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!)

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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.

Top Ten Books by My Favorite Authors that I STILL Haven’t Read

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Such a fun topic this week. There are several authors whom I adore that I am slowly going through their back catalogue of books. (And a few newly published books that I’ve not gotten to yet.)

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Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff

I quite consistently – since I read my very first book of hers – claim Huff as one of my favorite authors. However, as of me typing this, I’ve only ever read her sci-fi series. And it is AWESOME – but that’s a different subject. I have many, many urban fantasy books of hers I want to read. (I promised myself I’d watch Blood Ties before starting the series and now that I’ve finished it, I’m very excited to read the books.) As well as a few fantasy books.

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Another author that’s been one of my favorites since my first introduction to her work. I am, however, much more taken with her fantasy series’ than I am her sci-fi work. If my research into this book (and my memory) is correct, this is actually a tie-in novel for…something. I don’t remember what, though I want to say a tabletop RPG.

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Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines

I have read so many books of Hines’ and sincerely wish I had chosen to start this series before trying to read his urban fantasy series. (I DNF’d the third book in that series but will probably get back to it.) However, his fairytale retelling series and his sci-fi series are both totally awesome!

Even the Wingless by M.C.A. Hogarth

Occasionally, a free ebook works out well, and that’s how I first got introduced to Hogarth. (I’m pretty sure Earthrise is permanently free on Amazon.) This series is in the same sci-fi universe as the other two series of hers I’ve been reading…however I know, just from the description, that this book – this whole series – is going to emotionally gut me. I want to read it and I will, but I’m also slightly terrified of it.

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The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale

This author was kind of a surprise, as I had been looking at her steampunk high fantasy setting for quite a while and was surprised at how much I liked it when I finally bought it. The major reason I’ve not gotten to this book yet is that it’s the start of a ten novella series – and I’ll probably want to read the whole thing straight through.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

I do currently consider Sullivan one of my favorite authors, but if I don’t get re-invigorated for his books…he probably won’t stay that way for long. Anyway…I really have nothing else to say here.

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Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

The only romance author I’ve ever considered a favorite of mine, I have fallen woefully behind on Sebastian’s books. But, then again, it could be partially because she’s already released two books this year and is supposed to have one more coming out before the end of the year. (I wish all my favorite authors would write this fast…)

Competence by Gail Carriger

…I really have nothing to say. If we ignore the lackluster last novella of Carriger’s I tried to read, all is good. I just hope…I hope I’m wrong that my interest in these books are waning because I still want to adore them. So, I hope I do and it’s just that it’s been so long since I read any of them that I don’t remember why I loved them in the first place.

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The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters (and Joan Hess)

This book frightens me. Peters is the last mystery novelist whose books I still read and this is her last ever book. (She died while writing it, for pities sake.) It is, however, not the last one of hers I will read, because I still have a few that I’ve not read, but this was always my favorite series of hers, anyway. But, yeah, I am worried about reading this book and not loving it and I am worried that I will love it and…it’s like the end of an era for me. I’ve been reading these books since I was like 12 and now… Woah.

The Canard Case by Honor Raconteur

So, what I started doing, after, like, the first three books on this list, was go through my Goodreads favorites and five star reads, to see what authors have more stuff I haven’t read and…How in the world did I miss this book. I’ve actually not read Raconteur’s other work, but this series is just so amazing and…this book is apparently two years old already and how did I not know about it?!

 

That is…quite an odd list of books I’ve got there, but it gives a pretty good indication of what I usually read. (SF/F with the occasional historical thrown in for good measure.) Love to know what some of your unread books by your favorite authors are, and if you’ve read any of these authors.

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. … These are the only TBR lists I do anymore. I got really bad at following my lists and that made me feel guilty. Of course, I’m writing this out in August and I still have five books from my summer TBR that I haven’t read yet. *sigh* I know what I better be reading in September.

Once again, used my handy true number randomizer here. (I always find putting my TBR’s together this way interesting, because the only time I don’t obey the randomizer is when I’m already reading that book, or, this time around, have it on my summer TBR, because I do hope to get all them finished before fall gets here. It’s just really interesting to me to see a section of my books when I don’t pick what I show – both books I’m super excited to read and ones I kind of wish I didn’t buy are on this list. So that’s kind of cool.)

