about Fifty Shades of Grey: it would be a good story if everything about it was completely different.

5) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

I was really excited to read The Night Circus because I had heard so many good things about it and I am a sucker for books that take place at the circus. (I don’t know why – I actually haven’t read that many.) So I read it and I thought it was…okay. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and there are some fantastic images in the book but I thought it lacked depth and emotion.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

 

Suicide Reviews: The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)

Date Published: January 31, 2017

Published By: DAW Books Inc.

Number of Pages: 292

Synopsis: Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of Police Constable Peter Grant of the Folly – London’s police department for supernatural cases – even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the flats of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But the daughter of Lady Ty, influential goddess of the Tyburn river, was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favor. Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the houses, where the law is something bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we’re talking about. He’s been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week…

     I’m beginning to think that, when it comes to the Peter Grant series, Ben Aaronovitch can do no wrong. In The Hanging Tree, we get yet another fantastic book in the urban fantasy series that mixes magic with mystery.

     The Peter Grant universe has definitely grown from the very first book in the series and I love the feeling of expansion the series has now. What with Peter learning about a female-exclusive magical society, tangling with Americans and finding out about their magical tradition, and a brief mention about the arrangement with Chinatown, it seems only a matter of time before Peter goes on a trip abroad – and things become even more epic. (Oh man, please let the next Peter Grant mystery be set in Chinatown.)

     And speaking of epic, we finally get to see a confrontation between Peter and a certain former friend turned deadly enemy. In my opinion, the fight scene was woefully short but only because I had been anticipating it since book four. But I have a feeling that this was just the warm-up for a future battle of truly epic proportions.

     The Hanging Tree is also remarkable for being the book where we finally learn the Faceless Man’s true identity. The reveal of Peter Grant’s own Big Bad was pitch perfect and truly chilling – it played out like something you would see in a taught psychological thriller.

     We see a lot of cameos from characters that have popped up in  previous Peter Grant novels – some taking on bigger roles than others. While I love seeing some of my favorite characters, I will say that it is sometimes hard to keep track of them all.

     And now I must enter into post-Peter Grant depression seeing as I have caught up on all of the books and there is no news about when the next one will be released. Needless to say, I cannot wait for the next one and I highly, highly recommend this series.

Rating: 4/5

Suicide Reviews: Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)

Date Published: January 6, 2015

Published By: DAW Books, Inc.

Number of Pages: 323

Synopsis: When two young girls go missing in rural Herefordshire, police constable and wizard-in-training Peter Grant is sent out of London to check that nothing supernatural is involved. It’s purely routine – Nightingale, Peter’s superior, thinks he’ll be done in less than a day. But Peter’s never been one to walk away from someone in trouble, so when nothing overtly magical turns up he volunteers his services to the local police, who need all the help they can get. But because the universe likes a joke as much as the next sadistic megalomaniac, Peter soon comes to realize that dark secrets underlie the picturesque fields and villages of the countryside and there might just be work for Britain’s most junior wizard after all. Soon Peter’s in a vicious race against time, in  a world where the boundaries between reality and fairy have never been less clear…

     Foxglove Summer  is, hands down, the best book in the Peter Grant series so far. Ben Aaronovitch continues to expand the world of supernatural creatures and it all just seems so real. Everything Aaronovitch has created in this book fits together so perfectly that nothing feels out of place and I think that is arguably more important in a fantasy book than a realistic novel.
     One thing I just have to mention is the unicorns. Yes, there are unicorns in this book and Ben Aaronovitch does a unique, disturbing twist on them. How could you not love a book with unicorns?
     It is so fun to see Peter Grant out of his comfort zone, i.e. London. And we get to see more of Beverley Brook, one of my favourite characters introduced in the very first book. And I was so happy to see the introduction of Dominic Croft, an openly gay detective who is a fully realized character and not a stereotype. There have been several gay characters in the Peter Grant novels and I love the way Ben Aaronovitch writes them – as real people, not caricatures. If you are like me, and are craving more diverse books, the Peter Grant series has got you covered.
     I’ve talked about the twist ending of the previous book which was one of the reasons I was anticipating this book so much. We definitely do not get any closure but there are some serious hints dropped about what actually happened, how Peter’s dealing with it, and what’s going to happen next. My prediction: something big is going to happen in the next book and this series will reach truly epic proportions. Sorry if this is all a little bit vague but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Rating: 5/5

