October Book Haul // I went a little overboard

(Last Updated On: January 30, 2020)

October was a rough month for me, which meant that I did quite a bit of retail therapy. I am actually embarrassed to post this haul, but I’m proud to say that I’ve read most of these! So at least I am not adding to my already astronomical owned TBR (post on this nightmare coming in December).

I also apparently blacked out when Macmillan added the Winter/Spring 2020 titles, because I don’t remember going berserk on the Download Now button, but 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.

Oct19 Book Haul 2

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Adieh
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, Romance

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

Full Review

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2019, and I got my hands on my pre-ordered copy as soon as possible so I could read it. I wound up savoring the book and absolutely adored it! It doesn’t help that I got to attend a private meet and greet with her and Sabaa Tahir at a book event.

Read? ✔️


Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1) by Kelly Coon
Young Adult, Fantasy
Debut Author

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Interview with Kelly Coon  ARC Review

This is such an amazing story of love and sacrifice. The characters? Adore them. Sibling relationship? Complicated. Love interest? Shirtless and kind. I have a reading reaction thread on Twitter you can read while waiting for my review.

Read? ✔️


Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQIAP+
Debut Author

The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.

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.

Interview with Rosiee Thor  ARC Review

I love books with unlikely alliances and shady dystopian governments, so it comes as no surprise that I utterly enjoyed this book. The characters are incredibly precious and the book is unapologetically queer with amazing own-voices aro/ace rep. I have a reading reaction thread on Twitter you can read while waiting for my review.

Read? ✔️


Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda
Young Adult, Fantasy
Debut Author

Fireborne coverGame of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

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.

Interview with Rosaria Munda  ARC Review

I haven’t read my ARC of this book in full yet, but several months ago I read an extract and loved it. Dragons and politics and enemies-to-lovers are all up my alley, and I’m looking forward to reading this one in December!

Read? ❌


Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
Young Adult, Horror, Mystery

In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister–at all costs.

Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her–and who won’t make it out of the woods?

It’s been exactly one year since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn’t know whether her former friends no longer like her…or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to “play the game” and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca–before she’s lost forever. And even though she’s hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends–and their cameras–following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.

Read my ARC review

I loved this book. Such a spooky read with effortless writing that oozes off of the page. I adore local legends, and the fact that this is at its core an exploration into urban legend is fantastic. Plus, bonus points for the found-footage style of storytelling! It’s a compiled document of interviews and transcribed video.

Read? ✔️


I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQIAP+

I Hope You Get This Message coverSeven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.

When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.

For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.

With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.

This book came in my October OwlCrate, and I am so glad that it did because I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. I don’t tend to gravitate to contemporary fiction, and this cover screams contemporary to me (kind of like Sadie did). But this sounds so good?

Read? ❌


Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1) by Nina Varela
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+
Debut Author

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

I pre-ordered a copy of this one because a few friends were screaming about it on Twitter, and then I also got a copy in the October Owlcrate. I plan on hosting a giveaway with one of them… once I decide which edition I want to keep.



Oct19 Book Haul 1

The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Classics, Horror, Barnes & Noble Collectible Edition

Complete Works of Poe coverEdgar Allan Poe was one of the earliest pioneers of the short story and perfected the tale of psychological horror. The entirety of Poe’s body of imaginative work encompasses detective tales, satires, fables, fantasies, science fiction, verse dramas and some of the most evocative poetry in the English language. This leatherbound omnibus collects all of Poe’s fiction and poetry in a single volume, including “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, and the full-length novel “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”. “The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” is part of “Barnes & Noble”‘s series of quality leatherbound volumes. Each title in the series presents a classic work in an attractively designed edition bound in genuine bonded leather. These books make elegant additions to any home library.

Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite author ever, next to Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve owned a tattered paperback Complete Works for 15 years or so, and finally got around to getting a leatherbound one for my burgeoning classics collection.


Penny Dreadfuls: Sensational Tales of Terror
Classics, Gothic, Horror

Penny Dreadfuls coverBody-snatching! Premature burial! Cannibalism! The original Victorian-era penny dreadfuls entertained the masses with shocks, thrills, and lurid horrors.

This terror-packed anthology includes two novels—The String of Pearls, which immortalized Sweeney Todd, the demon-barber of Fleet Street; and the original 1918 edition of Frankenstein—as well as tales by Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Stoker, Alcott, and Conan Doyle.

Barnes & Noble was having a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale on their Leatherbound Classics… so I naturally picked this one up for my collection!

Read? ❌


The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World #1) by London Shah
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Debut Author

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.

Read My ARC Review

Light at the Bottom of the World is delightfully atmospheric and I love the shift in setting in a “the planet became inhabitable” dystopia. I enjoyed my eARC enough to buy a finished copy and look forward to the next book!

