September 2016 Highlights

Happy Labor Day! The end of summer is here, and in Minnesota we are saying goodbye to the State Fair and hello to the reality of autumn heading our way. But with the new month comes our new list of Highlights of books that are coming out! Let’s see what we’re most looking forward to.

Serena’s Picks

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Book: “Vassa in the Night” by Sarah Porter

Publication Date: September 20th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Set in a fairytale version of Brooklyn, NYC, and based on the Russian fairytale “Vassilissa the Beautiful,” this book looks right up my alley! I always love fairytale retellings and am even more intrigued by one based on a story that I’m not as familiar with. (Having read a million Cinderella retellings, I’m up for something new!) Also, it features a version of Baba Yaga as the villain. Which…I love Baba Yaga!

23203252Book: “A Shadow Bright and Burning” by Jessica Cluess

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Henrietta Howel (first plus: awesome name!) is the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years. Further, she is being told that she is the Chosen One who will defeat the demons terrorizing the country. Or is she really? Set in an alternative Victorian London, I’m intrigued by the concept of playing with the “chose one” mythology and, hopefully, turning it on its head. Either way, a fantasy novel set in Victorian London featuring a protagonists similar to the “Human Torch” sounds just about perfect to me!

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Book: “Magic Binds” by Ilona Andrews

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Another classy cover for the “Kate Daniels” series by writing duo, Ilona Andrews. *sigh* But oh well, I’ve come to expect a certain amount of cheese from my urban fantasy covers…but really, the lion staring off into the middle distance?? The last book in this series saw the rising threat of Kate’s god-like father Roland threatening not only her own peace, but the safety of her claimed territory, Atlanta. The struggle continues, but this time Roland and gone one step further, kidnapping Kate’s on-and-off friend Saiman to gain more power. This series can be a bit hit and miss, but I’m hoping for a hit with this one!

Kate’s Picks

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Book: “Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Vol.1)” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze (Ill.)

Publication Date: September 13th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Though I’m not really a Marvel Girl, I am VERY interested by the new iteration of Black Panther. Partially because I liked him in “Captain America: Civil War,” but mostly because Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing for the character now. As someone who was deeply moved by “Between the World and Me,” I think that it’s absolutely fabulous that Coates was tapped to take on the story of Black Panther. His ruminations on race in this country will no doubt have some influence on this character, and that really excites me.

28367592Book: “The Women in the Walls” by Amy Lukavics

Publication Date: September 27th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Lukavics’ “Daughters Unto Devils” was one of my favorite horror novels last year, as the raw and brutal story of demonic doings in the prairie land scared the piss out of me. I’m really hoping that her next one, “The Women in the Walls,” has the same atmospheric and feminist terror that her previous novel had. Especially since it will be coming out just in time for Halloween season. This one sounds more like a haunted house tale as opposed to demonic possession, but that just makes me more excited. I love a good haunted house story.

28449150Book: “And the Trees Crept In” by Dawn Kurtagich

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Another haunted house story!! Honestly, when late September comes around I’m gathering a list of horror novels to read, and this one sounds like it has some promise to it. As anyone who has seen “The Evil Dead” movies knows, trees can be super horrible and creepy when they want to be, and the idea of trees moving in for the kill and surrounding a mansion really just gives me the willies. I haven’t read anything by Kurtagich, but if this one tickles my fancy I will have to seek her out some more!

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

August 2016 Highlights

We have entered the Dog Days of summer, everybody, and as such it is time for our highlights and choices we’re most excited about for the month! Let’s see what we are looking forward to!

Serena’s Picks

26114291Book: “Ghost Talkers” by Mary Robinette Kowal

Publication Date: August 16th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Set in an alternate-Earth where a Psychcorp division of the military helps with the war efforts in World War I, this unique stand-alone definitely seems worth checking out. The lead character, Ginger Stuyvesant, is a medium who becomes caught up in the war efforts and the possibility of a traitor in their midst when her fiance is sent to the front line. This has the potential to be very tragic, but I’m willing to risk it!

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Book: “The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin

Publication Date: August 16th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: This is the second in Jemisin’s “The Broken Earth” series, and alas, I haven’t even gotten to the first one, “The Fifth Season,” yet! But I have read other works by this author and love them all, and she’s a highly praised name in the fantasy community right now. Featuring her trademark world building and incredibly high stakes (see: a world with repeated apocalyptic events), the release of this book just highlights the fact that I need to prioritize this series pronto!