Suicide Reviews: Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)

Date Published: July 25, 2013

Published By: Gollancz

Number of Pages: 324

Synopsis: A mutilated body in Crawley. A killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, possibly an associate of the twisted wizard known as the Faceless Man. Or maybe just a garden-variety serial killer. 

     Before apprentice wizard and Police Constable Peter Grant can even get his head ’round the case, two more are dropped in his lap: a town planner has gone under a tube train, and there’s a stolen grimoire for Grant to track down. So far, so London. 

     But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. Is there a connection? And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River – on the jurisdiction of some pretty prickly local river spirits?

     This is the best Peter Grant novel so far, in my opinion. Reading all of the Peter Grant novels in rapid succession has enabled me to note the progress Aaronovitch has made in his storytelling, world-building, and character development.
     This is definitely the most complicated book in the Peter Grant series. There are so many plot threads that, if you don’t read this book carefully, can be hard to keep track of. But it is definitely worth paying attention to as it all ties neatly together towards the end.
     And what a spectacular ending it is. I wish I could go on about it here but I definitely don’t appreciate spoilers so I won’t do that to anyone else. The only thing I will say about it is MAJOR TWIST!!!!! A twist so huge that I need to read the fifth book NOW!!!!!
Rating: 4/5

Top Ten Tuesday: All About Romance-My Top 10 Ships

Happy Valentine’s Day! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the love so I made a list of my Top 10 favorite ships! (And no, I’m not talking about boats, I’m talking about fictional couples!)

1) Drarry (Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter series)

(Be My Valentine by dorisdoris)

Ah, Drarry. My very first ship before I even knew what shipping was. It was my love for Drarry that introduced me to the wonderful world of fanfiction and I haven’t looked back since. I remember reading the Harry Potter series and hoping that, at some point, Draco would confess his secret love for Harry. Alas, it was not to be, but that’s what fanfiction is for.

2) Romione (Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series)

 Image result for ron hermione

I know the Romione ship is quite divisive within the HP fandom but I was a fan of this pairing from the very beginning and I think I knew from book one that they were going to end up together. Even though J.K. Rowling herself no longer ships them (boo!) I’m so glad that Romione is officially canon!

3) Johnlock (Sherlock Holmes/John Watson from Sherlock)

Image result for sherlock john

Full confession: I gave up watching Sherlock after the second season after the showrunners made it clear that they were not going to put Sherlock and John together. Maybe that makes me petty, but after putting so much homoerotic subtext in the show and then not following through with it is a classic case of queerbaiting. Oh well. There’s always fanfic.

4) Hannigram (Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham from Hannibal)

Image result for hannibal will graham

Hannigram could almost be called the anti-Johnlock. Here we have a show that is also full of homoerotic subtext but the showrunner fully acknowledges it. Bryan Fuller has said that, had the show gotten a fourth season, it would have explored the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal ‘in a much deeper fashion than the series ever has before.’ Sadly, this brilliant, underrated show was canceled after its third season and I have had to make do with some reaaaally sexy fan art and fanfiction. The relationship between Will and Hannibal is definitely not a healthy one, but boy, is it ever hot.

5) Feysand (Feyre and Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas)

(Night Triumphant by projectnelm)

And I thought Feyre and Tamlin were a good couple. Oh man, was I wrong about that. If you’ve read A Court of Mist and Fury then you know that Feysand has completely ruined you for any other pairing. I cannot wait for the third book!

