Book Loot – Christmas 2020 & January 2021

Didn’t get a ton of books for Christmas this year, for whatever reason. Combined with the amount I was working over the holidays and an inherent lethargy on my part, I didn’t get a haul post done for December. Not that I bought a bunch of books during Ketchup Month anyhow (nor did I get much in the way of catch-up done). So we’ll just combine December and January here.

ARCs for January

The Scorpion’s Tail – by Preston & Child (1/07 UK • 1/12 US)

The second Nora Kelly/Corrie Swanson spinoff features our favorite duo in the wastes of New Mexico and includes a gold cross, a mummified corpse, a missing gold mine, and a famed event in US/World history.

Doors of Sleep – by Tim Pratt (1/12)

My first Pratt book, Doors of Sleep features capital-T Traveler Zaxony Delatree, who travels to a new universe every time he falls asleep. Seriously, that’s all I needed to hear about this one to want to read it. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also an enemy, the fate of the multiverse, and a talking crystal.

Fable – by Adrienne Young (1/26 UK)

A title I thoroughly regretted missing in 2020 despite its mixed reviews gets a release in the UK, which allows me to score a review copy. This survival YA features 17-year-old trader Fable in a quest to find her missing father and reclaim her place at the head of his trading empire. There’s some pirates, a desert island, and a good quest—always solid.

Extraterrestrial – by Avi Loeb (1/26)

The science entry well-known astrophysicist Avi Loeb examines the possibility that the first extrasolar object that we know of to enter our solar system—’Oumuamua, which passed through in 2017—was in fact a sign of extraterrestrial life. Though it’s not a common theory in academia, it is quite the hypothesis, and one that made highly interesting read!

Purchases

I decided to re-up Audible this year, but had a few credits to use before they expire later this month. Enter a flurry of new books:

A Rising Man – by Abir Mukherjee

Set during Colonial India, Captain Sam Wyndham arrives in Kolkata to investigate the murder of a senior crown official, whose death comes at a time of rising tensions and dissent between the empire and the colony. Taking him luxurious palaces to seedy opium dens, the mystery will test all of Wyndham’s skill set—and may just prove too much for him altogether.

Warrior of the Altaii – by Robert Jordan

Meant to be the first in a brand new series, this standalone was published posthumously in 2019. As the plains dry up, Wulfgar of the Altaii must lead his people past dangers, wizards and prophets in order to secure their future.

Trail of Lightning – by Rebecca Roanhorse

The rise of the sea has wrought an apocalypse but also somehow returned gods and daemons to once more walk the land. Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter tasked with returning a missing girl to her small town. But the truth behind the girl’s disappearance may well unearth secrets better left buried—particularly those of Maggie herself.

Great North Road – by Peter F. Hamilton

What do a murdered clone, a convicted killer, and an alien monster have in common? Well, for one, they’re all featured in the blurb for this book. An absolute brick of a tome, this Hamilton novel features an investigator, wormhole tech, and maybe some aliens. It’s a lengthy one—that I’ve had on my TBR for years but has always intimidated me with its sheer size.

Gifts

Rhythm of War – by Brandon Sanderson

I’m not even going to introduce this one. It’s self-explanatory. Might take me a bit to get to what with the Stormlight reread and all—but I WILL GET THERE. And I can’t imagine it won’t be worth the wait, but I still kinda want to read it straightaway.

Made Things – by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Coppelia is a street thief, one very good at making friends. But instead of flesh, some of her friends are made out of wood or steel. Their partnership is sometimes tenuous, but mostly solid. But when a threat threatens (“threat threatens”, yeah I know) their city, these friends must solve it together, or die apart. Not a huge novella fan, but Tchaikovsky is an obvious exception to that.

So, these are the swags for this January/December. As of writing this, the world is… I seriously have no words. I just… I just don’t know anymore. Anyway, lemme know if you’ve read any of these, or if there’re others I should have on my radar. Everyone keep safe and be well!

Book Loot – March Edition

So… it’s not super fun in the world right now. I’ve been home with a cold, which has been somewhat boring because it’s a mandatory non-paid kind of leave. 95% sure it’s just a cold, but I do have some of the symptoms, so… But if you’re sick around here right now, it’s kind of expected that you sequester yourself, so… Books!

ARCs for April

Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work – by Guy Haley (4/01)

Played a little 40k back in the day—never read one of the books, though. But I’ve read Guy Haley and liked him, and this looked interesting, so… The official description is a bit over my head, but it involves the Machine God, the Emperor and the forces of good and evil. What’s not to like? Props to the Black Library to their contribution to my TBR!

The Ranger of Marzanna – by Jon Skovron (4/21)

When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on very different adventures: one to destroy the empire, and the other to save it. Enjoyed the Empire of Storms trilogy and can’t wait to tuck in to this new book! Many thanks to Orbit for the ebook!

