Highlights: February 2019

After getting slammed by a sub zero nightmare last week, it is now February and we are hoping that temperatures are more reasonable from here on out (aka: above zero). We may be in the middle of winter, but with February comes an air of romance and LOTS of candy, as well as a new crop of books coming out! Here are some titles we’re looking forward to this month.

Serena’s Picks

32949202Book: “Dark of the West” by Joanna Hathaway

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This debut YA fantasy novel’s description reads more like a historical political piece than anything else, and at this point, I think that’s probably a good thing! I love me some fantasy, but it might be refreshing to find a “Game of Thrones” esque YA work where the emphasis is more on the politics and military maneuvering than anything else. I’m also intrigued by the time period during which it seems to be set as there is mention of airplanes and other WWII era inventions. Add a dash of forbidden romance between teens in rival nations, and I’m there!

35715518Book: “Crown of Feathers” by Nicki Pau Preto

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Yes, yes, I just got done saying how nice it will be to read a fantasy novel that has less fantasy, and now here I am highlighting a book with phoenixes at the heart of the story. What can I say? But what really did make this book stand out for me was essentially the swap out of dragons for phoenixes, something I’ve never come across before. I’m curious to see what other elements of the phoenix mythology will come into play or whether much of it will remain similar to other dragon-rider type stories. It also includes a diverse cast of characters, and, again, another war torn country with rebellion at its heart. I’m sensing a theme for the month…

34213319Book: “Four Dead Queens” by Astrid Scholte

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Why I’m Interested: And we’ve gone full circle and we’re back to the tried and true medieval fantasy story that I find myself reading all the time! But this time there are four, count them, four queens and they all end up…dead? I’m also a sucker for any story that features a pickpocket thief at its heart, and of course, that’s our YA heroine for this story. There does also seem to be some political elements at the heart of the story, so I’m curious to see how that will play out. And, of course, there’s a romance too. That’s always seems to be my tripping point with books like this, so we’ll have to see how that goes!

Kate’s Picks

39863488Book: “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I have found myself invested in Jane Harper’s “Aaron Falk” mystery series and the fun Australian setting, so when I found out that Harper had written a new standalone thriller, I knew that I wanted to read it as soon as I could. When a dysfunctional family is rocked by the death of a middle brother, family secrets and complicated relationships start to unravel. For Nathan Bright, he starts to wonder if he knew everything about his dead brother, and if his death wasn’t as open and shut as it initially appeared to be. Harper writes dark characters and vast and sprawling Australian settings like few others, and I am very excited to dive into this newest story.

37868569Book: “We Set The Dark On Fire” by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Why I’m Interested: We have another non sword and sorcery fantasy series with dystopia/utopia themes and a boarding school location, so you know that I am going to be on board. In an elite school where girls are trained to become powerful wives to powerful men or doting mothers to important children, Dani is on track to live a life of luxury. But she’s hiding the fact that she isn’t from the illustrious background that she claims to be. If she is found out she could be sent back to a life of poverty and hardship. But there is also a resistance growing, and Dani approached to work for them in hopes of bringing equality to their society. It sounds like the kind of fantasy that I like, and I can’t wait to see how it stacks up.

35068618Book: “On The Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I was so completely entranced by Thomas’s debut “The Hate U Give” (as was the rest of the world, and deservedly so!) that once I heard that she was writing another book I needed, NEEDED to get on the request list at work. I was lucky enough to request early enough that I will be in the first wave of requests, and let me tell you I can’t wait. Her newest book is about Bri, an aspiring rapper who is hoping to become famous one day. After he father, a rapper with a cult following, died when Bri was young, it’s been her, her mother, and her brother ever since. And when her mother loses her job and they start to slide into debt, Bri is more determine than ever to achieve her dream and make it big. It may not be in my usual genres, but “On the Come Up” is still one of my most anticipated reads of the year.

Highlights: January 2019

Oh man, only one more year until we have to start typing out the year “2020.” That’s just too weird and disturbing to contemplate. So, instead, let’s look at some upcoming titles that we’re excited to check out this month!

