A Giant Book Haul for Quarantine May-August & Unhauling some books

Long time no see, friends! My hiatus has extended further than anticipated, but the pile of new books has gotten so precarious that it’s time for me to get a book haul up. And everyone loves a good book haul! Plus, maybe this will motivate me to write the handful of reviews I’ve got backlogged… but considering this post took five days to write, I might need more time.

This haul is brought to you by series that began last year with sequels! Seriously… and because I have the memory of a goldfish and need to re-read everything, it will take some time to read all of these. *sobs*

I’m also selling some books I didn’t enjoy as much as I’d hoped. Since most of these are beloved books or signed, figured I’d include the unhaul at the bottom of this post.

As always, I want to reiterate that you do not need to buy and own a lot of books in order to be considered a book blogger or lover. I am quite frugal with everything else so that I can buy books because I love them, but I do not ever want to make you feel bad if you cannot afford to buy books or have poor access where you live.

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Physical Book Haul

Quarantine Book Haul 1
Seven Deadly Shadows, Stamped, Aurora Burning, I Killed Zoe Spanos, A Song Below Water, The Damned

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Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani

Publisher: HarperCollins | Release Date: January 28, 2020 | Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

ARC REVIEW

Seven Deadly Shadows coverSeventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She’s bullied by the popular girls in school. Her family ignores her. And she’s also plagued with a secret: She can see yokai, the ghosts and demons that haunt the streets of Japan. But things accelerate from bad to worse when she learns that Shuten-doji, the demon king, will rise at the next blood moon to hunt down an ancient relic and bring the world to a catastrophic end.

Not exactly skilled at fighting anything, much less the dead, Kira enlists the aid of seven powerful death gods to help her slay Shuten-doji. They include Shiro, a kitsune with boy-band looks who is more flirtatious than helpful, and O-bei, a regal demon courtesan with covert reasons of her own for getting involved.

As the confrontation with Shuten-doji draws nearer by the day, the fate of Japan hangs in the balance. Can Kira save humankind? Or will the demon king succeed in bringing eternal darkness upon the world?

I adored this book when I read an eARC of it earlier this year and just had to buy a finished copy for my collection!!!

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers | Release Date: March 10, 2020 | Pages: 294
Genre: Young Adult, Nonfiction, History, Social Justice

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism–and antiracism–in America

This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

I received an audiobook listening copy of this one and decided to pick up a hardcover to read along.

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Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Release Date: May 5, 2020 | Pages: 512
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Aurora Burning coverOur heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Sure, I didn’t LOVE Aurora Rising, but I am pretty excited to see where this one goes because I really like this duo’s writing.

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I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | Release Date: June 30, 2020 | Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

ARC REVIEW

I Killed Zoe Spanos coverThis gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

I bought two copies of this one… audiobook and hardcover! The physical book has blue sprayed edges and audiobook is fullcast, so I know when I decided to re-read this one it will be a fun experience!

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Publisher: Tor Teen | Release Date: June 2, 2020 | Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy

Cover for A Song Below WaterTavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

I really want to read this one after hearing Bethany talk about it during panels, so I preordered myself a copy.

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The Damned (The Beautiful #2) by Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: Penguin Teen | Release Date: July 7, 2020 | Pages: 456
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

cover for The DamnedFollowing the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with the second installment of her new sumptuous, sultry and romantic series, The Beautiful.

The Beautiful murdered me last year and I am looking forward to additional death & pining.

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Quarantine Book Haul 2
The Crow Rider, Kingdom of Souls, The Faithless Hawk, Stamped from the Beginning, Cinderella is Dead

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The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2) by Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: Sourcefire Books | Release Date: July 7, 2020 | Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for The Crow RiderThe thrilling conclusion to the epic Storm Crow duology that follows a fallen princess as she tries to bring back the magical elemental crows taken from her people.

Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’ show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’ magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

I had an eARC of this one but sadly my book slump took over and I wasn’t able to finish it before it was published. I was enjoying it and look forward to seeing what happens with these characters I love so much.

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Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1) by Rena Barron

Publisher: HarperVoyager | Release Date: September 19, 2019 | Pages: 496
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for Kingdom of SoulsMagic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Haley yelled at me to buy this one and after almost a year I’ve succumbed.