6) Reylo (Kylo Ren and Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

(Reylo Let Me Kiss You by sango691)

Reylo is kind of a controversial ship seeing as half the Star Wars fandom is convinced that Rey is Luke Skywalker’s daughter and that would mean that she and Kylo Ren are cousins. Personally, I don’t think that’s the way to bet. And Reylo just pushes all my shipping buttons: villain falling for the heroine, redemption of the villain through love, subtle Beauty and the Beast references….I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out. It’s not incest yet!

7) Wildehopps (Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia) 

Image result for nick judy zootopia

I don’t think I’ve ever shipped a Disney couple more. Only because it was so clear to me that Nick and Judy should end up together and they didn’t end up together! Oh my God, I was so frustrated. Apparently there was a deleted scene where Judy introduced Nick to her parents as her boyfriend and there are rumors that they will officially become a couple in Zootopia 2. Here’s hoping that this ship will sail!

8) Spideypool (Spiderman and Deadpool from the Marvel universe)

(SPIDEYPOOL commission gift by slashapalooza)

The Spideypool ship has been around for awhile but I only recently got into it after stumbling upon some very hot fan art. And then that lead to reading fanfiction and looking at more fan art and coming up with ideas for my own fic…yeah, I’m not going to lie, I went down a Spideypool rabbit hole for awhile. And I don’t regret a single second of it.

9) Jaqueenie (Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts)

Image result for fantastic beasts jacob and queenie

There are no words to describe just how cute Jacob and Queenie are. From what we saw in Fantastic Beasts, it definitely looks like these two are going to become canon.

10) Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus from Star Wars: Rogue One

Image result for baze and chirrut

This is my most recent ship and no one is going to convince me that Baze and Chirrut were not an old married couple. They are just so adorable together. They obviously care so much about each other and have each other’s backs and they’re relationship is just so perfect I can’t even handle it.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Suicide Reviews: Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3)

Date Published: August 2012

Published By: Del Rey

Number of Pages: 303

Synopsis: It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher – and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom – if it exists at all – is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects…, except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inpsector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as the Faceless Man, it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and – as of now – deadliest subway system in the world. 

     At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful…and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah…that’s going to go well.

     Yet another enjoyable romp through London with Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard. This time we follow Peter as he investigates a murder in the London Underground.
 
     I really liked how Lesley was back in action in this installment. She wasn’t really in the last book and I can’t tell you why or else I’ll spoil the first book. Lesley has joined Peter at the folly, is learning magic, and generally being her bad-ass self. All while trying to keep Peter out of trouble.
     One of my favorite new characters in this series is the half-human, half-goblin Zachary Palmer. Zach plays the classic part of the endearing troublemaker who turns out to be quite helpful (albeit reluctantly.)
     To be honest, this isn’t my favorite book in the Peter Grant series. It it still a really fun read and not to be missed for Peter Grant fans. I guess I was hoping for another appearance by the Faceless Man. There are traces of him in the book but he never actually shows his face (or rather, non-face). It is strongly hinted towards the end that he will feature more prominently in the next book, which I will be reading/reviewing next.
Rating: 3.5/5

New Book Releases: February 2017

Feb. 7

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The third book in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology

Genre: Fantasy-Mythology

Neil Gaiman brings his unique brand of storytelling to classic Norse myths.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

Swimming Lessons

Genre: Mystery

Ingrid Coleman writes thousands of letters to her husband, Gil, leaving them in his vast collection of books. After writing her final letter, she disappears.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Empress of a Thousand Skies

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

An epic space saga that sounds like a cross between Star Wars and Game of Thrones.