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Book: “The Swarm” by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016

Why I’m Interested: “Ender’s Game” is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi books. I’ve read sporadically within the rest of the series and spin offs with mixed feelings. This story is essentially a prequel, and features Mazer Rackam, Ender’s mentor in the original, during the second second war with the Formics. This seems to be the first in a trilogy set during this period of time and is also a first pairing for Card and Johnston. I’m curious to see how the authors merge their styles and how this series will hold up against the original.

Kate’s Picks

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Book: “The Smaller Evil” by Stephanie Kuehn

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Stephanie Kuehn is one of my favorite YA authors writing today, as I love her book “Charm and Strange” and quite enjoyed both “Complicit” and “Delicate Monsters”. Now she’s back with a new one, which is sure to be as tense as her others. This one seems to deal with a strange group that is leading a self help retreat in the remote Big Sur mountains, and the teenage boy who has found himself in it’s fences. I smell a cult story, and I love a good cult story.

28815474Book: “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena

Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016

Why I’m Interested: This book sounds like it has it all: a seemingly perfect family, a terrible crime, and secrets and lies that are about to come out. I wanted something like this when I read “The Magpies” by Mark Edwards, but didn’t quite get it, so hopefully “The Couple Next Door” will fill my insatiable need for terrible things happening to suburban bliss. It seems to have some pretty okay hype, so I am looking forward to this.

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Book: “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Book 1” by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack (Illustrator)

Publication Date: August 16th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: So you know how the Archie Comics are kind of getting a more edgy and darker make-over, or have had some darker themes at least? Apparently the same can be said for Sabrina the Teenage Witch!! I loved the show when it was on and I liked the comics when I was little, so seeing that it’s been given the horror treatment makes me so relentlessly excited I can’t even begin to contain my excitement!! This has the potential to bring in some fun witch themes to an old favorite.

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

July 2016 Highlights

Happy July 4th everyone! We’re fully into summer now, and both of us are doing the usual summer fare of travel, relaxing, and lots of reading. July brings a new list of books that we are looking forward to reading. So let’s see what we picked.

Serena’s Picks

28862528Book: “Saga: Volume 6” by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples

Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Why I’m Interested: While Kate usually covers all the graphic novels for our duo, the “Saga” series has been on of the rare exceptions of a series that I’ve been following. This sci-fi graphic novel series is absolutely brilliant. A humorous, tragic, romantic, adventurous romp of a story all wrapped up in beautiful, vibrant illustrations. I’m one volume behind at this point, but I’m excited to pick this one up soon!

23299512Book: “This Savage Song” by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Victoria Schwab, often known for writing under the pseudonym of “V.E.Schwab” (is this because she writes books that boys may like and “boys don’t read books by women authors”?? Hmmm), is an increasing presence in the fantasy genre. I have heard her works praised far and wide and have yet to actually get around to one of her books. This one, set in a world overrun by monsters, is touted as a dark, urban fantasy and sounds like it would be right up my alley. It features dual protagonists and is being advertised as the first in a duology.

29056083Book: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by J. K. Rowling

Publication Date: July 31, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Um. Obviously. I am incredibly excited for this release. However, I’m also a bit apprehensive for the Potter mania that might follow. This is a play, not a novel, and I’m not sure how well that is actually going to go down with many Potter fans who have started pinning all of their hopes and dreams on this work. All I can say is that J. K. Rowling is greatly to be admired for expanding her world in such creative ways (short stories, her website, and now a play), and I am thrilled to be along for the ride!

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Book: “You Will Know Me”  by Megan Abbott

Publication Date: July 26th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I have found other books by Megan Abbott to be very addicting and overflowing with villainous suds. In this book she takes on the world of teenage girl gymnastics, when a Katie, the mother of gymnastic’s prodigy Devon, has to decide how far she’s willing to go to achieve her daughter’s dream. Bella Karolyi, eat your heart out. I really liked “The Fever”, and I hope that “You Will Know Me” will be a good vacation read.

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Book: “Monstress, Vol.1: Awakening” by Marjorie Liu

Publication Date: July 19th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: It’s steampunk meets an alternate historical fiction universe version of Asia, so”Monstress” is a new series that I’m really quite interested in.  In a world where Arcanics, or magical creatures who can pass for people, are hunted by sorceresses called Cumea who wish to take all their power. Maika is teenage girl Arcanic who has a psychic connection to an ancient monster whom she hopes will help her survive. The art looks gorgeous and I’m in the mood for some more girl power in my comics.