Shorefall – by Robert Jackson Bennett (4/21)

While I was a bit underwhelmed with Foundryside, I liked it more than enough to request Shorefall. Thanks to Del Rey for the eARC! Sancia Grado would’ve once liked to see Tevanne razed, but now she’s trying to save it. But before she and her allies can strike a decisive blow against the petty barons, word comes that the legendary first hierophant—Crasedes Magnus himself—is about to be reborn. Whereupon he would surely rain hellfire upon Tevanne, which would be bad. And it’s now up to Sancia to stop him—somehow.

Sea Change – by Nancy Kress (4/24)

A climate-change apocalypse involves a plant in an underground group trying to save the world from itself. So, depending on what… happens in the world between now and then, I may decide to shelve this for a bit. No reflection on it, necessarily—I just may need to escape reality a little more than this may provide. Thanks to Tachyon for the ARC!

Seven Endless Forests – by April Genevieve Tucholke (4/28)

In a retelling of a beloved Arthurian legend that I’ve been looking forward to for a bit, Torvi sets out to rescue her sister and find a mythological sword. The journey there promises to be epic, with much mystery, magic, and drunken songs. Many thanks to Macmillan for the ebook!

Purchases

The Ten Thousand Doors of January – by Alix E. Harrow

An audiobook that I’ve seen decent reviews for, a ward to a wealthy eccentric finds a strange book that reveals an adventure seeped with amazing, impossible truths. I’m looking forward to this one, tbr right after Bone Ships.

True Loot

The Way of Kings – by Brandon Sanderson

A lovely hardcover to replace my rather worn paperback version. For a thousand-page book, I’ve read it waaay more than I would’ve thought. And my only birthday book for the year!

Ravencaller – by David Dalglish

A lovely, signed copy from amazing author David Dalglish. I mean, what more can I say about it? It’s amazing. My review should be out shortly, but—spoilers—I loved it. It’s amazing.

I’m having issues with these photos (actually like, my pictures), but they’ll be up at some point.

So— …the world is a bit… at the moment. I do hope everyone’s safe. My little portion of nowhere has had its first confirmed cases lately, and people have been starting to panic a little more. Lot of preppers around here, that I ain’t one of. So, we’re out of TP, but not out of food—yet. I realize the endemic is bad—like, contagious and deadly and bad—but seriously people. Don’t be dicks. If any of you reading this are hoarding shit (and I really doubt any of y’all are), please don’t. Please be nice. Please be good people.

Anyway, if you’ve read or are looking forward to any of these books, do let me know! If you’d like to just talk about books and stuff to take your mind of things, please, feel encouraged! And stay safe.

Fresh Loot: 6/29 (I don’t have any shelf space)

We’ll just call this my “Stacking the Shelves” for now, as I’ve never liked the name. Besides, everyone has one of these; I just wish I didn’t enjoy them so much. It’s an oddly embarrassing thing to admit. Anyway, this marks my first of… whatever I end up calling it, which may or may not become a thing. Shooting for biweekly, but we’ll see.

And yeah, at the moment I have no free shelf space. I really have to get on that, but uh… haven’t?

So, credit for “Stacking the Shelves” goes to Tynga’s Reviews, I think. Anyone confirm?

eARCs (via NetGalley)

Old Bones – by Preston & Child (Nora Kelly #1)

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for this one! I’ve not actually enjoyed many of Preston & Child’s books lately, particularly the Pendergast ones. I mean, they’re okay (the Gideon ones’ are awful, in my opinion), but I really liked all the ones Nora Kelly starred in, so I’m going into this spinoff cautiously optimistic.Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for this one!

The Wolf’s Call – by Anthony Ryan ( #1)

Another where I haven’t enjoyed, well, much after Blood Song. But it was probably my favorite book ever. Tower Lord was good, just not compared to Blood Song. Queen of Fire is best just forgotten. Anyway, I’m hoping that with Vaelin al Sorna back center stage this will be the a worthy successor. I can report that it seems to be written much in the style of Blood Song (at least at first), in 3rd PPOV with Vaelin as the chief narrator, so there’s that. Thanks to Ace Books for the ebook!

ARCs

The Girl the Sea Gave Back – by Adrienne Young (Sky in the Deep)

Thanks to St. Martin’s press and probably Goodreads for this! This was a surprise. I must’ve won it, but I couldn’t remember entering a contest. After reading the blurb I am looking forward to reading it, so hopefully we’ll get to that soon! As far as I can tell, this is set in the same world as Sky in the Deep, but isn’t a direct sequel. Which is fantastic, as I haven’t finished the first yet.

Purchases

Silver in the Wood – by Emily Tesh

I knew I was going to end up buying this. I’m a sucker for anything involving the Green Man, and the sample I read earlier in the week already hooked me. I can’t wait to read this!

Other

The Great Book of Amber – by Roger Zelazny (Chronicles of Amber #1-10)

Totally forgot about this one as my birthday wasn’t anytime recently, but my sister’s present finally got here. It’s been a decade (more?) since I read the first Amber book (Nine Princes in Amber) and can’t remember squat about it. Can’t even recall what I thought of it. But, this’ll give me a second chance at that, eh? This thing’s like a brick, too. A solid 1258 pages—almost a Stormlight’s worth. Probably won’t take it backpacking.

Do y’all have any suggestions or near-future books you’re excited about? Let me know, please!