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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.

Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns

Adda and Iridian are newly-minted engineers, but in a solar system wracked by economic collapse after an interplanetary war, an engineering degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Desperate for gainful employment, they hijack a colony ship, planning to join a pirate crew at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

But when they arrive at Barbary Station, nothing is as they expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury — they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents. And it shoots down any ship that tries to leave, so there’s no way out.

Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the security system suffered explosive decapitation, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds.

There’s a glorious future in piracy…if they can survive long enough.

The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien… On the gas light streets of the city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas’s beloved godfather on false charges of necromancy–the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead–a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rein.

But now Nicholas’s murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him. Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of necromantic power that hasn’t been used for centuries are found. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit mansion, the monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail. Nicholas and his compatriots must destroy an ancient and awesome evil. Even the help of Ile-Rien’s greatest sorcerer may not be enough, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battle–and unthinkable horrors await the loser.

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The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment.
In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler

Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father-and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

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Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless–until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

Lover’s Knot by Donald L. Hardy

Jonathan Williams has inherited Trevaglan Farm from a distant relative. With his best friend, Alayne, in tow, Jonathan returns to the estate to take possession, meet the current staff, and generally learn what it’s like to live as the landed gentry now. He’d only been there once before, fourteen years earlier. But that was a different time, he’s a different person now, determined to put that experience out of his mind and his heart….The locals agree that Jonathan is indeed different from the lost young man he was that long ago summer, when he arrived at the farm for a stay after his mother died. Back then the hot summer days were filled with sunshine, the nearby ocean, and a new friend, Nat. Jonathan and the farmhand had quickly grown close, Jonathan needing comfort in the wake of his grief, and Nat basking in the peace and love he didn’t have at home.

But that was also a summer of rumors and strange happenings in the surrounding countryside, romantic triangles and wronged lovers. Tempers would flare like a summer lightning storm, and ebb just as quickly. By the summer’s end, one young man was dead, and another haunted for life.

Now Jonathan is determined to start anew. Until he starts seeing the ghost of his former friend everywhere he looks. Until mementos of that summer idyll reappear. Until Alayne’s life is in danger. Until the town’s resident witch tells Jonathan that ghosts are real. And this one is tied to Jonathan unto death…

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Blood Price by Tanya Huff

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans, how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world—but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeit

In the Footsteps of Shadows by P.J. Ramsay

When Maya Rodriguez, an archaeologist with a sharp mind and an acerbic tongue, heads to Venezuela to retrieve a mysterious journal she has no idea what, or who, awaits her. Will she be able to follow the clues and uncover a secret long thought lost or will the treachery of those standing in her way prove too much?

 

What books are you planning to read this season? Have you read any of these?

Top Ten YA Hidden Gem Books

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Over the years of doing TTT, I’ve made lists for hidden gem books I’ve read in the last year, hidden gem fantasy books, favorite books with less than a thousand reviews, favorite underrated books, so today I decided to talk about the hidden gem young adult books that I’ve enjoyed.

All these are books that I both enjoyed and am constantly surprised that don’t get talked about and/or hyped more. (As well as having low ratings/reviews on Goodreads.)

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Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

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Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Years ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

Spy Stuff by Mathew J. Metzger

Anton never thought anyone would ever want to date him. Everyone knows nobody wants a transgender boyfriend, right? So he’s as shocked as anyone when seemingly-straight Jude Kalinowski asks him out, and doesn’t appear to be joking.

The only problem is … well, Jude doesn’t actually know.

Anton can see how this will play out: Jude is a nice guy, and nice guys finish last. And Anton is transgender, and transgender people don’t get happy endings. If he tells Jude, it might destroy everything.

And if Jude tells anyone else … it will.

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Ella, the Slayer by A.W. Exley

The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks.
Except it wasn’t flu, and death gave them back.

Seventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they’re called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella’s world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.

Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office — to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn’t expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.

Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society’s boundaries, Ella could lose everything – home, head and her heart…

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

Jarra is stuck on Earth while the rest of humanity portals around the universe. But can she prove to the norms that she’s more than just an Earth Girl?

2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

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Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

The following two books aren’t, exactly, YA, but I think there is a lot of crossover appeal.