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The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2) by Margaret Owen

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co | Release Date: August 18, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for The Faithless HawkKings become outcasts and lovers become foes in the thrilling sequel to Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow.

As the new chieftain of the Crows, Fie knows better than to expect a royal to keep his word. Still she’s hopeful that Prince Jasimir will fulfill his oath to protect her fellow Crows. But then black smoke fills the sky, signaling the death of King Surimir and the beginning of Queen Rhusana’s merciless bid for the throne.

With the witch queen using the deadly plague to unite the nation of Sabor against Crows—and add numbers to her monstrous army—Fie and her band are forced to go into hiding, leaving the country to be ravaged by the plague. However, they’re all running out of time before the Crows starve in exile and Sabor is lost forever.

A desperate Fie calls on old allies to help take Rhusana down from within her own walls. But inside the royal palace, the only difference between a conqueror and a thief is an army. To survive, Fie must unravel not only Rhusana’s plot, but ancient secrets of the Crows—secrets that could save her people, or set the world ablaze.

I was denied three times for an eARC of this one and I am still salty about it.

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Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Publisher: Bold Type Books | Release Date: March 8, 2016 | Pages: 592
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Social Justice

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti–Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and anti-racists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W. E. B. Du Bois to legendary anti–prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro–civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.

As Kendi illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation’s racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much–needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers tools to expose them—and in the process, reason to hope.

Like many others, I picked up a copy of this book after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and countless other Black lives) were murdered by the police.

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Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

ARC REVIEW TO COME

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA | Release Date: July 7, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

US cover for Cinderella Is DeadIt’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

This book was an absolute delight and I am shocked I haven’t written my review for it yet… oops.

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Boxed set for Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (boxed set)

Publisher: Hyperion | Release Date: May 10, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

The complete Percy Jackson & the Olympians series in hardcover. A perfect gift for Percy fans, as well as readers just discovering this epic and blockbuster adventure.

ercy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

LOL I almost forgot to include this in my haul because the boxed set has a place of prominence on my book shelves!

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Book Box & Special Editions

Book Box Haul Aug20
Girl, Serpent, Thorn; Mexican Gothic; Goddess in the Machine; Forest of Souls; Song of Wraiths and Ruin; Star Daughter; The Gilded Ones

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Publisher: Flatiron Books | Release Date: July 7, 2020 | Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for Girl, Serpent, ThornA captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Fairyloot Exclusive Edition

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

ARC REVIEW

Publisher: Del Rey | Release Date: June 30, 2020 | Pages: 301
Genre: Adult, Horror, Gothic

Mexican Gothic coverAn isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Goldsboro Limited Edition I loved this book so much and am so glad I was able to nab one of the Goldsboro editions! The sprayed edges are to die for and it wasn’t that much more expensive than the US edition… lol

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Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Publisher: Razorbill | Release Date: June 30, 2020 | Pages: 389
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Owlcrate cover for Goddess in the MachineWhen Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Owlcrate Edition

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Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee

Publisher: Page Street Kids | Release Date: June 23, 2020 | Pages: 385
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Fairyloot cover Forest of SoulsSirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training, she plans on challenging her rival for the position of the queen’s next royal spy, but she’s forced to abandon her plan when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

With her mysterious ability uncovered, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King—the only person powerful enough to control the haunted Dead Wood that separates the kingdoms and, ultimately, enforces peace. But the Spider King’s hold of the Dead Wood is weakening, and he needs Sirscha to use her newly awakened powers to obliterate the bloodthirsty forest. As war looms on the horizon, it’s up to Sirscha to learn what she can do and who she can trust before time runs out.

Fairyloot Edition

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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Release Date: June 2, 2020 | Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Debut

Cover for A Song of Wraiths and RuinFor Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

Fairyloot Edition It took months to arrive, but I am really glad I purchased on of the Fairyloot special editions of this one!

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Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Publisher: HarperTeen | Release Date: August 11, 2020 | Pages: 435
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Owlcrate cover for Star DaughterIf the night sky holds many secrets, it holds Sheetal Mistry’s secret the closest. A secret that explains why her hair is the silver of starlight, or why some nights the stars call Sheetal by name.

Stars like her mother, who returned to her place in the constellation Pushya years ago. Since that day, Sheetal has been forced to hide.