Serena’s Picks

35839460Book: “The Kingdom of Copper” by S.A. Chakraborty

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: “The Kingdom of Brass” was on my “Top Ten” list last year and took my completely by surprise. Not again! This time I know enough to be already ALL IN on this sequel. While the first book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, necessarily, things were definitely reaching a peak in the story and our two main characters were in tough positions: one banished from his home land, likely to be set upon by assassins at any moment, and the other trapped in said home land, preparing to be bargained off in a political marriage to ensure the control of a ruling family that wronger her own many centuries ago. There is just so much in this series: so much history, so much deep characterization, and so many conflicting histories and wrongs that it’s almost impossible to imagine resolution. And we won’t even be getting it here, as this is just the second in the trilogy! But I’ll take what I can get!

36621586Book: “The Winter of the Witch” by Katherine Arden

Publication Date: January 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: January is truly a month of riches, as far as my reading choices go. Alongside “The Kingdom of Brass,” Arden’s “Winternight” trilogy has been one of my most unexpected and most loved series to read in the last few years. And alas, this will be the final book in the trilogy! (You can’t win either way: it’s either second books that won’t resolve the story, or final books that sadly will.) This series has only gotten stronger from book to book, and given the description of this story, it seems that Vasya is going to expand her power and influence even further. I can’t wait to see what happens in the story, but I’m also so excited to spend more time with our favorite witty horse, Solovey, and to see what, if anything, will come from the cautious romance being struck up between Vasya and the Winter King.

43204703Book: “A Curse So Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Why I’m Interested: It’s also important to try new things, dear readers, rather than just obsess over known factors, like previously-loved series. Enter: “A Curse So Dark and Lonely.” I don’t know where I first heard of this book, but it’s been hanging out on my mental lists of books to highlight come January for several months now. We all know what my luck has been like recently with “Beauty and the Beast” retellings, but I just can’t help myself! From the looks of things, this should be yet another interpretation of the story, but one that takes on a darker tone and features multiple POVs, including one from the cursed Prince himself. Color me intrigued!

Kate’s Picks

39863515Book: “An Anonymous Girl” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given that I really enjoyed “The Wife Between Us”, I was very stoked to see that Hendricks and Pekkanen had a new collaboration coming out in the New Year! And given that my B.A. is in psychology, a story about potential psychological manipulation and gaslighting is always going to catch my eye. When Jessica signs up for a psychological experiment in hopes of making a few bucks, she meets Dr. Shields, the conductor of the study. As the sessions become more controlled and disturbing, however, she starts to wonder what in her life is real and what is just part of the experiment. Hendricks and Pekkanen did a great job with their previous book, and this one sounds a little beyond the usual ‘domestic thriller’ fare. The twistier, the better!

34723130Book: “Slayer” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: In high school I was a complete and total “Buffy” addict, so when I saw that Kiersten White was taking on the Slayerverse for her new book, I was ECSTATIC! It follows Nina and her twin sister Artemis, both going to the Watcher’s Academy and training to be Watchers to Slayers, girls with supernatural powers to protect the world from evil. But then Nina’s path changes, and she finds out that she is actually a Slayer herself. And not only that, she’s going to be the last Slayer. White has shown that she knows how to tackle nuanced and fascinating women in both historical fiction and fantasy, and I have every amount of faith in her that she will do the Slayerverse justice! And, uh, maybe we’ll get a cameo from Spike, my all time favorite bad-boy with a heart of gold vampire. Maybe? PLEASE?

38225791Book: “Two Can Keep A Secret” by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I was completely taken in by McManus’s previous work, “One Of Us Is Lying”, so when I saw that she had a new book coming out I, of course, really wanted to read it. This time it concerns a small town that has a history of girls going missing or ended up dead. When Ellery moves to Echo Ridge, she knows the tragedies of the town mostly because her aunt disappeared there years ago. Five years previous, the homecoming queen was murdered. And now, with a new Homecoming season under way, someone has decided to repeat history, as another girl goes missing. Ellery has her own secrets to contend with, but with a potential killer on the loose she may be in more trouble than she realizes. Oh man I cannot WAIT to read this because it smacks of homages to “Twin Peaks”!

