Top 5 Love Interests I Would have Dumped

Hosted at the Goodreads group: Top 5 Wednesday. Over at the group, this topic is said much nicer as Love Interests You Would Have Broken Up With – but I’m feeling particularly vindictive to these love interests.

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Brody from UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

Brody is an entitled little rich boy who thinks his parents money allow him to stalk a girl, steal her backpack to force her to take a car ride with him, and then proceeds to keep her locked in the car, even when she tells him to pull over and let her out. He has anger management problems and literally victim blames the main girl (his love interest) for getting attacked. Ladies and gentlemen, our first bachelor, Brody! Isn’t he a catch? (He should be caught by that restraining order.)

Mal from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Ah, Mal, the friend half of the love triangle. So, we’d all be forgiven in thinking he was to be the sweet boy. The nice boy. The boy that paid attention to his best friend all along, even before she ‘became pretty.’ Well, we’d also be forgiven for, apparently, getting the wrong book, because this best friend is none of those things. Though what he is, is a worthless slug. So, ladies and gentlemen, slug – I mean bachelor number two: Mal.

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Katya from The Pyramid Waltz by Barbara Ann Wright

Katya is a real catch here, folks. Not only goes she threaten – ostensibly jokingly – suicide if her love interest doesn’t join her for dinner, she lies to her and then can’t figure out why she isn’t trusted to control every little aspect of everything. Ever. But she also is so romantic as to directly refer to her love interest as a ‘Prize Pony’. *slow clap* Ladies and gentlemen, bachelorette number 3: Katya. Choose her before she’s snapped up.

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Lucien from The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

Lucien, not to put too fine a point on it, is a rapist. The only time he comes close to getting consent, it’s when his love interest is upset and not really in a frame of mind to give true, un-influenced consent. But, you know what? Lucien’s such a great guy that in the ‘bonus’ short story at the end of this book he has sex with his love interest even while his love interest is saying ‘stop.’ Bachelor number 4, ladies and gentlemen: Lucian, for those that want to date a man that feels he’s owed sex and your body.

Leah from Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Girls, if you’re question your sexuality, Leah is the girl for you! Not only will she call you a ‘fucking hetero’ but this self-entitled girl will also belittle your interests and degrade you. Ladies and gentlemen, bachelorette number five: Leah. Hard to see why she’s still single!

 

…Okay, even through the ranting, because of how I did it, I kind of had fun with this post. Please let me know what love interests you’d dump. Or break up with. Or – as I probably should have titled this ‘nope, never gonna happen!’

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Top Ten LGBT+ Inclusive Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. As much as I love these type of prompts, they are getting more and more difficult – probably because we last did one in September. (Previous TTT: Hidden Gem YAHidden Gems Read in 2016 (approx.) & Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads.)

So, lately I’ve been reading a lot of – almost exclusively – books with LGBT+ rep, I decided to focus on that today. These won’t be books where a LGBT+ friend is mentioned, but books with major (main character major) representation. (Also, a lot of these will probably be romance-y and I will try to diversify the list whenever possible. (Like by choosing POC over whites whenever possible and choosing something besides just gay rep all the time.)

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Heart of Steel – Anthology

This is a collection of mostly lesbian short stories. In the first five stories, we also get a blooming F/F/M poly triad, trans rep, a group that reads as genderfluid, as well as a straight asexual – possibly aromantic – marriage. Just pretend the sixth and seventh stories do not exist because while they are still filled with F/F – they are also filled with unhealthy relationships and dirty cheaters.

Coral Bones by Foz Meadows

(I wholeheartedly recommend this author’s fantasy duology, as well. And there’s a whole boatload of good rep in it.) This retelling/expansion on Shakespear’s The Tempest features feminism and two characters that are genderqueer and is an absolutely delight to read.

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The Doctor’s Discretion by E.E. Ottoman

Probably my favorite book by this author so far – though his steampunk style romances are lovely, too. Besides one of the main characters being a black doctor in 1831 New York City, it also has prominent trans characters and issues that both would face historically. It is also super sweet.

His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto

This is such a fun, cute, sweet little book. The main character is possibly begging to identify as demisexual while the ‘love interest’ is most likely a sex repulsed asexual – that shows strong signs of not being into kissing or cuddling, though I wouldn’t categorize him as aromantic. There is no steam at all in this story, not even a single kiss, but has one of my all time favorite declarations of affection.

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The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

This is a cute little lightly sci-fi short story about an asexual lesbian that falls in love with a robot. Or is that a robot that falls in love with an asexual lesbian? Anyway, it is a sweet, cute little story.

Venturess by Betsy Cornwell

I am totally going to give away spoilers for Mechanica, but this is a F/F/M open poly triad. I mean, I’d tell you to go into it this duology without knowing that – as I did and was totally thrilled with the development – but I’ve heard too many complaint about it. But, man, it just works between these three so well. (And how unusual for YA is this?!)

