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Weekend Reads: Spoopy Historical Fiction & Badass YA Science-Fiction

This has been such a lazy weekend thus far, and I have been enjoying every second of it. I only wish that the day didn’t go by so damn fast! I love it when days trudge on slowly while I’m reading or chilling. Yet, whenever a good day does sprout up, it’s speeds on past me like the bloody Flash bloke. Whut is life.

Anyhoo, as I wind down from a day of, well, lazing about like an aloo (potato), I plan on sinking into a good book and letting the sleep take over. My plan is that if I go to bed early and if I can manage to get some great rest, then on Sunday I shall be refreshed enough to do some intense writing sprints.

My reading over the last week, or since my last Weekend Reads post to be more specific, has been sporadic. While I have been able to finish a couple of books, the rut is fighting back and it’s annoying to say the least. But fear not! I shall also fight back. As long as I don’t fumble my next d20 roll (let’s go critical hit!), I should be okay, I think. Either way, these are the light-hearted (prose-wise) gems that I shall be diving into with the hopes of driving that rut back into the closet where it belongs.

Check ‘em out below! Clicking on their titles should take you to their GoodReads pages, assuming the new block editor thingy didn’t mess them up… (Does anyone else hate it as much as I do?)

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James: This spoopy historical fiction novel is about a young woman named Sarah Piper who gets tossed into the company of a local ghost hunter named Alistair Gellis by her temporary agency. He’s rich, handsome, a bit fucked-up thanks to World War I, and positively obsessed with ghosts! Together they start working on a case involving a haunted barn and the spirit of a young woman, Maddy Clare, who committed suicide. Gellis wants to get to the bottom of the case, but the spirit refuses to speak to men and shall only reveal her secrets to the young Ms. Piper.

Simone St. James is an author who’s works I mostly enjoy. My favourite of her titles so far is Broken Girls. That was a comfortable and nicely balanced supernatural mystery. I like the premise of this, especially that it’s a post-First World War ghost story, and I’m familiar enough with James’ prose style to know it won’t make my rut worse! I’ll be starting this later tonight.

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow: This is an #OwnVoices Black young adult science-fiction story. Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and an invading alien race known as the Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population. Fast-forward to the present time where we meet 17-year-old Ellie Baker, surviving in an Ilori-controlled centre in NYC. With humans being deemed as dangerous and unpredictable, something as seemingly irrelevant as a facial expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art, and books are illegal, nonetheless, Ellie harbours a secret library. When a young Ilori officer discovers Ellie’s library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution, but bro has a love affair with human music and yearns for more of it. Terrified of getting busted, he concocts a plan to save both their arses, but they’d have to travel thousands of miles to make it happen. Packing up all the books and music they can, they set off on their epic quest to save humanity and their passions from doom and gloom.

I haven’t started this one yet either, but it was gifted to me a couple of months ago and I’ve been saving it for when I’m out of the rut. However, since the sucker seems to be sticking around, I figured a fluffy yet sneaky tale of two folx fighting for survival may be a good way to break away from the familiar narratives I’ve been attached to in order to play it safe. Plus, the author is the loveliest of humans and this book has been receiving some fantastic reviews. My interest couldn’t be abated any longer.

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher: This is the third instalment in the adult urban fantasy series, The Dresden Files. In this book, Harry “Dumbass” Dresden gets caught up in a whirlwind of ghost-infused shenanigans when the spirit world starts to go haywire and terribly violent. It’ll be up to the scruffy wizard and his trusty possessed skull buddy, Bob, to sort it out and save the day.

I’ve been making my way through this series slowly with the intention of finally catching up. The series has two books hitting shelves this year and I’d like to be able to read them soonish after their release. While it’s not perfect, or one without some mild problematic shtick, it is entertaining and the only brand of urban fantasy that’s been able to hold my attention, which is why I keep coming back to it.

Batman Allies: Alfred Pennyworth by Various: A trade paperback collection of comics that revolve around Batman’s most trusted ally, and most of the time the voice of reason when the shadows of insanity start to close in on the Dark Knight.

This is one of my most-anticipated comics, and has been for a long time, so when I saw it on my library’s digital catalogue, I went ahead and snagged it. I expect his to be an emotional experience given that it was released shortly after a very tragic arc and sequence of events involving the sharp-tongued and wickedly clever Mr Pennyworth.

That does it for my weekend (and upcoming week’s) reading plans. The weather has been killer in California, so staying inside where it’s cool and reading feels like a dream. I wish you all a kind weekend ahead. Please remember to hydrate! Much love to you, until next time.

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