I’ve had an incredibly stressful week, so I figured we’d do something a little more fun to end it off! I’ve been accepted for a few ARCs recently that I’m so excited to get round to reading. If you aren’t aware, ARC stands for Advance Reviewer Copy which book bloggers, booksellers, librarians, etc. can get a hold of through the publisher or sites like Netgalley or Edelweiss. It means we get to read books for free before their release! I know I’ve been rambling a lot about new releases recently, so I’m going to be talking about books that haven’t been featured before on my blog today.
When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
When ghosts talk, she will listen…
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down.
Apocalyptic Edinburgh sounds like an amazing setting, especially alongside a Scottish Zimbabwean main character and ghosts! The Library of the Dead promises Stranger Things vibes, strong family relationships, and a magic library! It sounds like a unique and fantastic read.
An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.
In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.
Whether they succeed or fail could change the fate of Teixcalaan forever.
If you’ve been around for a while you might know that A Memory Called Empire is my favourite book. It had everything I love: political intrigue, a sapphic main character, and rich worldbuilding even down to the linguistic differences between cultures. A Desolation Called Peace is the second book in that series, and I can’t wait to read it. The only reason I haven’t already is because I’m re-reading the first again.
Young Adult Fantasy
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
It’s weird to be excited about reading an ARC of a book that was released in 2019, a book where the second one in the series is already out. Either way, it’s releasing in the UK soon, so technically it’s still an advanced copy, at least for me. We Hunt The Flame has an Ancient Arabia setting, a hate to love romance, and a rich world. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
Young Adult Sci-Fi
A thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war with international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders at the helm in her YA debut—think Star Wars meets Doctor Who, and buckle your seatbelts.
Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.
And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.
Victories Greater Than Death looks like exactly the type of YA I enjoy. We’ve got a found family (with humans and aliens!), we’ve got a universe where queerness is normal (including neo-pronouns!), and a friends to lovers romance (with a trans love interest!). I want to read more YA sci-fi and this is an amazing place to start!
Adult Science Fiction Novella
With the collapse of ecosystems and the extinction of species comes the Grief: an unstoppable melancholia that ends in suicide. When Ruby’s friend, mourning the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, succumbs to the Grief, the letters she leaves behind reveal the hidden world of the resurrected dead. The Tasmanian tiger, brought back from extinction in an isolated facility, is only the first… but rebirth is not always biological, and it comes with a price. As a scientist, Ruby resists the Grief by focusing her research on resilient jellyfish, but she can’t avoid choosing which side she’s on. How can she fight against the dead and the forces behind them when doing so risks her home, her life, and the entire biosphere?
The Impossible Resurrection of Grief looks to be one of the most interesting books I could pick up. It’s published by Stelliform Press, an indie press which publishes sci-fi, fantasy, and horror related to environmental issues. I remember mourning the Tasmanian tiger, and I’m excited to read a book that features them in some form. A condition that leads to death, the resurrection of extinct animals, the consequences of ecosystems collapsing, I can tell this book will give me a lot to think about.
Adult Historical Fantasy
To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything
“I refuse to be nothing…”
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…
In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.
When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.
After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.
She Who Became The Sun is one of my most anticipated releases and I’m so glad I got my hands on a copy. Pitched as Song of Achilles x Mulan it tells a reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Asian fantasies truly are winning at the moment, and this one features a nonbinary lesbian main character! I can’t wait to read this book.