But as her seventeenth birthday draws near, the pull from the sky is growing stronger. So strong that Sheetal loses control, and a flare of starfire burns her human father—an injury only a full star’s blood can heal.

Sheetal has no choice but to answer the starsong and ascend to the sky. But her celestial family has summoned her for a reason: to act as their human champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of heavens.

Desperate to save her father, Sheetal agrees. But nothing could have prepared Sheetal to face the stars’ dark history—or the forces that are working to shut the gate between the realms for good.

Owlcrate Edition

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The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna [ARC]

Publisher: Usborne Publishing | Release Date: February 9, 2021 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Debut

cover for The Gilded OnesSixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Fairyloot ARC Edition

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Electronic ARC Approvals

Considering I have only read like 5 books since June… I am doing much better with my ARC requests to compensate. I guess this is the silver lining of a terrible book slump.

Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud

ARC REVIEW TO COME

Publisher: Flatiron Books | Release Date: August 4, 2020 | Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Court of Lions coverTwo identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

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Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody

Publisher: Page Street Kids | Release Date: June 23, 2020 | Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for Queen of VoltsReturn to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters.

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Lightbringer (Empirium #3) by Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcefire Books | Release Date: October 13, 2020 | Pages: 592
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

cover for LightbringerThe incredible conclusion to the trilogy that started with the instant New York Times bestsellers Furyborn and Kingsbane!

In this epic finale to the Empirium Trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand, two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies.

Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.

In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.

But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.

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Physical Review Copies

Review copies from publishers
Goddess in the Machine, I Hope You’re Listening, Jo & Laurie, Cemetery Boys, Dwarf Story


Goddess in the Machine
by Lora Beth Johnson

FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVIEW

Publisher: Razorbill | Release Date: June 30, 2020 | Pages: 389
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Cover for Goddess in the MachineWhen Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

I was approved for an ARC right before the pandemic and quarantine, and the book never arrived. But! This finished copy arrived at my doorstep compliments of Penguin Teen, which is very exciting because I loved the early extract.

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I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Publisher: Albert Whitman | Release Date: October 6, 2020 | Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, LGBTQIAP+

cover for I Hope You're ListeningIn her small town, seventeen year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.When another little girl goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers, with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much is she willing to reveal about herself in order to uncover the truth? Dee’s about to find out what’s really at stake in unraveling the mystery of the little girls who vanished.

I absolutely loved Tom Ryan’s last YA msyery Keep This To Yourself (read my review!), so I was over the moon when Tom messaged me to ask if I’d like to receive an ARC! I’m probably picking this one up soon as mysteries tend to be good for slumps.

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Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons for Young Readers | Release Date: June 2, 2020 | Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Romance, Retelling

Cover for Jo & LaurieBestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence.

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

I was approved for an ARC right before the pandemic and quarantine, and the book never arrived. But! This finished copy arrived at my doorstep compliments of Penguin Teen, which is very exciting because I loved the early extract.

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Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

ARC REVIEW

Publisher: Swoon Reads | Release Date: September 1, 2020 | Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+

Cover for Cemetery Boys by Aiden ThomasYadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

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Dwarf Story by W.W. Marplot

Publisher: Waxing Gibbous Books | Release Date: June 30, 2020 | Pages: 388
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Fantasy

cover for Dwarf StoryFirst, Arty finds a sweaty, bearded ax-swinging warrior Dwarf scaring his dogs. Soon enough, Emma, Cry, and other middle-school friends also find fairy creature—Elves, Spriggans, Pixies, and a hoped-for Dragon—crashing into their normal homework-doing, backpack-carrying, phone-charging schooldays. Why are these magical beings here? What should be done? Is that ax sharp? Can Pixies be given aspirin? Arty, with his friends—and spying jerks and questionable strangers with long names—follow the clues and try to find out, even as things turn dark and dangerous. The mythical beings take sides. The Gwyllion, that legendary Old Woman of the Mountains, has a sinister plan that will turn the neighborhood into a fantasy battleground.

I don’t read a lot of iddle grade, but when I do it involves ordinary kids discovering the extraordinary in the real world! Check out my unboxing post to learn more about Dwarf Story!

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Unhauling Some Books

I have a book buying addiction and tend to pick up books & full series for books I think I’ll love. Most of the time this works to my advantage… but other times it brings me nothing but pain. Since money is incredibly tight these days, I decided to sell the books in my collection that do not bring me joy. If you’re interested, comment or send me a DM on Twitter. I’ll be listing these on eBay in a few days.