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The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save himself… and his newfound kin.

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

 

Ten books that I totally think deserve more love and recognition and general talking about than they get. I’d love to know what books you think are total hidden gems!

Top Ten Binge-Worthy Shows

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I can’t promise I’m back for good, but I’ve missed this blog and the lovely community so much that I will, hopefully, manage to get a post or two up each week. Anyway, the topic this week was perfect for my fist TTT in MONTHS because I am a total sucker for good shows. Interestingly, though, my favorite shows are not necessarily the ones I binge. You see, usually the shows I binge are a little less demanding than my favorite shows, they usually have few (or none) overarching plots and are, in general, contemporary without any of my usual fantasy/sci-fi love thrown in.

Still Airing

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Series Over

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I know this is not ten, (don’t count them) but I honestly could not come up with any more that I tend to binge watch. Or binge rewatch, as the case may be. Have you seen any of these? Do you have any recommendations for me of binge-worthy shows?

Edited 9/4 9:35 am

As I can’t figure out what happened to my images and after all the work this was to out together, I’m not fixing this. The shows that were supposed to be on this list are as follows:

Elementary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Fosters, Numb3rs, Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Top Ten Books that Actually Lived Up to their Hype

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. If you know me, you’ll know that hyped books don’t really work for me. I don’t even think it’s because they are hyped and I have these huge expectations that just can’t be met. I think it’s more that popular books – the books everyone loves – are just books that don’t offer me a lot. I think what I like to read is just different from what most other people like that most popular, loved books don’t work for me. (Also, I’ve experienced things that I dislike in books getting talked about by everyone as to how great they are. Usually the poorly handled romance. 🙂 ) (Do note, the first four were the ones I actually thought of on my own before trolling my Goodreads shelves, so…Yeah.)

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Considering how glowingly I’ve been talking about this book since I read it, you had to know it would be here. I passed it for quite a while and I will admit, partially it was because the book is popular and I’ve learnt that usually that means that I won’t like it. I was very happy to be wrong here.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I definitely need to reread this book. Anyway, I heard a lot of stuff about this book when it was first released and everyone was talking about what a good story it was and the amazing worldbuilding. Well, for once I’d agree with the people about the worldbuilding – and that’s not something I usually need a lot of in my stories. (It’s not a super popular book, but with the circles I traveled in, it was.)

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Soulless by Gail Carriger

This was an odd book for me when I read it. Very much not like anything else I was reading at the time and, against my better judgment, I read it. And promptly surprised myself with how much I liked it. (If you are even vaguely interested in steampunk – which I have been majorly interested in for years – this book is on every list.)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Everyone loves this book, it seems like. And when I decided to read it, still a bit uncertainly, I really was just expecting a light, historical romp. Instead it deals with some pretty serious issues and I can totally see why it was hyped so much.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

This might be cheating a little, considering that I had already read the first three – but at the time of its release, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a book more hyped than this one. I would also like to note that while I loved it when I read it, I’m really not sure I would if I were to reread it. (Which is why I’ve avoided the whole ‘verse since the terrible reaction I had to Stars Above.)

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

While I could probably go with the Discworld series in general (because it’s loved and I have at least enjoyed every book I’ve read) I really have to go with this one because it is both the first Discworld novel I read and still my favorite to date.

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Even though I am beginning to have very mixed feelings about this book, (in large part because of the rather awful sequel) and I do believe that I was a little too generous with my four star rating (I think I was swayed by the hype) this book really does have its moments that it’s awesome.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

This is another book much like Simon and Winter where, were I to read it now…I’m not sure my response would be so favorable. In fact, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be. But when I read it, I loved it and thought ‘yes, the hype was right.’ (Then I read the second book…)

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Confession (and unpopular opinion) time: I don’t like the Harry Potter books. As a series, I just don’t understand the love and as individual books… They run the gamut of everything from one star with The Deathly Hallows, to two stars with The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix, three stars for The Chamber of Secrets and (a probably too generous three stars for) The Sorcerer’s Stone, up to four stars for The Prisoner of Azkaban all the way to The Half-Blood Prince that missed getting five stars from me by a hair. So while I don’t like the series much as a whole, (it would average a 2.7 star rating) I kind of loved this book.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

No list like this would be complete without this book, whose sequel broke my heart, whose sequel singlehandedly drove me away from this author (though I’ve read enough about her other work to be glad I got out when I did). But this isn’t a list for books whose series/author let me down. It’s a list for hyped books that were actually good to read. And, before I read the sequel, I loved this book so, so much.

