Buckle in, this is going to be a long post. First off, I’m proud to say that I only bought myself one book this month, which is a rare feat of self-control for me. Secondly, I was incredibly lucky this year to be gifted a fair few books for Christmas from family and friends.
Windwitch – by Susan Dennard
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
I couldn’t resist treating myself to this newly released paperback copy of Windwitch when I saw it was finally out. I bought the hardcover when it first came out, but decided that the paperback is more portable, and will be easier for me to reread in preparation for Bloodwitch in a few months time. Also, this edition matches the paperback copy I have of Truthwitch beautifully.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – by Michelle McNamara
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death – offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic – and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.
This was a Christmas gift from my younger sister, who like me, has an interest in true crime. She may have already asked to borrow it after I’ve read it. I’ve been wanting to start reading true crime for a while now, and this book is right at the top of my list.
Giant Days: Volume 6
Second year begins and Daisy, Susan, and Esther have taken their friendship commitment to the next level by moving into their “beautiful home” off-campus. But the keys didn’t come without new responsibilities. Unwanted suitor visits, a robbery, and Susan living only a few blocks apart from her ex-boyfriend, McGraw, has made the dorms feel like a haven. The girls are in for a dose of reality when they learn that there’s more to being an adult than paying your own rent.
Eisner Award nominee John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round) and illustrators Max Sarin and Liz Fleming welcome you back to Sophomore year in Giant Days Volume 6, collecting issues #21-24 of the critically acclaimed series.
This was another gift from my sister. I’ve actually already read it, and really enjoyed it. This is one of my favourite graphic novel series for a reason. It never fails to cheer me up, in fact it has made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions.
Vicious – by V.E. Schwab (UK Collectors Edition)
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
This was a gift from my parents, I love the new cover, and that it matches my copy of vengeful beautifully. This also gives me a great excuse to reread this book. I feel like I’ve forgotten most of what happens in it.
Six of Crows – by Leigh Bardugo (Collectors Edition)
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist: break into the Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached – and retrieve a hostage whose knowledge could change Grisha magic forever. To succeed would mean rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Together they might just be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
I may have already owned multiple copies of this book, but how could I resist this stunning hardcover collectors edition. My mum agreed, and bought me a copy for Christmas. It is seriously stunning, and honestly, pictures do not do it justice. I really hope they make a matching edition for Crooked Kingdom, just imagine how beautiful it would be.
An Enchantment of Ravens – by Margaret Rogerson
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
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.
I’ve been in a major fantasy mood recently, and I think I’ll really enjoy this book. I’ve heard some mixed reviews, but I know myself, this sounds like the sort of book I’ll get lost in, which is what I really want from my books right now. Also this is another book that looks even more beautiful in person.
The Art of Harry Potter
Since the debut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Harry Potter film franchise has become one of the most popular and successful in the world. Beautifully crafted and presented in a deluxe, large-format with lavish production values, these pages present a visual chronicle of the work by artists and filmmakers to bring the wizarding world to life onscreen. Bursting with hundreds of rare and unpublished works of art, including production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, blueprints, and more, this collectable book is the definitive tome on the visual legacy of the Harry Potter films. Fans will recognise beloved characters, creatures, locations, and more as they embark on a journey through the wizarding world, from Gringotts to the Quidditch pitch.
I am both a huge Harry Potter nerd, and a major fan of art and design, so it’s almost like this book was created with me in mind. I can’t wait to flip through this and see more of what went in to bringing those beloved books to life.
Heavy Vinyl: volume 1
When Chris joins the staff at her local record store, she’s surprised to find out that her co-workers share a secret: they’re all members of a secret fight club that take on the patriarchy and fight crime!
Starry-eyed Chris has just started the dream job every outcast kid in town wants: working at Vinyl Mayhem. It’s as rad as she imagined; her boss is BOSS, her co-workers spend their time arguing over music, pushing against the patriarchy, and endlessly trying to form a band. When Rosie Riot, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show, Chris discovers her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl . . . Her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!
My taste in graphic novels has evolved in the past year or so in favour of more contemporary, character focused stories. When I saw this one I was intrigued despite never having heard of it before. I mean it’s about a teen girl vigilante fight club, that’s really all I need to know.
Moonstruck: volume 1
Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.
Collects issues 1 through 5.
How cute is this cover, I mean seriously, I wanted to read this pretty much immediately, then I found out it’s super queer and full of supernatural characters, and I was one hundred percent sold. I’ve already read this and can confirm that it’s just as cute on the inside as it is on the outside.
Empire of Sand – by Tasha Suri
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.
When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.
Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…
This debut novel has been on my TBR for a little while now, so I was really happy to receive a copy for Christmas. The synopsis is so intriguing, I’m really looking forward to getting into this.
Sawkill Girls – by Claire Legrand
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.
Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.
Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.
Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
I was so happy to receive this book from my Aunt for Christmas. I’ve been wanting a copy since I read a sampler earlier on in the year. The writing style in that sampler was beautiful, and, considering all the good reviews I’ve seen, I have a really good feeling about this book.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – by Stuart Turton
How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.
I’ve heard some really good things about this book, and with such an interesting premise my curiosity is definitely piqued. It’s quite different from what I’ve been reading recently, but I think it could be a welcome change of pace.
Let’s Talk About Love – by Claire Kann
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
It’s a cute romance novel with an asexual protagonist, do I really need to say anything else to justify my excitement for this book? I was thrilled to unwrap this on Christmas morning. I’m really looking forward to it.
A Winter’s Promise – by Christelle Dabos
Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.
Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.
I heard someone talking about this book on book-tube and thought it sounded really interesting, so I put it on my wishlist. It sounds really different, and since my fantasy spree doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, this is a welcome addition to my shelf.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon – by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorising their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
This is a middle grade book with a wonderfully magical premise, and I’ve wanted to read it for the longest time. I actually borrowed the audiobook from the library a few months back, but at the time I was too busy to listen to it all the way through. Thankfully I’m sure I’ll have much better luck with a physical copy.
The Brilliant Death – by Amy Rose Capetta
For Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.
All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.
Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.
Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.
I heard about this book on book-tube and was captivated by the unique premise. Something about it just really appeals to me. I’ve heard good things about both this book and the author. I’m looking forward to reading this, hopefully soon.
Giant Days: volume 7
Esther, Susan, and Daisy continue to face the rigors of young adulthood in this Eisner-nominated series.
Fast friends Susan, Daisy, and Esther continue their second year at Sheffield University, and these are formative times, indeed. Education and looking ahead to the future isn’t all that college holds in-store for these ladies–grocery store protests, family reunions, and even an MMORPG wedding are all on this semester’s docket.
John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round) and illustrators Max Sarin and Liz Fleming, take us to Sophomore year’s second semester in Giant Days Volume 7, which collects Issues #25-28 of the Eisner Nominated series.
Naturally, I’ve already devoured this, and unsurprisingly I LOVED it! I’m always glad to receive volumes of this series, and tend to jump on them right away.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I was very lucky this Christmas, which is why this post took me so long to write. I hope everyone had a good December and a happy new year!
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