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Spy Stuff by Matthew J. Metzger

I’ve always had a difficult time describing this book, but I guess I’ll say it’s a trans coming of age story. And this is a story that talks a lot about what it means for the main character being trans. (Probably because it is also #OwnVoices.) Also, we get a totally un-dramatic ‘I’m bi’ realization from a boy that previously thought he was straight.

A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Totally cheese-y, cute and silly story about a princess that’s attracted to her own gender and the very female ‘prince charming’ from our world that rescues her.

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Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

This was Sebastian’s first foray into non-M/M romances and she had yet another winner. (My current second favorite book of hers.) It features a non-binary character that looks like a women but is disguised as a man to facilitate the wedding of her best friend. It is delightful and somewhat complicated and just wonderful.

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

Features a black former prize fighter and a broken former kept man. (Also families of choice.) This is my favorite Sebastian book, but fair warning that former coerced consent plays a large part in discussions and influences a lot in this story.

 

So, there’s my list. Would you like to add any, because I would love to get some recommendations! (And, yes, if you know me, you had to have known that there’d be two Sebastian books on this list.)

Top Ten Couples From Books I Read in the Last Two Years

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. So, today’s topic is top ten bookish couples – but I know I did this before. I figure limiting this to 2017 and 2018, I should – hopefully – not be listing couples I’ve already listed. (Also, in no real order except rever read order, which means the older reads are probably at the top and the more recent reads are at the bottom.)

 

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Starflight by Melissa Landers

Couple: Solara/Doran

This is a delightful enemies to lovers (which I don’t usually love) YA romance in space. Solara and Doran are both more than what they first appear to be and have such a lovely, verbal/bantering relationship building between them. They do, however, get off on the wrong foot, but things smooth out very quickly I think.

Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth

Couple: Reese/Hirianthial

This book – among all the space adventure and found family feels – shows two rather…standoffish people falling in love. It’s sweet and cute and totally fluffy. (The romance, anyway. The space adventure can get kind of hairy occasionally.) (Also, one is a POC and the other is a space elf.)

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Ella, the Slayer by A.W. Exley

Couple: Ella/Seth

If Cinderella were a katana wielding zombie slayer and the prince was actually a duke that loved little more than to fight right along side her. This is a true romance of equals and one of the best/healthiest couples I’ve ever come across. Much less in YA.

Venturess by Betsy Cornwell

Romance: Nicolette/Caro/Fin

Yes, you read that right! This is an open poly triad. In a YA steampunk/fantasy story. About, once again, Cinderella. Honestly, I just love this trio so much and they fit together so well and…*sigh* I want more poly in books. (Actual poly, not just sex.)

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A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Couple: Bianca/Alexandra

With this book, I didn’t know where to turn my attention: the awesome group of friends, or the solid pair of girls who really are just friends, or the blossoming romance – because all are so awesome. (Warning: this book is very Not to be Taken Seriously.)

Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch

Couple: John/Soren

I have a special place in my heart for book where the couple are emotionally vulnerable with each other – and this book does it in spades. Also, they both so obviously care about each other – and other people – that it’s just lovely to see.

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A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

Couple: Hartley/Sam

While I love the couple, how much they work to overcome together and really work on building something that would last, I must make special mention of the fact that this book is probably the most aware of any book I’ve ever read of consent. There is no ‘non-verbal consent’ or ‘silence means yes’ crap. They talk, discuss, negotiate. And it is breathtaking.

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman

Couple: Clara/Danielle

A couple that gets together over their love of fanfiction and pickles. Anyway, totally adorable and sweet and cute. (Everything is soft and nothing hurts so expect no angst in this short story.)

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Couple: Audrey/Thomas

Another book with a strong emphasis on equal partners. These two banter and flirt, but truly respect the other, which makes it a joy to read.

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars

Couple: Korra/Asami

I’m totally cheating. Get over it. Any list of favorite couples has to include Korrasami until the end of time. That is all. (Though, I do have a special appreciation for Varrik/Zhu Li.)

And there’s ten couples that I adore. And love. And want to read more about. Who are your favorite couples?

Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2018

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I always love these type of posts, a chance to look back on the previous year and remind myself of some very awesome authors that I discovered along the way. I will admit that this year I didn’t read a lot of new authors and … not all the books turned out well.

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Angel Martinez

Books Read: All six in the Offbeat Crimes series and the first collection of novella’s (1-3) in Brandywine Investigations.

E.E. Ottoman

Books Read: All three novellas in the Mechanical Universe and The Doctor’s Discretion.

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Kerri Maniscalco

Books Read: Stalking Jack the Ripper.

Cale Dietrich

Books Read: The Love Interest.

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Yoon Ha Lee

Books Read: Ninefox Gambit.

J.Y. Yang

Books Read: The Black Tides of Heaven.

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Anna Butler

Books Read: Gyrfalcon.

Meredith Katz

Books Read: The Cybernetic Tea Shop.

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Arshad Ahsanuddin

Books Read: Zenith.