 

This…was actually so fun that I have plans for the flip-side of this topic later this week: Hyped Books that I Didn’t Like. Stay tuned for that! (BTW: Do you agree with any of these?)

Top Ten Series that I Have Abandoned

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I actually gave myself a few more guidelines this week than what was in our topic. (Which was: Series I’ve given up on/don’t plan to finish.) The first requirement was that I had to have read more than the first book in the series. I start a lot of series, read the first book and have little interest in reading more. Those will not be found on this list. Also, I’ve only listed series since I started at Goodreads. (Which was 2013.) So this should be a pretty good overview of series I’ve stopped. (That, somehow, surprising no one, turned into the fantasy stories that failed.) (Also, I almost added the series whose final book that I started wound up DNF’d, but at the last moment, I decided not to.)

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Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes

Read: 4/6 books

Abandoned Because: I kind of hated the fourth book. And, anymore, I don’t have the energy for excessively typical fantasy stories. (And all the angst-y drama would probably kill me.) But, really, I waited too long between book four and book five and completely lost interest.

Pandora Hearts series by Jun Mochizuki

Read: 11/24 books

Abandoned Because: I couldn’t stand the direction almost all the characters were going. The whole thing started getting dark and unpleasant and not in a fun way.

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Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling

Read: 2/7 books

Abandoned Because: The third and fourth books sound like little more than constant torture, rape and assault on one or both our main guys. (Also, this is ostensibly a fantasy with a M/M romance, yet the M/F sex scenes are much more explicit and several reviewers said that the ‘couple’ never refers to each other as anything beyond ‘friends.’)

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

Read: 2/4 books

Abandoned Because: When I was reading the books, I liked them, but once I actually got thinking about them afterwards…I realized that Alanna isn’t a strong female character – she’s a girl that wishes she was a boy because girls are weaker and don’t get to do the same ‘fun’ things. So…I don’t like girl-hate, what makes anyone think I’d tolerate girl-self-hate?

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Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Read: 2/7 books

Abandoned Because: The longer I’m away from this series, the more I hate it. I mean, I had originally loved the first book and hated the second – and I still hate the way a perfect-for-me fantasy series was ruined by the second book – but I’m still, after four years, bitter and angry and hateful towards the second book.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Read: 2/7 books

Abandoned Because: This isn’t the most boring fantasy series I’ve ever tried to read (that would be LotR) but it’s a pretty darn close second. Any little things I managed to like in the first book were quickly overrun in the second by how bloody depressing it was. (And, no, not every teen/young adult girl main character needs her character development tied up around a love triangle at some point.)

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Dusk Gate Chronicles series by Breeana Puttroff

Books: 4/7 read

Abandoned Because: The series is cheesy, fluffy and probably diabetes inducing. But it also seems to believe that a sixteen year old girl should totally get married to a boy she’s known less than a year. (Less than a month, really.) And it totally vilifies her mother when her mother isn’t all ‘yay, my daughter’s a child bride!’ Also, a sixteen year old girl that can’t talk about contraceptives to her love interest and, in fact, doesn’t even consider the possibility of getting pregnant, even when – as she admits – they weren’t doing anything to stop her from getting pregnant even while they are alluded to having sex every night, doesn’t belong getting married!

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

Books: 2/6 read

Abandoned Because: Rose and Dimitri are meant to be together and if anyone gets in the way…let’s just kill ’em. I mean, it’s bad enough that we have to have a love triangle (though, most of the time, Rose deserves it) but add to that the fact that we have the ‘bad boy’ that’s too old for her (I mean, seriously, squick – and, besides, there’s something wrong with any 24 year old that lusts after a 17 year old) but add to that the ‘good guy’ love interest that we all knew was never going anywhere and just kill him off for…uhm, yeah, I’ll get back to you if I ever figure that one out. (And, is it just me, or was there a third guy interested in Rose. Blerg. Book would have been better if it was Rose/Lissa because those girls are epic.)