Read? ✔️


The Emperor’s Edge Series (7 Books) by Lindsay Buroker
Adult, Fantasy

Emperors Edge coverThe adventure starts here…

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

I love this indie fantasy series. I own all of the books in Kindle format (book 1 is permanently free), but for the last couple of months I’ve wanted to add them to my bookshelves.

Read? ✔️


eBook Purchases (Kindle deals)

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery
Debut release

Daughter of the Burning City coverSixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

I’m trash for the Shadow Game trilogy, so of course I grabbed her debut novel when it was on sale.

Read? ❌


The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Young Adult, Horror, Retellings

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Do you have authors who you buy their work because everything sounds amazing but you haven’t read anything by them yet? That’s Kiersten White for me. I have like 8 of her books on my owned TBR because I’m a monster lmao.

Read? ❌

Electronic ARC Approvals

Hahahahahaa… about that Arc Ban….

The Night Country (Hazel Wood #2) by Melissa Alpert
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication:

The highly anticipated sequel to Melissa Albert’s beloved, New York Times bestselling debut The Hazel Wood!

In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors―and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and―if he can find it―a way back home…


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace
Young Adult, Fantasy
Debut Author
Expected Publication: February 4, 2020

“Fierce and unrelenting…Do yourself a favor and get lost in this beautiful book!” — Tomi Adeyemi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.


The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson
Adult, Horror
Expected Publication:  February 11, 2020

The Boatman's Daughter coverA “lush nightmare” (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

With the heady mythmaking of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman’s Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.


Havenfall (Havenfall #1) by Sara Holland
Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 3, 2020

Havenfall coverFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Everless comes a contemporary fantasy series about the safe haven between worlds–and the girl sworn to protect it.

Maddie Morrow lives for her summers at the Inn at Havenfall, hidden up in the mountains of Colorado. The inn is the only place where she gets to see the boy she loves, Brekken and it provides an escape from her real life, which consists of endless mind-numbing days at high school . . . and visits to the local prison where her mother sits on Death Row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother.

But the inn is much more than it appears. The manicured gardens, Mirror Lake, and even the building itself hold a tantalizing power, a magic meant to protect all who seek refuge and peace. Maddie’s uncle runs the inn, guardian of the gateways to the hidden worlds that converge in the tunnels, and she dreams of one day taking it over.

But this summer, everything is going wrong. Maddie almost gets run over by an alluring new staffer, Taya, her relationship with handsome Brekken becomes complicated, and then the impossible happens: a dead body is discovered, shattering the inn’s sanctity. As questions mount over who’s responsible, Maddie realizes even greater dangers face them all.

With everything she loves at stake, Maddie must confront startling truths about the secrets lurking beneath Havenfall, and within herself.

This breathtaking fantasy from New York Times bestselling Everless author Sara Holland is perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Adult, Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQIAP+
Traditional publishing debut

Expected Publication: March 17, 2020

The House in the Cerulean Sea coverA magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Debut Author

Expected Publication: April 21, 2020

The Silence of Bones coverI have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.


Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles
Young Adult, Fantasy
Debut Author

Expected Publication: June 2, 2020

Where Dreams Descend coverIn a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.


The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2) by Victoria Lee
Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQIAP+
Expected Publication: March 7, 2020

The Electric Heir coverSix months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.</b<>


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Expected Publication: February 4, 2020

Things in Jars coverIn the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery—perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation.

Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.


The God Game by Danny Tobey
Adult, Science Fiction
Expected Publication: January 7, 2020

The God Game coverYou are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.


Physical Review Copies from Publishers

Be sure to check out Flapping Pages as I pass along many of my physical ARCs to international readers once I finish reading them!

The Vine Witch (The Vine Witch #1) by Luanne G, Smith
Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Debut author

The Vine Witch coverA young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

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.

Library Recommendations

Library Recs Oct19

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!



  1. Evelyn

    November 16, 2019 at 12:20 AM

    Ooh I see so many good books here! I would love to pick up fireborne as well!
    Also I’m so jealous of you night country ARC!


    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:18 PM

      I am so ashamed I haven’t read Fireborne yet because it was one of my most anticipated releases, but I am looking forward to it. Happy reading to you!

  2. Dini @ dinipandareads

    November 16, 2019 at 3:29 AM

    Omg so many great looking/sounding books that I want to get my hands on and read too! The cover for Havenfall is gorgeous 😍 This is a pretty amazing haul! I wouldn’t even be mad at myself for it haha

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:19 PM

      Hahaha, yea… I can’t be too mad at myself either! At least I have a lot of promising sounding reads to keep me occupied for months & years to come!!!

  3. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    November 16, 2019 at 5:56 AM

    I grabbed a bunch of Macmillan titles on Edelweiss too! It’s so dangerous😁 I have Where Dreams Descend and The House in the Cerulean Sea as well. Fantastic haul, Kal!