Sophie Robbins

Books Read: A Hole in the World.

 

All these author’s are wither ones I already own another book of, or are towards the tiptop of my Goodreads TBR. What new authors did you discover in 2018?

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Ooh, I love these posts so much! (So much that I started working on it really early, but who cares.) I don’t currently have a lot of books on my 2019 TBR and a quick Goodreads search revealed that the list compilers are really falling behind because all I could find for 2019 LGBT+ rep was the typical M/M releases by month (for like two months) and a YA list. And anymore when I look for new books without a specific one in mind… I search LGBT+ spec fiction. (So get some lists up, or just send me recs and I’ll adore you!)

January 2019

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Firestarter by Tara Sim

The crew of the Prometheus is intent on taking down the world’s clock towers so that time can run freely. Now captives, Colton, Daphne, and the others have a stark choice: join the Prometheus’s cause, or fight back in any small way they can and face the consequences. But Zavier, leader of the terrorists, has a bigger plan—to bring back the lost god of time.

As new threats emerge, loyalties must shift. No matter where the Prometheus goes—Prague, Austria, India—nowhere is safe, and every second ticks closer toward the eleventh hour. Walking the line between villainy and heroism, each will have to choose what’s most important: saving those you love at the expense of the many, or making impossible sacrifices for the sake of a better world.

(I … think I should reread the previous two books because I remember hardly anything about them. But I am super excited for this book!)

February 2019

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Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines

The Krakau came to Earth in the year 2104. By 2105, humanity had been reduced to shambling, feral monsters. In the Krakau’s defense, it was an accident, and a century later, they did come back and try to fix us. Sort of.

It’s been four months since Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos learned the truth of that accident. Four months since she and her team of hygiene and sanitation specialists stole the EMCS Pufferfish and stopped a bioterrorism attack against the Krakau homeworld. Four months since she set out to find proof of what really happened on Earth all those years ago.

Between trying to protect their secrets and fighting the xenocidal Prodryans, who’ve been escalating their war against everyone who isn’t Prodryan, the Krakau have their tentacles full.

Mops’ mission changes when she learns of a secret Krakau laboratory on Earth. A small group under command of Fleet Admiral Belle-Bonne Sage is working to create a new weapon, one that could bring victory over the Prodryans … or drown the galaxy in chaos.

To discover the truth, Mops and her rogue cleaning crew will have to do the one thing she fears most: return to Earth, a world overrun by feral apes, wild dogs, savage humans, and worse. (After all, the planet hasn’t been cleaned in a century and a half!) What Mops finds in the filthy ruins of humanity could change everything, assuming she survives long enough to share it.

Perhaps humanity isn’t as dead as the galaxy thought.

(Even if this wasn’t one of my favorite authors, even if this series wasn’t all kinds of awesome – I think I’d still love these books just for the covers!)

Afterward by E.K. Johnston

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

(I’ve actually never read this author before, but that book sounds good. Not to even mention how in love with the cover I am.)

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Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.

That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.

Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.

(Let’s call it ‘cautiously optimistic’ shall we. This book could be something I’d love, but I’ll be waiting until reviews come in to decide if it’s something I’ll actually try reading.)

March 2019

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Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

I’ve been chased my whole life. An illegal immigrant in Mercer-controlled territory, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until now.

When Ari crash lands on Old Earth, and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she becomes the forty-second reincarnation of King Arthur. Merlin awakes to find that having aged backward over the last forty-one Arthurs, he is now-wretchedly-a teenager. Ari may be Merlin’s final chance to complete the steps of the cycle: 1) Train Arthur 2) Defeat the greatest evil in the universe. 3) Unite all of mankind. No pressure.

I don’t know about prophecies or kings, but I do know this: Mercer is evil. They’ve imprisoned my parents, enslaved worlds, and now they’re after my friends. I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

(…I…don’t know. I mean, this book has been on my list for ages, but… It takes a lot form me to read a M/F YA book these days.)

Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the 20th century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.

And something always goes wrong.

(Okay, can I just say this has the potential to be amazing? Because it so does.)

April 2019

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A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

The story of a publisher who wants nothing more than to print her scandalous novels and maybe keep her seditionist pamphleteer brother out of prison. She accidentally winds up falling in love with a handsome illustrator who is extremely cranky to discover he’s the heir to a dukedom.

(Not a real synopsis to be found, yet, but it’s Cat Sebastian, of course I’ll read it.)

May 2019

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Nobody panic.

(Never read their other work together. Never read Kristoff’s solo work. (Well, tried to. Couldn’t.) But this book sounds RIGHT up my alley. … Except for that description of the last person on the team. Oh well.)

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

(Contemporary YA isn’t really my thing, but I’m willing to put all that aside for the chance to read about a non-binary main character. I’m also willing to put aside my dislike of the cover, because I so don’t like it. At all.)

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Going off Script by Jen Wilde

A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character in this diverse contemporary YA romance from the author of Queens of Geek.

Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee.

Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.

Jen Wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of LGBT characters in media.

(I passed on Queens of Geek for a long time, but when I saw this synopsis…I knew I’d have to read it and surrendered to the inevitable of putting Queens of Geek on my TBR. (I’ve not read it, yet.) This book, though…I WANT. I mean. Seriously.)

The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire: Part 1

Korra must decide who to trust as the fate of the Earth Kingdom hangs in the balance!

On the eve of its first elections, the Earth Kingdom finds its future endangered by its past. Even as Kuvira stands trial for her crimes, vestiges of her imperial ambitions threaten to undermine the nation’s democratic hopes. But when Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin don’t all see eye-to-eye as to the solution, drastic measures will be taken to halt a new march to war!

(More Asami and Korra and Lin and Tenzin. … And Bolin. Of course I want it. (Really, though, I’m here for Asami.))

June 2019

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

(So…I first heard about this story as a ‘re-imagining of the current time with a woman president and a gay first son.’ … Needless to say, I was sold. Slightly better than the previous cover, but I’m just not into drawn romance covers. Especially for M/M as it smacks of yaoi to me. And that…just has too many bad connotations.)

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strong-willed young women falling for each other despite themselves.

(I like this cover and I like the idea of a lesbian romantic comedy – that the kind of movies I’ve been trying to find – and I love the fact that both women are called ‘strong-willed’ so, needless to say, I’m there.)

 

Soo…Give me a sec while I count these books. … 13 And these are all the books on my ‘not yet published’ goodreads shelf that publish between January 1 2019 and June 30 2019. So… I need to get on adding more books, don’t I? Anyway, most of these sound really, really good and I know I’ll be buying several of them right away. What new releases are you looking forward to in 2019? (And that feels so strange to type.)

Top Ten Best Books Read in 2018

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This is…not an easy list to compile. My reading has been all over the place for 2018 and I was stressed out several times and that means I wasn’t reading demanding books. I read a lot of romance and reread quite a few books more than usual this in this past year. All of which left me somewhat surprised at my 5 star rated books. Of which there were many. So, this list is kind of vaguely reverse favorite order, with the awesome five star books here at the top and the even more totally awesome five star books down there at the bottom. Okay? Good.

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Chainbreaker by Tara Sim

(Sequel to Timekeeper)

Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.

After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path–one from which they may never return.

A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Bianca’s life is tediously normal until the day she rescues a fairytale princess from a troll.

Then, everything changes and Bianca finds herself being thrust into the role of Prince Charming whether she likes it or not.

Despite her misgivings, she’s drawn to the strange Princess and her ways and before she knows where she is she’s forced to fight for her love – and her life.

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection.
Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome.

The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Zenith by Arshad Ahsanuddin

What if you could change history?
What if someone else already had?

Grounded after a rescue attempt in Earth orbit goes bad, Commander Martin Atkins of the Confederation Navy is approached by the Interscission Project, a consortium of civilian corporations on the verge of perfecting the technology to travel to another star. Despite his misgivings, the chance to get back in the pilot’s seat is too much to pass up, and he convinces his best friend and crewmate, Charles Davenport, to leave the military temporarily and join him as part of the crew of the Zenith, humanity’s first starship.

Edward Harlen is a brilliant young engineer, and a key player in the construction of the Zenith to take advantage of the untested technology of foldspace drive. But Edward has his own agenda in joining the project, and a bitterly personal score to settle with his boss, Trevor Sutton, a vendetta of which Trevor is entirely ignorant. When Edward’s sister Stella enters the picture and manages to secure a position on the project, all of Edward’s careful plotting is upset, and she might spell the downfall not only of his plans for revenge, but of the entire Zenith mission.

The spark of attraction between Edward and Martin is a complication that Edward can’t afford, but of which he can’t let go. For Edward knows the secret at the heart of the Interscission Project, the hidden potential of the technology that in the wrong hands could become the ultimate assassin’s weapon: the ability to rewrite history, not just once, but many times. As an unseen enemy moves to destroy them, and the body count multiplies in their wake, Martin and Edward must choose whether they will allow the possibility of love to challenge their destinies, or will they instead take up arms in a war to control the most ancient and terrible power in the universe.

Time, itself.

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Stalking Jack the Ribber by Kerri Maniscalco

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth

Seersana University is worlds-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance’s finest therapists, psychiatric nurses and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he’s unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society… but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht’h is willing to take him under his wing. Will the two win past their troubles and doubts and see the potential for a once-in-a-lifetime partnership?

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Stories of the Raksura: volume 1 by Martha Wells

In The Falling World, Jade, ruler of the Indigo Cloud Court, has travelled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

The Tale of Indigo and Cloud explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon came to Court. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could ruin everything.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted, and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With two brand-new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of Raksura has many more stories to tell…

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

Once beloved by London’s fashionable elite, Hartley Sedgwick has become a recluse after a spate of salacious gossip exposed his most-private secrets. Rarely venturing from the house whose inheritance is a daily reminder of his downfall, he’s captivated by the exceedingly handsome man who seeks to rob him.