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The Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker

Books: 8/9 read

Abandoned Because: I don’t read fantasy like this anymore. It’s pretty typical and very boys club. For probably half the series, the only girl in the group in the main character, and there’s no real uniqueness to the characters. (I loved it when I read it, but I started the series over four years ago and my reading tastes have changed dramatically since.)

Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

Books: 3/6 read

Abandoned Because: The series is boring with tiny little bits of interesting sprinkled throughout like breadcrumbs, just enough to keep one hoping that it’ll take off next chapter. Also, I did research about next books in the series and cannot support a story where a man and a woman are both drugged by a third party (hoping for a child from the union, I think) and forced to have sex with each other – but, because the man is the love interest for the main woman, the woman that was raped is vilified while the man that was raped it coddled by the narration. And you wonder why I stopped it.

 

This was…actually kinda fun. 🙂 I mean, it’s been ages since I got a really good rant going and this was a nice palate cleanser for me. (Or maybe that’s the book I’m reading…) Anywho, let me know what series you’ve abandoned!

Top Ten Books I Will Read this Summer (Summer TBR)

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I actually did pretty good with my spring TBR. I only missed one book. So, that book carries over this quarter and I hope I can get all these read this summer. (The first three are books I’ve had since last year, the rest are from my trusty true randomizer.)

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The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

A daughter vanishes. Two rogues are paid a fortune to find her. It isn’t enough.

When Gabriel Winter’s daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution – the notorious Duster.

Ride with Royce and Hadrian as the cynical ex-assassin and idealistic ex-mercenary travel to a mysterious old-world city filled with nobles claiming descent from imperial aristocracy. Riyria’s job appears easy: discover what happened to the missing duchess and, if she lives, bring her home . . . if not, punish those responsible. But nothing is simple in the crowded, narrow, mist-filled streets of Rochelle, where more than one ancient legend lurks.

The Painter Knight by Fiona Patton

THE PASSING OF THE FLAME

Simon, the Court Painter of Branion, was the closest friend of the kingdom’s ruler. Aristok Marsellus the Third. And though Marsellus was the vessel of the Living Flame, able to call upon the power of his god at need, while Simon was a follower of the opposing Essusiate religion, still it was the painter, not Marsellus’s own priests and guards, who was the Aristok’s staunchest ally and defender.

Yet not even Simon could protect Marsellus from unexpected treachery within the Banion court. But when an assassin’s blade put a sudden end to Marsellus’s reign, it was Simon who—at the dictate of both his own god and his friend’s specter—became the champion and rescuer of the new Aristok, Marsellus’s five-year-old daughter Kassandra.

With civil and religious war threatening the suddenly leaderless realm, and Kassandra herself lighting to survive becoming the new vessel of the living Flame, Simon had no choice but to flee Branion with the child. Pursued by the very forces which should have been the new ruler’s protectors, Simon and a most unlikely band of companions had to keep both the child and her powers hidden while they made a desperate bid to reach the one person who could offer the uncrowned Aristok both sanctuary and a chance, however desperate, of regaining her kingdom and bringing her father’s slayers to justice.

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Karneval omnibus #8 by Touya Mikanagi

At Yanari’s party, Nai and the crew deepen their friendships and experience the warmth that comes of supporting and encouraging one another. Upon their return to the 2nd Ship, Gareki is summoned to meet with a stranger, who has come aboard disguised as a tree…?!
But back at Chronomé Academy, Kafka launches an attack, sending a swarm of Varuga to lay siege to the prestigious school. And when Tsubame attempts to protect her friends…she ends up a hostage herself! With Gareki back on board the 2nd Ship, who will come to her rescue?!

The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr

Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.

Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.

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Dreamhearth by M.C.A. Hogarth

Jahir and Vasiht’h have earned their licenses as xenotherapists at last, and they have their hearts set on starting their practice in one of the Alliance’s most exciting and cosmopolitan destinations: a sector starbase. But dream therapy is a revolutionary treatment modality, and as esper practictioners they will have to work hard to win the trust of their community. Not only that, but they have a deadline: if they can’t prove themselves an asset to the starbase within six months, they’ll have to leave! It’ll take hard work, compassion, and a dollop of luck to navigate the pitfalls of this challenge… but surely two such extraordinary friends can find a way to claim their dream hearth.