Books Unhaul: HP 1&2 Slytherin editions, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light, Hunting Prince Dracula, Capturing the Devil
Books Unhaul: HP 1&2 Slytherin editions, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light, Hunting Prince Dracula, Capturing the Devil

All of the books are hardcovers in good/excellent condition excepting A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light (fair). The Stalking Jack the Ripper books are both signed, and Capturing the Devil will come with the original dust jacket + the special foiled one that I received for preordering.

Owlcrate Limited edition of Vengeful #290 of 1200
Owlcrate Limited edition of Vengeful #290 of 1200

I am also selling my Owlcrate limited edition copy of Vengeful by Victoria Schwab. It is in great condition, signed, comes with the letter from Victoria, and is #290 of 1,200 in the run.

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Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

12 Comments

  1. Evelyn

    September 20, 2020 at 9:51 AM

    I hope you will enjoy the ones you haven´t read yet!
    (www.evelynreads.com)

    1. Kal

      September 21, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      Thank you, me too!

  2. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    September 20, 2020 at 10:07 AM

    That’s a fantastic list of books you’ve hauled, Kal! Hope you enjoy them. 🙂

    1. Kal

      September 21, 2020 at 11:26 AM

      SO MANY BOOKS and SO MUCH TIME but NO DESIRE TO READ! 😭😭😭

  3. Asha @ A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

    September 21, 2020 at 1:30 AM

    Oooh, you have some amazing things to read! And you reminded me I need to pick up Queen of Volts!

    1. Kal

      September 21, 2020 at 11:26 AM

      I still need to read Queen of Volts too 😭 I started re-reading King of Fools and got sad and didn’t finish it to continue living in denial lmao

  4. Reg

    September 21, 2020 at 4:20 PM

    Don’t mind me while I go through some of your reviews because I missed them in the past. I only ended up reading like 2 books that you hauled. I do see some books I am interested in. Some of these also have such pretty covers and I just want to read them for the cover alone.

    I recently unhauled my Stalking Jack the Ripper books. It was a little sad for me to do but I feel like I loved some of the books in the series and then others didn’t do it for. It did feel bad because some were signed but I’ve been trying to make room on my bookshelves.

    1. Kal

      September 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM

      Ahhh thanks so much for checking out some of my older reviews! xoxo Which books of this haul have you read? I know Mexican Gothic… but what else? And yea, I have a cover addiction problem.

      Yea that’s how I feel about the Stalking Jack the Ripper series; I loved the firwswt book, enjoyed the second, and have growing hatred for the last two books. It’s a bummer but hopefully someone will love them more than me!

  5. Amanda

    September 23, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    What a great haul! I recently got A Song Below Water & I Killed Zoe Spanos too. I loved ASBW, and hope to pick up Zoe Spanos this month! I’m sadly still waiting for my copy of Cemetery Boys to arrive but will be immediately picking it up. I hope you like Aurora Burning (I liked the first book better). I love love love! that cover for Girl Serpent Thorn. I’m also so jealous of your ARC for Lightbringer!!

    1. Kal

      September 24, 2020 at 8:21 PM

      Ahh, I am glad to hear you enjoyed A Song Below Water – I am really looking forward to picking it up… eventually. I hope your copy of Cemetery Boys arrives soon so you can fall in love with the cinnamon roll characters. I am kinda torn about Aurora Burning – I didn’t enjoy AR that much so I’m not overly enthused lol.

  6. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    September 27, 2020 at 6:45 AM

    I need to read Kingdom of Fools….so I can get to Queen of Volts and like there are so many books on your haul that I want to read *sobs* I really need to make a list so I don’t forget but I’m looking forward to A Song Below Water because SIRENS and I’m sold on that alone tbh. I actually own a proof of Kingdom of Souls that I won erm…last year and I have just not gotten to it yet 🙁 which makes me very sad as I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    1. Kal

      October 6, 2020 at 11:59 AM

      I’ve been ever so slowly re-reading King of Fools so I can read Queen of Volts, and the pain is real. SIRENS is definitely what drew me to A Song Below Water as well!!! And also, maybe we can try to buddy read Kingdom of Souls?

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