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

 

Highlights: December 2018

The holiday season is officially upon us! And here in Minnesota, this is the one bright side of the onslaught of cold weather and dark evenings. But between decorating, holiday parties, and an excessive amount of baked goods, we still, of course, found time to look ahead to books we want to get our hands on this month! Here are our picks for December.

Serena’s Picks

23510085Book: “Fire and Heist” by Sarah Beth Durst

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Other than the fact that Durst is one of the author’s whose new books I always keep an eye out for, the title alone should probably say enough. A fantasy novel featuring a heist story? After my ravings about “Six of Crows,” my love for these types of stories should come as no surprise. Here, we have a protagonist, Sky, whose entire family has a long history of stealing treasure. So much so, that one’s first heist is essentially a coming-of-age moment. And for the fantasy element, Sky is a wyvern, a human capable of turning into a dragon. So, yeah. That all sounds pretty cool and I’ll be reading it ASAP.

40130093Book: “Once Upon a River” by Diane Setterfield

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I think this book is technically categorized as literary fiction. But with its folklore-ish description of an inn where stories abound and where a stranger appears with a seemingly drowned girl who miraculously comes back to life hours later, it sounds like one of those genre-crossing stories that might be just up my alley. I haven’t read Setterfield’s popular “The Thirteenth Tale,” but I know people rave about it. So this book looks like just as good of an entry point to her work as any. Not to mention, that cover is absolutely to die for.

36373555Book: “Splendor and Spark” by Mary Taranta

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Why I’m Interested: For one thing, another beautiful cover! For two, this is another of those weird examples where I’m highlighting the second book in a series when I have yet to post a review for the first. Alas, these things happen. But hopefully my review for the first will be coming shortly, and in the mean time, I’m still super excited for this sequel. At its heart, it’s a fantasy story featuring the complicated emotions between two sisters. There’s romance, magic, and intrigue. Plus a very hateable villain. I also love the fact that its a duology, so this book should conclude the story. Not everything has to be a trilogy people!

Kate’s Picks

38926467Book: “Clueless: One Last Summer” by Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’m sure you all remember that “Clueless” is one of my favorite movies, and that I was pretty satisfied with the first graphic novel that was based upon it. Given that it focused the stories on Cher, Dionne, and Tai, and didn’t make their main focus romantic, I thought that it was a fun, girl power romp. So when I found out that Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn wrote another collection, this one taking place during the summer before college, I really wanted to get my hands on it. I hope that they can keep the fun kitsch up, and that it’s another worthy follow up that showcases my personal hero and idol Cher Horowitz.

38491738Book: “Deadfall” by Stephen Wallenfels

Publication Date: December 10, 2018

Why I’m Interested: When two brothers, hiding secrets and on the run, come upon a car accident, they are hoping to help in any way they can. And then a noise starts coming from the trunk. What they find inside sends them into a situation more dangerous than they could have ever imagined. You had me at noise in the trunk. I love thrillers, especially thrillers that involve survival horror AND do-gooders trying to help only to find out that no good deed goes unpunished. It seems like it’s going to be the kind of book that I’m going to really enjoy reading on a snowy winter night.

38355282Book: “Watching You” by Lisa Jewell

Publication Date: December 26, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Lisa Jewell has kind of flown under my radar when it comes to thriller novels. I’ve seen her books at the library and on my Goodreads feed, but I haven’t as of yet picked one up by her. But “Watching You” is probably going to be the one to change that, as it sounds creepy and dark. My favorite things! A well loved head master name Tom Fitzwilliam is living in a high end neighborhood, and his new neighbor Joey has found herself very attracted to him. But one of his students, Jenna, is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam has secrets that he’s hiding, dangerous secrets, and that he may be a predator. It sounds like it has multiple unreliable narrators AND a weird stalker who will set my teeth on edge, which I LOVE.

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

Highlights: November 2018

Kate is still in mourning over Halloween being over. Serena is setting up a permanent camp in front of her fireplace from which she will not budge for the next 4 months. And we’re both doing our best to turn a blind eye to any and all advertising for Christmas that is brazenly trying wedge its way in before Thanksgiving has even been given a chance! But, of course, we still have books to look forward to. Here are our picks for November.

