Highlights: January 2023

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How is it 2023?!! I mean, we probably say that every year, but still, it’s always a bit shocking. All the more so when you have kids and every year marks another year they’ve been around being little terrors joys. But with the new year comes a whole new pile of books to get through! Here are the ones we’re particularly excited about this month!

Serena’s Picks

Book: “Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries” by Heather Fawcett

Publication Date: January 10, 2023

Why I’m Interested: This book checks off a lot of boxes for me. Scholarly, unsocial leading lady? Yes. Historical fantasy with an emphasis on folklore and faeries? Yes. Comedic love interest? Yes. While I’m always a bit nervous about books that are written a diary format, as I’ve struggled with this style in the past, I’m hopeful that the premise of these being working scholarly journals will help that for me. I also really like this cover. It’s fairly simple, but I think it nicely sets a particular tone for the type of fantasy novel the reader is picking up.

Book: “Mysteries of Thorn Manor” by Margaret Rogerson

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Why I’m Interested: Umm, obviously! I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Margaret Rogerson. And beyond that, this is a novella that she has described as “an author writing fanfic for their own novel.” Yes, please! I’m really excited to see more from Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and their demon companion, Silas. The romance had only just begun at the end of “Sorcery of Thorns,” so I can’t wait to see how this relationship develops further. And, of course, Silas’s return from the dead was a big surprise at the end of the novel, so I imagine there is a decent well of emotional drama to be drilled there, too. I’ll be getting to this one right away, count on that!

Book: “Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame” by Meg Long

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Why I’m Interested: I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Long’s first book in this series, “Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves.” It was a clever, science fiction novel with the bond between a young woman and her half-feral wolf at the heart of the story. Along the way, they pick up some friends, including Remy, a young woman on the run from the corporation who created her. This is her story, and it promises to be one of revenge, betrayal, and the power of friendship. Yes, I’m a bit sad that there’s not an equivalent animal companion, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Kate’s Picks

Book: “The House in the Pines” by Ana Reyes

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Why I’m Interested: This is one of my last ALAAC22 ARCs, and it took a lot of willpower to keep myself from jumping in a little too quickly given that its release was pretty much six months after obtaining it. But the time is here! When Maya was seventeen and about to go away to school, she met Frank, and was instantly smitten. But then her best friend Aubrey, who never liked Frank, died suddenly and mysteriously, and Maya was convinced Frank had something to do with it. Now seven years later, after running and never looking back, Maya sees a viral video of a woman dropping dead for no apparent reason, and sees that Frank is the man with her. Now she has to return to her hometown, and to Frank’s cabin in the woods, to try and get answers. Nothing good ever happens in a thriller with a remote cabin, so this one could be super tense.

Book: “How To Sell a Haunted House” by Grady Hendrix

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Why I’m Interested: I’m always up for some Grady Hendrix, a horror writer that brings some quirkiness and humor to his really effective horror stories. And it occurred to me when I read this description that the man hadn’t taken on the haunted house story until this one! So I’d say we’re about due! Louise and her brother Mark are estranged, living different lives on different parts of the country. But when their parents die in a tragic car accident, Louise returns to their home of Charleston and has to confront not only their deaths, but also the brother she has resented and been away from for all these years. They squabble about the house and the inheritance, but as they start trying to clean it out, strange things begin happening. There are weird sounds from the locked attic. Things turn on and off. And their mother’s puppet collection seems to be moving. Louise and Mark have to learn to get along, because how are you going to confront a haunting alone? Knowing Hendrix there will be some genuine heart with the scares and the humor.

Book: “One Girl in All the World” by Kendare Blake

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Why I’m Interested: Well, for one, I absolutely LOVED the first book in the series, “In Every Generation”. For another, anything that brings back some of my favorite “Buffy” characters and does right by them is getting some love from me. But mostly, I am very eager to see where Kendare Blake takes Frankie Rosenberg and her new Scooby Gang. Frankie is still getting used to her slayer-witch powers, and with Buffy and the other slayers still missing she and her friends are doing their best to hold down the Hellmouth. But it doesn’t help that her new powers and the rumors of a dead Buffy have attracted some old friends back to the Hellmouth. On top of that, whispers of a new big bad, The Darkness, are making their way to Frankie and her friends and loved ones. What is The Darkness? And is Buffy alive out there somewhere? I am very pumped for this continuation! Especially if we get to see Spike as a school librarian some more.

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

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