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees

Genre: Fiction-Short Stories

To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough

To Catch a Killer

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Erin Blake survived for three days beside the murdered body of her mother when she was only a toddler. Fourteen years later, she finds herself caught in the middle of another brutal murder – and she fears her mother’s killer may be behind it.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko

Genre: Historical Fiction

A sweeping family saga that follows one Korean family through multiple generations.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful  by Eric Lindstrom

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

A teen living with bipolar disorder struggles to have a normal relationships while fighting her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher

Lessons in Falling

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Savannah is devastated when her best friend, Cassie, attempts to kill herself. As Cassie closes herself off, Savannah develops a new friendship with Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Two gifted orphans grow up together and dream about creating their own unique circus. But life gets in the way and they find themselves living separate lives.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays

Genre: Science Fiction

A man living in a science fiction utopia finds himself transported to an alternate reality – a dystopian world that resembles our current reality.

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

The Stars Are Legion

Genre: Science Fiction

A war is being waged for the control of the Legion, a mass of world-ships that travels the stars.

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

The Devil Crept In

Genre: Horror

A small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousing – and uncovers a terrifying secret.

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Impossible Fortress

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

In this hilarious coming-of-age tale, a boy seduces a girl just so he can steal a copy of Playboy – but then he finds out she just might be his soulmate.

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough

Genre: Fantasy

A gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup.

The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell

The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

Genre: History

All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers by Alana Massey

All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers

Genre: Essays

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A romantic fantasy retelling of Labyrinth. 

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2) by Sophie Jordan

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

With Blood Upon the Sand (The Song of the Shattered Sands #2) by Bradley Beaulieu

With Blood Upon the Sand (The Song of the Shattered Sands, #2)

Genre: Fantasy

Starfall (Starflight #2) by Melissa Landers

Starfall (Starflight #2)

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

A Perfect Machine  by Brett Savory

A Perfect Machine

Genre: Science Fiction

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

At the Edge of the Universe

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Ozzie’s boyfriend Tommy disappears one day – not just disappears but it as if he never existed. No one has any memory of Tommy – except for Ozzie.

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Universal Harvester

Genre: Horror

Life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut.

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

A Separation

Genre: Literary Fiction

A wife decides to separate from her cheating husband but, for the moment, they decide to keep it a secret between them. When her estranged husband goes missing, she reluctantly goes searching for him.

Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

Love and Gravity

Genre: Science Fiction

A young Isaac Newton falls in love with a girl living in modern-day San Francisco in this time-travel romance that’s reminiscent of The Time Traveler’s Wife. 

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

A burnout kid from a broken home has the ability to talk to ravens – and his grandmother keeps going on about him being the ‘son of a trickster’ – whatever that means.

Under Her Skin (Blank Canvas #1) by Adriana Anders

Under Her Skin (Blank Canvas, #1)

Genre: Romance

Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology by Ellen Datlow

Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology

Genre: Horror

The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria

The Twenty Days of Turin

Genre: Horror

The Devil’s Submission by Nicola Davidson

The Devil's Submission

Genre: Historical Romance

The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian

The Lawrence Browne Affair

Genre: M.M Historical Romance

Feb. 14

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo

Genre: Historical Fiction

This novel explores a pivotal moment in Abraham Lincoln’s life – when his eleven-year-old son, Willie, died at the dawn of the Civil War.

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)  by Vic James

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The world belongs to the Equals – aristocrats with magical powers – and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could destroy the world.

The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston

The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction/Fantasy

A female gladiator seeks revenge on the man who destroyed her family.

The Wish Granter (Ravenspire #2)  by C.J. Redwine

The Wish Granter (Ravenspire, #2)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

We Were the Lucky Ones

Genre: Historical Fiction

An extraordinary heartfelt novel that is based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of World War II and must find their way back to each other.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir  by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

Genre: Historical Fiction

In the small village of Chilbury, a group of women decide to form their own choir while the men are at war.

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

Genre: Non Fiction

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce

Genre: Poetry

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are Okay

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Months after leaving everything behind and starting over, Marin is waiting for her former best friend Mabel to visit her. With Mabel’s visit, she’ll be forced to confront everything she left unsaid.