Since retiring from the boxing ring, Sam Fox has made his pub, The Bell, into a haven for those in his Free Black community. But when his best friend Kate implores him to find and destroy a scandalously revealing painting of her, he agrees. Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.

Content Warning from Author: This book includes a main character who was sexually abused in the past; abuse happens off page but is alluded to.

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An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. But when she learned the truth about the war the Confederation was fighting, she left the military for good.

But Torin couldn’t walk away from preserving and protecting everything the Confederation represented. Instead, she drew together an elite corps of friends and allies to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not—or would not—officially touch. Torin just hoped the one they were about to embark on wouldn’t be the death of them.

Ancient H’san grave goods are showing up on the black market—grave goods from just before the formation of the Confederation, when the H’san gave up war and buried their planet-destroying weapons…as grave goods for the death of war. Someone is searching for these weapons and they’re very close to finding them. As the Elder Races have turned away from war, those searchers can only be members of the Younger Races.

Fortunately, only the Corps Intelligence Service has this information. Unfortunately, they can do nothing about it—bound by laws of full disclosure, their every move is monitored.

Though Torin Kerr and her team are no longer a part of the military, the six of them tackling the H’san defenses and the lethally armed grave robbers are the only chance the Confederation has. The only chance to avoid millions more dead.

But the more Torin learns about the relationship between the Elder Races and the Younger, the more she begins to fear war might be an unavoidable result.

A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows

Saffron Coulter has returned from the fantasy kingdom of Kena. Threatened with a stay in psychiatric care, Saffron has to make a choice: to forget about Kena and fit back into the life she’s outgrown, or pit herself against everything she’s ever known and everyone she loves.

Meanwhile in Kena, Gwen is increasingly troubled by the absence of Leoden, cruel ruler of the kingdom, and his plans for the captive worldwalkers, while Yena, still in Veksh, must confront the deposed Kadeja. What is their endgame? Who can they trust? And what will happen when Leoden returns?

 

So, what were the best books you read of 2018?

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. While I usually use a number randomizer, I decided not to this time. Mostly because there are several books that I can’t wait to read…well, there’s a chance I’ll be digging into these over Christmas and might be wrapped up with this TBR by January.

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The Disasters by M.K. England

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

(Beyond excited for this book and I’m pretty sure I’ll be preordering it just so I don’t have to think about it next week.)

Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

(Really surprised at how much I’m enjoying this series. I’ll be ordering this one with The Disasters.)

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Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley

The world is in chaos.

After Saul’s strike on Oslo—one seemingly led by Maia herself—the Effigies’ reputation is in shambles. Now they’re being hunted by nations across the globe, grouped in with the very terrorists they’ve been trying to stop.

With Maia’s resurrected twin, June, carrying out vicious attacks across the world, everyone believes Maia is a killer. Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell. As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery.

And Maia? No one has seen or heard from her in weeks.

It’s all somehow connected—Saul, Phantoms, the Effigies, everything. But if the Effigies can’t put the pieces together soon, there may not be much left of the world they’ve fought so desperately to save.

(I can’t wait for my life to settle back down a little, because I am so going to reread the previous two books in preparation for this one and I cannot wait!)

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

Captain Kel Cheris is possessed by a long-dead traitor general. Together they must face the rivalries of the hexarchate and a potentially devastating invasion.

When the hexarchate’s gifted young captain Kel Cheris summoned the ghost of the long-dead General Shuos Jedao to help her put down a rebellion, she didn’t reckon on his breaking free of centuries of imprisonment – and possessing her.

Even worse, the enemy Hafn are invading, and Jedao takes over General Kel Khiruev’s fleet, which was tasked with stopping them.  Only one of Khiruev’s subordinates, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, seems to be able to resist the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.

Jedao claims to be interested in defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev or Brezan trust him?  For that matter, will the hexarchate’s masters wipe out the entire fleet to destroy the rogue general?

(While I just read the first one back in October, I want to continue the series while it’s still fairly fresh in my mind.)

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The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn

Nathaniel O’Donnelly likes his life quiet, his guests happy, and his ghosts well-behaved.

Although a boyfriend wouldn’t go amiss. Someone to share his beautiful B&B with, even if it is in the middle of nowhere and he’s long past the wrong side of thirty. Problem is, Nathaniel’s living with a ghost who thinks he’s cupid, and whose arrows fly a little too straight.

Gabriel Wickfield had the unfortunate luck of dying before his time, and now he’s stuck trying to make romance happen to earn his right to move along. Not that he’s bored in the meantime–Nathaniel is just too easy to tease. And also a little bit scrumptious…

With the curse reaching its expiration date, Gabriel needs to make this final match this Christmas. Without it, nothing but darkness awaits.

Love can conquer all, but can it beat death?

(Sounds like the perfect time of year to read this book.)