Open for Business by Angel Martinez

When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate.

Includes:
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3

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A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman

Esther of the Singing Hands is Perach’s Sweetheart, a young and beautiful musician with a Girl Next Door image. When her violin is stolen after a concert in the capital city, she doesn’t expect the queen herself to show up, intent upon solving the mystery.

But Queen Shulamit–lesbian, intellectual, and mother of the six month old crown princess–loves to play detective. With the help of her legendary bodyguard Rivka and her dragon, and with the support of her partner Aviva the Chef, Shulamit turns her mind toward the solution–which she quickly begins to suspect involves the use of illegal magic that could threaten the safety of her citizens.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Telepath by Janet Edwards

Amber is one of over a million eighteen-year-olds in one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. She’s about to enter the Lottery of 2532, which will assess her abilities and decide her hive level, her profession, her whole future life. Amber’s dream is to be level 10 or above, her nightmare is to be a level 99 Sewage Technician.

When Lottery discovers Amber is a rare and precious telepath, she must adapt to a new life protecting the people of the crowded hive city. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but she doesn’t know she’s being hunted herself.

 

Well… These are definitely not the books I would have chosen for this list, but that’s why I use a randomizer – because some of these I really need to get through. Anyway, what are you planning to read this season?

Top Ten (eight, really, but who’s counting?) Books I May Have DNFd Too Soon

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Subtitled: And that I have been thinking about trying to finish. If I could ever discover which box I shoved them in. Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking a bit about trying again with some of those DNFs so this was a very timely topic.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

DNF PG 148

This one is mostly my own fault, because this is kind of a slice of life sci-fi where nothing really happens and the chapters are more like barely connected one-shots/drabbles. I didn’t realize that when I bought it nor when I tried reading it. Now that I know what I’m getting into, I definitely think I could enjoy it.

Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Host

DNF PG 61

So I basically had a knee-jerk reaction to something that happened in the story. It upset me and I decided I didn’t (ever) need to read it. Now, I realize that the event that took place could actually form a very interesting plot as long as it wasn’t hand-waved away or shoved under the rug.

Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks

DNF PG 27

I tried reading this LGBT+ friendly book at a time when I was looking for a cute, sweet romantic fantasy and instead was given a worldbuilding heavy fantasy romance. I would like to, maybe, give this another shot sometime that I’m looking for dense world building.

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

DNF PG 88

I’ve got a delightfully vitriol spewing review over on Goodreads – but I truthfully can’t remember anything about this book besides a vague impression of music. Like symphony orchestra, music.

Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

DNF PG 26

All I can tell you about this book was that the style of writing confused me. I’m hoping that, if I do give this book another read that my increased experience with sci-fi will eliminate that problem. (Or maybe it really is just me.)

Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge

DNF PG 31

I honestly don’t know. I mean, I check my Goodreads review and all I’m getting is that the book has too much cursing in it for me at the time. (Also that I had rather prudish ideas and a jacked up opinion of myself.)

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With the Lightnings by David Drake

DNF

Honestly, I forgot I even had this book until I was going through some of my old stuff looking for another book. And I ran across this… I don’t remember why/when I bought it or why/where I DNF’d it – and it was either before Goodreads or early enough in my use of it that I didn’t make any notes on it. (Best guess, it was an early attempt at reading sci-fi back when I had no idea what I liked/wanted out of the genre.)

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett

DNF

(And this was the book I was looking for when I found the previous.) I don’t remember why I bought this book and I only have a vague recollection as to why I stopped reading it. (I believe it’s told in alternating first person perspective – something that until the Starbound trilogy, was a death knell for me.) Two interesting notes: I completely forgot about this book until I found another website talking about LGBT+ friendly fantasy books and this one was well liked by the blogger – and this was probably another early attempt at fantasy (when I wasn’t sure what I wanted/liked and just sort of threw out a net on anything that sounded interesting).

Honestly, I’m a little amazed that’s all I came up with. I went through all my Goodreads books that I’d DNF’d in the last four years or so and this is all I came up with. Most of them, judging by my brief thoughts, would cause me even more trouble if I tried to read it now than it did then.

Have you read any of these books? Do you recommend I give one of them another shot? What DNF books are you thinking about trying again?