Well, here we are at the start of August and I find myself torn. I’m ready for this year to be over. Like, sooooo ready. Which I imagine is a common theme. I’m not, however, quite ready for the summer to end. I’d like to get out more while it’s still nice (assuming we’ll still have a terrible fire season at some point). But first, the books.
I’ve noticed a trend lately where people have been limiting their collection of books in the summer months so that they can catch up on their TBRs. Smart! I, however, decided to go the other direction a get just A TON of books in July and August so that I’ll still be behind come autumn. If that’s not using the old noodle, I dunno what is!
The Black Song – by Anthony Ryan (UK • 7/28) (US • 8/04)
Vaelin Al Sorna has regained the blood song. And with it comes his godly skill in combat. But the song that comes back to Vaelin is not the same as it was all those years before. This song is dark, and thirsty. Should he be able to defeat the Darkblade, could Vaelin ever lose his taste for blood, or would it be best if he let the man defeat him and let the world take its chances?
Driftwood – by Marie Brennan (8/14)
When a near-mythic survivor, Last, dies, the truth about his life comes out. Or rather, the lack thereof. Who was Last? And what helped write his legend?
The Hidden Life of Ice – by Marco Tedesco, Alberto Flores D’Arcais (8/18)
A book about Greenland and ice serves more as a memoir filled with random fun-facts and tidbits of a man’s life in glaciology, but little about ice itself. I’m still not sure what to classify this one as—but it isn’t the ice and physics filled scientific journey I expected.
Ink & Sigil – by Kevin Hearne (US • 8/25) (UK • 8/27)
Supposedly a spin-off from the Iron Druid Chronicles, Ink & Sigil features Al MacBharrais, a man in his sixties with an appreciation for mustache wax and cocktails. He uses his blessing of magic to protect the world from rogue Fae, while also… drinking? But he is also cursed. A single utterance or cough is often enough to make any ‘man hate him, leaving Al ostensibly mute. When his latest apprentice turns up dead, Al is forced to play detective—taking him on a mystical tour of Scotland’s magical underworld.
Ballistic Kiss – by Richard Kadrey (8/25)
When Stark is tasked with exorcising a neighborhood of spirits, the innocuous task leads to the murder of a small-time actor in the 1970’s. While he’s not certain how it fits, the cold case seems to be the key to everything. But solving it won’t be easy. Even armed with the Room of 13 Doors once more, Stark must navigate a war of angels, a group of thrill seekers, and a woman that he once rescued from a rampaging horde of the undead. Still better than LA in the summer.
In the Shadows of Men – by Robert Jackson Bennett (8/31)
A novella by the Founders and Divine Cities author Robert Jackson Bennett. Wherein two brothers purchase a run-down motel with the hopes of remodeling it, hoping to make a fortune from the oil boom in West Texas. But as they work to restore it, it quickly becomes clear that the motel has a history all its own, one the previous owner, Corbin Pugh, failed to mention. But what kind of man was Pugh? Living and working in the dusty halls of the motel, the brothers may just find out—whether they want to or not.
The God Game – by Danny Tobey
Charlie and his friends enter an invitation-only game run by an AI that thinks it’s God, a game that promises its victors wealth and power IRL, and assures its losers won’t have to worry about their lives ever again. And even if they escape with their lives, their friendship may be forever damaged, and their lives will never be the same.
Loved it! Review coming soon!
City of Stone and Silence – by Django Wexler
After surviving the Vile Rot, Soliton’s crew arrives at the Harbor—a great city of stone ziggurats shrounded in ancient magic. And while the city seems empty at first, it certainly is not. Meanwhile Tori’s life is about to change. As Isoka has not yet delivered on her promise to the Emperor, her sister is no longer safe. So while Isoka navigates mythic cities to try to make it back home, Tori must survive home long enough to see her sister again.
The Twisted Ones – by T. Kingfisher
As I’ve resolved to read more horror, I’ve heard… mostly good things and my sister keeps trying to get me to read Kingfisher, so… Enter the Twisted Ones:
When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.
Hollywood Dead – by Richard Kadrey
As disappointed as I was by the last two Sandman Slim books, I just couldn’t stop myself from requesting Ballistic Kiss, which put me in a pickle. Now, I could’ve just skipped a book, but… I don’t really work that way. Thus, enter Hollywood Dead, a book that features a Stark reborn in a temp body, one that’s breaking down beneath him while he races to solve a mystery to keep him in the land of the living. I’m rooting for him—and not just because I hate Kadrey’s depiction of Hell.
The Night Country – by Melissa Albert
Though Alice escaped the Hinterland, Finch remained. While he seeks to return to his old life, there’s an issue. Or, a whole lot of them. While the tales of the Hinterland were broken irrevocably, they were not—NOT—destroyed.
Peace Talks – by Jim Butcher
If you missed my review of Peace Talks, you can find it here. Otherwise, just know that with the city under threat yet again, Harry’s in for the fight of his life. With old friends and allies suddenly suspect, he must rely on his own skills and cunning to see Chicago through. While I’ve read this one already, I needed a nice hardcover to keep my Dresden Files collection up to date!
In other news I got a bundle of books from Benedict Patrick’s latest kickstarter. No new book, yet, but there’re a bunch of previous ones to catch up on, including: four Yarnsworld novels and the first entry in the Darkstar series.
Set in a land haunted by stories, the Yarnsworld books combine a dark, mysterious setting, with a old-school folktale vibe; you know, back in the days where the witch or monster didn’t just keep children from going out at night, they actually ate them when the children wandered too near. Mostly the saga features loosely connected stories with different protagonists, all set in the same world.
The Mostly Come Out at Night
Lonan is an outcast, unloved and unwanted by his village. But when a mysterious threat comes to the Forest, he must convince someone to believe him, lest the village will be overrun.
While suffering many of the same issues often plaguing debuts, They Mostly Come Out at Night is still quite entertaining.
Where the Waters Turn Black
Kaimana is a young musician, hoping the discovery of a wooden monster hiding on her island will inspire her to write a song that will make her legendary. However, when she catches the gaze of the pig-faced god of war, Kaimana and her monster must learn to trust each other to survive…
Those Brave, Foolish Souls From the City of Swords
Arturo travels to the City of Swords to join the ranks of the legendary Bravadori – gangs of masked swordfighters sworn to protect the city from evil. However, Arturo soon realizes that legends do not always reflect reality..
From the Shadows of the Owl Queen’s Court
Raised in the Owl Queen’s court, Nascha’s life is threatened for nothing more than the color of her hair. To escape, she does the unthinkable – she runs away to the dreaded Magpie King’s forest…
The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon
The first in the Darkstar Saga: Her flying ship cast adrift in an unfamiliar world, First Officer Choi Minjung’s first command could be her last. Can she brave the impossible world of the Darkstar to get her crew safely home?
In other news, I’m probably off this week, out in the mountains somewhere. Was gonna go camping, unless I find other folk around, in which case I’ll head somewhere else. Good thing about Montana; there’s always more space then there are people. In addition to the surging pandemic, people are just wearing me out lately. Some people just… doesn’t matter. Have a good week, everyone.
Note – I actually DIDN’T go places this week because COVID is getting insane everywhere. Again. So, try to avoid crowds, chihuahuas, and anyone who has too much of an opinion on the subject. Be well!