The Canard Case by Honor Raconteur

“So what is the problem?”

“You are aware that Nanashi has an active volcano on it?” Cheng-Huang inquired. At her nod, he continued, “It will explode soon. The pressure is rising quickly and there’s little that we can do to stop it.”

A volcano? Sevana’s eyes threatened to pop out of her head. “You want me to stop a volcano?!”

(*Snicker* I Really wish there was a synopsis on Goodreads, but I really have enjoyed this fantasy series to date and am excited for this addition.)

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Young Avengers: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space

They say you can never go home. For the Young Avengers, that’s not true. They can go home — it’s just that if they do, the universe may end. The team takes on the gig to save reality, but is Kate Bishop an enemy in waiting? Will Noh-Varr get an arrow through the head? And is this the end of the loveable/strangle-able Kid Loki? As the Young Avengers take on “the Young Avengers,” Loki’s scheme reaches its final twist — and the Young Avengers’ jaws hit the floor. Then, the team gathers in a nightclub for a string of connected and overlapping stories illustrated by an all-star cast of people we really like. And as the New Year looms, the Young Avengers get a resolution — and so do you. Plus: Kissing! Drama! Conflict! Kissing!

(This is the final volume of the ‘new’ Young Avengers and once I get it finished, I’m going to go back and read the earlier Young Avengers.)

Family Matter by Angel Martinez

With his career firmly established and his reputation as a successful PI growing, Hades should have the perfect life with his human lover, his faithful ferryman, his dogs and the parts of his family still speaking to him. But murder and chaos are never far away for death lords as his nephew Dionysus and his oldest friend Charon are drawn into the maelstrom.

Includes: Books, Bulls, & Bacchanals: Brandywine Investigations #4 Midwinter Dancing: Brandywine Investigations #4.5 Pack Up the Moon: Brandywine Investigations #5

(I had fun with the previous novellas in this series and when I need something short and not too demanding, I’m sure I’ll be reading this.)

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Azimuth by Arshad Ahsanuddin

Edward has one chance to save a man he forgot he ever loved.
All he has to do is destroy the world.

The disastrous events of the Zenith mission behind them, Marty and Edward lead very different lives at either end of time.

Martin has been tapped to lead an elite military operation designed to curtail and ultimately eliminate the threat of time travelers. But Henry Bradford has other ideas, and seeks to entice him into taking up the role of captain of the rechristened starship Azimuth.

Almost a quarter century in the future, Edward lives a life of wealth and influence as the adopted son of Starfire’s CEO, Trevor Sutton. But the mystery of his birth father’s murder still weighs heavily on his mind, eclipsed only by the baffling appearance of Martin’s dogtags around his neck. The distance he will go for answers will determine the ultimate course of human history, as he is pitted head to head once more against the destructive agenda of the time traveler he knows only as Gifford.

(Really liked the previous book in the series and I’m really curious how they’re going to handle the time travel aspect now, after everything that happened in the other book.)

Villains Don’t Date Heroes! by Hayden Archer, Mia Archer & Lexi Archer

Night Terror. The greatest villain Starlight City has ever known. The greatest supervillain the world has ever seen. She rules her city with an iron fist, and there are no new worlds to conquer.

Needless to say life is pretty damn boring.

All that changes when she decides to shake things up by robbing a bank the old fashioned way and runs into the city’s newest hero: Fialux. Flying Fialux. Invulnerable Fialux. Super strong Fialux. Beautiful Fialux?

Night Terror has a new archenemy who might just be able to defeat her, but even more terrifying are the confusing feelings this upstart heroine has ignited. She doesn’t like heroes like that. She definitely doesn’t like girls like that. Right? Only she can’t deny the flutter she feels whenever she thinks of Starlight City’s newest heroine!

The line between hate and love is a razor’s edge that the world’s greatest villainess will have to walk if she wants to hold onto that title!

(LGBT+ superheroes. … Do I really have to say ANYTHING else? Though, I didn’t realize until making this list that this book has three authors. That’s a new one on me.)

 

And there’s a top ten books I (hopefully) will be reading this winter. What are you guys reading? Have you read any of these books?

Top Ten Favorite Short Stories & Novellas

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I was so excited for this topic back when it came up, but then I was on an unplanned hiatus when it’s turn came. I knew as soon as a freebie week cropped up, this was what I was going to do. After some thought, I decided not to add short stories or novellas that are part of a series unless they work perfectly well on their own or as an introduction/starting point to the series. Also, as much as it pains me to say it, I decided not to add short stories that are only available in anthologies. (Because that’s just not fair to you guys if I loved one story and wouldn’t recommend the rest of them.) (I also limited this to books that are under 150 pages – because in my mind, much more than that starts being novels.)

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The 13th Hex by Jordan L. Hawk

Romance. Magic.
Murder.

Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.