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:22 PM

      Edelweiss is VERY DANGEROUS, I wish I had better self control but Macmillan publishes a large number of books I want to read so I am really fortunate to have the access that I do. Really looking forward to both of those as well!

  4. Mere

    November 17, 2019 at 6:13 AM

    I have continually added to my TBR/want to read shelves because I think our tastes are so similar? ANYWAYS I want to read Gravemaidens because it looks so spectacular.
    Also I love White. I’ve three star’d and up almost everything by her. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything she’s written. My faves so far are Guinevere Deception and the first two books in Conqueror series. I haven’t read the third yet. Slayer is pretty good too!

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:32 PM

      Muahahhaa, I love when I make other people’s TBRs grow! Gravemaidens is so good, and I really love the best friend a lot in the book. She’s iconic lmao.
      I’m finally reading The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (my first White) and uhhhh… IDK about it hahaha. I have the entire Conqueror series and Slayer and Guinevere Deception, and I hope those hit the mark for me.

  5. Macey @ Brine & Books

    November 17, 2019 at 10:55 AM

    Poe was–and is– such an icon!! I am always fascinated with the way he played with and delved into the human psyche in so many of his works. This year, I reread The Telltale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado. I hadn’t read The Black Cat or The Raven, and I really enjoyed those. Out of all of his works hat I’ve read Annabel Lee is still my favourite. The Beautiful and Gravemaidesn look so interesting!! I definitely want to check those out x

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:34 PM

      OH MY GOD, Anabel Lee is my favorite as well! I read it for the first time my senior year of high school, and had to memorize it & recite it in front of class. I still know it by heart, so beautiful. I need to work my way through all of his short stories again as an adult, it’s been SO LONG.

  6. Kayla @ Books and Blends

    November 17, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Great hall Kaleena! I picked up The Beautiful as well.

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:35 PM

      Thank you, and have you read it yet?! I NEED TO TALK ABOUT BASTIEN AND CELINE TO SOMEONE.

  7. Pumpkin Spice Latte Book Tag! – thebookcorps

    November 17, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    […] @ Book Princess Reviews | Charlotte @ Charlotte Annelise | Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library | Kal @ Reader Voracious | Azia @ The Uncharted […]

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:46 PM

      Thank you! I am honestly just glad I’ve read most of them!

  8. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    November 19, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    This is QUITE the haul! I actually need to get a game plan together for hauling next month because next year I’m going on a (sort of) book buying ban. 🙂

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:47 PM

      HAHAHAA, I am also trying to come up with a 2020 plan that skirts around my need for a book buying ban. Why are we like this, Lisa?

  9. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    November 19, 2019 at 1:53 PM

    Wow, that’s a lot of books. XD All the Stars and Teeth and Fireborne sound really cool.

    1. Kal

      November 25, 2019 at 11:48 PM

      I KNOW I WENT OVERBOARD! Both of those books I am especially excited about, I hope I find time to read them

  10. Kristina

    November 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Wow, what a bunch! There’s so many pretty covers in there, but my favorite must be «  The house in the cerulean sea »!
    Don’t read the comments looks like something I would enjoy, I think.

    Also, yay for having read a bunch out of thoses already 👏🏼👏🏼 I kinda did the same actually, ahaha 😂 I bought two books and I’m slmost finished one of the two.

    1. Kal

      November 26, 2019 at 12:04 AM

      I swear, book covers are getting more and more stunning and I am living for it! And GO US for reading a lot of the books we bought!

  11. Haley

    November 25, 2019 at 4:07 AM

    Twitter and the faithful awesome bookish peeps on there also got me to preorder Crier’s War and woo for doing a giveaway!

    I love that you read so many of these! I aspire to this! Haha and don’t worry I went retail therapy crazy the past two months, so September and October was me just binge buying and downloading books hha.

    I LOVE that copy of Penny Dreadfuls I really want to read it so if you get to it soon, lemme know how it isssss

    Also…dareisay…..The Electric Heir buddy read??

    1. Kal

      November 26, 2019 at 12:14 AM

      I still don’t know which copy of Crier’s War I want to keep! And then do I read the book first so I can properly screech about it in the giveaway? Probably.

      Will do on the Penny Dreadfuls, and YES TO THE ELECTRIC HEIR BUDDY READ. I honestly kind of want to just reread TFK right now and then dive into TEH.

  12. Annemieke

    December 22, 2019 at 10:16 PM

    I just got the Criers War in the mail. And I need to start The Electric Heir. But I am also kind of scared.

    1. Kal

      December 31, 2019 at 7:43 PM

      I FEEL YOU on being scared of Electric Heir! I actually was going to re-read TFK earlier this month so I could dive into TEH and uh, got scared and read something else haha

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