Happy Friday morning, Chums! I hope that your November has treated you relatively kindly thus far. It is pretty incredible that the month is nearly finished, as I feel it literally just began a couple of days ago. There have been plenty of instances during 2019 where I felt the year was slugging by, however, November makes me feel that 2019 has zipped on past us before we had to chance to realise it. For example, when I sat down to write up this post, I realised the last time I had shared my library haul was back in July!! It blew my fricking mind.
Since December is one of my least favourite months of the year, I knew that I had to mentally brace myself and physical prepare with a ton of engaging distractions so that I won’t up becoming a blue kitty cat. What better method than to acquire a stack of books that can whisk me away to magical or macabre lands? Last week when I went to the libs to grab my outrageous stack of holds (eight books), I went ahead and made some impulse grabs as well. A few of them are popular new releases, so I was quite excited to have been able to grab them up! The four books I’ll be sharing here shall essentially become my tentative December TBR (to-be-read) heap.
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender is an #OwnVoices Caribbean young adult fantasy novel about Sigourney Rose, who was the sole survivor of a brutal massacre inflicted upon her family by ruthless colonisers. When the King of the islands declares that he shall be choosing his successor from local noble families, Sigourney readies herself for vengeance. This is the first book in a duology series.
#OwnVoices Caribbean fantasy was pretty much all I needed to know to pick this up. However, when I found out that the author is a fellow trans nonbinary person, I felt a kindred connection to them and that furthered my excitement for checking out this book!
Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao is a young adult epic fantasy novel takes place in the Cyrillian Empire, where folx with various gifts to control the world around them—known as Affinites—are considered to be vile beings. The crown princess, Ana Mikhailov, is harbouring a dark secret. She has an Affinity to blood, and this is the main reason why she’s kept herself hidden within the palace walls. However, when her father is murdered and she’s framed for his death, Ana must flee the comforts of her sanctuary and home in order to unravel the conspiracy that led to her father’s savage demise.
Stories involving characters who are framed for deaths and also tales about people who have abilities but get shunned for them (basically X-Men type narratives) are some of my favourites to read as they tend to have excellent mystery and intrigue to them, as well as some great themes, when written well. This is a book I’ve kept my eye on for a long time because it has those elements I enjoy. It released a couple of weeks ago and I’m thrilled to be able to read it finally.
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by New Zealander H.G. Perry is a fantasy tale about Charley Sutherland, a chap with the untamed ability to bring characters from books into the real world. When literary beings start creating havoc in the city and threaten to bring doom and gloom to the world, Charley realises that he’s not the only one with this skill.
I had never heard of this book at all. When the cover caught my eye at the library, I initially assumed it was some sort of historical fiction mystery. In a way, I suppose it is! I fell in love with the snippet and became intrigued by it’s originality, so I checked it out without hesitation!
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an #OwnVoices Latinx story that takes place in Mexico City. It follows a street kid named Domingo who is struggling to survive when a jaded vampire suddenly swoops into his life. Atl, a decendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on young people in order to survive, and Domingo looks quite appetising to her. Then there is also Ana, a cop who follows a string of corpses straight into the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
I’ve been craving some vampire fiction, but most of it is either erotica type of stuff, or really shitty stories like Twilight and the books that True Blood was based off of, which are not my cup of chai. Then a friend recommended this novel to me. I remember searching for Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books in the library system a couple of weeks before, without much luck (most of them had massive waitlists), so I didn’t have hope of finding it. However, as I was checking out, I saw the library technician checking this back into the libs. I asked her if it had holds. When she said no, I immediately checked it out for myself! It sounds really imaginative and unlike any other type of vampire fiction I’ve ever read, so I’m feeling rather charmed!
Those are my recent library check-outs. I know that this is significantly less than my normal unrestrained loot. My goal has been to practise more control when I go to the libs so that I don’t become overwhelmed and neglectful of the owned titles on my shelves at home. It’s been challenging as heck, but also quite a relief too. I’ve had significantly fewer reading burnouts since I began doing this, which feels amazing.