But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Coral Bones by Foz Meadows

Miranda, daughter to Prospero, the feared sorcerer-Duke of Milan, stifles in her new marriage. Oppressed by her father, unloved by Ferdinand, she seeks freedom; and is granted it, when her childhood friend, the fairy spirit Ariel, returns. Miranda sets out to reach Queen Titania’s court in Illyria, to make a new future…

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Recipe for Magic by Agatha Bird

Connor Roth is a fire mage who’s going places. He’s powerful, popular, and he has a plan. But his plan for fame and glory is disrupted when the Oracle sticks him with Landyn Glendower for Senior Trial. This is an act unprecedented in their school’s history. Landyn is a water mage, and everyone knows mages with opposing elements can’t work magic together.

Connor is left with a choice: work alone and fail or swallow his pride and work with Landyn to find a way to combine their magic in a display the Archmages will never forget—if they don’t get kicked out of school in the process.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…

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Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman

Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Vampires are keeping an inventor in their potting shed. Imogene wants to seduce her.

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local vampire hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor imprisoned there.

Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French.

With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

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A Matter of Disagreement by E.E. Ottoman

Two sworn rivals, a clash of ideas, and an attraction neither can deny.

A noted scholar of ancient literature and spellcraft, Lord Ashcroft “Andrea” de Bourbon, finds his world shaken when the new science of mechanical animation becomes the talk of high society. In response, Andrea takes to the presses gaining notoriety for his scathing critiques of mechanical animation and its founder the Marquis de la Marche.

Then one night Andrea comes face to face with the Marquis de la Marche and discovers he is nothing like Andrea expected. Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche is handsome, brilliant, and charming. While their clashes on paper have become legendary in person they are even more explosive. As passions rise Andrea knows there is no backing down…

A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Bianca’s life is tediously normal until the day she rescues a fairytale princess from a troll.

Then, everything changes and Bianca finds herself being thrust into the role of Prince Charming whether she likes it or not.

Despite her misgivings, she’s drawn to the strange Princess and her ways and before she knows where she is she’s forced to fight for her love – and her life.

 

Go ahead and count – there’s only eight here – but any more would just be (I want to say ‘gilding the lily’ but I’m not sure that’s appropriate here) adding books that I liked but don’t feel like pushing at everyone. These were stories that I both loved at the time and can look back favorably on. (Which is getting more and more difficult, I must say.)

Top Ten Backlist Sci-Fi Books I Want to Read

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I read a lot of backlist books. Sure, I can jump on the ‘ooh, shiny’ bandwagon as well as anyone, but I always come back to older books. I’d guess that’s probably because I read a lot of books that aren’t ‘popular’ and even when they were new, weren’t the ‘newest, hottest thing.’

So, that being said, I decided that, because I’m participating in Sci-Fi Month, that I’d make this list all about the backlisted sci-fi books. Yay! (Warning: This list may not be as old backlisted as I’d like, because I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, but I’ve been trying to spread my wings. And, honestly, it’s difficult to find older sci-fi that appeals to me.)

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Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep–and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing–and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .

Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe’s journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.

Dreamer by Steven Harper

It is through first contact with an alien species that humanity learns of the Dream. It is a plane of mental existence where people are able to communicate with one another by their thoughts alone — over distances of thousands of light-years. To ensure that future generations will have this ability, human genetic engineering produces newborns capable of finding and navigating the Dream.

They became known as the Silent.

Rust is just one planet among many in the Empire of Human Unity. It’s nothing special, nothing unusual . . . except for the fact that it is home to an unknown boy who may be the most powerful Silent ever born — a Silent with the ability to possess the bodies of others against their will. This mysterious child may be causing tremors within the Dream itself.

For now, only the Children of Irfan know about him. A monastic-like order of the Silent, the Children protect their members even as they barter their services with the governments and corporations that control known space. But power like that cannot be hidden, and soon every Silent in the universe will know about the boy — and every government will be willing to go to war to control him.

And if the Children of Irfan cannot find him first, the Dream itself may be shattered…

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Young Avenger: Sidekicks by Allen Heinberg & Jim Cheung

(Yes, I consider superheroes sci-fi.)

In the wake of Avengers Disassembled, a mysterious new group of teen super heroes appears. But who are they? Where did they come from? And what right do they have to call themselves the Young Avengers?

Collecting: Young Avengers 1-6

Claws and Starships by M.C.A. Hogarth

When the results of Earth’s genetic experiments fled for their makers, they took their own name as they left humanity behind; centuries later, the Pelted have spread into a multi-world alliance of cultures and languages, cribbed from Terra or created whole-cloth. Claws and Starships collects six stories of the Pelted, ranging from the humor of a xenoanthropologist on the wrong side of mythology to more serious works considering the implications of genetic engineering in a far-future classroom seeded with the children of those laboratories. Come stamp your passport and visit the worlds of the Pelted Alliance in all their variety!

Includes the novella “A Distant Sun,” and the short stories “Rosettes and Ribbons” (Best in Show anthology), “The Elements of Freedom,” “Tears” (Pawprints), “Pantheon,” and “Butterfly”.

