Book Haul: August & September 2019
You know how time just gets away from you? I swear the months keep flying by and my haul posts keep going by the wayside. Unacceptable. This post was also supposed to go up yesterday, but surprise, I hadn’t written it yet. Oops. I was going to skip the post but really didn’t want to continue this habit of quarterly haul posts of doom, so here we are.
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.
Physical Book Haul
I’m fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to buy finished copies of books I read as ARCs and enjoyed; you may notice a few duplicates across the haul categories.
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
I was fortunate enough to read an eARC of this book and needed to have a finished copy for my shelf. I absolutely adored this book, it’s one of my all-time favorites.
Tales of the Slayer, Volume II by Various
Short Stories, Paranormal (Vampires)
Into every generation, a Slayer is born…
As long as there have been vampires, there has been a Slayer. One girl instilled with supernatural strength and abilities so that she may protect the world from the forces of darkness.
But the Chosen One leads a brief, violent life. When one Slayer dies another is called, creating an eternal line of powerful female warriors stretching all the way back to the beginning of time. From ancient Greece to present day, Tales of the Slayer chronicles their stories in which each girl has a personal history, a shared moral code, and a commitment to conquer evil, regardless of the cost…
Hi, I’m trash for Buffy the Vampire Slayer in case you didn’t know. I keep buying these things but never read them lol.
Duty or freedom.
Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.
If Aurora knows anything, it’s that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.
In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.
This feels like more than rage.
It feels like war.
While I wasn’t totally in love with this next-in-series, I enjoyed the book enough and had the opportunity to meet Cora in person on lauch day.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, Mythology
Own Voices (Latinx)
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
This book is everything I am looking for: mythology, historical fantasy, and 1920s art deco vibes.
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Young Adult, Fantasy
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
My friend Destiny loves this book and author so much, I decided to grab her debut on Book Outlet to read before I get around to Sorcery of Thorns.
Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnett
Young Adult, Fantasy
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
This is a book I’ve been wanting to read and decided to nab it when it was on sale on Book Outlet (this is a theme for the rest of my August haul).
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism, LGBT+
The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
Young Adult, Fantasy
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.
Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.[/scroll-box]
I nabbed this signed first edition on Book Outlet because I really enjoyed reading it and was sure I would enjoy the rest of the series. And then I read Escaping from Houdini. Suffice to say I don’t want to own this series anymore — hit me up if you want this.
These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch
Young Adult, Fantasy
<br< span=””> Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
Young Adult, Mystery
Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.
The only thing is: they didn’t do it.
On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
This is a signed first edition that I nabbed on Book Outlet and am looking forward to reading sometime this century.
We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile as I saw a lot of stunning reviews of it last year, so I was happy to grab when I saw on Book Outlet.
Physical Book Haul – September
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Children’s, Horror, Short Stories
These stories are some of the most terrifying tales of horror, revenge, and supernatural events of all time, collected and retold by Alvin Schwartz and featuring the classic artwork by Stephen Gammell.
This jacketed hardcover edition includes the complete original books in the series in one volume:
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Young Adult, Fantasy
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.
I still haven’t read Sky in the Deep. I got an eARC of this but still haven’t read it. But did I pre-order it because of the wordmark campaign? Yes. I have a problem, please send help.
The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
Adult, Science Fiction
1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend’s abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too.
2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she’s found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost.
Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline–a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?
I’ll admit it — I looked at this book purely because of the pre-order campaign. I wanted the enamel pin that says “We are in the wrong timeline.” Lucky for me it sounds right up my alley, and I look forward to eventually reading this one!
A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #2) by Sangu Mandanna
Young Adult, Space Opera, Retelling
“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
This was one of my most anticipated sequel of the entire year, so bet your booty I pre-ordered it a copy to join A Spark of White Fire on my shelves!
Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) by Kerri Maniscalco
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
*sigh* I pre-ordered this and it shipped out before I finished and dislike Escaping from Houdini. So uh, if you want to buy my copy with the special pre-order dust jacket, hit me up I guess?
There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool
Young Adult, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.
I loved this book so much, and was pretty stoked to be able to meet Katy to get my book signed!
The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood
Adult, Dystopian, Literary Fiction
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood
I am so excited to have more of this story but my god, reality is too much like this dystopian nightmare so it may be awhile before I read this one.
Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff
The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.
Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?
New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.
My pre-ordered and signed first edition copy came battered from Barnes & Noble and I am still mad about it.
The Tell-Tale Heart & Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Short Stories, Horror
On the same day that I purchased the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark edition, this book called to me from the horror section of my indie. I love Edgar Allan Poe, so I had to buy it. Clearly.
eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)
The Vine Witch (The Vine Witch #1) by Luanne G, Smith
Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.
Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.
I nabbed this in September as part of the Kindle First Reads program and read a bit of it last month before my slump ruined my life.
Electronic ARC Approvals
Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Published: October 15, 2019
A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog — donning the moniker Technician — to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws.
Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father’s respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father’s elusive affection is worth chasing at all.
Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner’s secrets at any cost — even if it means betraying her own heart.
When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic — before the Commissioner ends them first.
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: September 22, 2020 (originally February 2020)
They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
Physical Review Copies from Publishers
Be sure to check out Flapping Pages as I am passing along a few of these to international readers once I finish reading them!
Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill
Published: November 22, 2018
Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch #2) by Sarah Henning
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Published: August 6, 2019
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.
Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?
Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.
This book arrived on my doorstep as a surprise from my buddies at Wunderkind! I still need to read the first book, but I am excited to have added motivation to get around to it soon.
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda
Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: October 15, 2019
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.
Do we have any books in common? What books should I read first? Let’s talk book acquisitions in the comments, friends!
Let’s go on another adventure together!