Cosmic Horror, Epic Fantasy, and Stories Within Stories // August Wrap-Up & September TBR

August Wrap Up And September TBR

Hello everyone! I hope you had a good August! I can’t believe it’s September already, I feel like this month has completely snuck up on me. I’m still not sure I’ve wrapped my head around the idea that we’re approaching 2022 now. This year has been such a strange one!

I haven’t done a huge amount this month, but it’s been quite nice to take some time to myself. I finally bought more furniture (including a new book shelf) so my house looks a lot more cosy than it used to! I also went on a bookshop trip for the first time in a few months, and bought some amazing reads!

There’s lots of exciting things coming up in September, but I’m a little worried I won’t have as much time to read. It’s important to remind myself that reading a bit less isn’t necessarily a bad thing! I’m getting a new tattoo later this month, I’m finally attending my graduation ceremony for the degree I finished in 2020, and I’ve got plans to catch up with a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this month?

Wrap Up
Books in the photo are listed below.

I somehow managed to read 19 books this month! For a lot of it I felt like I wasn’t reading that much, but obviously that wasn’t exactly accurate! I read around 6367 pages! August was a little bit of a mixed bag. I read some books I really loved (that I’ll be talking about below), but also my worst read of the year so far! The Lazarus War: Artefact was almost like a bad movie, in that it was somewhat entertaining to see just how bad it would get. Definitely wouldn’t recommend that one! Anyway, here’s a list of all the books I read:

All’s Well by Mona Awad In The Watchful City by S. Qiouyi LuAfter The Dragons by Cynthia Zhang Neon Gods by Katee RobertsThe Botanist’s Apprentice by Arden PowellThe Second Rebel by Linden A. LewisNo Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull The Border Keeper by Kerstin HallThe Outside by Ada HoffmannEveryone on the Moon is Essential Personnel by Julian K. JarboeThe Deep by Rivers Solomon Artefact by Jamie Sawyer House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland The Lost Village by Camilla Sten Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé The Devil’s Submission by Nicola Davidson Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Now it’s time to chat a little bit about my favourite reads of the month!

  • In The Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy – I don’t usually fall so deeply in love with novellas, but this one completely blew me away. It features gorgeously written, decolonial, queer, subversive folkloric storytelling with stories inside stories. Anima watches over the city of Ora’s citizens with a network known as the Gleaming. Ae have always lived in the city, and are content, but when a traveller with a cabinet of curiosites visits ae learns the world outside the city borders is worth knowing. I can’t recommend this enough if you want to pick up a beautiful and unconventional novella.
  • The Second Rebel by Linden A. LewisAdult Sci-Fi – This book is the second in The First Sister series, and Linden A. Lewis didn’t disappoint. I’m not going to discuss the plot too much so I can avoid spoilers for the first book, so just know it’s even bigger, more action packed, and as heartbreaking as the first. I loved how this book delved into the idea of sacrifice and rebellion, what people would give to win a war, what actions are too far. It was brilliant.
  • The Outside by Ada HoffmannAdult Sci-Fi – I have wanted to read an adult sci-fi with a sapphic, autistic main character, written by an autistic author, for so long, and The Outside made it possible! I adored this book so much, the worldbuilding was incredibly unique, and I loved the way Ada Hoffmann incorporated elements of cosmic horror. Yasira, a scientist, has created a radical new energy drive that could change humanity, unfortunately, everything goes wrong. The AI Gods of the universe delcare her work heretical, and kidnap her. She’s offered the opportunity to redeem herself if she takes down her former mentor, another heretical scientist, but who can she trust as everything she thought she knew about the universe is turned inside out. If you love adult sci-fi you need to read this book and let me scream about it with you.
  • House of Hollow by Krystal SutherlandYoung Adult Horror – I knew I’d enjoy this book from the first page. The writing style is gorgeously gothic and rich. I’d heard so many good things about this book, but it still managed to blow away my expectations. It was equal parts absolutely fantastic and horrifically distrubing. The Hollow sisters were kidnapped as children and mysteriously reappeared, changed, a month later. They have no memory of the event, but strangeness has followed them ever since. When the oldest sister goes missing once again and horned men begin appearing it’s time to discover what really happened in their pasts. Amazing, beautiful, distrubing, the spooky season is arriving and this book would be perfect for it.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonAdult Fantasy – I finally got around to reading Priory! This book is over 800 pages long so I was a bit intimidated by it, but it was a suprisingly quick read for me! I feel like people who love Lord of The Rings would enjoy this book. The world has the same sense of history to it, where you feel as if there are many other stories to be told. I also loved the sapphic romance so much! Queen Sabran’s bloodline is known to keep The Nameless One at bay, but she is yet to provide an heir. As ancient evils rise from their slumber, the whole world is at stake. This book is a relatively slow-paced, political fantasy which isn’t for everyone, but I had so much fun with it.
  • No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell TurnbullAdult Fantasy – This book reads like a collection of interconnected short stories. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this sort of fragmented storytelling at first, but I didn’t need to be worried, I loved this. When Laina gets knews that her brother has been fataly shot by police, it seems like a simple case of police brutality. However, it’s something deeper. Monsters are real, and they’re coming out of the shadows. No Gods, No Monsters is sometimes a little difficult to keep a track of, but the snapshots were so poignant and personal while also maintaing an intriguing overarching plot, this book is well worth the effot.
Mini Tbr