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The Silvered by Tanya Huff

(It’s tagged as steampunk and I spy a dirigable, so it totally counts!)

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…

Villains Don’t Date Heroes by Mia Archer

Night Terror. The greatest villain Starlight City has ever known. The greatest supervillain the world has ever seen. She rules her city with an iron fist, and there are no new worlds to conquer.

Needless to say life is pretty damn boring.

All that changes when she decides to shake things up by robbing a bank the old fashioned way and runs into the city’s newest hero: Fialux. Flying Fialux. Invulnerable Fialux. Super strong Fialux. Beautiful Fialux?

Night Terror has a new archenemy who might just be able to defeat her, but even more terrifying are the confusing feelings this upstart heroine has ignited. She doesn’t like heroes like that. She definitely doesn’t like girls like that. Right? Only she can’t deny the flutter she feels whenever she thinks of Starlight City’s newest heroine!

The line between hate and love is a razor’s edge that the world’s greatest villainess will have to walk if she wants to hold onto that title!

Villains Don’t Date Heroes! is a lesbian scifi romance novel that explores the world of villains, antiheroes, and heroes in a whole new way!

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Into the Divide by Sandra Bard

Nullands: Sections of a series of planets sealed off by an energy barrier, called the Divide, filled with danger, where technology does not work.

Tarn is part of the Death Squad, a criminal given a second chance by agreeing to risk his life over and over again in the Nullands. His latest mission is the kind he usually avoids: babysit an inexperience lab tech while they hunt down the dangerous creature that escaped a research lab.

Calvin is the lab tech given the unenviable task of hunting down the creature that escaped his lab, after it killed his friend and five others. An assignment he mostly landed for refusing to sleep with his boss, he knows damn good and well he’s being sent to die. What he doesn’t expect is Tarn, or how far he’s willing to go to survive.

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

(A little confused, as this could pass for sci-fi or fantasy, but… well.)

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, stealth and reconnaissance expert with a lizard’s scales and snake’s eyes, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn’t enough: he needs an escape, and he’ll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.

But instead of ending a man’s life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

They join forces with Evelyn’s family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there’s Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole’s few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.

Separately they’d never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole’s eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn’t above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating… and holding Regan’s memories hostage until he gets his way.

Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…

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Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith

Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, “the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. “Las Anclas” now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

Love for the Cold-Blooded: or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

 

So, what backlisted books do you want to read? Have you read any of these? Do you usually read a lot of backlist books, or no? (Not to beg for recommendations, but I totally am, but if you know of any sci-fi that could fit in with these, do let me know!)

Top Ten Longest Books I’ve Read

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. To get my results, I sorted from highest to lowest page number at Goodreads. I know the length my change a little, because they’re not always right, but these all seem reasonable enough. I didn’t include any short story collections – mostly because I don’t know which is the exact version of Sherlock Holmes I read. (And those books aren’t on my shelves any longer so…I can’t really check.)

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Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan

Length: 932

A FORCED WEDDING. A DOUBLE EXECUTION. TWO THIEVES HAVE OTHER PLANS.

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide, they plan to execute two traitors (Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar) as well as force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Length: 870 (I didn’t know this was longer than Deathly Hallows. Maybe because while I didn’t enjoy this book, I loathed that one.)

After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry knows he is about to become Voldemort’s next target.

Although many are denying the Dark Lord’s return, Harry is not alone, and a secret order is gathering at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces.

Meanwhile, Voldemort’s savage assaults on Harry’s mind are growing stronger every day.

He must allow Professor Snape to teach him to protect himself before he runs out of time.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

Length: 827

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

Length: 786

A PUPPET IS CROWNED. THE TRUE HEIR REMAINS HIDDEN. A ROGUE’S SECRET COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING.

War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce’s suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own grab for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past–what he discovers may end their friendship and break Riyria in two.

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The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Length: 763

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Length: 759

Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.

The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.

To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.

He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Length: 734

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Length: 722

An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly.

Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game–or die trying…

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Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Length: 704

Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…

The High King’s Tomb by Kristen Britain

Length: 679

For Karigan G’ladheon, the call of magic in her blood is too strong to resist. Karigan returns to the Green Riders, the magical messengers of the king, to find she’s badly needed. Rider magic has become unstable, many Riders have been lost, and the Rider corps is seriously threatened. The timing couldn’t be worse. An ancient evil, long dormant, has reawakened, and the world is in peril. Karigan must face deadly danger and complex magic to save the kingdom from certain doom.

Fun facts about the previous list:

Ratings:

2 books were rated 1 star

5 books were rated 2 stars

3 books were rated 5 stars

  • and none of them are currently on my shelf.

I am not a Harry Potter fan, but the three HP books on this list are without a doubt my three least favorite. (Or most hated, if you prefer.)

Four of the books made me stop reading the series.

Three of the books were series ends.

And of the remaining three books, two of them were HP books.