Highlights: February 2023

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It’s February! The month of flowers! The month of chocolate! The month of romance! The month where if you have kids you sit around at home and fantasize about some nebulous future where you can once again go on a romantic dinner date but instead you just drink wine and re-watch episodes of “The Office.” Luckily for us, being homebound always comes with the perk of more time to check out the many books we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

Book: “The Last Tale of the Flower Bride” by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: February 14, 2023

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been a bit hit or miss with Roshani Chokshi’s books in the past. But even while I sometimes struggle with her flowery writing style, it’s undeniable that she’s a talented author. So I was excited to see that she was releasing her first fantasy novel for adults this winter. I know that she does an excellent job with characters, so perhaps being freed from some of the YA fantasy tropes will free her up to really dive into this aspect of her writing. Plus, the gothic vibes of the story about a husband who travels to his wife’s strange ancestral home and discovers many secrets in her past sounded right up my alley!

Book: “Empire of Ruin” by Django Wexler

Publication Date: February 23, 2023

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really been enjoying Wexler’s “Burningblade and Silvereye” trilogy so far. But of course, it all comes down to the last book in the series where the whole thing will either come together or crash into a burning pile of disappointment. But I’m really not too worried about the latter. Wexler is proven author will several solid ending under his belt. So now it’s a matter of just how it all concludes. The end of the book saw the return of one of the all-powerful Chosen who had died out years before but, of course, he’s quite evil and has his own plans for their world. I’m so excited to see how our beloved siblings deal with him and, hopefully, figure out their own stuff, too.

Book: “The Magician’s Daughter” by H. G. Parry

Publication Date: February 21, 2023

Why I’m Interested: First off, I’m really digging this cover. It’s definitely eye-catching and stands out from the other covers you see a lot of right now. I also love stories that blend fantasy with historical fiction, so this book, set in 1917 sounded right up my alley. The story follows Biddy, a young woman being raised by a magician as her guardian. But soon she learns her guardian is hiding dark secrets and she begins to question everything. I love that the central relationship in this book seems to be between Biddy and Rowan, the magician. We see a lot of siblings and romances, but guardian and ward seems pretty unique. Can’t wait to check this one out!

Kate’s Picks

Book: “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Stephen Graham Jones

Publication Date: February 7, 2023

Why I’m Interested: The first and obvious reason is that I love Stephen Graham Jones and think he is a genius and a horror master. The second is that I am VERY happy that he has decided to continue his Jade Daniels series, which he started with “My Heart Is A Chainsaw”. Love Jones’s love for all things horror, and love how much he deep dives into the genre and just turns it on its head. In “Don’t Fear The Reaper” Jade has left prison behind after being released, and is returning to Proofrock. Just when another horror movie situation has started to unfold, as an escaped serial killer has descended on the town during the snow storm. While Jade doesn’t want to be bound to horror anymore, she will have to tap into her suppressed knowledge if she wants to survive. LET’S GOOOOOO!

Book: “She Is a Haunting” by Trang Thanh Tran

Publication Date: February 28, 2023

Why I’m Interested: Ghost stories are always my jam, and this one popped up in my mailbox and grabbed by attention almost immediately. I mean sheesh, look at that cover! And I also love a ghost story that takes on greater themes like grief, broken families, and colonialism, and this sounds like it’s teeming with all of that. When Jade (another Jade!) returns to her ancestral home of Vietnam to visit her father (with whom she has a troubled relationship), she thinks the worst thing is going to be the awkwardness. But when she settles into the mid-restoration French colonial home, it’s clear that something is wrong with the house. From visions of ghostly brides to the unnerving feeling of insects everywhere, Jade is convinced something is wrong. Though her family doesn’t believe her, she knows she needs to unearth the house’s secrets to save her loved ones. How creepy. I’m IN.

Book: “Spite House” by Johnny Compton

Publication Date: February 7, 2023

Why I’m Interested: Another haunted house story! And this was one that was jumping all over my various social media feeds, and the hype really caught my eye. Eric and his daughters Dess and Stacy are traveling in their car back to his home state of Texas, fleeing from a mysterious past and trying to stay together in spite of the tension and dwindling funds. So when Eric sees an employment ad that is looking for a caretaker of a local house, that happens to be notoriously haunted, he jumps at the chance, agreeing to help the elderly owner find some evidence of any kind of supernatural activity. But once he and his daughters move in, things start happening, and they realize that this slightly creepy job is actually a nightmare. Two haunted house stories this month, how lucky are we?

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

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