Serena’s Picks

36382969Book: “Umbertouched” by Livia Blackburne

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Rosemarked” took me by surprise last year and quickly sucked me into a new world that is plagued by a deadly disease, a disease that our heroine immediately contracts. But that does nothing to detract her from her mission: to go across the border into enemy territory as a spy. I expect this sequel to pick up where that story left off, with Zivah and Dineas making their way to report on the soon invasion, and still struggling to comprehend their ever-changing relationship. The first book was a bit of a slower read, establishing this world and these characters. But with that work now complete, I’m excited to see where the story goes from here!

36300671Book: “Dragonshadow” by Elle Katharine White

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Heartstone” was one of those rare, unicorn books: a Jane Austen retelling that I actually enjoyed! It didn’t hurt that this version of “Pride and Prejudice” threw in a healthy dose of dragons and magic. But when it ended, I happily put it on my shelf and thought that was that. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that a sequel was coming out this fall! What makes this second book all the more intriguing is that by this point, the original re-telling is complete. The story is free to go wherever it pleases from here on out without needing to tie back to a piece of classic literature. Beyond that, I’m happy to just get more dragon goodness out of the deal.

26061583Book: “The Dark Days Deceit” by Alison Goodman

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Observant readers may have noted a missing review for the second book in the series and here I am anticipating the third. The review for the second is on its way, never fear! Sometimes I need the release of yet another book in a series to kick me in the pants and get me caught up. This is the final book in the trilogy, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to our Lady Helen. The stakes have only gotten higher as the trilogy has progressed and in this book it looks like things are really going to come to a head.

Kate’s Picks

Woman wearing a red hoodie by a riverBook: “Someone Like Me” by M.R. Carey

Publication Date: November 6. 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been mostly impressed by books by M.R. Carey, as he always knows how to take a typical horror story and turn it on its head. I never really know what to expect when I pick up one of his books, and I kind of feel the same way about “Someone Like Me”. It sounds like a straightforward plot: a woman is usually kind and demure, a loving mother determined to raise them the best way she can. Then another side of her, a violent and malicious side, starts to take over, and she has to try to beat back this new personality before it overtakes her. It may sound like a typical “Jekyl and Hyde” kinda thing, but knowing Carey’s work and how he twists expectations I am thinking it’s going to be something else entirely. I can’t wait to see what it is.

38927017Book: “Daughters of the Lake” by Wendy Webb

Publication Date: November 1, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Gothic ghost stories are a genre that I try to seek out, but am very picky about. One of the authors who usually does a pretty good job with the genre is Wendy Webb, a Minnesota author whose affection for my home state is as deep as her affection for a good ghost story. “Daughters of the Lake” takes place on Lake Superior, and involves a woman named Kate who has been dreaming of a mysterious woman. When this woman ends up being a murder victim, who is found in the lake with a baby in her arms, Kate is swept up in a mystery that may span a full century. Webb has a real knack for writing creepy and unsettling moments and scenes, and given that the setting is always a comfort with its familiarity, I’m very much looking forward to her newest work.

38749157Book: “Wet Hot American Summer” by Christopher Hastings

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Wet Hot American Summer” is my favorite movie of all time. With a star studded cast, absurd humor, and a WHOLE lot of heart, the story of Camp Firewood’s last day of Camp (and the first Netflix Series that talks about the first day) never fails to make me laugh. And now Boom! Comics (the same publisher of the “Clueless” graphic that I really liked) has written a new story within that universe! While capturing the humor of the original may seem like a daunting task (it IS incredibly irreverent), Christopher Hastings may be up for the task. After all, he’s written for “Deadpool”. And since it’s in written form, we don’t have to worry about certain actors being unable to come back to reprise their roles (goddamn it, Bradley Cooper). I’m always eager for new “Wet Hot” content. And it can’t be as big of a disappointment as “10 Years Later”, right?