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Book: “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: July 19th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I really, really, REALLY liked “In a Dark, Dark Wood”, the grit-lit book that Ware published last year, and when I heard that she had another one coming out I immediately threw myself on the request list. When travel journalist Lo Blacklock starts the cruise assignment she’s writing, all seems like a dream. But when she thinks she sees a woman thrown overboard, she panics and tries to report it. But all of the guests are accounted for, at least that’s why they tell Lo, who wants to get to the bottom of it. I’m already freaked by cruise ships, so this will probably exacerbate that fear.

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

June 2016 Highlights

Hey everyone! So with June just around the corner, it’s about time to talk about the books that we are most looking forward to in the next month. So many books, so many things to be excited about!

Serena’s Picks

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Book: “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: June 7th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: This book is (not at all factually) based on the life of Lady Jane Grey, who ruled England for nine days only to be be-headed for her trouble. It has been compared to “The Princess Bride” for its farcical and humorous take on the story and history. How you turn a tragic stay locked up in the Tower of London only to then be executed at a young age into a “romantic comedy” is the true question. I’m excited to find out though!

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Book: “Age of Myth” by Michael J. Sullivan

Publication Date: June 28th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I haven’t read any Michael J. Sullivan as of yet. But he’s become widely popular in the fantasy reading community and is often compared to favorite authors of mine like Brandon Sanderson. I’ve also noticed that stories involving slain Gods or fallen Gods have become a bit of a thing in the last few years (two of my favorites with this topic are the recently reviewed “City of Stairs” and N.K. Jeminson’s “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.”) Am curious to read Sullivan’s take on the subject!

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Book: “And I Darken” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

Why I’m Interested: This story features Lady Dragwyla and takes place in the Ottoman empire…so…it’s about a female Vlad the Impaler? What an intriguing concept!  I mean, this is a line in the book description: “The first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.” Sign me up! Sign me up right now!

Kate’s Picks

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Book: “End of Watch” by Stephen King

Publication Date: June 7th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: It would be very easy to just say ‘because it’s Stephen King, duh’, but there is a bit more to it than that. King has started experimenting with his writing styles and genres in recent years, and it’s no surprise that he can write a whole lot more than horror (Hell, “The Body” and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” should be enough proof of this). This is the final book in his Bill Hodges Trilogy, which is a bit more mystery/thriller than horror. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have some horror elements to it. I love this series, and am ready for the conclusion.

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Book: “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: June 21st, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Last year I read Tremblay’s “A Head Full of Ghosts” and could not put it down. He took an exorcism story and turned it into a tense family drama, a mix of “The Exorcist” and “Ordinary People”. It was one of my favorite books last year, and when I heard that he had a second one coming out I was totally on board. And a story about a boy disappearing under strange circumstances is definitely right up my alley.

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Book: “The Girls” by Emma Cline

Publication Date: June 14th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: A book about a girl who is so enamored with a cool and popular older girl that she gets sucked into the Manson Family? I’m interested!!! As someone who has been very fascinated by Charles Manson and his cult, the sudden interest in him in pop culture (from the TV show “Aquarius” to the “You Must Remember This” Podcast devoting all of last summer to an ongoing series about him) enters the literary world with Cline’s “The Girls”. It’s going to be weird and upsetting and I can’t wait.

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

May 2016 Highlights

Hey everyone! It’s the start of the month, and that means that a bunch of new books are going to be published across many genres. Because of that, we have decided to share with you the books that we are the most excited about, across our favorite genres.

Serena’s Picks

The Murder of Mary Russell Book: “The Murder of Mary Russell” by Laurie R. King

Publication date: April 5, 2016

Why I’m interested: Yes, yes, I cheated. I missed this release for my “Highlights” list last month. But I can’t not include it! King’s “Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes” series is one of my all time favorite mystery series still being published. I am sadly behind, probably a few books back. But all that means is that I get to look forward to binge reading the next several to lead up to this newest one! No downsides there, as far as I can see.

 

A Court of Mist and Fury Book: “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas

Publication date: May 3, 2016

Why I’m interested: Look, I know that I ranted on and on about my frustrations with “A Court of Thorns and Roses.” But when it came to the strength of Maas’ retelling of the fairytale itself, it was so strong. I have specific hopes and dreams for how this book could be amazing. However, I’m also once-burned-twice-shy about it. Maybe I will keep an eye on others’ reviews before committing myself.

 

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is YouBook: “The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You”by Lily Anderson

Publication date: May 17, 2016

Why I’m interested: I’ve been hearing about this from various people and places. I’ve read other “fandom” books like “Ready Player One” and “Fangirl” and highly enjoyed them. They both had just the right dash of fun references combined with unique added value. Hopefully this will be more of the same!