Here’s some of the books that I’m hoping to read in Sepember! Some of these have been reads I’ve been highly anticipating all year, so I can’t wait to get stuck in.

  • Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Adult Urban Fantasy Noir – I’ve loved everything I’ve read from Silvia Moreno-Garcia so of course I was going to pick up her book about vampires in Mexico City! I’m so glad this book got republished because it looks absolutely fantastic! Domingo is a lonely, garbage-collecting street kid who stumbles across Atl, a gorgeous Aztec vampire on the run. Atl needs to escape the city, and Domingo is happy to help, but as police and crime bosses close in, they’re running out of time.
  • Bloody Spade by Brittany M. WillowsYoung Adult Urban Fantasy – I follow this author on Twitter and I fell in love with the idea of an anime-esque type fantasy novel! I can’t wait to get stuck in! Magic used to be considered a myth, but as of seven years ago it’s a reality. Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that seperates the magical world from the mundane, but is it too late to stop them?
  • Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune Adult Fantasy – I really enjoy TJ Klune’s writing and this book has an especially interesting premise to me. I definitely get the vibe that this book will make me cry. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived, and so he is given one week before he has to cross over.
  • Traitors Of The Black Crown by Cate PearceAdult Fantasy – I’m always a sucker for adult, sapphic fantasy and this one seems like it has such a unique premise! Raena has spent the last fifteen years hidden as a male Knight, plotting her revenge on the Queen for killing her family. The time is almost right, when she’s unexpectedly exiled to serve the Duchess of a foreign land. When a sinister threat looms to the surface, the three women must recognize who are the oppressors and who will unite against the Black Crown.
  • Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone Young Adult Gothic Fantasy – I am a huge fan of gothic books, and I’m loving how much the young adult fantasy genre is providing me at the moment! Of course, I had to get a copy of Lakesedge as soon as I could! When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem. As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…
  • Activation Degradation by Marina J. Lostetter Adult Sci-Fi – Marina J. Lostetter is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, so I jumped at the chance to read this book! Activation Degradation is described as Murderbot meets first contact, and if that’s not amazing enough it features found family, a robot main character, and thriller pacing! I am so hyped! When Unit Four is activated, it’s in crisis. Aliensa re acttacking the Helium-3 mine it was created to oversee, and now its sole purpose is to defend it. But something’s wrong. There are files in its databanks it can’t account for, unusual chemical combinations, and the information about the aliens is supsiciously sparse. The robot is under orders to seek and destroy. That’s all it knows. According to its handler, that’s all it needs to know. Most robots are simple tools. Unit Four is well on its way to becoming something more…

These are some of my favourite posts that I wrote this month!

Books by other bloggers that I loved this month!

Favourite Instragram Picture

16 thoughts on “Cosmic Horror, Epic Fantasy, and Stories Within Stories // August Wrap-Up & September TBR

  1. Great wrap-up! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Priory of the Orange Tree, and it sounds like you had a great reading month. Thank you for mentioning my post, I’m glad it stood out to you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely wrap-up! Thanks for mentioning my post btw! I appreciate it! Also props to you for all the books you read. I only read 3 this month haha. Also, I hope you enjoy Certain Dark Things, that one looks really good!

    Like

  3. 19 books in one month is amazing!! I don’t think I’ve ever managed that before, maybe 12-14, but only once and that was a long, long time ago haha I’m currently reading Ace of Spades, but haven’t read any of the other books you’ve mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m liking it a lot! I feel like Ace of Spades is in theory a book I could read in a day, because it’s so intriguing, but for some reason, I’m currently having trouble reading physical books, because I prefer ebooks? It’s silly, but somehow I can’t focus as long on paper and that makes it take more time. But the book seems great!

        Liked by 1 person

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