Highlights: April 2022

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We’ve finally started to see some warmer days and some snow melting. But the biggest perk has been the return to longer days and lighter evenings. Us Minnesotans are an optimistic bunch with regards to these (comparably) milder temperatures, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see people breaking out the BBQs in the balmy 50 degree days we’re see. We’re happy enough to still stay indoors, though, with our books. Here are some we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

Book: “The City of Dusk” by Tara Sim

Why I’m Interested: For one thing, I really like the cover on this book. I’d definitely stop and check it out had I come across it in the bookstore. Luckily for me, the publisher sent me an early copy, so this one will be coming up soon in my reviews! The story follows four heirs to powerful families, each that follow a unique god that grants them specific magical abilities. But dark powers are moving and the gods are restless. Can these four navigate the way forward, each with their own motivations and fears? I’m always a bit nervous about multiple POV books, but I’m pretty excited to check this one out!

Book: “Nettle & Bone” by T. Kingfisher

Why I’m Interested: Again, great cover! Love everything about. I also love everything about what this stories seems to be about. That is, a fairytale of a young woman who sets out on a quest to save her sister from her cruel husband, the prince of a neighboring land. Along the way, she meets a powerful fairy godmother, a possessed chicken, and a knight from another land who fell into a fairy circle and has been trapped for who knows how long. Like I said, everything about that sounds right up my alley! I love fairytales and the combination of magical quests with seemingly quirky characters (possessed chicken??) seems like a recipe for success in my book. Can’t wait to check it out!

Book: “Hotel Magnifique” by Emily J. Taylor

Why I’m Interested: This book has garnered comparison to “The Night Circus.” That’s both an incredible plus (“The Night Circus” is so popular that I’m sure tons of fantasy readers will leap at any chance to reexperience that blend of magic!). But it’s also a heavy weight to carry. Can this story stand up to that behemoth? The story follows a young woman and her sister who are hired on as help at the mysterious and magical Hotel Magnifique, a hotel that holds wonders within its doors and magically jumps from location to location. So right away it’s easy to see the connection to “The Night Circus.” I also always love sisters stories, so I’m not going to lie, my expectations for this one are pretty high!

Kate’s Picks

Book: “Very Bad People” by Kit Frick

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Why I’m Interested: The whole ’secret society at a boarding school’ angle absolutely catches my interest, as does the fact that it’s a new Kit Frick book. I enjoyed ”I Killed Zoe Spanos” when it came out a couple years ago, so I look forward to reading something new by her. When Calliope joins a new prestigious private school, it’s a nice change of pace after a few years of mourning her mother’s death in a car accident. She is soon approached by the Haunt and Rail, a secret society on campus that strives to put social justice at the forefront of the school community. But when Calliope finds out that her mother was also a member when she went to the school, and that it may have connection to her death, she feels she has to investigate. No matter how dangerous it could be. Dark academia is always a solid concept for me, so this sounds promising.

Book: “The Fervor” by Alma Katsu

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Why I’m Interested: I have really loved Alma Katsu’s previous historical horror novels, and this one sounds like it’s going to be her most relevant and disturbing yet. Taking place at one of the Japanese internment camps during WWII, it follows a mother and daughter duo named Meiko and Aiko, who have been imprisoned while the family patriarch fights in the war. Soon a mysterious illness is spreading through the camp, which starts off normal enough, but then turns into uncontrollable fits of aggression. As Meiko investigates, she becomes convinced that it is actually a demon from her past that is hellbent on entering their world, and hopes to stop it. Japanese internment still feels super relevant these days, and I cannot wait to see what Katsu does with that theme as well as the themes of yokai in Japanese folklore.

Book: “Locke & Key: The Golden Age” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez (Ill.)

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Why I’m Interested: The timing on this really worked out, given that the past two comics re-reads I did were ”Locke & Key” and ”The Sandman”! Joe Hill returns to Keyhouse as well as his Locke family mythology to tell more stories about the keys and the realms they open, bringing Gabriel Rodriguez along for the ride. This collection has some new stories, as well as the crossover that ”Locke & Key” did with ”The Sandman” universe. I’ve been very interested to look into more of the Key mythos, and to see the way that two well plotted fantasy horror comics come together as one.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

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