 

Kate’s Picks:

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Book: “The Fireman” by Joe Hill

Publication Date: May 17th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I can tell you exactly why I am interested. Joe Hill is hands down one of my favorite authors writing right now. His horror/dark fantasy stories are some of the creepiest out there, and he has a serious talent for writing very complex and interesting characters. His newest one is about a mysterious disease called dragonscale that makes it’s victims spontaneously combust, and his protagonist is a woman named Harper who is inflicted with the disease. Plus, there’s a strange man who is only known as the Fireman who is going around the wastes, avenging those who have been wronged. I AM SO ON BOARD.

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Book: “Don’t You Cry” by Mary Kubica

Publication Date: May 17th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I greatly enjoyed Kubica’s previous work, “Pretty Baby”, and I am very interesting in seeing where she goes with this newest book. Her pacing is always good, and while I’m a bit wary about how the plot sounds with this one, I have a feeling that I will get completely caught up in it and will not be able to put it down.

 

 

Book: “Doctor Strange (Vol.1): The Way of the Weird”26030872

Publication Date: May 10th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Okay, I’m just going to level with all of you. I have very little interest in Marvel Comics outside of Deadpool, X-Men, and Ms. Marvel (when she isn’t being aggressively quirky). But that said, I am very intrigued by the entire premise of Doctor Strange, not so much because of the upcoming film, but more because of the fact the character Dr. Orpheus on “The Venture Bros” is based on him. So what better way to give Marvel another chance?

 

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!

April 2016 Highlights

Hey everyone! It’s the start of the month, and that means that a bunch of new books are going to be published across many genres. Because of that, we have decided to share with you the books that we are the most excited about, across our favorite genres.

Serena’s Picks

Flamecaster Book: “Flamecaster” by Cinda Williams Chima

Publication date: April 5, 2016

Why I’m interested: I read and loved Chima’s “Seven Realms” series. That story featured dual protagonists, a young woman and a young man set in a creative fantasy world. This book takes place in the same world following the stories of Ash, a trained healer with a tough of magic, and Jenna, a young woman with a mysterious past. This series is set a generation after the original, so I’m looking forward to returning to this world and seeing what’s what!

 

Every Heart a Doorway Book: “Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire

Publication date: April 5, 2016

Why I’m interested: What happens when you return from Oz? Or tumble back out of the wardrobe? In this novella, Seanan McGuire explores what’s next for children whose magical experiences have come to an end and they’re back in the boring, old, regular world. I haven’t read too many novellas, but I have liked the first few books in McGuire’s “Toby Daye” urban fantasy series. Will definitely be checking this one out.

 

The Raven King Book: “The Raven King” by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication date: April 26, 2016

Why I’m interested: This is one of those series that everyone raves about, to the point where you almost want to not read it just because you want to save the whole experience. At least, that’s been my approach. I have absolutely loved the first two books in this series and have intentionally been pacing myself reading the third one waiting for this to be published in case of any unbearable cliff hangers. But it’s almost here! Stiefvater’s beautiful examination of friendship and family make this series an amazing read. The magic is just the topping on the cake.

Kate’s Picks:

26030697Book: “Fellside” by M.R. Carey

Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: I actually wasn’t that impressed with M.R. Carey’s last book, “The Girl With All The Gifts”, his take on a zombie story. While the zombies were interesting in their origin story, the plot itself didn’t thrill me. But it sounds like his newest book, “Fellside”, is a ghost story, one that takes place in a women’s prison. I’m really happy that the ghost story is coming back into fashion, and I’m hoping that he’ll bring an original twist AND bring a really spooky story.

 

28204534Book: “Paper Girls (Vol. 1)” by Brian K. Vaughn

Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

Why I’m Interested: Let me get this straight. Brian K. Vaughn, writer of both “Saga” and “Y: The Last Man”, has another comic collection coming out? And that comic collection is about a bunch of paper girls in 1988 who uncover a huge story that sets off a lot of drama and mysteries? I am SO in!!!!

 

 

25241697Book: “Wonder Woman Earth One (Vol. 1)”

Publication Date: April 6th, 2016 (expected)

Why I’m Interested: As a huge fan of Wonder Woman, and still feeling pretty good about her most recent film debut in “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” (but more on that later), I am really having high hopes for this newest Wonder Woman comic collection from DC. I wasn’t a fan of her New 52 run, so let’s hope that this time around she’s going to have some fun stories that are actually about HER, and not about some random person she has been assigned to protect.

 

What books are you guys excited for that are coming out this month? Let us know in the comments!