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

Highlights: October 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN SEASON, NERDS!!! Yes, the Season of the Witch has begun, and Kate can barely contain her excitement for all things horror, while Serena looks forward to embracing all clothing cozy and cardigan-esque. Neither like to think about the upcoming winter. But with a new month comes new books, and here are the titles we are looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

36342330Book: “The Hollow of Fear” by Sherry Thomas

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Interested?? I’m SO much more excited than just “interested!” I absolutely adored the first two books in the Lady Sherlock series (thanks again Kate for getting me started on this!) and devoured them both in only a few days. So this has been one of my more anticipated reads of the entire year. I have a copy already on hand and it’s been all I can do to try to resist reading it until closer to its publication date. That being said, a review is going to show up VERY soon. As for the plot, it seems to be continuing the fallout of the break in Lord and Lady Ingram’s marriage, ending with murderous finality in this book with the discovery of the body of the latter found on Lord Ingram’s own property. Now it is up to Charlotte Holmes to save her dear friend from the noose. Have I mentioned that I’m excited for this one??

25446343Book: “Muse of Nightmares” by Laini Taylor

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Again, do you have to ask? After the crushing cliffhanger that was the end of “Strange the Dreamer,” I’ve been  biting at the bit to get my hands on this one and finally have all of my questions resolves. I mean, I’m sure they will be resolved in the heard-wrenching and tragic manner possible, because this is Laini Taylor we’re talking about. But the writing will be beautiful while we suffer, so at least there’s that. Don’t want to spoil the first one for any of you crazies who haven’t gotten around to it yet, but news gods have appeared, characters have died, and ghosts roam free. It’s sure to be a wild ride!

31822495Book: “West” by Edith Pattou

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is also technically a sequel, but its predecessor, “East” a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” came out in 2005, so it was a complete shock when I saw it making its rounds as an up-and-comer. I might have to go re-read that one to re-familiarize myself with that exact retelling of the tale (man, I read too many fairytales), but it sounds like this one is set in the same world with the same characters only nine years later. And once again tragedy strikes and it is up to Rose to save her love and, perhaps, the world. It’s pretty rare to see authors pick up stories like this over ten years after the first book, so I’m excited to see what Pattou has in store.

Kate’s Picks

37859646Book: “Broken Things” by Lauren Oliver

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been a huge fan of Lauren Oliver for a few years now, as I think that she’s a pretty solid YA thriller author and has written some books that have caught me by surprise. So when I found out that she had a new book coming out this October, I was immediately interested. And then when it sounded a little like the Slenderman Stabbing, I was all the more excited to read it. Summer, Mia, and Brynn were inseparable teens obsessed with a fantasy book called “The Way Into Lovelorn”, so much so they began to believe that they could enter Lovelorn. Then Summer ends up murdered, and everyone thinks that Mia and Brynn killed her, though they are never charged. Now, a few years later, they are determined to clear their names, and to try and find out what did happen to Summer. I’m hoping for a solid murder mystery with lots of surprises!

39720991Book: “The Witch Elm” by Tana French

Publication Date: October 9, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is another thriller novel based on a true crime, this time the “Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?” murder. And similar to that case, it involves someone finding a skull inside of a tree. But as if that wasn’t tantalizing enough, I’ve read a few other books by Tana French, and she is almost assuredly one of the most anticipated mystery writers out there right now, with her “Dublin Murder Squad” books almost always in high demand at book stores and libraries alike. “The Witch Elm”, however, is on it’s own as a standalone novel, which is definitely a change of pace for her. A man named Toby is trying to escape the memories of a trauma, and goes to a familial estate to care for an ill uncle. But while he is there the gruesome discovery of a skull in a tree is found, which makes Toby think that perhaps the past can’t really be escaped. Given that I’ve enjoyed her writing in the past I’m really looking forward to this new chiller from Tana French.