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2) by Brittany Cavallaro

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Fabiola and her mother travel to America from Haiti, hoping to make a better life for themselves. But when her mother is detained by U.S. immigration, Fabiola must deal with her strange new life all on her own.

Dare You (Nikki Kill #2) by Jennifer Brown

Dare You (Nikki Kill, #2)

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Winter of the Gods (Olympus Bound #2) by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Winter of the Gods (Olympus Bound, #2)

Genre: Fantasy

Portal of a Thousand Worlds  by Dave Duncan

Portal of a Thousand Worlds

Genre: Fantasy

An epic tale of sword-and-sorcery in 19th century China.

Piecing Me Together  by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System by Jerome F. Buting

Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System

Genre: Non Fiction

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

In Calabria

Genre: Fantasy

A beautiful new unicorn fable from the author of The Last Unicorn. 

Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem

Ubo

Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

Royal Affair (Royal Scandal #1) by Parker Swift

Royal Affair (Royal Scandal, #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Feb. 21

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)

Genre: Fantasy

The Dragon’s Price (Transference #1) by Bethany Wiggins

The Dragon's Price (Transference, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A girl chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince – but the dragon may not be what he appears.

Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas

Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)

Genre: Historical  Romance

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories  by Mariana Enriquez

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories

Genre: Short Stories

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

The Education of Margot Sanchez

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Dreamland Burning  by Jennifer Latham

Dreamland Burning

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

The Orphan’s Tale  by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale

Genre: Historical Fiction

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Long May She Reign

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Ronit & Jamil  by Pamela L. Laskin

Ronit & Jamil

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Retelling

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1) by Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)

Genre: Fantasy

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

Beautiful Broken Girls

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Optimists Die First  by Susin Nielsen

Optimists Die First

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Humans Bow Down by James Patterson, Emily Raymond, 7 Jill Dembowski

Humans, Bow Down

Genre: Science Fiction

Feb. 28

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl from Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere, #2)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Thunderbird (Miriam Black #4)  by Chuck Wendig

Thunderbird (Miriam Black, #4)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

10 Things I Can See from Here

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

 

Suicide Reviews: Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant #2) by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)

Date Published: April 21, 2011

Published By: Del Rey

Number of Pages: 288

Synopsis: Body and Soul. The Song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz musician and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body – a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

     Body and soul – they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace – one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard ‘Lord’ Grant – otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.

     While I absolutely loved the first book, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: this one was better. It has jazz vampires and cat girls and all sorts of freakish things. Plus, Peter finally has a love interest who likes him back – for all sorts of reasons.
     The synopsis above doesn’t really explain the other main plot point: there is a seriously evil magician offing people by using a girl with teeth in her vagina as an assassin. Perhaps not the most practical of weapons but I think we can all agree when I say that is legitimately frightening. Also, kind of bad-ass.
     So, yes, this book, much like Rivers of London, has two seemingly disparate plot threads until the very end where Aaronovitch ties them neatly together. There were some reviewers who had a problem with the fact that Aaronovitch left so many questions unanswered at the end but he was obviously setting up for future sequels and it didn’t leave me frustrated – it made me want to read the next book. Which I will be doing very shortly.
     Also, I love the fact that this series seems to be getting its own Voldemort. The Faceless Man is powerful, mysterious, and very, very dangerous. He only appears at the very end of the book for a showdown with Peter. It is still unclear what his motive is – why the human experiments? why does he need to hide his identity? – but I am positive that all will be revealed in future books. It’s not like J.K. Rowling spelled out Voldemort’s life story in the first Harry Potter book. (Yes, I know I keep making Harry Potter references when reviewing these books but in my defense, Ben Aaronovitch drops them in his books all the time.)
     I highly recommend this book to urban fantasy fans, and fantasy fans in general. You know what, I recommend this book to people who just like to read in general. If you are not reading Peter Grant then you are missing out.
Rating: 4/5