38355410Book: “Elevation” by Stephen King

Publication Date: October 30th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Say it with me: STEPHEN KING!! But here is the thing about “Elevation” and what it sounds like: this book might not actually be a horror story. In fact, coming in at only 145 pages, this book sounds like it’s more likely going to be one of his more recent exercises in expanding his genres, and perhaps a little bit of therapy for a world and culture that feels more and more divided as each day goes by. When a man named Scott in Castle Rock realizes that he’s ill with some mysterious disease, he starts to reevaluate his life. One of his changes is to try and reach out to the lesbian couple next door, a couple that has been experiencing discrimination and bigotry from the town, and from Scott as well. As they make unlikely friendships, they come together to try and help each other. Does it sound a little cheesy? Oh yes. But honestly, after the Halloween season is over it may be just what I need to ease down from the scares and anxieties of my favorite time of year.

Highlights September 2018

Happy Labor Day! The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting cooler, and some of us are very sad to say goodbye to summer. But others can’t wait to break out the Halloween decorations and pumpkin pie! You take the good with the bad. But, as always, we have some exciting books to look forward to regardless of our opinions on cooler weather.

Serena’s Picks

37588503Book: “A Spark of White Fire” by Sangu Mandanna

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’m always on the lookout for new science fiction, so I was super excited when I saw this book listed. Much of the story sounds very familiar to other fantasy books: an exiled princess, a stolen throne, a fight to reclaim one’s inheritance. But add to that sentient warships and dark moons, and you’ve got yourself what sounds like an intriguing space opera! What makes it all the more appealing is the fact that the story is loosely based on ancient Indian folklore. All together, it sounds like an intriguing mix!

32824058Book: “Strange Grace” by Tessa Gratton

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, first off, look at that cover! Is that gorgeous or what? This is definitely one of those cases where I clicked through to read more about this title based simply on the lovely cover art. But then I read the synopsis and was even more in. The story is that of a town where long ago something terrible happened (or was it love?) between a witch and a demon. Either way, the result is every few years the town must sacrifice its best boy to the forest. At its heart are our three protagonists and what looks like the set-up of some complicated relationship drama. There’s also a good chance that Kate should probably read this, too, what with the witchcraft angle and the representation.

37854049Book: “The Sisters of the Winter Woods” by Rena Rossner

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Another beautiful cover! Plus, a fairytale-esque fantasy novel featuring sisterhood. Of course I’m all over this one! Liba and Laya are two Jewish sisters, and while they’ve heard of their people have troubles at other villages, in their small home, the community has lived together in peace. But the arrival of a strange band of young men begins to stir unrest, and Liba and Laya discover startling truths about their own heritage and that what were once fairytales may in fact be histories. Even that brief description pretty much checks all of my boxes, so I’m sure there will a review for this one coming up shortly!

Kate’s Picks

34810320Book: “Sadie” by Courtney Summers

Publication Date: September 8, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read another of Courtney Summer’s books, “Some Girls Are”, and I found it to be an interesting and gritty story. “Sadie”, on the other hand, makes “Some Girls Are” sound like child’s play. As someone who loves her share of true crime podcasts, I’d me remiss to pass this one by. After her younger sister is murdered, Sadie is on the trail of the man she believes killed her. Meanwhile, a podcaster has taken interest in Sadie’s story, and is trying to figure out where she disappeared to. This book is getting a lot of advanced praise, and it sounds like a realistic and rough look at violence towards women, and how our culture tries to capitalize on it.

377158591Book: “We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Because who doesn’t love a little satire, a little heavy metal, and a really badass female protagonist? Given how much I loved “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, it was a sure thing that I was going to get my ands on whatever novel he came out with next. And lo and behold, his follow up was about a washed up heavy metal player, an old grudge she has for a former bandmate, and the possibility that her soul was sold without her permission. Since I have a special place in my heart for metal music, and since Hendrix is a fun author whose books have some scares but a whole lot of heart, I am very much looking forward to “We Sold Our Souls”.

38255342Book: “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know how much Serena loves White’s “Conquerer’s Saga”, but now it’s my turn to see her take on a classic tale and twist it into her own thing. I do enjoy “Frankenstein” quite a bit, but I’ve always felt bad for Victor’s doomed ladyfriend Elizabeth. SO color me interested in “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein”, as it sounds like it’s going to give this character more of a voice. While I’m sure that this story will be as emotionally devastating for me as “The Conquerer’s Saga” was for Serena, I am very excited to see what White does to this classic story, and the places she takes it.

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

 

Highlights: August 2018

Summer is starting to wind down, but we are going to cling to it until it’s forcibly removed from our cold dead hands. It’s been a busy season this year, but we always have time (and make the time) for reading. So here are some of the titles that we are looking forward to that are coming out this month!

Serena’s Picks

294220911Book: “These Rebel Waves” by Sara Raasch

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really enjoyed the sea-based fantasy adventures I’ve read recently, so I was excited when I saw several more coming down the line! This one features three main characters: a solider, a pirate, and a prince. All coming from very different backgrounds, they all must discover who they truly are and what is important to them in a fight to control the plant-based magic that is forbidden in their world. I’m not usually a huge fan of duel narratives, let a lone three, but I’m intrigued by what sounds like a pretty unique magic system that is focused on water plants.

37822534Book: “Seafire” by Natalie C. Parker

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: See? I told you that these pirate-based fantasy stories were hitting some type of peak! What makes this one stand out is the fact that it’s about a pirate ship with a captain and crew made up entirely of women. You know how I love stories with female friendship and sisterhood! I mean, look at that tagline! “Sisterhood is survival.” I’m definitely all over this one. It also seems that this sisterhood of pirates is out for revenge against an all-male raider group, so that could be interesting as well. I’m a bit nervous that it might slip into some weird gender stereotypes what with the segregated ships and all, but I’m still definitely curious to see where this could go!

Magic_Triumphs.inddBook: “Magic Triumphs” by Ilona Andrews

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Gah, I was all geared up and ready to go last spring when this was originally set to be published in March or April. And then one day, I casually check on it and what do I see?? Not until August now! But, finally, August has arrived and I’m so excited to read this book! This is the final book in the Kate Daniels series and my expectations are through the roof. I only really follow two urban fantasy series right now, this and the “Mercy Thompson” series (and we all know my feelings on where that has been head cough“Burn Bright”cough). So that leaves a lot on the shoulders of this book to not only stick its own landing, but prove that yes, some urban fantasy series can not implode under their own nonsense. Plus, the showdown that’s been building over the last few books has been intense. I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so excited.

Kate’s Picks

29749098Book: “Catwoman: Soulstealer” by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: UHHHHH, CATWOMAN, QUITE OBVIOUSLY. I’ve also quite enjoyed the “DC Icons” series as of now, which helps. I am always eager to find new Catwoman material, and so I was pretty happy that she was getting her own time to shine in this series, causing trouble for Luke Fox as he’s holding down the fort for Batman. My ONE qualm is that the author is Sarah J Maas, whose works I haven’t been impressed with in the past (we read “Throne of Glass” for book club and boy was I not a fan of it), but my hope is that Selina Kyle is an interesting enough character that Maas will be able to do her justice. And of COURSE Selina is. Bonus: Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are in this as well, so my dreams of a bad girl power trio might be met!

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Book: “Toil and Trouble” by Tess Sharpe (Ed.)

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I am, of course, a huge fan of stories about witches and witchcraft. It doesn’t even have to be a scary story about witches for me to get my kicks; I just love books and stories about witchy women living their lives. “Toil and Trouble” is a short story collection from a number of different authors that all involve witchcraft and witches. Some are scary, some are romantic, all sound like they are going to be teeming with spells and magic. There are a couple of authors in this book that I’ve enjoyed in the past (Brandy Colbert, Zoraida Córdova), and perhaps I’ll find other authors that I will add to my list of favorites.

35403058Book: “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been meaning to read something by Victoria Schwab for a bit now, though it hasn’t been my priority because so much of her work is based in strictly fantasy settings. But her upcoming novel, while still in fantasy for the most part, involves GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS! So you know that I’m interested. When Cassidy Blake, the daughter of ghost hunters, goes to Scotland to see a haunted castle, her actual ability to see ghosts comes into play. Apparently, her power plays a very specific purpose to the ghost world. This is a kid’s story, but I do enjoy middle grade novels when they fit my tastes, and this sounds like it’s REALLY going to fit my tastes. So here I come, Victoria Schwab! And I’m more than ready!

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